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The Answers Don't Amount to Much

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The worst part is how natural Sam looks.

Dean's whole body shakes with the wrongness of the moment—the wrathful swarm of demons hanging like clouds in the sky, the red-edged crackle of lightning on the horizon, the way the earth has barely stopped trembling beneath his feet—and then there's Sam. At the center of the maelstrom.

Sam's posture is rigid, his hands clenched into fists at his sides, and even from where he stands, Dean can see clearly that darkness pulses around him like a living force. It's closing in, coiling to strike, a threatening garrote of shadow and ice, and all Dean can do is watch his brother stand there at ground zero.


"Sammy," Dean whispers, the sound choking away to almost nothing in his throat. But even as his tongue forms the familiar syllables, hopelessness has already settled beneath his skin, deeper than his bones, straight into his soul.

Sam stands at the center of a demonic tsunami, and he couldn't look more natural.

Which leaves Dean face to face with the harsh, undeniable reality that his brother is lost.

He almost wishes it were Lucifer in front of him now, but he knows better. Lucifer is long gone—crushed in the iron grip of Sam's power, a shower of sparks and rage and collapsing organs as Morning Star and host alike disintegrated in a messy implosion.

Leaving nothing but Sam—Sam and the low, guttural laugh that pours from his throat and agitates the air. Sam and the smoking throng of demons circling and rustling and filling the sky to bursting.

"Dean," says Sam, and the sound thunders with power—rage and need and, god help them both, hunger. Sam's eyes roam across the landscape, searching, closing in by degrees until there's nothing else Dean can do.

He runs.


- — - — - — -

Dean's first instinct is to seek shelter with Bobby, but he doesn't do that. The old hunter's salvage yard is the first place Sam will think to look for him. If Dean's going to stay ahead of his brother (because of course Sam will come for him, Sam always comes for him), he needs to be less predictable than that.

He goes to Rufus Turner instead. He doesn't get a warm welcome there, exactly, but Rufus offers him a spare cot and has fresh coffee to spare every morning. More importantly, the man can take care of himself as well as any hunter Dean knows. Dean would rather not put anyone defenseless in the potential line of fire.

He still doesn't stay long.

The second he starts to feel antsy, he says his brusque goodbyes and hauls ass to Deacon's doorstep in Little Rock. Seems like a good enough idea at the time, and the man actually smiles when he sees Dean. End of the world or not, it's nice to feel welcome.

It still seems like a good idea a few days later, but by then Dean feels edgy again. Off-balance and energized in a way that tells him it's time he hit the road. Deacon packs him a sandwich and a granola bar for the drive.

It's a pretty tasty sandwich.

By the time he finds himself at Sheriff Hudak's door in Hibbing, Minnesota, Dean has noticed a definite pattern of his bridges not burning down behind him. Kathleen was a deputy last he saw her, and her new authority seems to sit comfortably on her shoulders. She's also learned a little something about the things that go bump in the night, but Dean figures that's not something he needs to feel guilty about. The evil they helped her exorcise was all too human.

But Dean keeps checking in with the people he leaves behind along the way. And they keep answering their phones, alive and well and apparently not on fire.

Death and destruction don't seem to be following Dean, though he's still one hundred percent sure that Sam is on his trail. He can feel it sometimes, closing in like a vice around his heart. Or maybe that's nothing but the warm, inevitable certainty that his brother must be close behind.

Either way, Sam obviously isn't going on a mindless, vengeful killing spree like Dean's been fearing. It's a small gift, but he's grateful for it.


- — - — - — -

He heads for Lake Manitoc, Wisconsin next. He's sort of running out of easy options. They lost a lot of people in the war before Sam stepped up and crushed the spreading Apocalypse in one imposing fist.

Andrea Barr welcomes him instantly and easily. Her manner is warm and affectionate, and for all the years that have passed, her eyes still glow with the same gratitude he remembers from their last goodbye. There's worry in her eyes, too, but it lies hidden away—deliberately masked as she smiles and lets him into her home.

"Lucas is at school," she tells him. "He'll be home late from soccer. But he'll be so happy to see you."

Lucas is on his way to really-goddamn-tall, Dean realizes when the kid comes home. The boy is fifteen years old, he learns. And stubborn teenager or not, he actually hugs Dean—an awkward gesture that's full of too-long limbs and bumping elbows—and his smile when he steps back is wide and shy.

