"You sure have a lot of questions, Winchester," Greg McAffee, the senior firefighter, said at the end of Sam's third shift. Even after getting the job at the firehouse, Sam still felt like he was walking a tightrope in this mundane life away from hunting monsters with his brother Dean. The work he'd done to prepare for his application as a firefighter had stood him in good stead and he was still excited to have earned a probationary position.
"Yes, sir. I wanna learn everything so I can be the best firefighter I can," Sam replied. He caught the snicker from several other men but ignored it.
"Well this ain't the Army. Hall! You wanna step up and field these questions for the Probie?"
"Happy to," Brendan Hall said from across the room. Sam looked over at the one man in the room who was taller than he was, catching his eye and nodding thanks. He was surprised when he received a wink in return. They hadn't had more than a passing introduction to each other during this, the first shift they'd worked together. Sam was finding that being quiet and competent, but asking questions whenever he thought of them wasn't the best way to make friends with the other firefighters. He planned to ask Tim or maybe Tony for advice on that. He didn't expect that Jethro would be much help.
Outside the crew scattered toward their cars and Hall stopped Sam.
"I can tell you've been studying. I read all the current stuff about equipment and techniques. Any questions while you're off, just call me, okay? I'm happy to talk shop," Brendan told him, handing him a post-it with his phone number. "Where do you live?"
"Silver Spring but we're looking for a bigger place," Sam said. "My partner works near National's Park." He still wasn't certain that Hall wasn't flirting with him, so he tossed his reference to Tim in to try to be up front.
"I'm in Foggy Bottom. I've got a really extensive library of journals and stuff, you should check it out."
Sam hesitated, trying to assess motivation, but decided to simply take the offer at face value. "Thanks. I'll call you as soon as I finish up the stack I'm reading now."
As he drove home, he replayed the interaction, trying to get an accurate read on the man: he seemed almost flirtatious, but he was so totally masculine that Sam thought maybe he was just imagining it.
Then again, he and Tim had talked over and over again about how being in a gay relationship didn’t make either of them less masculine.
That night Tim surprised him with a romantic candlelit dinner at home along with a sheaf of legal documents, and any thoughts of asking for remedial lessons in making friends went straight out of his mind when he saw the label on the forms.
"Domestic Partnership?" Sam asked. His heart rate picked up at the familiar mixture of joy and excitement from taking another step closer to a normal life with Tim and the learned hunter's response that cringed and told him this was way too public, that he should shred and run.
"It just gives us legal rights to each other in case of problems. I'd hate to have one of us end up in a hospital and the other unable to get to him because of some conservative dickwad."
Sam had to smile at Tim's phrasing. He doubted that he'd ever have used the term dickwad before they got together. It actually reminded him of something Dean would say.
"Fine with me, babe."
It was a few weeks after that that Sam was driving to a seminar with Brendan who had found the class and convinced their Captain that they should go.
Sam's phone rang and he glanced at it. The picture of Tim that came up as ID always made him smile.
"Oh my god, I know him! that's Ted McKay!" Brendan exclaimed when he looked at Sam's buzzing iphone.
Sam did a double take, having nearly forgotten Tim's undercover name from the case that had left Tim with scars and Sam’s protective streak increased to near suffocating. "Hey, baby," he answered. Brendan choked.
"I'm gonna be late. DPO in Rock Creek," Tim said.
"That's fine. Um, I just found out one of my team here knows you... Ted. Name's Brendan Hall."
"Uh, wow. Um, it's okay to tell him I was undercover but just say I'm a cop and you can't give details, okay?"
"Will do. Love you."
"I love you, too, Sam.”
Sam disconnected and turned to Brendan. "Well. So... We're both outted with that one, huh?" He asked quietly.
"Oh, I'm out anyway, don't worry. How did you snag Ted, though? He was the unattainable prize for a few weeks a while back, then he just vanished."
Possessiveness rose in Sam. "That's because he was already mine then," he snapped. The raised eyebrow and head tilt he received with that tone of voice made him backtrack. "Sorry. His name is Tim McGee and he was undercover on a case."
"He's a cop? Man... The dreams I had about - " Brendan broke off, clearing his throat. "Oops. No coveting. Sorry, Sam. You are one lucky sonuvabitch."
"Yeah. You have no idea how lucky. Maybe we can all grab a beer after work sometime, though; let you meet the real deal."
"Okay. Sounds good."
At home that night, Sam mentioned Brendan again and silently waited, watching Tim's reaction. He'd picked up Jethro the dog and made a nice dinner for them. He didn't want Tim to be unpleasantly reminded of his abduction and torture.
"Brendan was really nice. I actually felt bad about leading him on. I told him I was rebounding to ease the pressure," Tim recalled. "He reminded me of you, physically, and with his courage."
Sam shook his head. He didn't consider himself exceptional. "He's a really nice guy. I suggested we all go get a beer sometime so you can get to know each other without the pre-text. And he's sorta mentoring me, so I just wanna make sure you're comfortable with that."
Tim smiled affectionately. "I trust you, Sam. You know that. And I'm really glad to see you making friends. Outside my circle of people, you know, and outside the life."
"It makes me a little nervous sometimes. I mean, what if something unexplainable happens?"
"You do what you do best, Sam. You protect people. If you end up having to let someone in on that part of life, I don't think it's got to be as big of a deal as you might think.”
The childlike look Sam gave him, obviously needing reassurance that he'd never really gotten as a kid, made Tim's heart ache. He went to Sam and put his arms around him. "I mean it. Your instincts and your heart will never guide you wrong."
