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the charm of reality in their hearts

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There would be times, in Hell, when time really didn't seem to matter, when Dean could catch his breath, if it was breath or blood, it rattled in his lungs, there would be times he thought he saw ghosts.

One of them looked like Sam.

Tall, shadowy, all lithe rangy motion and the eyes glittering out like broken bottles.

Then his liver was carved away and he lost sight of the ghost.

But there would be times, Dean thought he saw ghosts and after a while, they all looked like Sam.

The eyes, Sam's eyes, scattered razor shrapnel, and Dean wanted those eyes on him, watching him, cutting into him.

Now though, now he's back and Sam's back and the glinting light is just from the knife and he can actually breathe.

Sam's eyes are Sam's eyes and they're not glass, they're liquid hazel, burning into Dean, like fingers pushed into an open wound.

So he says Sam's name.

Because Sam is here, Sam is not a ghost, not any of the ghosts and he knows it.

He knows it as Sam pulls the knife along the line of his collarbone and it stings, sings to him, so sweet, all pain exactly how Sam says his name.

And that's how he knows.

**

Dean.

What.

Dean.

Sam's mouth is red.

What, Sam, fuck.

Let's find us a ghost.

Dean licks at the red on Sam. It's their red, so they taste the same.

Why?

Why not?

Why?

Sam huffs, turning away from Dean's tongue. Dean bites his jaw, sharp reminder, I want, but Sam tugs away, angry.

You want bones?

Yeah, Dean.

We don't need a ghost.

Dean stalks Sam as his brother jerks himself out of reach.

I want old ones.

Sam glares at Dean who crouches in the ruins of the sheets, long easy cut-slits of cotton.

Dean looks wistful, momentarily distracted from Sam's skin.

They snap better, don't they, Sammy?

Sam isn't mollified, still putting space between them as Dean crawls forward, baring his teeth.

I wanna drive.

You always wanna drive.

I wanna drive. I get to pick.

Dean pounces as Sam circles too close and Sam catches him, slamming him to the floor. With a crackled gasp, the breath leaves Dean's lungs and Sam presses into him, smiling as Dean's eyes brighten with lack of oxygen. He'll get bruises from how Dean's holding him as he scrabbles for air, so his smile widens. Then Sam settles between Dean's thighs and Dean breathes as he yanks Sam down, pulling his head back at a hard angle.

Well, I wanna shoot something. What're we gonna do 'bout it, eh, Einstein?

Ghost, you asshole, or…

Sam's fingers find Dean still open and slick, so he pulls them out, pushes his cock in, fast.

Next town, Sammy, let's go to the next town. I bet there'll be fun there.

Sam fucks into him and says, Yeah we better 'cuz you're boring me.

**

Hey, Bobby, lissen, lissen to this. I got joke for ya.

Bobby paces, muttering under his breath.

Or mebbe it's more of a riddle.

Bobby's boots don't enter the circle.

What came from Hell, has an old taste for blood…

Bobby flips the pages of his book.

…and is one of the worst abominations to crawl the earth?

Tugging his cap low, Bobby looks up.

I dunno. You, maybe?

The demon's eyes skate black.

Ain't no demon, baby, it's just the Winchesters.

The demon laughs and laughs and laughs.

**

The diner is bright. It's doing things to Sam. He can't sit still, knee bouncing under the table.

Dean keeps giving him these looks, like he's going to fuck him then kill him or kill him then fuck him, but no, not the second one because necrophilia would've come up a long time ago in their job descriptions if they wanted it, hell, even before Hell, maybe it's already necrophilia since they might be dead, anyway, so probably the fuck-him-then-kill-him option, but Dean wouldn't kill him, maybe he'd just let him bleed out as he fucked him, bleed fast and hard, everything spurting dizzy on every thrust and--

Sam wiggles in the booth, his jeans tight and he's so heavy, so ready, the diner is bright and it's doing things to Sam like some sort of dark temple and Dean's eyes widen as Sam reaches across the table.

The plates shatter in a weird fashion, either big pieces or tiny little pebbles and the food plops so that the floor is slippery as Sam maneuvers Dean onto the table.

Sammy, what the fuck--

Now, Dean.

Ok ok ok.

Dean puts his teeth on Sam's cheek until it blossoms red points while Sam yanks Dean's jeans off and Dean hisses once his boxers are off because the table's cold metal.

You motherfucker, you are't using mustard.

