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walked all night with their shoes full of blood

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On the rambling flat of Oklahoma, the road bends and there's a town there, straddling the lanes, hugging the white lines, a settlement of scattered houses and tiny necessary buildings and landowners who come into the honky-tonk to drink and talk while the wind blows outside. It's called Bernice, and the name is 
in everything: Bernice General Store, Bernice Post Office, Bernice First Methodist, Bernice Cut 'n' Curl, Bernice Stop 'n' Shop. Such a small town and it's easy to stamp the name everywhere.

Right-left curves, the road bending past fenced land and then the green sign tells you you're in Bernice, welcome, see how many locals you can meet out of the entire population of not very many souls to begin with.

Well, that was then. Now there isn't a population to meet up to the signs' standards. The city limit signs are still there, but one stands crooked with a bullet hole through it.

Bernice made one clear free mistake and paid the exorbitant price hidden in the fine print.

Someone should've raised their head and looked at the black car that growled its way into town, the paint gleaming like an ill omen, calling all moths to its flame.

But no one did. Everyone was too busy, sleepy, hungry, angry, jealous, struggling, winning, cheating, ready for the day to end, ready for the week to end, ready for the month to close its doors.

Rumor around town was that one of the houses had some peculiar goings-on. Then the black car appeared. And no one in Bernice did the math.

Shame, really.


Poltergeist? Sam says.

Fuck that noise, Dean scowls.

It is what it is. Can't change it, Sam sighs with a smirk on his face. What would make you feel better?

You on your knees blowing me.

The glint of hazel is octane-excited and lit-match predatory.

That can be arranged, Sam says.

Fingers on Sam's face, squeezing around his jaw, tugging him close and Dean bites Sam's lower lip, drawing blood and he smears it over their teeth.

I want you to blow me and I want someone to watch.

Sam pulls to keep the stinging wound open and licks out, sharing the blood between them.

I said that can be arranged.

Boys, you taking that hunt in Oklahoma? Bobby asks, tugging his cap low as he leans against the desk.

They look up, surprised, because they've forgotten he's there, forgotten where they are. Sometimes there really is a motherfucking world outside of Dean's eyes, Sam's eyes, but it's not theirs anymore, so.

Then Sam laughs and their smiles are dark red slicks in their faces.

Bobby doesn't glance away, facing this head on and it's wearing him down, seeing them, their wild happiness blazing like twin pyres, everything else reduced to ashes.


The wallpaper is hideous. Normally, Dean would just set fire to it or something, but he feels like tearing something, so he finds a snag and starts ripping. It's so good, so very good, the loud sound and the dry-slip give of the paper. Nothing is so easy and everything should be, the way bones snap and organs squidge viscous and it'd be beautiful, why isn't every day painted like that?

Something slithers in his memory and his fingernails remind him as a strip peels slowly from the wall, a shapeshifter, skin sliding off the arm and where was that, it was before, a long time before when Sam was that other Sam, not this Sam, not his Sam, the one staring at him like he's about to set his teeth right into Dean's collarbone and not let go until Dean's begging under Sam's bite and mouth and he's broken open for Sam to crawl inside.

He grabs Sam by the hair, pulling him forward so Sam can do just that and Dean will gladly give his skin to Sam as long as he keeps doing that, his fingers pressing hard on Dean's ribs, ready to leave him in a mass of messy shards, and then Sam's cock is in him and Dean swallows the blood trickle Sam's feeding him as Sam says black and hard, C'mon, Dean, fight me.

They fuck and fight and it's perfect. Just like it was last Tuesday.

Sam's fist and Sam's cock and Sam's mouth bruising him and Dean bruises back, fights back, fucks back, tearing Sam wide open and greedily exposing them both.

Dean's mouth drips on the sheets with every push, red spatter soaking into the gray-blue threads and when Sam says Dean's name, it's like drowning. Just how Dean likes it.


It was just a house, a single house, but now the whole damn neighborhood has mysterious goings-on. So the rumor goes. The townspeople are pretty close-mouthed about it all and Dean says, Shitty small town policy. Never talk to the strangers.

You scare them, Sam says, grinning.

On the sidewalk outside the barbershop, Dean fits his thumbs into Sam's dimples and says, Damn straight I scare them.

What about me?


Sam snaps out at Dean as his hands press harder into Sam's cheeks.

You're the definition of "criminally insane,” Dean says.

So I'm the one who really scares them. This idea has seventy different kinds of fun written all over it and Sam rubs his hands together happily.

Dean glares. Don't get all excited, tiger. I'm the one who—

Waves guns around, I remember. Though I make a mean Molotov cocktail. Can't deny that.

They shuffle down Sesame Street (Fuck, it's Sesame Street! Dean said and one look at Dean's excited eyes, sparking like live wires, and Sam decided to steal a street sign for him, maybe all of them down the line every intersection he can find) and Dean grumbles, Yeah, well, I help, or something Sam can't hear, lots of noises like jackass, bastard, sasquatch motherfucker.