Sam grumbled something about good intentions and Ruby, and Tim held him tighter. "That was a long time ago, and you were so alone, plus she was a master manipulator. Don't dwell on that. Think of all the good choices you've made in these last couple of years."
Sam tried, and even though he wasn't sure Tim was truly seeing him clearly, he did let himself relax in the comforting embrace. He always felt better when he was close to Tim. The closer the better. He turned his face and captured Tim's lips in a deep kiss tinged with desperation.
Tim moved, shifting so he was facing Sam more.
Laying in bed, spooned with Sam behind him and half hard from the feel of Sam's cock against his butt, Tim wiggled a little to get his lover's attention.
"Mmm, that's nice," Sam murmured.
"Yeah. I've been thinking about that. Did some research," Tim confessed softly. He could feel Sam's amused smile against the back of his neck and heard the unspoken thought - 'of course you did.' "And I even, um, ordered a couple of things to maybe help a little."
"Well...toys, I guess, but I was thinking they'd work well to, uh, stretch me some...y'know, since it's always a little tough because of your size."
"Aw, baby, that's a great idea. I don't really like to ask because I know it hurts you," Sam replied, turning Tim in his embrace and kissing him. "I hate hurting you."
"I know. And it's been fine, really, Sam, when we've done it, I just think this might help us do it more often. If you want," Tim's uncertainty made him frown.
"Tim, I love being with you. You know I love bottoming, but feeling free to explore everything with you sounds great."
"Good. I was hoping you'd, maybe, help me? Make it a fun, erotic kind of thing instead of some chore or something."
Giving a non-verbal reply, Sam humped his hard-on lightly against Tim's hip and they shared a smile. "You have any of the stuff handy?"
Tim blushed. "Yeah." He rolled over and retrieved several items from his nightstand. They examined the trio of butt plugs together and agreed they'd start with the smallest one and put the others away. Then Sam took over, rolling onto Tim and kissing him, stroking his body to arouse him as only a thoughtful and familiar lover could.
When Tim was gasping and moaning, Sam shifted and lubed his fingers first. Moving down, spending a few minutes licking and sucking Tim's balls, Sam finally slid his tongue up to the head of his cock and lapped at the pre-come oozing out while he carefully worked one digit into him.
Floating in the miasma of Sam's knowledgable exploitation of his body, Tim pushed down onto the finger inside him, then up into the warm wetness of Sam's mouth, groaning as the dual sensations swirled his mind and body further into mindless rut.
Sam smiled around the shaft between his lips. Tim had moved beyond the almost prayerful chanting of Sam's name into grunting and panting. They rarely took the time to wind each other up this much anymore, instead normally having satisfying though predictable sex. He was excited by the prospect of expanding their repretiore and regaining some of the unbelievable passion they'd started out with.
Sam used his free hand to prepare the narrow butt plug and nearly laughed at the whine Tim emitted when he removed his finger. He carefully replaced it with the smooth implement and listened to be certain there was no discomfort as he pushed past the widest part and Tim's ass tightened back over the narrow neck. The flared base kept it in place, and with Tim continuing to make fabulous sounds of lust, Sam flicked it with his finger to see the reaction. Tim cried out and thrust hard into Sam's mouth. He responded with a long deep throat, backing off when he felt the tightening in Tim, indicating his orgasm was imminent. Tim sobbed, and Sam decided to satisfy his own needs as well as Tim's. He was aching to have Tim inside him, and somehow, knowing Tim was feeling the penetration of the plug made him want it even more. Leaving Tim's erection slick with saliva, Sam moved up and stradled him, carefully sliding down onto him, aware that he could hurt Tim with the hard dildo inside if he pushed too hard at the wrong angle. Apparently Tim knew which way would work, and he grabbed Sam's hips and bucked hard up into him.
"Fuck!" Sam cried, throwing his head back and squeezing his eyes closed. They found their rhythm, skin slapping together hard as Sam rode Tim and Tim thrust deep into Sam. The stimulation of the plug rubbing his prostate with every motion had Tim in a mindless frenzy, and his climax approached rapidly. Sam knew from the sounds Tim was making as well as the expression on his red face that he was almost there and he panted as he felt his own orgasm building.
When Tim came, he screamed his ecstasy, and Sam's voice rose in concert when he felt the hot semen flood throbbing into him and he felt the long, powerful pulses as he came, too.
Still aware of the potential harm to Tim, Sam carefully rose up and to the side before he collapsed with his head on Tim's heaving chest, ignoring the squish as his chin settled in some of his own ejaculate.
Having nearly blacked out from the intensity of their collective orgasms, Tim merely raised a shaking hand to Sam's head and stroked his fingers through his long hair for a moment before allowing his hand to rest slack wherever it relaxed to.
As their breath returned to a normal pace, Sam moved enough to reach for the package of wet wipes in his nightstand. He fumbled and cleaned his face and Tim's chest, then got a fresh one and moved his hand down between Tim's thighs. Tim raised up and Sam carefully withdrew the plug, eliciting a faint groan from Tim.
"You okay, baby?" Sam asked. He wrapped the plug in the wipes and set it aside.
"Yeah. Oh my god that was intense," Tim moaned.
"I can't believe how hot that made me, knowing you were feeling that inside while you fucked me," Sam confessed with a smile. Tim's face had begun to fade from the red of exertion and now flushed with embarassment. "Aw, Tim, after all the sex we have, that you still blush..." Sam kissed him tenderly and the shy, sweet smile Tim gave brought every feeling Sam had for him up another notch. "Oh god, I love you," Sam whispered.