Packets of lube in Dean's jacket as if they were ketchup he takes everywhere, but they don't like waiting, they hate waiting, Sam hates waiting and Dean really fucking hates waiting.

There's a gasp somewhere behind them and Sam wants to say, I know, isn't he gorgeous like this, because Dean is all spread out, twisting his hips the way he knows drives Sam crazy and he smells completely of arousal. And buffalo sauce this time. Every time is different.

The diner is bright as Sam fucks Dean on the table and there must've been other people there, but they don't notice. When the cops arrive, the sound of the sirens drags them higher with every whine. Their teeth catch on each other's lips and Dean draws his legs up and almost kicks Sam to the floor, growling as Sam's cock leaves him.

He gets Sam on his back on the yellow tiles and the air is tight and greasy as Dean sinks down onto Sam with a sigh and a grin.

The flashing lights, blue red blue red blue red blue red, smear across them and the walls, and Dean rides Sam to their rhythm, brutal and fantastic and the colors are bright, doing things to them, winding them closer closer closer as Sam pushes up into Dean.

They come just as something breaks a window, maybe it was them, then Sam's laughing, the two of them up, running through the kitchen, Dean snagging too-hot fries. Out the back, Dean trying to shove into his jeans and he doesn't even have the fly zipped as they climb over the wall, zigzag down an alley as if they're thunder and lightning and Sam is still laughing, out of breath as they duck into an florist's shop, kissing.

Sam buys Dean a rose, little old lady cooing at them and Dean gets his money back, cleaning out the cash register, little old lady behind the counter, fluttering hand on her chest in shock.

Dean throws petals at him and then lets the rest go out the window onto the wind as they roar out of town.

A thorn catches Sam's finger as he tosses the stem and they go for several miles, Sam's wounded finger in Dean's mouth.

Then they bitch at each other because now they're starving and Sam thinks it's Dean's fault and Dean thinks it's Sam's, so they pull over a few hours later and fight until they're too tired to care. The sun goes down as they suck on swollen knuckles.

**

To Sam, Dean is forever sparking white hot, energy cracking in captured slow motion, but it's only when he's red, covered in blood, his eyes slitted green, his whole body smoldering with the pleasure that mixes with pain, Sam's name coming out in a hiss and a sigh, this is when Dean is transformed, arching and beautiful.

He gives himself to Sam with every piece of who he is and the blade pulls them closer.

When it's Dean's turn, he licks his lips, then kisses Sam, soft, as if he's breakable, and then he is, Dean's touch breaking him down to his very core, exposed to his brother exactly how he wants to be, in every fucking way.

**

They find something.

It's not a demon or a ghost, not a djinn or anything with claws. It's ancient, a remnant of something old and has always known violence.

Maybe it is violence.

They find it, trapped in a body, a sweet young coed with a short plaid skirt and a button-down shirt with almost all her buttons unbuttoned. Her breasts are curved, nice little mounds and her thighs look soft.

She assesses them, her eyes glowing, a coral manicured nail charting a trail along her belly.

You two, you're the real deal, she says, voice husky.

The real deal? You got that right, sweetheart, Dean says. Not just a looker, Sam, she's got brains.

Sam narrows his eyes and Dean smacks him.

Hey, no time to be jealous. Now, how 'bout you tell us all about yourself.

She smiles, then purses plump lips and says, I'm Mandy. I'm twenty, a Gemini and I like tall men with big dicks who buy me dinner first.

Term papers whisper under his toes, Sam shifting his weight in irritation and Dean smirks, shotgun balanced on his shoulder.

Yeah yeah, skip it, honey, we don't have all day. We've got things to do.

Dean, this is boring.

Hey c'mon, a new monster for your collection, Sammy.

I'll fuck you both, she says as her irises go blazing white, They don't make warriors like you anymore, all ruthless and just spoiling for fun. I can almost taste your talent. It's so rich. Decadent. Like melted ice cream. Both at the same time, whaddya say? I know how to make you beg.

For a minute under the weak dorm room light, Dean seems to consider and Sam's anger is growing, the air going metallic and collapsing in on itself.

Sam's tone is black when he says, What are you?

She giggles, bubblegum sugar scorching charred, and sits on her bed, uncrossing her legs.

What are you? she asks, leaning on her elbows, breasts mashed together. You wanna talk hobbies? Share war stories?

Dean frowns.

