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slipping through the minutes

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‘Sam? Sammy!’ Dean bursts into the house, almost knocking the door off its hinges.

‘What?’ Sam asks, coming out of the bedroom with a book in his hand, a finger slipped between the pages to mark his place. (He’s reading The Bell Jar, because he’s Sam and he likes depressing shit, and because Dean will buy him all the depressing books in the world that he wants, because it’s wired into Dean’s DNA to do pretty much whatever his little brother asks of him. Well. Almost whatever.)

Sam looks mildly annoyed by all the yelling. ‘Where’s the fire?’

‘Thank fuck,’ Dean says, grabbing him in a crushing hug, burying his face in the luxurious hair and inhaling deeply. Sam’s scent calms him instantly, his warm body in Dean’s arms, pressed up tight against Dean, grounding him in a way that nothing else can.

‘Dean?’ Sam reaches up with the hand not holding the book to clutch at the nape of Dean’s neck. ‘What is it?’ he asks urgently. ‘What’s wrong?’

‘It happened again.’

Sam instantly knows what Dean is referring to. ‘Who?’

‘I don’t know. No one could tell me the name of the kid who was taken and I was so fucking scared it was you, Sam, I couldn’t—I can't—’

‘Dean, breathe. Just breathe. I’m here. I’m fine.’

Dean nods shakily, heart still pounding. Taking pity on him, Sam takes him by the hand, leads him to the sofa, and curls up next to him, winding his arms around Dean’s neck. Dean accepts the invitation gratefully, dipping his head to brush his lips against Sam’s.

Sam immediately makes the kiss wet and deep, making hungry little sounds against Dean’s mouth as he climbs into Dean’s lap, straddling his thighs.

‘You play dirty,’ Dean murmurs into his mouth, running his hands over Sam’s back, his legs.

Sam grins down at him, somehow both filthy-hot and little-brother-sweet at the same time. ‘I’m gonna make you come in your jeans.’ And he does.



Later, they lie on the couch, Sam completely naked and Dean still clothed. True to his word, Sam had stripped and driven Dean into a frenzy of desire, distracting him thoroughly from his earlier panic.

‘I needed that,’ Dean confesses into Sam’s hair.

Sam lifts his head from Dean’s chest and grins cheekily. ‘I know.’

‘Brat. I know you know.’

Sam links their hands together and squeezes, the expression on his face changing to something more serious. Dean feels a sudden twinge of dread, knowing that the affectionate hand-holding is partly to soften the difficulty of the subject Sam is about to bring up.

‘Dean.’ Sam’s voice is deliberately soft. As though he thinks he can hide the hard edge underneath.

‘I know.’ Dean closes his eyes briefly. This is something they’ll never agree on. This is a conversation he needs to power through, even if Sam hates him for it. He’s never been more grateful for the warmth of Sam’s bare skin against his own.

‘We need to talk about it.’

‘I know.’

‘Then why don’t you do something about it?’

‘Sammy, you know how I feel about us mating before you’re eighteen.’

‘This is a question of my life, Dean. My safety. You really want to argue about the age of consent when some assholes out there are abducting unmated omegas for whatever fucked-up reason?’

‘That’s not a reason to mate. I won’t have those assholes take your choices away. I won’t let you be forced into—’

‘I’m not going to be forced into anything,’ Sam says, his voice getting rough with frustration. They’ve had this conversation so many times that it’s burned into their brains like an old movie that you’ve seen over and over. You know how it ends but still, irrationally, you keep hoping that the story will end differently this time.

Dean slips his fingers into Sam’s hair, fingertips rubbing against his scalp. They seem to have decided, with unspoken agreement, that they’ll always touch and gentle each other when they have this particular conversation. Sam usually brings up the topic in the afterglow of mutual orgasms, when they’re both feeling more physically affectionate than usual. Also, it’s hard to work up the energy to get into a physical fight or storm out of the house when you’re naked and sexually sated.

‘You know how I feel. You’ve known for years,’ Sam goes on, head tilting into Dean’s touch. ‘I don’t—’

He breaks off abruptly, and Dean doesn’t need to be told why. The sound of Dad’s truck coming up the street is obvious. It’s a sound that’s come to fill Dean with irrational dread. Their father knows about their relationship; of course he does. They’ve learned not to flaunt it in front of him, but that doesn’t change the fact that Dad’s disapproval can make Dean feel that he’s around two inches tall. (Sam has sometimes insinuated that it’s Dad’s disapproval, more than anything else, that is preventing Dean from going ahead and mating with Sam. Dean doesn’t want to think about that too hard, but he knows without a doubt that if it comes to choosing between Dad’s wishes and Sam’s, he won’t have to hesitate a moment to make his decision.)