Shaking his hair out of his eyes, Sam sneers, says, So pathetic, Dean, so pathetic. You and your squirt guns.

That was a hellish couple of days when Sam replaced all of Dean's guns with water guns and as punishment, Dean denied Sam his cock, his mouth, his ass, his blood, his come and any chance of fun. He'd tie Sam up and that'd get Sam hard, but Dean would ignore him, leave him to writhe in desperate wanting pain, then he'd jerk off in front of Sam. Hauling him around, tying untying tying untying until Sam couldn't stand it any longer, got a hold of a knife, cut his way free, cut his wrists in the process and then Dean was at his mercy, at his knifepoint, his tongue flat on Sam's skin, lapping at sweat and blood and Sam tied Dean facedown on the next bed, grenade bursts behind their eyesight as they collapsed together, dark and trembling and hot damn, so fucking needy.

They cleaned each other off with the squirt guns, Dean treating one like a popsicle and Sam coming from the sight alone, the porn star noises he made with his porn star mouth and at some point, Dean almost electrocuted himself. Some of the best makeup sex they've ever had with the smashed television sizzling in the background and the light bulb in the shattered lamp flickering like a premonition and the people in the room next door yelling about calling the cops.

The cops chased them out of town until Sam shot out their tires with Dean half-naked behind the wheel, his laughter the only soundtrack Sam will ever need for his action scenes.

Now in the timid sunshine on Sesame Street, Dean laughs, Those fucking squirt guns.

One of our better weapon investments.

The neighborhood is boring, so boring and Sam knows Dean will groan about it, waits impatiently for it, and when he does, on cue, Sam pins him to a tree and sucks a hickey onto his neck amongst the older fading marks, Dean's hands in his back pockets curling, hard-fingered possession.

The first house, 7465, is just as boring as the others except it has red trim and the homeowners stare blatantly at their bruises and Sam has to look down to keep from laughing when Dean says, Pest control is a tough business. Some fuckers just won't go down quietly.

He isn't very successful though, apparently, because Dean's squeezes his arm and that's when Sam hears himself laughing.

There's weird noises in the house, things being moved around, stuff going missing, the children swearing someone came out of the closet. Not a something. A someone. With silver eyes that flip.

Flip? Sam says and a little girl nods up at him. She looks terrified and it might be him more than the silver flipping eyes.

Like mirrors, she says.

Sam laughs and the little girl runs behind her mother's legs.

Then there’s goo. The lady of the house presents them with a bucket of goo.

And Sam's still laughing and Dean huffs under his breath as the gentleman of the house asks paranoid questions about the sewer lines backing up and it's a bucket of flesh-colored goo, which is pushing Dean into cursing, all his good humor gone and Sam'll have to cheer him up later.

Yeah, you've got a real hell of a pest problem, Dean says and Sam's almost choking behind his hand. But don't worry, we'll get the sonuvabitch.

The little girl says, The babysitter's eyes flip too.

Her mother shushes her and Sam trips over the threshold as they leave, almost lands in the tulips because he's still laughing.


Shapeshifter, Sam says.

Fuck that noise, Dean scowls.

Well, it sure as shit isn't a poltergeist, so that should make you happy.

You still owe me a blowjob.

Lemme grab my gun, Sam says, a smirk as a promise and Dean smiles, the first time in an hour, says, That's my boy.

I work way too hard to keep your ass happy.

Blowing me is work? Dean asks. Ha, blowing me is work, gotta relax your throat—

Sam rolls his eyes. You want a boy or a girl.

Dean thinks.


Fine. I'll get a girl.

The fuck you will. I say "boy", I get "boy."

What makes you so special? Sam says, leering.

My sweet, sweet ass, Dean says. The one you like to keep happy. Or.


Well, I could just leave you here with the shapeshifter.

Cuffing Dean over the head, Sam says, You prick, c'mon, let's get you that blowjob before I change my mind.

You want it. You won't change your mind, Dean says, body warming as he watches Sam tuck the gun in his jeans.

If you say so, Dean.

I know you, Sammy, such a whore.


It's not even six when they find the honky-tonk, already filling with people shaking off the dust of Thursday.

The plan is straightforward; they've done this before, it's like playtime, like one of those games where they know the rules and no one else does and they'll change them the fuck up if they want to, especially when Dean's feeling extra jealous or Sam's feeling extra selfish; especially someone gets handsy, tries to threaten them with steel-toed boots or hamhock fists or some piddling weapon against the two of them, who in the hell goes up against them for a piece of ass or a hot wet mouth?

Some people are just dumb as piles of shit.

Which is one reason why the plan is so motherfucking simple. This time it's Sam's turn, he gets to choose and they've had arguments about this, about which part is more fun. Choosing the person. Luring the person. Or the hot-as-hell blowjob. Dean maintains that the orgasm is the best part and Sam's hard-pressed to argue that point, but he can't give in too easily or Dean would be spoiled rotten.