It's later when Sam rubs at a warm blotch of blood on his jeans, scouring the girl's bookshelves for a new novel to read that they debate over whether she was some sort of older demon, one from the bowels of the earth, chaos and violence and bloodlust.

It's all about the bet and who wins or loses.

Dean shrugs, stepping over the body, boots squeaking in a puddle.

I wasn't going to fuck her, Sam.

I know.

You still owe me a blowjob for that shit though. Thought you'd found something real special, didn't you, you big nerd.

Sam plucks a few books out of their spaces, tilts his head.

It was worth a shot. Trying to broaden your horizons, dumbass.

Oh yeah? Broaden your mouth over my dick.

You didn't win.

When Dean shoves Sam, he drops a book in the slow spreading blood, the pages ruined, and fuck all, Dean'll be lucky to get laid now, let alone hear the end of Sam's bitching. Maybe until he buys him a new book. And one of those fancy coffees with all the shit in it.

**

They don't fuck other people. Not anymore. Not for a long time.

Sam tells Dean he loves him all the time and it gets on Dean's nerves. Man shouldn't say shit like that so much, even if it is true. It's bad luck. Sam knows Dean loves him, he doesn't have to say it.

They have scars that say it for them.

But sometimes, Sam would get real pissy. Used to play the I-got-you-out-of-Hell card though Dean tore that card up, ripped it into so many pieces like a mauled dove when he held Sam down and fucked him with his face in the pillow, almost suffocating, reminding Sam they got out of Hell together, bitch, together and don't you forget it, ever, you're my brother and we're in this together, always together, you and me you and me. Then Dean's cheeks were suddenly wet though he can't cry anymore and there was salt in his mouth, fucking Sam slow and Sam twisted underneath him to watch, eyes flickering and lit, candles in a church, and they came like that, shaking addicted and moaning and wrapped around each other.

Sam would get real pissy, Dean licking his lips when he considered the drift and debris of humanity in a bar.

So once, Sam disappeared, left Dean staring into his beer until he blinked and couldn't find Sam, as if Sam was his worst hallucination. Stuck his head out into the alley and there he was, propped against the wall, long legs flung out the way Dean always dreamed of and a little brunette was between them, sucking with rude slurping sounds.

Fuck, Sam could get pissy and get his revenge and the only thing that saved the girl was the light overhead, how it caught the shine of her spit-slick lips sliding over Sam, his brother standing there with a cold smirk, hair in the shadows where his eyes should've been.

White-knuckled grip on her arm and Dean yanked her off the ground, hauled her to the door and as he pushed her back inside, he felt her wrist crack under his fingers, saw her eyes spike, then glaze in pain and he thought, Maybe she'll switch to women.

When he turned around, Sam was stroking himself, his grin all teeth and fury in the dark and Dean punched him, blood spatter to bind them, then wrapped a hand around Sam's in equal fury, said, Mine, and Sam came all over Dean's jeans.

Sam said I love you, usually in that moment right before they shouted and almost blacked out in cemeteries and motel rooms; he said it from the passenger side of the car, maps spread out on his lap, more those times with his wandering greedy hands than his voice; he said it as Dean bled on him and he tongued the wounds; he said it, arson-deep, the words on fire like the flames in front of them, all need and desire like the outofnowhere whirling sirens.

Dean called him Sammy, called him mine and little brother and bitch and nerd and jackass and freak and still Sam would get upset. Dean prided himself on being the pyro in this gasoline relationship, but things burned when Sam got upset. It was downright disconcerting.

This would be twice Sam disappeared, left Dean staring into his beer as if the alcohol could read his mind until the click of pool balls brought him back and no Sam in sight. No alley, men's bathroom, all short-circuiting fluorescence and cigarette butts. Dean liked the filthy atmosphere, but figured Sam didn't get the irony. A dark blonde on her knees with clear green eyes and Dean took a second to appreciate his brother's taste before he pulled her off Sam. There were reasons they carried guns everywhere, Dean thought as he shot her in the chest.

Hand cupping himself, Sam said, I didn't know you cared.

Dean laughed and kissed him, backing them out into the bar. He jostled Sam up onto a pool table, right into the middle of a game and got Sam down his throat with Sam moaning loud and long.

He heard something outside of Sam, a cracked What the fuck, then footsteps and there was a gunshot. Glancing up, not taking his mouth off Sam, he saw Sam pointing a gun behind Dean, just past his shoulder. Then a weighted thud and something rolled against his legs.