There's a quiet hero-worship in his eyes that makes Dean uncomfortable, but he smiles back and says, "How's life, kid?"

'Kid,' is apparently a poor choice of address, because the bright glow in the boy's eyes banks and dims a little when Dean calls him that. But his smile is still warm, his exuberance still genuine as he asks if Dean is staying for dinner.

Andrea guides him from the kitchen to the dining room with a gentle hand on his arm, and tells him in a soft tone that he's welcome to stay as long as he likes. Dean smiles, thanks her with a tilt of the head, and already knows he'll be gone by the end of the week.


- — - — - — -

He does go to Bobby eventually. Mostly to reassure the man that he's still in one piece. Bobby gives him a beer and a stern lecture about staying in fucking contact, then lets him crash on the living room couch. He doesn't mention Sam.

Dean doesn't mention him either.


- — - — - — -

He's imposing on Rebecca when the other shoe finally drops. She had looked startled and a little bit perturbed when she first answered her door—and he can't really blame her for that, look at the mess she was wrapped up in the only other time they met. But she's Sam's friend, not Dean's, which makes her guest room a more than adequate hiding place.

Which means Dean nearly trips over himself in surprise when he walks into her elegantly decorated living room and finds the wrong face waiting for him.

"Andy?!" he says, voice coming out deep and sharp with surprise. "What the fuck are you doing here?" The guy looks rough around the edges, a little too gaunt and completely exhausted, but it's definitely him. There's no mistaking that short stature, friendly face or careless slouch.

"Dean! Hi! Um… I'm really sorry to intrude with no warning. I mean. Really. But I sort of have a message for you."

"A message," Dean repeats dumbly. "For me."

"From Sam," Andy adds helpfully. Dean probably should've expected as much. Why else would a dead psychic guy be standing two feet in front of him, looking like he's really, really worried Dean might yell at him.

"How did Sam figure out where I was?" Dean asks. He doesn't actually expect Andy to tell him, but he might as well try. He needs to know if he's going to figure out a way to prevent it in the future.

"Dean," says Andy, somehow managing to look wide-eyed and apologetic all at the same time, "I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you this… But Sam always knows where you are."

Well. That fucking figures.

"Fine," Dean says, more gruffly than he means to. "Let's hear it so I can get on to knocking you out and running for the hills."

Andy just gives him a humoring look, eyebrows high in something that looks suspiciously like amusement. Dean squirms a little under the scrutiny, stubbornly ignoring the irregular twitch at the corner of Andy's mouth that signals the smile he's clearly trying to stifle.

"Shut up and talk already," Dean mutters.

Andy just shrugs and says, "Sam wants you to come home."

Dean emits a single, sharp burst of laughter. Disbelief echoes in the sound, and he raises his eyes to the ceiling as if looking for some visible sign that this is some cruel, cosmic joke.

"Home," he repeats coolly, sharply. "That's funny. Real funny. Sam and me? We never had a home."

"Don't pretend to be stupid, Dean," Andy admonishes him, expression still humoring but gradually losing patience. "You know what he means."

Dean wants to give a pithy reply, but his voice sticks in his throat. He does know what his brother means.

"Why are you still running, anyway?" Andy prods gently, bouncing a little on the balls of his feet and arching his eyebrows curiously. "He's left you alone for how many months now? He wants to give you time to get whatever this is out of your system, but seriously. It's getting ridiculous." Then in a softer, almost conspiratorial tone, "He misses you."

"Is that why he finally sent you?" Dean growls, ignoring the way his heart pulses uncertainly at the quiet, final statement. "To mind whammy me into doing as he says? Couldn't do his own dirty work?"

Andy sticks his hands in his pockets and shrugs easily, carelessly. Like Dean is a petulant child that just needs to get his head on straight. Dean feels instantly silly for some reason. He doesn't know how he can be sure Andy's not using his psychic command powers on him, but he does. He knows it for a bright, solid certainty. The accusations he just finished voicing feel suddenly hollow in his chest.

"He said you'd probably think he was a monster," Andy admits quietly.

"Isn't he?" Dean asks. That part, at least, he's still pretty sure about.

"Maybe," Andy concedes. "But he's trying, man. He's only doing what he has to. If it weren't him, it'd be worse. Trust me."

Silence settles between them for a moment, heavy and considering. Dean's eyes wander the room idly as he lets Andy's words really sink in, and they leave his skin chilled and electrified. The concession doesn't sound like bullshit, and neither does Andy's confidence in his subsequent reassurance. The words sound honest and resigned, up-front and genuine, and when Dean's eyes find Andy again the guy is actually smiling.