It's all about eye contact and it doesn't matter if you're interested or not, if you don't look away, then you're already hooked, even if you don't know it.

Sam picks, points with his beer bottle, a kid who looks like he's just graduated, home from college for what the fuck ever and when Dean looks at the kid, he laughs and Sam grins.

The kid looks like Dean, has a cocky curve to his smile, playing pool.

Seriously, you little bitch? Seriously, Dean says as Sam whistles tunelessly, his hand sneaking down into Dean's waistband, snapping the elastic of his boxers.

Now it's Dean's turn; he gets to either chat up the kid or antagonize him, snag the kid and drag him into their sphere with either the promise of a fuck or a fight. Then Dean'll wander off to the bathroom for the kid to follow him and Sam will be waiting, tongue down his brother's throat, gun growing warm in his palm.

Back rooms are ok, but alleys are better so the kid can slump against the bricks, shaking, Dean pressing the barrel's imprint on the young forehead as Sam goes to his knees, licking at Dean in a long messy line.

One of their favorite games they've ever created and their excitement builds and arcs between them, heating the air, their fingers cold with condensation from their bottles.

Until a brunette drifts into Dean's path and she purses her lips at him.

Her eyes flip silver.


The sign is yellow and the lights are yellow, spilling out into the parking lot and sonuvabitch motherfucking damn it all to hell fuckfuckfuck it's a grocery store, Dean says, smacking the nearest car and the alarm wails. He waves his arms in rhythm to the noise, Dammit, Sammy, it's a grocery store.

The brunette left the bar, stalked down the sidewalk, her heels clicking loud in the sunset and then, throwing a glance over her shoulder, she ducked into the nearest doorway.

Hands on his hips, Sam surveys the building. Yeah, Dean, that's a motherfucking grocery store. At least we don't need to get your eyesight checked.

Well. Pissed off, Dean's voice has dropped an octave and he drags a hand down his face. Let's go get the bitch.

Sam is perfectly content to help Dean in his samurai-heavy personal revenge quest against shapeshifters, but secretly, he just wants to see Dean shooting up the produce section.

Or maybe not so secretly. He could lob tomatoes at Dean. Then they could move on to the steaks. They could do with the practice and Sam would bet that meat bursts differently than pineapples, just from what he’s seen and shot in the past.

But Dean's already dashed inside.

Lots of shoppers, probably the rest of the town that's not down at the honky-tonk is in the grocery store, carting around milk and cereal, TV dinners and cake mixes.

There's no plan and some things are more fun when they don't plan them, explosions and brief robberies and that time some guy tried to carjack the Impala at a red light. Somehow, the guy lived; Dean must've been feeling lenient that day, probably because Sam had just fucked him on the table, then off the table, then into the mattress, then off the mattress.

Orgasms help Dean grant mercy. It's not hard to understand. Sam uses this knowledge more often than he does Latin.

But this time. This time, it's a shapeshifter and they didn't get to have their fun in the bar, Sam isn't licking come off his chin and Dean isn't tugging Sam's jeans down his thighs in some filthy alley while the kid is all but about to swallow Dean's gun and the whole situation is fucked seven ways sideways.

Dean's stomping down aisles and Sam's tracking him as much as he's tracking the shapeshifter. A few gasps of surprise and there are cameras in the corners and Sam's considering shooting them when he stumbles onto the cash registers.

Families, tiny knitted knots of little old ladies, the sheriff and his deputy. And perusing the candy is the brunette.

Smiling, Sam reaches out, grabs her wrist; he's got a trophy now, he's turned the tables on Dean, won this lightning round and he expects a full reward, cash and prizes and all that that entails.

With low words as if they know each other, he pulls the girl close, but her eyes widen and he can practically smell her anger mixed in with perfume.

Then she screams, tugging her arm back.

And her skin doesn't go with her, shredding in long strips like Sam's nightmares of Dean in Hell and he's standing there with slick flesh in his hands.

She shrieking, piercing and shrill, spitting, pointing at Sam, something about witchcraft, the devil, he's a demon, my arm, O Mary Mother of Christ preserve me, angels deliver me, my arm, he's done something to my arm, he's a demon!

She's trembling by racks of flavored rice boxes and bags of pasta and the goo is slipping from Sam's grasp, down his jeans as the crowd of mild-mannered grocery shoppers form a barrier. Mutterings and mumblings and they’re pointing, demon, witch, look what he did just with a touch, just like the last one.

The girl smirks and waves, disappearing into the aisles, tumbling jars of pickles behind her. The deputy pulls a gun on Sam, badge twisting in the light.

The deputy's eyes flip silver.

And Sam is really fucking pissed.


The screaming is louder than the car alarm was and Dean slides on a puddle of apple juice, clean-up on aisle four as he sprints to the front of the store.

There's scattered rice and pasta, smashed glass jars with pickles floating like bizarre beached fish.