There might've been screaming, but Dean was a little preoccupied, loving the smell of Sam and sweat and alcohol, claiming Sam with every drag, choking and choking and choking.

Another gunshot, another fallen thud nearby, and only his brother could aim at a moving target while he's getting his dick sucked, even when he's stuttering close and yeah, Dean decided he might be in love with his brother.

Sam poured down his throat and the pool tables were blue and with Sam’s bitter-salt flavor swallowed like booze, Dean tugged the never-ending line of Sam down the table, rolled him over, licked into him and fucked him with spit and need.

That should teach Sam.

Those bars outside the city limits, it takes longer for the cops to arrive, so they had some time to get in a few drinks until Sam knocked over a whole mirrored shelf of liquor and they were drenched, woozy and kissing in the broken glass, with them reflected back in a myriad of jagged ways.

And Dean might've muttered something against the hollow of Sam's throat, smudged and blurred, something that made him sound crazier than usual, but Sam laughed and glass shattered under their feet.

**

Bobby hesitates, then pushes the button.

When the call picks up, there's a slithering noise like the phone's been dropped and he can hear Dean in the background, Don't fucking answer the fucking phone, motherfucker, it's too fucking early and now fucking come back to bed, I'm fucking cold.

Damn, you are crabby this morning, sunshine. No more staying up late trying to invent weapons. Hey, Bobby.

Dean's still grumbling, but his voice sways closer and Bobby ignores the little voice in his head discussing things like proximity and fraternal sharing.

Dude, it was a zombie. A machete gun would be awesome.

Dean, shut up, it wasn't a zombie, it was a guy walking his dog.

Through a cemetery?

It was a park, dude, chill.

Bobby almost chokes, then kicks himself, never wants to make a mistake around those boys.

Morning, Sam, sorry I'm calling so early.

S'ok, Bobby, it's good to hear from you. How you been?

Fidgeting, Bobby adjusts his cap, takes it off, puts it back on, says, I've been good, doing good. Listen, you boys need to lay low--

Dean interrupts again, tone slurred, as if he's been drugged.

Wait, weren't we in a cemetery? Why the hell were we in a park?

A breath across phone lines, Sam irritated, but Bobby can hear an odd edge of panic.

We were in a cemetery, the spirit, remember? Then we went to the park 'cuz the moon was full and you thought there'd be werewolves and--

Oh, yeah, right. No werewolves, just zombies and demon dogs and--

Whatever Dean's doing on the other end, Sam's laughing so hard, he almost can't talk, all huffs of sound.

You chased the guy, screaming at him about brains until he picked up his dog and ran. He almost fell in the fountain!

Something breaks loud, tinkling glass and sizzling electricity behind Sam's laughter and Dean says, Fuck, well, maybe he was a special kind of werewolf, he could turn into the dog or something.

Zombie, Sam says and Bobby's twisting his fingers together, all but yells into the phone, Sam!

Yessir, sorry, Bobby, sorry.

S'ok, kid, I wanted to tell you to watch your backs, he says, gritting it out, jaw aching.

Oh really? Why's that?

Sam's so nonchalant, sounds carefree and sixteen and Bobby can almost see him, that coltish teenager challenging the world all over again.

Demons are talking. There's other hunters looking for your trail.

Hunters.

The word comes over the line like gunfire, Bobby wanting to duck. The teasing and light are snuffed out of Sam.

There's silence for a second and Dean says, Hunters? in a wounded way, betrayal and confusion and traces of acid.

Sam, they think you didn't come back right. You're dangerous and--

Well, we are dangerous, Bobby. I'm glad they recognize that. But we get the job done, just like they do. Better than they do. Hey, we should stop by some time. We'll bring beer.

Bobby sighs, holding back the frustrated clog of tears in his throat.

Yeah, ok, ok. Call if you need anything.

His chest hurts. He rubs at it. He thinks of getting them to his house, separating them, seeing if there's anything that can bring them completely back, how he remembers, instead of the tangled snarled mess they've become.

But he just says, You boys take care.

We will, Bobby, good to hear from you, man.

The smirk large in his voice, Dean says, Now c'mere, bitch, I got something to show you.

As he closes the phone, Bobby hears Sam, tinny and thin, What, you find a new kink or—

**

They love the road, Dean especially and today, it's empty, open, curving just so they can't see what's around the bend, straight enough they can see horizon.