‘The fuck is he doing back so early?’ Sam mutters, sliding off Dean’s lap and picking up his jeans from the floor.

Dean helps him gather his clothes and follows him into the bedroom, kicking the door shut behind them and coming up behind Sam. ‘Hey,’ he says, nipping at Sam’s earlobe.


‘You wanna play?’

Sam turns around and raises his eyebrows. ‘Now?’

‘Mm-hm.’ Dean leans down and kisses him lightly. ‘Lock the door and stay naked for me.’ He trails his fingers lightly along the crack of Sam’s ass. ‘Play with yourself but don’t come without me.’

‘You have the best ideas,’ Sam says lightly, in a tone that lets Dean know that they’ll definitely be continuing the conversation later.



As always, talking to Dad is difficult. As always, the difficulties are multiplied by about a thousand when the conversation involves Sam.

‘You want to fucking what?’ Dean’s hands are clenched tightly.

‘Don’t overreact, Dean. And mind your language.’ Dad is sitting at the small, cramped, dining table, nursing a beer. He looks like he’s always looked, throughout Dean’s life: tall, solid, reassuring. (Except his presence hasn’t reassured Dean since he was four years old. Maybe even earlier; maybe even since those times when Dad wouldn’t come home and Mom would hang up the phone angrily and make Dean a PB and J with the crusts cut off.)

‘I’m not a child.’

‘Then stop acting like one. You know this is what we do, Dean. You know we do whatever it takes to kill monsters and save lives.’

‘Whatever it takes has never included Sam’s safety. His life. You’re saying you want to use him as bait? Do you even hear yourself?’

‘You think I’d do anything to put Sam in danger? My own boy?’

‘You want to use him to catch a fucking monster. How is that not endangering him?’

‘You need to stop thinking you’re the only one who cares about Sam’s safety,’ Dad says, his voice distinctly cold. ‘I’m his father.’

‘I’ve been more of a parent to him than you’ve ever been.’

‘A parent who fucks his child?’ Dad lets out a derisive laugh. ‘You’re a hypocrite, Dean.’

‘I don’t—we’ve never—’

‘Are you now claiming it isn’t sex because you don’t knot the kid? Is that it? You have some misguided sense of machismo that makes you think fucking around with your kid brother is fine as long as you don’t make him your bitch?’

‘Don’t fucking talk about him like that.’

‘Actions speak louder than words, Dean. You can protest all you like, but don’t you dare fucking act like you care more for that boy than I do. Not when you act just like any other reckless young alpha.’

‘Don’t talk to him like that,’ Sam says quietly from behind them, startling them both.

‘It’s the truth,’ Dad says with a shrug, unrepentant.

‘No, it isn’t.’ Sam’s wearing his jeans and one of Dean’s shirts. It’s too big on him and makes him look more slender than he actually is, belying the wiry strength of his well-trained, hunter’s body. ‘Any other ‘reckless’ alpha would have done exactly the opposite of what Dean has. Dean’s the one who looks after me.’ The ‘not you’ is implicit.

Sam turns the force of his glare on Dean. ‘That doesn’t make him right. Or you. You both think you know what’s best for me, but guess what? You don’t.’

He goes back into the bedroom and slams the door shut.

Dean winces at the sound.

‘Spoilt fucking brat,’ Dad mutters, taking another swig of his beer.

That, of course, sets off another round of arguing.



It’s nearly an hour later that Dad, exhausted of debating the topic with Dean and yelling at the closed bedroom door, drives off after declaring that the matter isn’t closed, the case still needs to be solved, and Sam and Dean had better get their heads out of their asses and understand that lives need to be saved.

Dean turns the knob on the bedroom door, but it’s locked. ‘Sam? Sammy, come on. Let me in.’

No answer.


The silence he gets in response sends a prickle of fear down his spine. He picks up his phone and calls Sam’s number.

It rings, but not in the bedroom.

Sixteen missed calls later, when Dean is about to go out of his mind with terror, Sam finally picks up.


‘Where the fuck are you?’ Dean’s voice is shaking, and not with anger. ‘You went out the window? Are you fucking crazy?’

‘I’m busy, Dean. I’ll be back later.’

‘Sammy, you listen to—’

‘No, Dean. I have to go.’