Little old ladies whisper to each other as they thumb through gossip magazines and a kid is crying, clinging to his mother's hand.

No one else.

No Sam.

He hears the word witchcraft, hears the word demon.

And spots the slimy strips of discarded flesh.

The girl behind the cash register bursts into tears when Dean shoves his gun in her face, Where the hell is my brother?

He rounds the few people up who are gawking at him in disbelief and intense distrust and asks the question again.

Where the ever-living fuck is my brother.

No one says anything, the clerk and the clingy kid snuffling in miserable rhythm together, then there's movement out of the corner of Dean's eye.

It's the little girl from the house, the one with the shapeshifter bitch of a babysitter.

They took him, she says, her hands cupping her mouth. The policemen and Billy's daddy took him.

Dean cleans out the cash registers, just for the hell of it, because they owe him now, then shoots out the lights, because it helps him think, the sounds of destruction and the sparks falling down and people screaming, ducking to protect themselves.


The world is black and pretty soon, Sam’s going to make sure the world is very fucking red since someone thought they could take him, forcibly remove him from Dean and it’s just like when Dean was gone and Sam was alone and it’s amazing how really fucking stupid some people are.

It boggles the mind, but right now, Sam’s testing the handcuffs, shifting his ankles against the ropes, twisting inside the hood they’ve got over his head, he doesn’t have time to think about how much it takes for people to be this shithead brain-damaged.

These people are insane. And Dean’s out there without Sam.

Fire is cracking up and down Sam’s veins.

Do you think he’ll be like the last one? Those black eyes? a voice asks nearby and Sam smirks because the voice is watery, choking. Scared. He can almost smell it through the cloth. It’s better than anything except for Dean when he wakes in the morning, salty with sweat and come, metallic with dried blood and wholly completely Sam’s brother, warm and so damn inviting, especially when Sam nibbles at his jaw to get the taste in his mouth. And maybe gasoline. He loves gasoline. Loves the mixture of gasoline and Dean.

It doesn’t matter, says another person and the way he scuffs, there’s boots and a clinking. Gun. Handcuffs. The sheriff or the deputy, that motherfucking son-of-a-bitch shapeshifter. Just like the girl.

It doesn’t matter, he says again. Did you see what he did to her arm?

We better nip this in the bud before it explodes in our faces, says someone else. A deeper voice, gruffer, older. ‘Member what happened last time? Best tell everyone to gather up anything flammable. Looks like we got us a weenie roast tonight.

And Sam laughs; he can’t help it, it’s hilarious. He’s laughing so hard his stomach pulls. They want to burn him at the stake like a witch and they’re calling it a weenie roast. Well, he’s got a dick and they’re welcome to try and roast it, but these people are obviously way too fucking dumb to even be allowed to fucking live. He’ll have to help them with that.

Dean can help too, once Sam gets him back, once Sam finds him and he better be in one piece without a mark on him besides the ones Sam’s put on him in the last few days. If Dean tells him that someone so much as dared to look Dean in the eye during this, then Sam might need to work on his knife skills. He’s never gouged out an eye, but hey, there’s first time for everything and it’s never too late to learn.

Suddenly, the hood is yanked off and five of these brainless bastards are staring at him, stone-faced and pale.

Sam grins.


Policemen, policemen, policemen. And Billy’s daddy, whoever the fuck that is.

Dean’s never had anything personal against the cops though they tend to fuck up whatever job he and Sam are working on when they decide to do something stupid like attempting to do something that’s generally stupid. It’s nothing personal until the cops pick suicide-by-Winchester, wanting to take Sam away from him or put them behind bars or any of the myriad things cops do by lawful default that shits all over their good times.

And Billy’s daddy, whoever the fuck this fucker thinks he is, fucking dumbass, carting Sam off while Dean is trying to round up some fun, whoever he is, he better start praying, wailing to the skies because he took Sam like Sam was his to manhandle and Dean’s going to collect some sticky fingers, hands too, hands would probably be easier unless Dean just skipped the hands and started collecting heads. He hasn’t gotten to use his machete in a while and it’s been looking lonely and unloved lately.

His body’s cold and he’s empty of anything except a screeching in his bones, like when he first opened his eyes and found himself in Hell, the feeling that Sam was much too far away, as if all his seams were ripped apart, raw and glistening.

If they don’t bring Sam back when Dean snaps his fingers or clears his throat, then this town will be the only thing ripped apart, backbone and ribs broken, raw and glistening in the moonlight, the quarter moon as merciless and impassive as Dean is right now as he heads to the jail.

Still stalking down Sesame Street, but he can see it, across the dying patch of grass this town calls a park.

He fires a warning shot into the front window, a kind of friendly greeting, here I am, motherfuckers, shattering glass, and what a poor excuse for humor these people have out here in the shithole boonies, they think this is a joke? Well, Dean’s got the perfect punchline. Something to do with carnage. Fuck, he loves that word, like Sam and tits and high speeds.