"Why's he in such a hurry to have me back all of a sudden?" Dean demands. He knows how stubborn his little brother can be. If Sam planned on waiting him out, letting Dean come home in his own time, then Sam would damn well wait. There's no way he would fold first.

Andy looks suddenly fidgety at the question, shoulders tightening and eyes cutting uncomfortably to the side. The guy's got the world's crappiest poker face, worse even than Sam's when he's got a few too many pints in him, and Dean steps closer, letting his features darken. He knows he's got no real power to threaten Andy, but he makes his stance intimidating anyway.

"Why the rush, Andy?" he presses, leaning down into the psychic's space until Andy caves, stepping back and away. For a moment, Dean honestly doesn't think he's going to get an answer. Then Andy licks his lips, coughs as if to find his voice again, and looks Dean squarely in the eye.

"He's losing it," Andy says. "He's losing himself. There's no one to ground him. I sure as hell can't do it, and the power drives him a little further every day."

Dean swallows, feels his pulse roar harsh and loud in his veins. He suddenly can't breathe.

"Dean," says Andy, expression going gentle and cautious. "Sam needs you."

And as fast as that, Dean knows he's done running.

He doesn't say goodbye to Rebecca before he leaves. He just leaves a note, piles Andy into the passenger seat of the Impala—the guy probably used his Jedi mind tricks to bum a ride in the first place—and gets them on the road.

"Hey, can I ask you something?" Dean asks when they've gone about twenty miles, blinking in the bright noon light that beats down across the road and the windshield.

"Sure," says Andy. He's sprawled comfortably across the passenger seat, leaning against the door like he could nod off at any moment. His eyes are half-lidded, and there's a self-satisfied smile on his face.

"I thought you were dead," says Dean, and watches out of the corner of his eye as the smile melts instantly away.

Andy's entire face clouds, darkens into something grim and shaken, and he says, "That's between Sam and me." There's no anger in his eyes. Pain and sorrow and hurt, definitely, but no anger. Dean wants to know, but not badly enough to go digging where he's clearly not welcome.

"Fair enough," he says, and locks his eyes on the road.


- — - — - — -

He's not sure where he expects to find his brother.

Andy directs him from one highway to the next, giving directions as they go and messing with Dean's radio the entire time. Dean almost complains when Andy first reaches for the dial, but he quickly finds one of Dean's favorite stations, and Dean doesn't fuss after that.

But he doesn't know what to expect when they reach their destination, and his mind conjures all kinds of images. A tall, ominous palace with towers and turrets and dungeons. Or maybe a dark, hidden crevice with a set of secret tunnels leading to a veritable Bat Cave of demonic activity.

He doesn't expect the large, brown townhouse that Andy directs him to park in front of. It's well kept, tall and sturdy and spacious. Looks like there's a fresh coat of paint on the outside walls, and a wide driveway curves around the building and behind, where Dean can just make out the near side of a tall garage.

There are flowers planted into colorful, symmetrical beds beneath the front windows, and the whole thing is so surreal that Dean doesn't know what to make of it.

"Say hi to Sam for me," says Andy, sliding out of the car and onto the curb. "And you're welcome."

"Wait a second!" Dean gapes, hurrying to follow suit and slamming the driver's side door harder than he means to. "Where the hell are you going?"

"Somewhere else," Andy says with a shrug. "You don't honestly think I'm invited to the big reunion, do you? Sam's cleared the whole damn block and ordered his generals not to disturb him for anything short of another Apocalypse." Which won't be happening any time this century, the man's relaxed posture seems to imply.

Dean somehow doesn't feel the slightest bit reassured.

"Go on," Andy says, nodding towards the front stoop. "Left door. Should be unlocked. He's waiting for you."

Dean climbs the short, smooth-edged steps on legs that threaten to turn to jelly. The door doesn't even creak when he edges it open, and his boots sound too loud on the polished wood floor of the empty entryway. The place smells clean, and cool conditioned air ghosts across Dean's skin. He steps further inside and closes the door as quietly as he can, pulse speeding up at the overwhelming sense of finality that follows the inevitable click.

As he moves further into the house, his ears detect a strange, wet, mechanical sound, oddly rhythmic. It's not completely unfamiliar, but he can't place what it is. He follows it for lack of any other clues, along the hall towards a wide doorframe at the end, and when he steps through into the room beyond, he stops short in surprise. His eyebrows fly up, and he blinks a couple of times. Trying to clear his vision.