He hangs up, but not before Dean makes out the pounding beat of music in the background.



The bar is dark and smoky and smells of sex. Dean wants to retch the moment he walks in, not because he dislikes sex smells but because the thought of some anonymous alpha fucking Sam in this seedy joint is pretty much unbearable to him.

Forcing himself to remain calm, he takes several deep breaths, trying to find the fragrance of Sam under all the sweaty, pungent smells emanating from the patrons of the club. He finds Sam’s distinct scent almost immediately, a wisp of sweetness and home in the midst of all the alienness. He clings to it, the flimsiest of hopes.

Sam apparently senses his presence at the same time, because less than thirty seconds later Dean is confronted by the vision of his little brother—his omega, damn it—dressed in skintight black jeans, his torso almost nearly nude except for a slinky little black vest that leaves his smooth chest bare. He’s wearing eyeliner and lip gloss… and fucking jeweled clips on his nipples. He’s more beautiful than any human being has a right to be.

Dean’s knees nearly weaken at the sight, but he checks himself.

‘The fuck are you doing here?’ Sam asks, sounding far from pleased.

Dean reaches out to grab Sam’s arm.

Sam yanks it away. ‘Get the fuck off me.’

‘We’re leaving, Sam.’

‘No. You’re leaving, and I’m getting what I came here for.’

‘Really?’ Dean asks, unable to keep the bitterness from his voice. ‘This is what you want? This is how far you’ll go to avoid Dad using you as bait? Being mated to some creep for the rest of your life?’

‘You need to do your research better,’ Sam says coldly.


‘It’s virgin omegas who are going missing. Omegas who’ve never taken a knot. It’s just a coincidence that the ones who’ve been taken are all unmated.’

‘How do you—’

‘I know how to do my research, Dean. You should try it sometime. Guess John’s right and you just don’t have the brains.’

It’s probably one of the lowest blows Sam’s ever dealt him. Usually, it’s Dad who insinuates that Dean isn’t smart enough to do research and Sam who comes to his defense, who pulls countless examples of Dean’s cleverness out of his memory and reminds Dean that Dad doesn’t really get either of them.

‘So you don’t—you don’t need to mate? Only to knot with an alpha?’


‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

Sam shrugs. ‘Would it have made any difference?’

‘What’s gotten into you?’ Dean says, genuinely confused. ‘You—you aren’t behaving like you at all.’

To his astonishment, Sam gives him a tiny flicker of a smile. ‘I’d say you have your answer, don’t you?’ His voice is low, a sultry whisper, like they’re talking about fucking.

There must be a reason for it, but Dean’s damned if he can understand it. Apart from Sam’s scent, there’s very little about him that’s Sam-like at the moment.

‘What?’ Dean asks, feeling more lost by the moment.

Sam steps closer to him, shaking his silky hair back, his stride confident, sensual. He leans up to whisper into Dean’s ear. ‘Just go with it.’

Pulling back, he loops his bare arms around Dean’s neck and kisses him hungrily. Dean responds involuntarily, arms tightening around Sam, senses helplessly befuddled by his brother’s scent, his taste, the way he’s pretty much trying to climb Dean’s body like a tree.

‘Pick me up,’ Sam murmurs between kisses. ‘Take me into one of the booths like we’re going to fuck.’

He wraps one leg around Dean’s waist and Dean grabs the other and hauls him up until Sam’s arms and legs are wrapped tightly around him, Sam’s mouth sucking on Dean’s tongue. Dean gets with the program and holds Sam tightly against his body, cupping and squeezing his ass as he manages to find his way to the nearest booth and get them inside.

‘Don’t stop,’ Sam whispers against his ear, straddling him on the broad red vinyl seat. ‘Someone may be listening. Or watching.’

‘They’re here?’ Dean whispers back. ‘The perps?’

‘It’s the owner of the club. I’m pretty sure.’

‘So nothing supernatural then.’

‘But still pretty fucking evil.’

‘Yeah,’ Dean says, holding Sam closer against him. He doesn’t put into words what he thinks the abducted omegas may be going through. The thought of Sam going through anything like it is unbearable.

‘Do you have a plan?’ he asks.

‘Sort of. I figured if we can find some evidence of this guy’s guilt, we can give the cops an anonymous tip.’

‘Sounds like a plan,’ Dean says. ‘But Sammy… I know you hate hearing this, but just stick close to me while we look, okay?’