The lights are on, but nobody’s home. The whole fucking jail is fucking empty. Mayberry PD busy fucking themselves over somewhere else.

It’s frustrating, shitty and frustrating, these simple people who don’t know any better than to not touch Sammy, but it’s ok, sometimes you have to fall down before you learn.

Bless them, they have an armory and it’s not even Dean’s birthday, he can’t wait to show Sam the huge bag of ammo and shiny new guns he’s got. Opening a cabinet, Dean discovers a bullhorn and man, the toys just keep coming; he thinks he really fucking needs to look for extra sets of handcuffs, too.

The jail stocks a lot of emergency matches too. And kerosene. In case of emergency and hell, this is an emergency if Dean’s ever experienced one. Dean doesn’t realize how much he’s missed kerosene until he’s spreading it everywhere, the desks and computers and floor glimmering slick right before he throws the match. Doesn’t burn quite like gasoline, but you can’t win ‘em all.

But you can enjoy a nice crackling fire. And possible subsequent small explosions.

He tests out the bullhorn, singing over the roar of flames.

Then Dean heads for the motel and his baby because if he’s going to get serious, he’s got to move the car first.


Holy shit, this would be Sam’s idea of a party except that while they’re hitting him, he’s not getting to hit back. Blood in his mouth, but he swallows it instead of having Dean around to lick it out of his mouth and this is a bunch of bullshit. They do ask some astoundingly dumb questions about what’d you do to the girl, you gonna curse us all, think you could get away with it huh, how do you like it smoked or barbequed, why don’t you show us your pretty black eyes.

Instead, Sam’s deciding he’ll kill the shapeshifter first, who keeps letting his gaze go silver, smirking at Sam like Sam’s the one who’s lost the fight here. And Sam just smirks back because it’s sad, so pathetic, no one has a single fucking clue how this is going to go down.

Their lives aren’t flashing before their eyes yet.

And he misses Dean. This might turn out to be better than the blowjob he owes his brother and he wishes Dean was here. Though blowjobs are fucking stellar. It might be a toss-up tonight.

Then one of them’s kneeling, loosening the ropes around his legs and another’s unsnapping the cuffs and survival is obviously not high on this town’s list of priorities. It seems to be the furthest from their minds.

The balding guy with thin wispy hair looks surprised when Sam kicks him in the teeth and he gets something soft in his fingers, which turns out to be the fluttering skin of a woman’s throat as Sam hauls her around the chair.

The sheriff reaches for his gun, badge dull in the basement light and as Sam punches him, he thinks what a nice souvenir that’d make for Dean, a consolation prize. A buzzing sound breaks the air, the deputy readying a stun gun and it works spectacularly when Sam pushes the sheriff into it.

He’s got ground and leverage. In this basement shithole with the washer groaning full of laundry, the men and women who were born without a smart bone in their bodies stare at Sam, crouching.

A gun is all Sam needs. When he gets one, a very nice 9mm handily given up by the owner as Sam hits him with a chair, it’s like ice cream.

Damn, now Sam’s hungry, but there’s only some twitching bodies and two more reckless assholes.

And a knife.

That makes Sam’s entire day.

The stairs are tiny and narrow once he finally heads up into the house, his sneakers leaving bright red smudges. He’s soaked in blood and it’s dripping in his eyes, his jeans going stiff with it and his shoes are starting to squelch.

Then three huge fuckers in hunting camo rush Sam as he finds the living room, a canned laugh track blaring from the TV and his knife sinks into someone’s belly, a hot gush like melted butter.


It’s tough to be quiet and sneak out of town when your car is a badass motherfucker, growling along in the prettiest key, all black flash and Detroit steel, so Dean doesn’t try. He revs the engine, guns it and keeps his eyes peeled. People are starting to gather in the streets, talking loudly to their neighbors, carting along things that look like stacks of firewood, flimsy chairs and small tables. Like it’s bingo night or the Fourth of July or a festival, with a lousy local band, free admission, a barbeque tent and pie-eating contests. The air is tight and shifting, push-push of tension and excitement and a siren winds lazy behind him where the jail’s fire is spiking to the night sky.

What the fuck.

Dean picks a road, not hard, there’s only the main one with tiny tributaries branching off, and drives until the town’s lights are just out of his rearview mirror. Then he parks, all but climbs into the trunk and arms himself, to the teeth is the phrase and Dean’s always pictured every inch of him dripping weapons-grade hellfire, metal and metal and metal, so many guns and knives, he’s smiling around them, can taste them cold in his mouth because it’s to the teeth.

He makes sure not to carry anything to slow him down; he’s not afraid, but it’s more fun to run-and-gun though those slow motion strutting moments are always nice.

There should be music, epic music. And Sam next to him.

Patting the car, Dean heads into town and when he looks back, his baby is blending into the night, a hunter to her core.