The sight before him remains unchanged.

He's standing in a kitchen, and the rhythmic, mechanical sound is a dishwasher at work in the corner. Sam stands at the sink with his back to Dean, scrubbing at something beneath the faucet with harsh, almost angry movements. His back is almost entirely obscured by the dark, feathered sweep of a pair of enormous wings.

Dean blinks again, but the scene still doesn't change.

'Sammy,' he wants to say. Or maybe, 'Hey, little brother.' Something to break the stubborn silence, since he has no doubts that Sam knows exactly how long he's been standing here. Probably knew the second he first got in the car with Andy.

But he can't make his voice work, and it's finally Sam that turns—slowly, smoothly, setting aside his work with a soft splash and turning off the water.

Dean half expects Sam's eyes to flash strange colors at him, but they look the same as they always do: hazel bordering on green, a deep tone that can't quite decide what shade it wants to be. The expression in those eyes is dark and threatening, and it's all Dean can do not to turn and run back the way he came.

Sam's expression clears abruptly, sharply, and though it's still not a look Dean would describe as warm and friendly, there's no longer a crisp threat of violence shining at him from his brother's eyes.

"Dean," says Sam. For all that his face is held carefully impassive, his voice echoes with gruff relief.

"Hey," says Dean. Even that one word is almost impossible to get past his constricted throat.

"I'm glad you came."

Dean feels awkward now. Like maybe he should hug his brother, hard and familiar, but that doesn't seem right. He doesn't know how to relate to this new Sam standing before him—staring at him with darkness in his eyes, subdued desperation in his stance, and enormous black wings sweeping out behind him.

"Sorry it took me so long," Dean says dumbly. It's not so much a true apology as it is that he has no idea what else to say, but it seems to placate his brother anyway. There's even a corner of a smile ghosting across Sam's face.

The question of what Dean is supposed to do is quickly rendered moot when Sam strides across the kitchen and drags him close. Sam's arms are impossibly warm around him, tight and possessive, and Dean feels a lump form in his throat, his eyes burn threateningly with the touch of unshed tears.

Sam's grip tightens, squeezes the air right out of him, and Dean would hug his brother back but he honestly can't raise his arms to do it—not with Sam grasping Dean against his chest like a vice. Sam's face is buried against his neck, Sam's breath uneven and distracting along the skin of Dean's throat, and then Sam presses even closer. Feels like he's nuzzling at the spot where Dean's neck and shoulder meet, and the sensation sends a shiver along Dean's skin even before the ghosting touch of Sam's lips makes him wonder exactly what's happening here.

The next second, Dean finds himself swaying on his feet—released so abruptly he almost loses his balance. Sam is across the room, at as much of a distance as the quaint kitchen allows, and his face flashes with a mess of emotions Dean can't separate or read.

"Welcome home," Sam finally says, voice gruff and deep. Then moving towards a door Dean hadn't even seen before, adds, "Come on. I'll show you to your room.


- — - — - — -

Living with Sam in the spacious townhouse is downright domestic, and Dean is surprised at how quickly it starts to feel normal.

There are moments the illusion of normalcy fades and distorts, like the morning he accidentally walks in on Sam conversing with a small, white-eyed throng in the office upstairs. He hightails it outside in a hurry, but doesn't get much further than the edge of the yard. It's not like he has anywhere else to go.

Sam approaches him twenty minutes later, where Dean sits in the well-manicured grass, perched on the downward slope that angles towards the sidewalk.

"Sorry about that," Sam mutters. He sounds genuinely embarrassed. "I probably should have warned you about them."

"They your minions?" Dean asks without looking up at him, curious but mostly uncomfortable.

"My generals," Sam answers quickly. Hell's top dogs, Dean surmises, next in the chain of command after Sam. It's a sobering thought, not to mention creepy as fuck to know they're meeting in the pleasant, eerily suburban home he sleeps in.

"Huh," he says noncommittally. Sam throws him a worried look and, after a brief pause, settles himself to the ground beside Dean. It's an inefficient undertaking. Sam has to position himself just so if we wants to avoid crushing half his impressive wingspan beneath him.

"I can hold the meetings somewhere else," Sam offers. It's the closest he's sounded to his normal self since Dean first showed up on his doorstep. His voice is sheepish—awkward and desperate to please. "If they make you uncomfortable, I mean. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable."