‘I will,’ Sam says, rolling his eyes. ‘I’m progressive, not suicidal.’



In the end, they don’t even have to look very hard.

The club owner has the captured omegas trapped in cages in the building’s basement. Dean will never forget the look on Sam’s face when they find the omegas locked up in cramped cages, naked and collared. Sam, who can’t even stomach the sight of chickens locked up in cages and waiting for slaughter, goes pale under his makeup and stands frozen still for a second. Dean almost reaches out to him, a reflex reaction to Sam in distress, but before he can do anything, Sam is on the move, fingers curling around the bars of the nearest cage and reassuring the exhausted prisoner inside that it’s okay, it’s all right, they’re safe now.

After calling the cops anonymously, Sam and Dean wait in the shadows and watch until the police arrive. Dean also calls an ambulance for good measure, not sure how much he trusts the law enforcement to care for the omegas’ safety. He lets out a sigh of relief when he sees all the omegas well enough to walk out of their prison; apparently, their captors are omega traffickers who’d been waiting to ship off their prisoners as slaves to rich buyers.

If he and Sam were on good terms at the moment, Sam might have let on that he noticed Dean’s distress at the way the omegas had been treated, the way their captors had brazenly assumed that no one would care about a few missing omegas. As it stands, Sam merely moves a couple of inches closer to Dean when they see the last of the omegas being taken safely away in an ambulance, Sam’s shoulder brushing against Dean’s arm. Dean closes his eyes briefly, savoring the tiny moment of closeness. It kills him that he doesn’t know if Sam has done it intentionally or not.



‘So this was your plan all along?’ Dean asks later. They’re driving into the night, the wind in Sam’s hair. He’s still wearing his eyeliner and his outfit, now with Dean’s jacket around his shoulders. ‘To basically go undercover at the club?’

‘And you thought I was some silly little omega wanting to be knotted to save his pretty skin.’

‘Sam,’ Dean begins warningly.

‘What?’ Sam glances at him, his face expressionless, before turning his eyes back to the road. ‘Am I wrong? Did you even think there may be a different explanation for why I was at the club?’

‘Forgive me if I thought you’d tell me if you found out anything about the case,’ Dean snaps back. He regrets his tone almost immediately, when Sam’s jaw juts out stubbornly.

‘I don’t want to see John tonight. Stop at the next motel,’ Sam says shortly, turning his head completely away.

Dean understands, he really does. The only way to stop Dad from using him as bait was for Sam to use himself as bait and get the case resolved. But as usual, the rapidly escalating war between Sam and Dad has left Dean out in the cold, trapped in a no man’s land of doubt and fear.



The conversation at the diner is one of the most excruciating Dean’s ever had. Sam—stunning in his make-up and looking like he belongs to Dean while he wears his jacket—is tough as nails and unrepentantly cold.

The worst of it is that Dean knows he deserves it.

‘I’m sorry,’ he says finally, exhausted. ‘I know I fucked up. I know I don’t deserve you. At all.’

‘I don’t know how much longer we can keep doing this,’ Sam says. It’s pretty much a line from Dean’s nightmares, the ones he sometimes has when Sam is upset with him.

‘Don’t—don't say that. Sammy, please.’

‘You should go get us a room for the night,’ Sam says. ‘I mean, I’d do it, but it’s not like they’ll allow an omega to book a room now, is it?’

Dean winces. It’s not even as though he can take heart from the fact that Sam hasn’t insisted on separate rooms because there’s no way any motel will allow an unmated omega—and a minor at that—to book a room for himself and an alpha, much less for an omega alone. Once again, Dean is forcibly reminded of how unfair the world is to someone like Sam, and how he, Dean, is completely powerless to change anything about the laws they’re subject to.

He badly wants to touch Sam; even stroking his hair would help, right now. He almost wants to laugh at the unfairness of the way in which the world treats omegas: alphas need their omega’s touch just as much as the other way around. Dean should know: his entire body is thrumming with need, desperate for the reassurance of Sam’s warm skin against his own, for the fragrance of Sam’s hair. But he isn’t sure if Sam will tolerate his touch at the moment. ‘I’m sorry,’ he says quietly, getting to his feet.



Sam stays in the parked car for a long time, reading his book by the light of his pocket flashlight. (Dean has been meaning to buy him a book light for a while now. It always slips his mind. Just another way in which he hasn’t been able to do something small, seemingly insignificant, that would make Sam happy.)