Up the hill, around the bend and Dean’s arrived again on Sesame Street which makes him giddy and giggly light-headed. The townspeople are milling around, not really paying attention to the armed professional striding into their midst and shit on a shingle, he’s so close, he’s practically breathing brimstone down their necks.

Hey, Dean says to the guy with the OSU baseball cap, You hear about the jail?

Yeah, someone blew it sky high! Hope they weren’t trying to rescue that witch. Already took care of one of them demonic beasts last month, OSU fan says, turning around and then he really gets a good look at Dean.

Actually, I did that, Dean says, leveling a gun at the large orange ‘S’ on the cap. Did an excellent job. If I do say so myself.

Yessir, you did, you sure did, the guy says before he steps backwards and falls on his ass.

What a great reaction, Dean likes that, but it isn’t enough, not near enough, nowhere near enough. Glancing around, down the street, and it’s perfectly obvious what he has to do next.

The shotgun is noisy and glass splinters nicely, flying shards, as Dean shoots out store windows, smiling when he gets to the barbershop, remembering Sam’s dimples under his thumbs and the look in Sam’s eyes when he bared his teeth at Dean, mentioned the water guns and holy fucking shit, Dean loves his brother. For good measure and so he can brag to Sam about it later, Dean shoots the barber pole too, a few signs, a mini-van and by then, he’s got everyone’s attention.

The bullhorn squawks until Dean gets it under control.

All right, this is very, very simple. I’m looking for my brother. You dumb fucks think he’s a witch or a demon or a demon-witch, and I have to tell you, you’re all a bunch of real crazy dumb fucks. I know you’ve seen him, some of you, he’s not hard to miss. Real tall and wide, kinda like a brick wall, a very sexy brick wall except he’s got these freakish limbs, like he’s part octopus. Brown hair, it’s kinda long, like a weird-ass girl, these bitchy puppy-dog eyes and a mouth that can suck cock like nobody’s business. Just tell me where he is and some of you sonsuvbitches won’t get hurt. Women and children should probably leave though, you know. Just in case.

The bullhorn blares a tune, then Dean’s fumbling with it again and it squawks, goes silent.

No one says anything.

So Dean puts a bullet through another window.

A brushfire shriek, then hysterical murmuring, some women grabbing up kids and sprinting down the street and Dean’s facing the ones left, the hard-eyed men and women, some toting weapons and assorted household items.

A man says, We haven’t seen your brother. Know there’s a witch in town and if it is your brother, then that’s too bad. Gotta take care of business, ya see.


Sam blinks and everything spins. Someone pushes him from behind, a punch to his spine and he’s tumbling forward.

Drugged, it’s all hazy, he’s been halfway drugged and there’re so many colors, even sounds are sort of slow, sifting like silt at the bottom of a lake.

His wrists float in front of him and tug on him, as if disconnected and if he squints, he can see it now, a rope around his arms, another person leading him along the sidewalk.

The brunette, the one with the perfume and the eyes, fake bandage on her arm for a fake injury, she presses up against him and whispers, Better than a magic trick. You’re a hunter, aren’t you? Soon, you’re just gonna be charcoal. Poetic justice, I think.

And Sam wants to tell her how Dean will peel her layers away, strip by strip, piece by piece, until she can’t shapeshift, can’t even breathe, Dean knows how to it because it happened to him in Hell before Sam came to get him, but. His mouth is dry and his tongue feels swollen and he doesn’t know where the fuck his brother is.

She giggles, tits against his arm and he can see it now, knows what he’s going to do.

His body moves without him, the rope looping around her neck and a person shouts, but Sam’s pulling, squeezing and her eyes are flickering fast, dying shuttered mirrors, until someone punches him and the blood on his lips wakes him up a little bit more, it tastes so good, not as good as Dean’s, but good.

Where the fuck is Dean, Sam's gotta tell him about this, be smug and big-man about it until Dean's begging for Sam’s cock, wanting to suck him or have Sam fuck him or all the spoils of war a conquering hero deserves.

Then the brunette is choking, gasping from somewhere on the ground, her expression pure hatred as they drag Sam down the street.

The wind carries smoke and fire. It feels like it should be raining ash, an odor like apocalypse. Which it will be once Sam finds Dean.

The weenie roast. Sam laughs again, the world tips and he spits red on the asphalt.

His sneakers still bleed, wet and soft, as he steps in his blood, their blood oozing out by his shoelaces.


Razing the town is a genius idea, a very fucking genius idea and Dean’s proud of himself because he does his best thinking when he’s smashed something, he wants it so much now, wants it like a kid wants Christmas and his birthday and Dean’s greedy for it, voracious appetite for destruction and all, dammit it all to hell, he needs an amazing soundtrack for this. But fuck it, his music’s in the car and he had to leave her out there in the dark and this is seriously all Sam’s fault, the punishment Dean will have to mete out once he gets his brother back, it’ll be magnificent, it’ll be so fucking gorgeous.

A woman hurls herself at Dean with a meat cleaver and with an effortless squeeze of the trigger, her blouse blooms red and torn.