"Oh, Sam. It's just doing something new, y'know, like when we first had phone sex," Tim shrugged.
"It's sweet, baby, that's all. And now I have more things I can say that'll get you hot. Everything that embarasses you also turns you on. With sexy stuff, anyway," Sam smirked.
"Yeah, yeah, you know me so well," Tim said, sighing but smiling. "You think we can do that everyday for a week and then move up to the next one?"
Sam snickered and then made his voice raspy. "Awesome!"
Tim groaned. "I know you want to work on your impressions, but please don't channel your brother while we're in bed. It is way too disturbing."
Sam cleared his throat and let his voice slide up on the next word. "Sweet!"
Tim frowned and wondered aloud. "Who's that supposed to be?"
Sam's laugh was full bodied and Tim winked, having successfully teased Sam back.
"Ah, baby. I can't promise it'll be that intense every time, but yeah, I think we can make time to 'play' at least until the Tuesday when I'm back on shift. Hmm, you'll have to practice alone while I'm at the firehouse," Sam shuddered. "And that is gonna turn me on so much, thinking about you..."
Tim grinned and settled back against the pillows, happy with the prospect.
Sam invited Gibbs and Tony when the time came for introducing Brendan to the real Tim. They met at a bar and Sam was able to relax with the support from the older men.
"You were captured by the baseball bat serial killer?" Brendan exclaimed when Tony boasted to him about the team being the 'federal officers' who had taken out the notorious murderer.
Sam's hands tightened into fists and he put them down under the table on his legs to hide the white knuckles. Tim smoothly put his own hand down and gently touched him, the living warmth soothing Sam's automatic fear/anger reaction.
"Sam helped my team find me in time," Tim said.
"Man, these two have got some kind of psychic link or something!" Tony boasted. "There was a hiccup in the surveillance and Sam just called Gibbs out of the blue and told us something was wrong. We barely got there in time. McGee was all strung up like Mel Gibson in the torture scene from Lethal Weapon and--"
"And that is not a visual I need, DiNozzo!" Sam snapped.
Brendan had paled and he nodded his agreement. "That's really pretty insensitive."
Tim laughed into the awkward moment. "Yeah, but that's our Tony," he said, trying to lighten the mood.
"Next round's on you, DiNozzo," Gibbs said quietly. Tony sputtered, but the others laughingly agreed that was just punishment. Tim adjusted his order to the most expensive wine the bar offered by the glass, and stared Tony down when he tried to protest.
"Probably owe him a bottle, man!" Brendan chortled. Tony went to get the drinks and everyone had settled down by the time he returned.
Tim and Sam finally found an apartment they liked and got moved. Having both their names on the lease made Sam's stomach do flips, but it was mostly a good reaction.
At the housewarming barbeque, the team relaxed on the comfortable new furniture, drinking and talking with Sam’s firehouse buddies. Tim sat at his writing desk, just inside the sliding glass door to their balcony, where Sam was manning the grill.
“Tim, could you grab me another beer, please?” Sam asked without looking back, knowing Tim remained within earshot.
Tony slapped Tim’s leg. “I’ll get it, Probie.” He raided the cooler and then went out to join Sam. Handing the taller man the bottle, he then leaned on the railing and looked out at the view.
“Y’know, my guys at the firehouse call me Probie, too,” Sam commented.
“Nicknames. They’re great. C’mon, I bet you’ve got some lovey pet name for McGoo, don’t you? Poopsy? Honeybun? What is it?”
Sam shook his head. DiNozzo would dig until he found out anyway, so… “Hey baby, can I tell Tony I call you 'baby' sometimes?”
Tim sighed. “Great, Sam, thanks. I’ll have to get ready for him to say 'McBaby', now.”
From deeper in the apartment, Abby could be heard. “McBaby?! You guys are gonna adopt? Oh my god!”
Tony and Sam chuckled as Tim’s voice grew fainter as he went to try to calm his friend’s enthusiasm.
“And what about you, Prober? What’s your pet name?”
“Uh, hang on: ‘Prober’?”
“He’s Prob-ee, so you must be Prob-er, get it?”
“Tim doesn’t use any pet names for me. It’s kind of a thing. I’ve been given too many by other people. And you might as well add ‘Prober’ to your list for Tim, dude, just for accuracy,” Sam replied. He barely felt a twinge at telling someone he bottomed anymore.
“Probie’s a Prober? Are you shitting me? You must be…” DiNozzo’s laughter trailed off at the serene smirk Sam gave him. He looked into the apartment at where his partner had corralled Abby and appeared to be consoling her, then back to Sam. “Well hell, that’s…downright manly of my little McGay boy.” Sam cleared his throat and Tony looked back to him. His eyes widened when he realized his comment could be taken as an insult to the tall man. “Not that you’re not manly, Sam; I mean, obviously, you’re very, uh… Did you hear that? I think Gibbs needs me.” And he beat a hasty retreat back inside to the sound of Sam’s booming laughter.
Standing on their balcony, back against the glass but still out in the open air watching the lights of the city, Tim and Sam sipped their wine. Sam took a deep breath and twined their fingers together between them.
"We never, like, define our roles, baby, but I've been thinking..."
Tim took a sip to hide his uncertainty, raising his eyebrows in question.
"I think we should get married."
The inquisitive look turned to one of shock. "Wow. Uh... Don't take this the wrong way, Sam, but... Why?"