It's hot, way too hot, and something itches under Sam's skin, like a memory, his veins thinking of fire and hallways.

He slams on the brakes, the car swerving to the middle of the road, tires screeching sideways. Black metal sprawled over the yellow line, taking up the road and Dean grins crazy-wide. In the heat, the green in his face is like copper on fire and Sam grins back, cruel and dry, says, Get out.

The chrome is blinding under the sun and they fumble with each other for a minute, Sam pressing Dean to the side of the car with a hand on his spine. He kicks Dean's legs apart, then surges forward, fitting his groin to Dean's ass.

Whaddya think? Time for a break?

Can I piss first, sasquatch?

Sam sighs, jabs fingers into Dean's stomach and Dean says, Fucker, don't do that, I gotta piss.

Of course Sam does it again.

Fine, run along, mark your territory in this great fucking state of wherever-the-hell-we are.

Dean laughs, unzips his jeans and promptly pees on Sam's shoes. And from the look on his face, pure challenge and greed, Sam knows Dean wants him angry, merciless and reckless and yeah, now he is, his brother pushing him to new heights to throw himself off of.

So he spins Dean, ramming him against the hot metal of the car, Dean leaving wet streak-shines on the door panels. He tells Dean how he's going to torture him, maybe little cuts low on his stomach and use his blood to slick him up, think you’d like that, Dean, huh, your blood on your dick, my hand on you, rubbing it in, so slippery and pretty for me, you'd love it.

Grip tight, Sam pulls on Dean, not letting him catch his breath, his head thrown back on Sam's shoulder, up to the sky and Sam humps his ass from behind, pushing Dean into the circle of Sam's hand.

Think I'll make you come and use that to get you wet for me.

Which is what they're striving for when the cop pulls up, the flash of the lights lost in the flare of the day. Dean shoots all over Sam's hand and he's working Dean's come and his fingers into Dean as the cop says, Holy shit, what're you doing?

Sam slides into Dean and says, I'm fucking my brother, what're you doing? and Dean laughs, the sound spooling away, sly and sticky like Sam's hand on Dean's hip.

Holy shit, the cop says again, twitching for his gun or his handcuffs or his courage before Dean pushes back onto Sam, making Sam see pleasure-phantoms, and then quick as a snake, Dean punches the cop.

Dammit, Dean, wait, just gimme a minute.

What, bitch, get back here.

Sam's throbbing, swaying, but he locates the cop's handcuffs and gun, then cuffs him and knocks him out with a neat pistol-whip to the head. The cop tumbles to the asphalt, crisp wrinkled gray crumpled on the road.

Dean whines, I wanted the handcuffs, and Sam shuts him up, fitting back inside him.

They love the road so much, fresh air and cool breezes.

Later, the cop's still on the ground, awake now, trying to read them their rights or some bullshit and Sam climbs into the patrol cruiser, fiddling with the computer. He wants to see what they're wanted for, maybe the FBI has upped their notoriety. That'd make Dean happy. He likes it when Dean's happy.

Nothing new because they don't leave their names anywhere and Sam feels a twinge of disappointment as Dean manhandles the cop into the passenger seat.

All right there, fella, you're ok. Got a bump on the head, maybe a black eye, your wife will get to play nurse, and you'll probably milk it, you clever bastard, Dean says, giving him a pat on the shoulder.

He lights up like a Molotov cocktail when he discovers an extra set of handcuffs in the glove compartment.

Sammy, hey, it's my birthday!

And Sam rolls his eyes, hiding his grin, smashing the flimsy computer with the butt of the gun.

We done with our piss break?

No, I gotta piss now.

Sam, you big baby, you better hurry.

The day is hot and the blade glints when Dean cuts the cords on the cop's radio, stabs it a few times for good measure because with Dean, anything worth doing is worth really fucking overdoing, howitzers and cage matches style.

The day is hot and they kind of want to see a cop car go up in flames, the lights spinning through the smoke, the siren piercing and yowling, but it’s too hot and they’re feeling loose-brain lazy.

The day is hot and Sam runs to the Impala, the engine purring at the turn of the key because they wouldn't have it any other way.

Dean loves to have the motor running, getaway car as if they're Bonnie and Clyde though Sam isn't Bonnie, not with how Dean screams his name, just like a girl.

He hustles back out to relieve himself, aiming for the tires because he wants to hear Dean yell. It might echo out here where it's empty.

It does and Dean's voice probably goes all the way to heaven.