A man, the one who spoke first, wants to shoot Dean, Dean can tell by the way he shoots at him, but misses wide, and honestly, whatever happened to hunting season, the guy’s aim is atrocious.

OSU fan runs down Sesame Street, knocking over a trashcan and Dean is disappointed when only trash tumbles out, scattering around the guy as he picks himself up.

Later, Dean’ll curl onto another stained anonymous bed with Sam and pat the mop Sam calls hair and tell him about how Dean was the big bad wolf, hunting down the little piggies and these shitty amateurs, these fuckers hiding Sam, they were so soft and juicy. How Dean’d knock down every building as they squealed and threw themselves at him, but he didn't need to even breathe because he had his guns and a box of matches.


Sam must be hallucinating. Wait, he’s a tad drugged, just a little, enough to feel somewhat dizzy, but really.

There’s a huge stake in the middle of the street, with firewood and chairs and tables and that looks like a couch, weird white-and-blue plaid fabric heaped along with a mess of other things, a high chair, and that’s all he can see before he’s blinking into a huge flood light.

A sound of cars in the distance, heavy traffic area though this town is away from the turnpike, away from any interstate, off on its own in the dark under the stars.

We aren’t gonna put up with your kind again, the sheriff says. Lost a great family last time. Such a tragedy.

Such a sight for sore eyes, the deputy says and he points to the stake, the lopsided bonfire fuel, volunteer firemen standing around in overalls. You stupid hunter fuck.


Dean feels grubby. And sticky. He’d be grossed out if he had the time to stop and think about it, drenched in blood that isn’t his or Sam’s, but he’s a bit preoccupied, what with the woman trying to shoot him in the neck of all places or the man, well, he’s really a punkass kid trying to put a hole in Dean’s shoulder with a screwdriver.

It’s fucking incredible how twisted these people are about witches. Or demons. Or some odd combination of the two. Or maybe they just like big theatricals.

Like how they keep telling Dean they’re going to burn Sam at the stake, listen to him scream as the flames lick his flesh, blah blah blahdy fucking blah.

Dean knows two things: he’s the only one who gets to make Sam scream and if there’s going to be any licking of Sam’s flesh, it’s Dean’s job, no ifs, ands, or buts.

There must be an entertainment drought here in whatever state they’re in, he’s fucking forgotten as he slices some guy across the chest.

Hate to tell you idiot assholes, but you don’t get your Hollywood extravaganza, Dean says over the bullhorn, annoyed as some of them run away into the dark, towards the lights blazing up into the sky.

His boots are wet, ruined, making these disgusting squishing noises and his feet are cold. This fucking sucks.

He’s spilled blood on Sesame Street, he’s leaving bloody footprints on Sesame Street and that’s just wrong.


The town of Bernice empties fairly rapidly, water down an open drain, except for those determined to do their duty.

Shots clip the air blocks away, but they aren’t worried.

It’s been quite the night, but the best is yet to come.

Torches are lit from the sluggish fire at the jail as the witch stumbles into view, and it looks like he’s smirking, but that’s probably just the shadows and the bruises.


Quick detour, side street, and Dean shops for a minute, then kicks his way into the nicest house, pleased to find it’s empty, restoring his faith in humanity’s intelligence. Sort of.

A large hulking china cabinet and he savors the moment, dropping tea cups and saucers, broken roses edged with gold. Finally, two drawers later and he discovers what he’s looking for: actual honest-to-goodness silverware.

The knives need polishing.

The shapeshifter can fix that, once Dean stabs her in the chest.

And when he glances out the window, he sees exactly what the lights are displaying.


Oldest trick in the book, Sam used to pull it on Dean all the time when he was angry with his brother, going limp so Dean had to lug his dead weight around, wanting him to stand, walk, move the fuck over, you freakish behemoth.

It works with backwater fanatical jackasses too.

Though Sam does have to admit, as they attempt to sling him around, he’s impressed by how quickly they’ve set up this nice little barbeque-tea party, but on the other hand, they probably keep ginormous stakes around for those offhand times when witches want to fuck up their grocery lists.

Sam’s getting tired of waiting, all this stupid monkeying around.

Dean better hurry the hell up or Sam’s going to start without him.


When Dean appears, he makes a grand entrance, all swagger and red-stained skin, blood-soaked clothes, weapons hanging off him like he’s peddling them on the black market.

When the shooting erupts, no one screams except in irritation, the townspeople’s weenie roast interrupted by some out-of-towner, this stranger who thinks he can steal their witch and their bonfire.

When Sam finally gains a weapon, he’s kind of depressed because Dean’s got a headstart and he’s had to stand around, wrists still tied, yelling at his brother.

When Dean reaches Sam, they shoot over each other shoulders, like ritual, like greeting, like synchronized instinct and they’re kissing before the bodies tumble to the street.

When the screaming does start, there aren’t many people left, the heart of Bernice failing in splintered fashion, like how Dean shoots the flood lights and they go black, glass collapsing everywhere.