"Why? Really? I basically propose and you - "
"Come on, Sam, you haven't set this up like some romantic thing, but like a discussion. I can't ask why you brought this up now?"
Sam felt his face flush with perceived criticism and he dropped to a knee and looked up at Tim. "Is this better?" He snapped. Tim rolled his eyes and tugged him upright.
"You know it's not. Don't turn this into gender wars or something." He smiled mischievously. "You cry during sex."
"So do you!"
"See? No winners or losers. Just relax."
Sam couldn't help but smile. "We are both big ol' winners, damnit."
Tim smiled back and slipped his arm around Sam's waist.
"Yeah. We are. And we're legally domestic partners, too. So why marriage?”
"Well, for the outside perspective for one. And to support other same sex couples."
Tim gave him an odd look. "I'm not sure getting married for other people is the best reason..."
"Tim," Sam growled. "Our fucking souls are linked, but that's not...visible. Or shareable. I want..." He swallowed hard. "I want it obvious that we're together: this isn't a phase or an experiment or something, it's our lives."
Warmth suffused Tim's chest, and he bit his lip. "Keep going," he whispered. Sam's eyes narrowed and he finally shrugged.
"Okay! I want you marked in every way possible as mine. I want no doubt, anywhere, that you will ever be available to anyone else. I..." He sighed. "I still hold my breath, baby. When Abby hugs you, or Brendan eyes your ass... Hell, when Gibbs looks at you sometimes! I know what Gabriel said he did, and that means the world to me, but I want everyone to know. I want..."
This time Tim smoothly dropped to one knee and set his glass down. He grabbed both Sam's hands in his and looked up at his lover, sincerity shining in his gaze.
"Sam Winchester, will you marry me?"
Tears filled Sam's eyes and he pulled Tim up and into a fierce embrace.
"Thank you. But there is no way I'm letting you be the one who proposed. We agreed to get married, right? That's all we say to anyone... Ever."
Tim laughed. "Whatever you want, Sam. Whatever you want."
They had finished their wine and returned inside when it finally struck Tim and he stopped in his tracks as he was walking toward the bedroom from the kitchen. He had just gotten engaged. He was going to get married. It was one of his most precious dreams about his personal life, and it was going to come true with Sam Winchester. Someday they'd be old men together, taking care of each other, reminding each other to take pills and wear clean underwear. He laughed, then sobered. They'd get to do that if they both lived that long. He had to hope for that. He didn't think he could survive without Sam in the world with him.
"Babe? Everything okay?"
"Yeah, I just... My god, Sam, we're gonna get married!"
"Is that... I mean, that's a good thing, right?"
"Yes! Oh, Sam, I... I don't know, I just always wanted to, so badly, and to have it be you... I'm so incredibly happy, Sam! I feel like I'm actually floating."
"Aw, Tim. My Tim..." Sam murmured as he wrapped his arms around Tim and drew him tenderly toward their bedroom.
"We'll have to honor Gabriel in some way at the wedding."
"Yeah, I like that."
"A song. Maybe I could get Tony or Abby to sing? They've both got really wonderful voices. And Tony plays guitar and piano, did you know that?"
"Tim?" Sam had maneuvered them to the foot of the bed. He leaned back and pulled his t-shirt over his head, making sure he shook his hair out in that way that had always made Tim's eyes glaze.
"Yeah?" Tim stared at his fiancé's golden mane and defined chest.
"You gonna stay in your head and plan our wedding right now or are you gonna fuck me through the mattress?"
Tim barked a short laugh and leaned in to kiss Sam firmly before he started removing his own clothes. "Do you even need to ask?"
Soon, they were both naked and wrapped around each other on the bed, kissing in feverish, sloppy desperation.
Getting the plug into Tim and then rolling over to be on hands and knees took long enough for Sam to be aching for Tim by the time Tim had slicked him up and was pressing in.
They were both way too eager and Tim knew he wasn’t going to last long as he set a quick pace, tilting his head to watch how Sam’s face peeked through his swaying hair. It was one of Tim’s favorite views.
“The plug...feels so good, Sam...I can’t wait...for it to be you...” Tim panted.
Sam groaned. Hearing Tim talk about that made Sam nearly frantic for it, but he focused on how good it felt to have Tim inside him instead. God, Tim knew exactly how to find the right angle, and Sam felt his body tightening up.
“Sam...Sam...Please, I’m gonna...”
Tim’s begging sent Sam over the edge and he shook with the release, calling out to Tim. In moments, Tim slammed in and held Sam’s hips tightly, throbbing into Sam and making Sam shiver through a second climax with a surprised cry.
They laid together for a long while before either of them had the wherewithal to get up and clean up.
Eventually, it was Tim who climbed shakily to his feet and did the honors.
Once curled up together again, Tim had to ask.
Sam chuckled. “Apparently...”
“Damn, I’m good!” Tim crowed. Sam laughed.
“Yeah, you are, baby. You definitely are.”
Three weeks of 'practice' with the plugs and Tim was aching for Sam to get back from his shift. The idea of bottoming without pain was incredibly attractive and these last few days while Sam was gone had been torturous, using the largest plug, imagining Sam on top of or behind him, big hands gripping his hips.
When Sam walked through their door at 10:30 that night, Tim knew he would have to wait and sighed. Sam was unsteady on his feet with deep circles beneath his eyes.
"God, Sam, did you sleep at all?"