"Nah," Dean lies. "It's fine." Even though his skin crawls a little at the thought that they might still be in there. He'd rather Sam stay close enough for Dean to keep an eye on him, and if that means putting up with war meetings upstairs, well then. That's a compromise he'll just have to live with.

A week later he learns that the giant crack in the basement floor—the one that runs from the corner by the laundry machines all the way over to the furnace in the far corner—is actually a carefully regulated gateway to Hell.

That leaves him even more uncomfortable than the demons do, though it explains why he never sees them come in or out the front door.

He can see what Andy means about Sam losing himself. There are times even Dean can feel the power too close to his brother's surface—when Sam looks at him and doesn't quite see him, or the world around him for that matter, caught up in the invisible eddies and currents of some greater plane of existence.

Those are moments when Dean isn't quite sure what his brother is capable of.

But those moments become less and less frequent the longer Dean stays. Seven months in, and he almost never has to wonder if Sam is actually seeing him.

When he walks into the room and finds Sam's expression dark and distant, sometimes he can bring his brother back with a touch, a shake of the shoulder, a softly murmured, "Sammy." Sam always looks at him too hard when he comes back from wherever he's been wandering—unmeasured and weighty, an unfamiliar heat sparking in his eyes.

But it's better than watching him space out and drift away, so Dean never hesitates. He knows damn well that Sammy needs him.


- — - — - — -

It's when Sam starts looking at him with that same heavy heat all the time that Dean starts to wonder if they have a problem.


- — - — - — -

"Dude," he says the day he decides he can't take it anymore. "Get a life. Or a television. Stop staring at me." Sam's been at it for forty minutes straight is the problem, and Dean is just about ready to crawl out of his skin. Wherever all this heavy scrutiny is coming from, it's long past time for it to stop.

But Sam just blinks and keeps right on staring at him. Dean's stomach feels suddenly shivery, and the quiet tempo of his heartbeat speeds louder.

"Are you actually this dense, or are you just messing with me?" Sam finally asks, tilting his head at Dean in a quizzical, inquiring way.

"I'm not dense. You're just insane." And then, because he'd like at least half a clue to work with here, he adds, "What the fuck is your problem, anyway?"

"I don't have a problem, Dean," Sam says easily. He stands from his spot on the couch, rolling his shoulders and stretching his wings. Dean was already standing—he couldn't keep still with the unwavering weight of Sam's eyes drilling into him.

"Clearly," Dean says with a sarcastic snort. "That's why you're being such a cryptic asshole. Because you don't have a problem."

Dean's instincts holler at him to back away when Sam approaches. There's an unfamiliar spark of intent behind his brother's eyes—a grim set to the line of his lips, considering and intense.

But Dean doesn't move. His feet feel like immovable lead, and his heart is now pounding too loudly for him to think.

"Sam?" he asks, and his brother's name comes out choked and wrong—edgy uncertainty permeating the sound. Sam stops right in his space, and it's all Dean can do to raise his eyes and meet his brother's gaze directly. The room clenches suddenly claustrophobic around him, and Sam is standing too damn close.

When Sam leans down and kisses him, the movement is so matter-of-fact that Dean thinks maybe he should have seen it coming.

It's a gentle kiss. Tentative and cautious and carrying the unmistakable air of a question. Sam's right hand rises to rest at Dean's jaw, and his tongue plays a teasing inquiry along Dean's lower lip. His eyes stay open, even though the kiss brings his face so close that Dean's own eyes cross if he tries to bring them into focus.

When Sam finally draws back—no idea how long it was, fuck, Dean wasn't even paying attention—there's a teasing smile quirking his mouth and a playful light in his eyes, the likes of which Dean hasn't seen since his arrival.

"Just think about it, okay?" says Sam, and leaves the room, Dean gaping behind him.


- — - — - — -

Dean does think about it. He thinks about nothing else for almost five weeks. Even the comings and goings of Sam's demons and the mysterious, regular rumblings from the basement aren't enough to distract him from the memory of Sam's mouth—Sam's kiss warm and unexpected, and unlocking something inside Dean that he quickly realizes can never again be put aside.

Sam doesn't press him. He doesn't pester Dean for an answer to his unmistakable proposition. He doesn't even seem nervous that Dean might reject him. It's like the conclusion is already foregone and just a matter of time.