Dean alternates between pacing the room and sitting by the window. The only thing that reassures him is the glow of Sam’s flashlight through the car’s window, telling him that Sam hasn’t left, that he’s safe. For the moment.

He takes his eyes off the car for one minute to use the washroom, and the car is dark when he returns.

Fighting the impulse to run after Sam, he sits down on the edge of the bed and takes several deep breaths. Clearly, Sam is not going to appreciate being spied on 24/7. He needs his space; he could not have made that any clearer.

It doesn’t make things any easier for Dean.



It’s only about twenty minutes before Sam gets back, letting himself quietly into the room. He’s holding a bag that smells of burgers.

‘I come bearing food,’ he says, holding up the paper bag with a small smile. Neither of them had eaten properly with the argument earlier.

‘Come here,’ Dean says, opening his arms. He doesn’t stand up; he’s not sure if his knees, weak with relief at the sight of Sam safe and whole, will hold him up. ‘I need to hold you.’

‘I’m fine,’ Sam says shortly.

‘I’m not.’

Sam’s head lifts at that, his eyes wide with surprise. He comes over immediately. ‘Sorry, sorry. I didn’t realize.’

He sets the bag on the table and slides into Dean’s arms, standing between his legs and bending to kiss him, his hair spilling over their faces.

They’ve always been better at this than talking.

Dean holds on tight as they kiss long and hard, Sam’s lips still tasting of his gloss, strawberry-sweet and utterly irresistible.

‘You’re shaking,’ Sam says gently as they pull apart to breathe, taking Dean’s face in his hands.

There’s about a million things Dean could say about how it affects him when Sam takes off without a word, but he knows he needs to do better by Sam, show him that he trusts him. He settles for taking one of Sam’s hands and pressing a kiss to his palm.

‘Love you. So fucking much,’ he says, his voice muffled against Sam’s skin. They don’t say the words much, not out loud, but he has no other words at the moment.

‘Jerk,’ Sam says, soft. He curls his fingers into Dean’s hair.

Dean knows the response Sam is looking for, but he can’t bring himself to say the word, not when Dad has used it so recently, made it sound dirty and wrong.

‘Not gonna say it?’ Sam asks, teasing now.

Dean just shakes his head, looking away.

As always, Sam knows exactly what he’s thinking. ‘Don’t let him ruin this for us, Dean. He doesn’t get us. He never has.’

He sighs when Dean doesn’t answer, putting his hands on Dean’s shoulders and pushing him back against the pillows.

Dean goes easily, wrapping his arms loosely around Sam and letting Sam do whatever he wants. Sam begins by straddling Dean’s hips and nuzzling his face, pressing feather-light kisses on Dean’s forehead, his cheeks, his nose, his jaw.

Dean’s lips part on a silent gasp when Sam starts nibbling on his neck. ‘Want you,’ Sam says between light nips of his teeth, worrying at Dean’s tender skin.

‘You have me,’ Dean promises, back arching as Sam settles his weight on Dean’s crotch, wriggling a bit to get him harder.

‘Show me,’ Sam says against his mouth, and kisses him fiercely. Without breaking the kiss, he grabs one of Dean’s hands and guides it to his ass, pushing back against him.

Dean cups and squeezes his ass as they kiss and kiss, rolling them over until Sam is writhing under him with his legs wrapped around Dean’s waist, his hair spread over the pillow.

‘So fucking beautiful,’ Dean says, fisting a hand in Sam’s wild hair and dipping his head to plunder Sam’s mouth.

‘Just like that,’ Sam says, gasping, his nails digging into Dean’s back through his shirt.

‘Oh no, you don’t.’ Dean pulls back, preventing Sam from rutting up against him.

‘Wanna come, you jackass,’ Sam says, reaching for him with both hands.

Dean grabs his wrists. ‘Do I have to tie you up?’

‘Yes, please,’ Sam says with a grin.

‘Kinky little bastard,’ Dean says, pushing Sam’s hands over his head. ‘Keep them there, or I won’t let you come.’

‘You will,’ Sam says, confident. Dean loves this about him: how much he trusts them, their chemistry, to be good even when nothing else is. It may just be their biology, the magnetic pull between alphas and omegas, but Dean secretly believes Sam when his little brother insists that it’s more than that between them. That they’re meant to be, that no one else can give either of them what they give each other.

‘Brat.’ Dean reaches for Sam’s jeans, flicking open the button and yanking them down along with Sam’s underwear in one practised movement.

Sam groans in approval and spreads his legs immediately, baring his sweet little hole, already glistening with his arousal.