"Calls nearly constantly. I could barely drive..." Sam's voice was ragged and he swayed as he dropped his backpack.
Tim helped him to get undressed and into bed and stood watching as he fell asleep nearly before he lay back. Sighing, Tim smiled wryly and covered him up.
Sam slept without moving for nine hours. Tim joined him in bed, got his own night's sleep, and rose before Sam even stirred.
Finally, once Sam had risen and showered, then had breakfast, they’d been rubbing against each other as they cleaned up the kitchen and Tim had slipped Sam’s hand down the back of his pants so Sam could feel the base of the largest plug seated inside him.
Sam turned immediately and kissed Tim hard, the teasing foreplay shifting to serious in an instant.
"How do you wanna do it, baby?"
Tim bit his lip and looked away for a second. Sam tilted his head and looked closer at him. Tim's eyes met Sam's and he blushed.
"What, Tim? You know you can ask for anything."
"I just... Since you don't need to, like, stretch..."
"You want it hard and fast, don't you?"
"I want you to fuck me, Sam, yeah."
"Tim...the thought of just taking you with complete abandon..." Sam felt breathless at the idea.
"Yeah. Any way you want, Sam. You can just manhandle me and... No holds barred for once. Is that, uh, I mean, do you want..."
"Tim, you know I do. I'm practically vibrating right now, keeping myself from tearing your clothes off and bending you over right here."
"Why are you restraining yourself?"
On Saturday mornings, unless he needed to go somewhere immediately, Tim just put on pants and a t-shirt, with nothing underneath while they had breakfast and hung out for a while, so Sam kissed him, passionately, and yanked his sweatpants down. The t-shirt was next, stripped off in an instant, and Tim's grin as it pulled over his face made Sam growl.
Their teeth clashed in a violent kiss, and Sam swept his hands down Tim's back to palm his ass, drawing him tightly against himself. When his fingers trailed into the warmth between his cheeks and encountered the plug again, he moaned aloud.
Turning Tim around and pushing him down, while at the same time dropping to his knees and tearing his own pants down required more coordination than Sam could muster, and he ended up jumping back up to actually remove his jeans and underwear. Then he took a brief pause to carefully pull the plug out of Tim and drop it on their clothes before he went back to it.
Tim hadn't been certain his gentle Sam could muster the animalistic lust that he'd hoped to drive him toward, but the manhandling, the growling, and the desperation were everything Tim had fantasized about made real. He braced his arms when he suddenly felt the blunt head of Sam's cock lining up, then in one searing, glorious moment, he was filled.
Tim howled. Sam stopped for a bare instant, but the grinding of Tim back against him reassured him, so after that one hesitation, he was through worrying. He just fucked as hard and deeply as he wanted to, and it was incredible. Tim sobbed at the perfection of it. He was full of Sam, the warmth and flesh of him, and it didn't hurt, it was just friction and being stuffed and complete and connected. He rocked back forcefully into each thrust, reveling in the violence of the coupling.
Sam's orgasm was already building. Letting go of concern that he was hurting Tim freed him to rut, his hands gripping Tim's hips to pull him bodily onto his cock. God! Deep, and hot, and tight, and Tim crying out and grunting with impact and pushing hard back against him, shoving his body onto Sam's cock, taking it... Sam leaned harder on Tim's back, putting one hand on the floor and moving the other up to Tim's shoulder, speeding up, fucking faster and faster and tears were dripping off his chin and he buried his face against Tim's back and jackhammered, racing, panting for completion.
The movement of Sam's cock against his prostate was driving Tim crazy. He wanted to scream from the sensation as it built and flowed like lava down his thighs and up his chest to his throat. He'd never come without stimulation to his cock, but if this was how that felt when Sam did, he totally understood why his lover craved it. He was shaking so hard he wasn't sure he could stay on his arms, and he was making sounds he'd never imagined he could: garbled shouts and wails and pleading. He was going to burst into flames!
Sam started yelling as his orgasm rose like a tidal wave, rising in volume until he ran out of air and came, his lungs contracting, spasming with need but the pleasure tearing through him so intensely he didn't care if he suffocated, he just wanted it to last and last.
Sam's scream and his final thrusts sent Tim over the edge, too, flying into a weightless, white heat, ropes of come ripping out of him, his body locked in a trembling moment of pure ecstasy.
"What do you mean by 'long flight'? Three hours or something?" Sam asked. Tim gave him a head tilted look. He'd been talking almost non-stop about the wedding and honeymoon.
"I was thinking about the most romantic places I could: maybe Italy or Greece?"
"I can't go to Europe!"
"What? Why not?" Tim was puzzled by Sam's vehement response.
"What if Dean needs me?" Tim's eyes immediately shuttered and Sam's heart dropped. "Why are you looking at me like that? I need to stay available to help if Dean really gets into trouble. You know that. You do, right? Tim?"
Tim swallowed hard. It was always going to come to this, and he didn't want to push Sam, but it just hurt so much to be made second in Sam's life. "I... Sam, I don't understand. We're talking about our honeymoon. Starting our lives as a married couple. I am going to be your spouse. Doesn't that kind of out-rank brother?"
Sam's face drained of color. "You want me to choose between you and Dean?"
"Wh-I-uh..." Tim stammered, unable to verbalize coherently.
Sam waited, barely breathing.
"Sam, I love you. You are number one in my life. Work, friends... Even Penny and Sarah and my mom... They're second to you, now. You're my partner, my lover, my...everything. I... I really want to be that to you. I thought... I thought that's what we've built, what getting married means. But I can't ask you to pick, because...because I know I'll lose." Tim's voice dropped to a pained whisper as he admitted what he feared yet was certain of.