Dean doesn't know how he feels about that.

But he knows how he feels about Sam. Or at least, he's fast figuring it out. It's a little hard to ignore after that kiss, and with everything else Dean has had to get used to—the demons, the gateway to Hell, the wings, the distracted darkness in his brother's eyes—a little thing like incest doesn't seem like quite so big a deal as it maybe should.

So yes, fuck it, he knows how he feels.

The remaining problem is, what the hell is he supposed to do now?


- — - — - — -

He starts small. Sits closer to Sam on the couch than necessary, brushes close when he passes his brother in the kitchen, touches him casually for no other reason than to enjoy the contact.

Sam actually looks a little confused by his gestures at first. Maybe he figured that once Dean got his head on straight he'd just jump Sam and be done with it.

But that's not how Dean rolls. With anonymous hookups in bars, sure. But this is different. This is Sam. Even if incest isn't the big bad word it could be, that doesn't mean Dean can just dive right into this. He's got to be sure, got to take it slow, got to feel the way out as his path brings him further and further into Sam's orbit. There's no going back and calling do-over if he gets this wrong the first time around.

Besides, it feels good to finally have Sam off balance. It's about time Dean got a chance to hold the reins.


- — - — - — -

"Can I touch them?" Dean asks one night. He offers no lead-in, no context, just the question, and then watches the wide-eyed, perplexed look that spreads across Sam's face in response to the request.

"I…," Sam pauses, searching for Dean's meaning and obviously failing. "What?"

"Your wings," Dean clarifies, careful to keep his amusement masked behind a poker face of calm curiosity. "I've been here almost a year and I don't even know what they feel like."

"Um," Sam flounders, his face a contradiction of uneasy excitement. "I guess. If you want to."

Dean crosses the space between them, bare toes cool against the floorboards, and plants himself directly in front of Sam—a little too close for comfort, but that's sort of the point. Sam watches him uncertainly, like Dean's an unpredictable force that could lunge any direction with no warning.

Dean just reaches up with one hand, over Sam's shoulder, and gently buries his fingers in the impossibly soft feathers of one wing.

For a moment, all he can think is 'Jesus, that feels good.' He strokes the unfamiliar texture with his thumb, marveling at how hot and downy the appendage feels beneath his palm. He could spend the rest of the day doing nothing but this.

When he meets Sam's eyes, his brother's gaze has gone dark and hungry—predatory, Dean thinks with a jolt. The change in expression is all the warning he gets before Sam tackles him to the floor, jarring the wind out of him and pinning him hard.

Dean actually laughs, though the sound comes out winded and breathless. "You like that, huh?" he asks, voice husky-deep and inviting.

Sam doesn't need words to answer him—just growls and drops his full weight on Dean (which is heavy, but still somehow less than Dean expected considering the size of those wings), and claims Dean's mouth in a kiss that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the one he offered before.

This kiss is demanding and deep, drowning in eager heat, and Dean gets one hand on the back of Sam's neck, the other on the taut stretch of Sam's left wing, and moans.

Sam makes an unintelligible sound low in his throat, and stops clinging to Dean in favor of tearing at every scrap of clothing between them. There's the ragged rush of fabric giving way, and Dean's muffled, uncontrolled curses crashing into the air as Sam reduces his favorite pair of jeans to complete shreds. The wooden floor is already warm beneath him, Sam's body an inferno above, and when Sam slips lower to suck bruising kisses into the hollow of Dean's throat, it's all he can do to hang on.

Dean keeps thinking his brother will relocate them to the bed, but Sam must be too impatient, because he fucks him right there on the floor. Dean comes hard and fast—Sam holds out longer. Thrusts into Dean's pliant, sated body for minutes on end before his orgasm finally catches up with him.

He comes groaning Dean's name, his hands on Dean's body and his back arched in ecstasy—his wings unfurled behind him, spanning so wide they nearly brush the ceiling.


- — - — - — -

Dean's bedroom is transformed into a study within the week. It's not like he needs it to sleep in—not when Sam's bed is more than big enough for the both of them. Not when he sleeps better with his head on Sam's chest, Sam's heartbeat resonating softly against his skin and Sam's breath an even, soothing sound.

He never does get quite comfortable with the demons, or with that crack along the basement floor. This isn't exactly the life Dean would've hoped for himself or his brother, and there are things he'll never be okay with.

But the one thing he's sure of is Sam, and to Dean's surprise, he discovers that's all he really needs.