And this? Dean knows how to do this, how to pleasure Sam and give him exactly what his body desires, even if Sam is mad at him. This is something they can always do, something that Dean counts on every time to bring Sam back to him. (Sam laughs at him and tells him to give himself a little more credit.)

Dean pushes his legs further apart and settles between them. ‘Hope you’re comfortable,’ he says, kissing Sam’s hole. ‘’Cause you’re gonna stay like this a good long time.’

Sam cries out as Dean licks his hole lightly, circling the tip of his tongue in slow, teasing movements, grasping Sam’s cheeks and holding him open, encouraging him to thrust up against Dean’s mouth.

He eats Sam out for long minutes, loving the fucked-out sounds Sam makes as he writhes on Dean’s tongue, fucking himself with abandon, his wrists crossed obediently over his head, his legs over Dean’s shoulders, spread wide.

‘So good for me,’ Dean says against his hole before stabbing his tongue back inside. Sam comes with a sob, his cock untouched. Dean tongue-fucks him through his orgasm, stopping only when Sam shudders under him and pushes weakly at his head, over-sensitive.

Dean slides up his body and kisses him gently, letting him taste himself in Dean’s mouth. Sam reaches for his cock while they kiss. ‘Wanna make you come too,’ he says, cupping him through his jeans.

‘All in good time,’ Dean says. ‘After all, you did say you wanted to be tied up.’

‘You,’ Sam says, kissing him fervently, ‘are the fucking best.’

He comes several minutes later, thrusting between Sam’s bound thighs while Sam encourages him with sweetly filthy words and desperate moans, humping the pillow under his cock as their fingers tangle desperately together, Dean’s mouth pressed to Sam’s cheek.



Later, after they’ve cleaned up and eaten their burgers—cold but still delicious—and gotten into bed, Dean wraps Sam up in his arms and holds him close. His head is full of things he’s never going to say aloud to Sam: how he doesn’t know how he got lucky enough to be given this again and again, how it’s nothing short of a miracle that Sam keeps coming back to him, again and again.

‘You’re a little quiet,’ Sam observes, his fingertips idly tracing patterns on Dean’s chest.

‘Thought you were leaving me,’ Dean says, voice muffled in Sam’s hair. ‘When you went to get the food.’

Sam lifts his head, his eyes sympathetic. ‘I’m sorry. That was mean of me.’ He shifts impossibly closer, his soft, gorgeous skin pressed up against Dean’s, smelling of Dean, belonging to him as much as Dean belongs to Sam, with Sam.

Dean shakes his head, lifting his hand to brush Sam’s hair out of his eyes. ‘You don’t have to be sorry, kiddo. I—I should’ve been more understanding, earlier. When Dad… you know. I just… I feel bad for the guy sometimes, right? He means well.’

‘Yeah, well, he’s mostly an asshole.’

‘Let’s not talk about him right now, okay? Pretend it’s just you and me, just for tonight.’

‘So romantic,’ Sam says with a grin. He slides his fingers into Dean’s hair, the grin softening a little. ‘I’m not gonna leave you, Dean. I’m not gonna hurt you like that. And besides, we’ll always be brothers.’

‘Is that what you’d prefer?’ Dean asks, soft.

Sam shakes his head.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Of course I’m sure, you jerk.’

‘Then I want a proper ceremony.’

‘What?’ Sam says, confused.

‘You heard me,’ Dean says. ‘I wanna marry you, Sam. Properly. You wearing white, flowers in your hair, some priest dude marrying us, the whole shebang.’

Sam stares at him. ‘Have you gone nuts?’

‘I’m serious. We’ll write our own vows and everything. All that progressive shit you like.’

‘You just ruined the effect by calling it shit, but whatever.’ Sam looks like he’s struggling not to smile, and Dean counts it as a win.

He can see it now: Dad’s fuming disapproval, the vein in his forehead popping with frustration as he rages at Dean for ruining his little brother, for doing wrong by him, for depriving him of a normal life with a normal alpha and forcing him into a mateship with his fucked up older brother.

But he can also see this: Sam’s happiness, Sam’s relief at Dean finally understanding that this is it, that they are it for each other; that there’s no normal, not for them, that this thing between them, however fucked up it may seem to anyone but them, is their ‘normal’.

And he knows this: no matter how much Dad or anyone else disapproves, if Sam is happy, then Dean can trust that he’s doing the right thing.

Now all he needs is a ring, and he’ll propose properly.