Tears filled Sam's eyes and he blinked, trying to clear them without crying. "Tim..."
But Tim couldn't stand it. He rose and left the room.
Sam found himself at Gibbs's house later that evening.
Unfortunately, the man didn’t have any perfect answers to the dilemma, and there was awkwardness at home even afterward.
The matter wasn’t a simple one to resolve, and their last day together before Sam’s next shift at the firehouse was tense.
While Sam was away from home, Tim worked, but he also tried to wrangle his feelings about Sam’s dedication to Dean.
He understood, as well as someone could from the outside. For a long time, Dean and Sam were each other’s only family, and with the intensity of the sorts of things they’d gone through together, they had to prioritize each other.
But knowing in his mind was a far cry from understanding and accepting in his heart. There simply wasn’t an easy answer.
Getting a call from the fire station that Sam had disappeared on a routine kitchen fire call shoved all the worry over Dean to the back of Tim’s mind.
Tim was preparing to start a missing person’s search when there was the faint sound of wings and suddenly Castiel was there in the apartment.
“Sam is in trouble,” Cas said without preamble.
“No shit! Do you know where he is?”
“He’s been taken to Purgatory. It seems the demon witch you vanquished together has held a grudge.”
“Purg— How do we find him?” Tim’s mind scanned back through the details he could recall from the Supernatural novels about Dean’s time in Purgatory.
“He is shrouded from me. I believe your connection will allow you to find him, but only once you’ve descended.”
Tim’s Catholic upbringing made him shiver at the implications, but he steeled himself and nodded.
“How do I get there?”
“I don’t know. But Dean might. I’ll take you to him.”
Tim barely had time to snatch up his cell phone before he was transported to a dingy motel room God only knew where.
The wing sound fluttered again, and suddenly Tim was alone with Dean and Benny.
“What the hell?! Was that Cas? Tim, what’s going on?”
Tim stumbled from the transport and abrupt departure of Castiel, grabbing the back of a chair.
“Hang on,” Tim said. He typed a very quick message to Gibbs. They’d worked out a code for if something monster-related happened and Tim would need an indeterminate time off work.
“I got a call that Sam disappeared while out on a call, and then Cas showed up. He said that demon witch from Washington held a grudge and Sam’s been taken to Purgatory, but he’s hidden from Cas. I can find him, through our bond, but I need a way into Purgatory. So he brought me here. How do we make this happen?” Tim summarized, then stared expectantly at Dean.
“Fuck,” was Dean’s response.
Purgatory had a gray cast, and smelled musty with the impressions of mildew and decay. The light always stayed the same and Tim couldn't be certain how long he and Benny had been there, constantly fighting a variety of monsters, before they found a lead on Sam.
Dean had been completely pissed off that the situation dictated that Tim hop a ride with Benny through some kind of piggybacking spell and go to find Sam just the two of them, but that was exactly what had to be, according to the information they’d quickly dug up.
Tim was having to use every trick he had ever learned in hand to hand combat training to keep up with the vampire. It was primal, instinctive and survival based. He understood the description from the Supernatural books that Dean described it as pure.
"What happens to these things when they die here?" Tim asked.
"I dunno," Benny replied shortly.
"Haven't you ever died here?"
"No, I have not."
What Tim did not expect from Benny was the silently approving camaraderie that he felt after the first few fights they were in together. It felt really good that the powerful being trusted and respected him. He didn't want to think what his Catholic mother might say about such feelings.
It was another vampire, one who knew Benny and didn't want to kill him, who gave them their clue as to where to find Sam.
"There's some really black mojo going on in the hollow," the skinny, androgynous vamp told Benny. To Tim it sounded more like, "Thayas s'm re' black mojo gone ind'holla," and he had to rely on Benny to translate the terribly thick accent.
The waif refused to accompany them, but the rush Tim felt knowing they had a lead made him feel so cocky he grinned at Benny.
"Shall we go retrieve my lover?" Tim asked. Benny merely raised a single eyebrow and shook his head at Tim's bravado.
They approached the hollow, doing what recon they could, and decided that a frontal assault was their only option.
The one who got Tim came from behind while he was fending off two others. It was something wickedly strong and it lifted him and swung him in a circle into a tree. All three were on him as his head swam from the impact. All Tim knew was that he was being kicked, pummeled, and bitten and he could barely feel it. His vision was narrowing, and utter certainty filled him: if he lost consciousness, he was going to die, and Sam would be lost forever. So he fought. He struggled and kicked and eventually realized he was hopelessly outmatched. He filled his lungs and screamed his fury and terror and agony at the thought of Sam forever gone from the mortal world.
Benny heard the cry and roared, forcing the leviathan and the two werewolves he was fighting back with a bull rush before he nimbly shifted and sprinted toward the pile of monsters on top of Tim. Two more creatures leapt onto him and he staggered, slicing this way and that to try to get to Tim.
The row of demons who stood as the last defense, guarding the crumpled, human figure on the ground by the stone outcropping, watched the two attackers as they were swamped by the vastly superior numbers, almost bored with the events. But suddenly, two were dead, necks snapped, before the others even noticed and turned toward the empty spot where their charge had lain.