When Dean catches the brunette, she’s pure venomous hatred and he smiles, smiles bigger as Sam saunters up with the deputy, his eyes silver poison like hers.

When Sam ties the shapeshifters to the stake, the street is pretty much deserted except for the debris of the fight, bodies, weapons, a crossbow which Dean is ready to steal, this town just keeps giving him toys, he’s done something right somewhere to get all this awesome shit.

When it comes to stabbing the shapeshifters, there’s only one knife, so Sam and Dean argue for a bit, because come the fuck on, they’re both traumatized by this and maybe Sam is a little more than Dean since he was without his big brother and maybe Dean is a little more than Sam since he had to leave his car alone on the outskirts of town and what the fuck, Dean, the car is more important than me, you jerk, you asshole and Dean shuts Sam up with a bite to his neck and a hand down his jeans and it’s really fucking difficult to have sex on top of a bonfire, so they each stab a shapeshifter, taking turns. But Sam gets to light the fire, his eyes glittering oddly.

When Dean realizes that Sam is still kind of drugged, he’s more pissed than he’s ever been in the last few weeks at least and he tells Sam he can do whatever he wants to the town, but Dean still gets his blowjob, dammit, can’t a man just get a decent fucking blowjob, is that too fucking much to fucking ask.

When Sam grins, it’s better than kerosene in the jail, better than action movie heroes and weapons everywhere, better than razing the town, any town.


They stroll, take their time, holding hands though Dean will never cop to that, he’s merely leading Sam along since Sam is still kind of fucked up with that drug shit in his veins.

The night is so black and so dark, like shifting ink when Sam tilts his head back and he’s got Dean next to him, Dean beside him, warm and red, his universe is ok again, all planets aligned.

The hardware store has gas cans and bolt cutters, pliers, though Sam won’t tell Dean what those are for. The gas station is obligingly open and deliciously deserted.

It’s like shooting clay pigeons; Dean points to a car, Sam crouches and aims for the gas tank, waiting until his view stops wobbling, Dean’s hand in his hair, on his neck.

The smell of gasoline is taking over the town, trickling from cars, trickling from their gas cans, trickling as if they’re bleeding it and pissing it and they can’t taste anything else until Sam drags Dean close and they kiss to taste each other, maybe high on the fumes, with adrenaline, with their proximity to each other, blasting cap excited.

The bonfire and stake are the first to go, then the fire spreads, thin trails eating the slick of gasoline, fingers reaching out to grab and hold and consume.

Beautiful, so beautiful, how it looks against the backdrop of the endless plains and endless sky, so many colors in the flames that Sam’s describing to Dean, his eyes wide, pupils huge and Dean nods, murmurs happy nonsense sounds into Sam’s chest.

The buildings are on fire, squares of twisting smoke and flame and it’s like slow motion, burning, crackling, then a pause, they hold their breath and another building catches, like matchsticks, like popsicle stick structures, like Lincoln Logs Dean remembers constructing whole towns out of on long-forgotten carpet. A bedtime story for Sam who blinks contentedly at Dean in the firelight, small smile on his face, and around the bruises, Dean fits his thumbs in Sam’s dimples and kisses him.

You’re criminally insane, bitch, you’re so much trouble, he says and Sam laughs and a building groans behind them.


Sam almost catches himself on fire once.

He stops at each intersection and applies his bolt cutter-plier method to every street sign.

At the edge of town, end of the street, they turn around, Bernice golden and wavering.

And Sam gives Dean all the Sesame Street signs, ceremonial, keys to the city.

Eyes brighter than catastrophe, Dean laughs and it’s always and forever one of the best sounds in the world.


The trunk of the car is night-chilled, cold and Dean’s gasping as Sam sucks his cock, babbling with his hand in Sam’s hair. Even though they don’t have an audience, it’s still hot as fucking hell and they’re happy.

Happier once Sam slides into Dean and fucks him against the car.

They fuck slow and hard because it’s been a long night and they need this, need to reestablish ground control, set their self-destruct buttons to each other’s frequencies again, put their teeth where they belong, bite marks like the language of connection, their common hell and heaven contained in their blood and there’s a light over the hill as Dean runs his filthy mouth.


As they go around a curve too fast, Sam leans out the window, closing one eye and squeezing the trigger.

The bullet clangs through the city limit sign and Sam yells triumphant, says, Dude, you owe me, what was it again? Oh right, I get to pick the music for the next hundred miles.

Fucker. You tricked me into that bet.

Not my fault you’re such an easy bitch when you’re getting your cock sucked.

A smirking Sam is just what Dean loves, almost driving into a ditch because he’s got Sam back, he’s got Sam back with a minimum of fuss and they got to have fun in the process.

Blood under his fingernails as he pulls out his phone, his thumb still red as he presses speed dial.

Hey Bobby, sorry to wake you, man. Hunt’s done. Next beer’s on us.