Sam rammed two more demons face first into each other, making a bloody wet mess of them, kicked another's knee so it snapped audibly, then ignored the furthest from him to hurry toward Tim. He had no idea where he was, but he knew Tim was in trouble. There were two mounds of monsters attacking two individuals. He couldn't see his love but something inside him knew with unwavering surety which pile was Tim. Picking up a stone, Sam started pounding on every creature who had dared to touch Tim.
Cries, snarls, and yelps met Sam's assault, and in his adrenaline fueled rage, he made short work of clearing everything off Tim. He dropped to his knees and pulled Tim into his arms, calling to him, oblivious to continuing danger around them.
The pain of being beaten and bitten and clawed eased and somehow, Sam was there, holding Tim, repeating his name like a prayer. Tim hurt all over, but he felt a hot trickle from his thigh and he struggled to free himself from Sam's embrace.
"Sam! Sam, I'm bleeding!" He finally had to shout. Sam released him.
"Thigh," Tim gasped, clutching at it. Sam tore off his own shirt and made a bandage after seeing that the bite was dripping but not spurting. Tim stifled a yell as Sam tightened the makeshift compression bandage. His head swam, but he heard fighting still nearby and he forced himself to sit up. "Benny! Sam—" Tim pointed, and Sam rose to assist the vampire. The two experienced warriors worked together to get some breathing space, and Sam returned to Tim as soon as he could, with Benny watching the area.
One look at Tim's barely conscious state and Sam scooped him up, turning back to address Benny, ignoring Tim's weak protest.
"Tell me you've got a way out of this...wherever it is," Sam growled. Benny nodded and indicated a direction.
Tim fogged in and out of awareness as they traveled, blinking his eyes clear when Sam set him down. He feebly tried to protest when he saw Benny and Sam cutting their forearms, and he wasn't certain he hadn't blacked out once more when he looked again and Benny was gone. Then Sam was back beside him, kneeling.
"Sam, love, we can't leave Benny here," Tim mumbled.
"Don’t worry about him. We're heading up there," Sam nodded to the top of a slope. Tim rolled his head and saw a swirling blue-gray mass of energy. "Gotta fireman carry you, baby. Hang on," he said. Tim passed out as he was inverted over Sam's shoulder.
Waking a few minutes later, Tim found himself in the backseat of the Impala jouncing around within the protective circle of Sam's arms as Dean drove along a rutted dirt road through heavy woods. The passenger seat was empty and Tim had no idea how that had happened. Where was Benny?
"Baby?" Sam murmured. Tim turned his head and looked into the beloved face. Relief turned his insides to jelly, and he leaned up for a kiss that pressed painfully on his bruised lips but gave him so much warmth and comfort that he didn't care.
Pulling back, they simply looked at each other for a while. The car turned and they were suddenly on a paved road. Tim sighed in relief and Sam carefully tightened his hold on Tim for a moment.
"Dean told me what you did. You went to Purgatory to rescue me," Sam said quietly.
"Cas said I was the only one who could," Tim said, deflecting. “And I couldn’t have survived it without Benny...”
"Your voice woke me. I didn't even know where I was but I knew you needed me."
Tim smiled crookedly. "Always."
"Anytime, Sam. You can count on me."
Sam's eyes were bright with tears as they settled back against the seat and Tim drifted.
“...wait, but—Benny?” Tim asked.
“He stayed. He said...”
“He never felt right here. Tired of fightin’ his nature. He’s...happier there,” Dean interjected, his voice rough.
Tim could almost hear Dean suppressing his pain and disappointment and shook his head slightly. He didn’t know how to help Dean.
The motel they stopped at thankfully had two rooms available, and Sam took Tim into the shower first off before he tended his wounds. They'd healed a surprising amount, and even the bite on his thigh seemed uninfected and not in need of stitches. They theorized that maybe the time difference in Purgatory, or passing through the portal had somehow speeded up Tim's recovery. Lounging in sweatpants and t-shirts for a while, content to just be together, the need for rest overcame them as the day faded to evening.
They fell asleep together, but sometime in the darkest hours of the night, Tim woke and looked up to see Castiel standing by the little table next to the door. His trench coat was unmistakable even in the dim light, and Tim carefully drew away from Sam and got up. He went to the angel and tried to find words to express his gratitude.
"Th-thank you," he finally said, feeling the total inadequacy of the words. Cas tilted his head.
"You saved him. I only told you where he was," Cas rumbled lowly.
"I can't live without him, so you saved both our lives, Cas.”
The angel's eyes looked to Sam. "The Winchesters are a magnet for trouble. By binding yourself to him, you become one as well."
"I don't care."
Cas nodded and Tim sensed he was about to leave.
"Will you come to our wedding, Cas? Please?"
"I will be there."
"As a guest. Visible."
Cas inclined his head again and then vanished with the gentle gust of air and faint whooshing sound. Tim went back to bed, comforted even by the odd appearance and cryptic words.
Dean woke from memories and dreams of Purgatory and fighting beside Benny. He sighed and then growled.
“You’re not alone.”
“Damnit, Cas! It’s creepy enough that you watch me sleep but reading my mind is too much,” Dean grumbled. He was still enough semiconscious that he didn’t think about how long it had been since Cas had done something like that. It was just familiar, to complain about it and not allow himself to consider how warm it made him feel.
“Nah. I’m up now,” Dean said, and rolled out of the bed.
“I won’t leave you alone again, Dean, unless you tell me to. You can’t hunt alone.”
Dean scrubbed his face with his hands. “Yeah. I guess. But we gotta be clear on what—“
“I will not try to have sex with you.”
Dean grabbed the bottle of whiskey he’d half consumed before bed and poured a glass. Dropping into the chair by the rickety table, he frowned and struggled to find words to express himself, sipping.
“Cas... I care about you. You’re family, man. I just...”
“I will not ask you for what you aren’t prepared to give, Dean.”
Dean downed the rest of the alcohol.
“You’re an angel, Cas. I thought you couldn’t...feel like that.”
“I think...all the time spent on earth, involved with you and Sam and others, along with my experiences... I don’t know what I am anymore. I still have grace, but I feel more than I ever did before. I’m... I suppose I have become an abomination.”
“What?! No! Don’t ever think... Jesus, Cas! You’re a person, okay? You’re a good person, and I don’t want to hear you talk about yourself like that. Ever.”
Hearing Cas degrading himself like that tore Dean up inside. He might not be able to love the guy the way he thought he wanted, but he did love him.
“Look, other than sex, what is it you want that Sam’s got with Tim? Living together? Dude, you’ve got a room at the bunker. Tell me: what else?”
Cas tilted his head. “Intimacy. Support. Affection.”
Dean took a deep breath. “C’mon, man. I don’t know what that looks like! You wanna sit beside me on the couch? Done. You wanna, what, talk about feelings? That—that’s a harder one, okay? And affection... Like, hugging? I already hug you. You want that like, I don’t know, once a day, what?”
Cas seemed to contemplate that. “A daily hug would be good.”
Dean blew out a breath of relief. “Okay. So, you stay at the bunker and we hunt together and you get a daily hug. That a good enough start?”
Cas smiled, and something in Dean unclenched.
“I think that will suffice to begin. To try.”
“Good. Alright. I’m going back to bed. Don’t watch me sleep, okay? But you can stay here, on the other bed.”
When he rose to return to sleep, Cas stood in his way and Dean realized it was time to put up or shut up.
“You want a hug, huh?”
“It is 11:53. I haven’t had my hug today yet.”
Dean set his jaw. Usually a hug was a welcome or a celebration or some kind of oh-my-god-you’re-alive sort of spontaneous thing. This was calculated, for nothing more than Cas’ pleasure. He wasn’t sure how to do it.
But Cas’ expression fell, that slight droop to his eyebrows and lowering of his head.
It wasn’t just pleasure. It was validation.
And Cas deserved that.
Dean hugged him, counted off about five seconds, then let go.
Cas looked pleased as he nodded.
Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard after all.
In the morning, Tim called Gibbs and let him know he'd be back to work as soon as they returned to Washington. The first town they got to that had a car rental agency, Tim and Sam split off from Dean and Castiel, who had walked out of Dean’s motel room like it was normal. Dean’s glare had kept Sam and Tim from asking about it.
The brothers took a moment to speak to each other before they parted ways, and Sam was smiling when he got into the passenger seat of the rental.
With a wave, Tim pulled out and got on the road toward home.
"You seem happy," he said, addressing Sam's contented sigh within minutes of getting onto the highway.
"Dean's cool with the honeymoon you want."
Sam held Tim's hand tightly as Tony sang to them. It was their thank you to Gabriel for what he'd done bringing them together. Tim squeezed his fingers and Sam looked at him, noticing that the tears in his eyes gave a glittering golden halo to his brown hair. He smiled at Tim, receiving a widening of the smile that hadn't left Tim's lips since they'd walked down the aisles toward each other. A flash from the back of the room drew Sam's eye, but he couldn't see what it was. As the song ended, he could have sworn he heard the fluttering sound of an angel's appearance or disappearance, but a quick dart of his eyes showed Castiel still staring intently at Dean. He looked back to Tim, but he was just beaming at Sam. The look was adoring and open and so beautiful that Sam forgot about what he thought he'd heard and just gazed back at him, warmth and love suffusing him until he felt like he would incandesce. All his dreams of some kind of normal life were here, held safe in Tim's strong hands and heart. Sam had never felt more grateful for anything.
Tony finished the song with a final flourish on the piano and as he returned to his place beside Abby, Tim sent out a silent prayer to Gabriel of his gratitude for helping him get together with Sam as he nodded to his friend. He knew what a big deal it was for Tony to share his musical talents.
Sam caught Dean’s eye, and the brothers nodded to each other. They’d had some very important, heartfelt conversations when they’d taken a road trip to New York to the family storage unit to bring everything back to the bunker for safekeeping. They had an understanding that had finally set Sam’s heart to rest.
Abby did a reading, and then it was time for vows.
“Sam, you’re everything I ever didn’t know I wanted and needed. I am here today to promise that I will stay by your side, and to be on your side, for all the time we have together. I won’t promise we won’t fight, but I will promise that I will always do my best to see your side. I love you, Sam.”
“We’ve been through a lot together already, and I have so much hope for the future with you that I feel like I can only make one promise that’s more than what we’ve already demonstrated for each other: I will do as you’ve done. I promise to put you above all others. You’re it for me, baby. You’re my number one.”
Tim had determined not to cry during the ceremony, but he lost it at that. He turned to look at Dean, and got a nod and a small smile that held only a little trepidation and sadness. Looking back to Sam, whose eyes were positively glowing, Tim broke protocol and threw his arms around Sam and hugged him tightly.
Laughter rippled through the audience, and after just a moment, Tim got himself under control and the ceremony continued.
They exchanged rings and were declared husbands, and they kissed deeply and with more passion than they probably should have in a church.
Then they headed down the aisle, out the doors, and into the bright sunlight and toward an even brighter future.