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You Were the Best I'd Ever Had

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//**//**//

“Dean!”

His head hurts and his back feels like it’s on fire. The monster got him, he knows that much. Just before he goes under, he hears Sam yell his name again, then everything goes black,

//**//**//

He comes to in the car. It’s dark. Rain streaks the windows. The car’s moving fast.

“Sam...” His voice sounds hoarse. His throat hurts.

“It’s okay, Dean.” Sam’s big hand reaches out, spread wide, almost touching him, like he’s trying to keep Dean from pitching forward. “We’re almost there. Just hang in there, okay? You’re gonna be fine.”

Which is how Dean knows he’s in really bad shape.

Liar, he thinks as he passes out again.

//**//**//

Sam’s panting. He’s got Dean in a fireman’s carry over his shoulder. The ground swings back and forth under Sam’s long legs. One of Dean’s arms is held immobile by the wrist, Sam’s warm fingers holding tight. It’s dark. Quiet. Cold.

Dean tries to raise his head and needles pierce his vision. Spots explode behind his eyelids.

Blackness engulfs him.

//**//**//

Sam’s voice drones on and on in Latin. One flame flickers, then another. The stabbing pain behind Dean’s eyeballs gives way to a throbbing in the back of his head. His eyelids are too heavy to open. His throat’s closed. The muscles of his jaw seem frozen. He’s paralyzed from the waist down. Can’t feel his legs or his toes.

It occurs to him that he isn’t breathing. He’s not even sure his heart’s beating. It should be pounding. He focuses on lifting his middle finger on the off-chance that Sam’s looking, but he can’t even do that.

As the truth hits him, he starts to panic. He’s alive inside his own dead body. Sam’s not gonna know because there’s no way Dean can show him. Sam’s gonna burn him or bury him and Dean’s gonna be conscious for the whole thing.

He gasps and his eyes fly open.

“Dean!”

Dean turns his head. Sam’s kneeling on the floor next to him, his face alight with sudden joy. The room is dark except for the flickering of candles. Cold. Dean smells the sharp, coppery tang of blood, burnt rubber, candle wax, and sulfur. He hears rain on the roof.

“What the hell?” he starts to say, but his throat’s still sore so he croaks instead. He sucks in deep lungfuls of air, relieved to be able to breathe again. He moves his arms, his legs, wiggles his toes and fingers. Everything feels stiff. He rolls onto his side, tries to push himself to sitting.

“Whoa, whoa, hey, hey.” Sam’s right there, one hand on his arm, the other on his neck.

Checking his pulse. Dean would do the same if Sam was injured.

He’s lying on the floor, in the middle of a circle of candles, a bowl of something that looks like blood beside him. Sam was kneeling in front of a bowl of blood, just outside the circle of candles. Which means...

“What happened? Sam? What did you do?”

He remembers the monster jumping him, clawing deep into his back, powerful jaws sinking into his neck, shaking him like a rag doll as he screamed in agony.

He twists around, grabbing onto his own shoulder. His back should be a shredded mess. His neck should be covered in blood.

His clothes are shredded, all right, just as he suspected. They’re stiff with dried blood, but there’s no open wound. He touches his neck, finds the wound there gone as well. The blood’s been wiped away.

He stares into Sam’s eyes, sees the recent grief there. Sam’s got a beard that’s at least a day old. Just over Sam’s shoulder, a body lies motionless in the corner.

Dean grabs the front of Sam’s shirt. “What did you do, Sam?”

Sam’s eyes film over with tears. His hands are shaking as they hold onto Dean.

“You weren’t gonna make it to the hospital, Dean,” he says. “They couldn’t fix you anyway. You were bleeding out. Poisoned. The rakshasa got you good.”

“What. Did. You. Do.”

Sam shakes his head a little, smiles just enough to show his dimples. Apologetic. “I couldn’t lose you. Not after everything. Not when we just...Not now.”

Dean’s mind flashes back to the night before, to smooth tan skin and soft moans, to Sam’s body moving with his in an erotic dance that had been years in the making, giving in to something they had both wanted since they were kids but never had the courage to admit.

Not last night. Probably two or three nights ago now.

“So you made a deal,” Dean growls, shaking Sam, choking back his fear with anger. “You found a crossroads and you sold your soul.”

“No! No! It’s one of Rowena’s spells. I summoned a demon, used his blood. I wasn’t sure it’d work.”

Dean frowns. “Rowena’s spell? The one to raise the dead? But I thought you’d already used it to bring Eileen back. I thought it was a one-time deal.”

Sam shakes his head. “I tweaked it. Like I said, I wasn’t sure it would work...”

“You tweaked it? What the hell, Sam? Are you literally a witch now? Don’t answer that.”

He lets go of Sam, starts to push himself to his feet again. His muscles are still stiff and his clothes reek. He needs a shower.

Sam helps him up and Dean shrugs him off, irritated for reasons he can’t explain, even to himself. He hates the idea of Sam inheriting Rowena’s spells, her abilities. And maybe he’s a little jealous. She might be dead, but Rowena’s still got power over Sam, and that’s infuriating.

“I’m not a witch,” Sam says, letting Dean go with obvious reluctance.

“Where the hell are we?” Dean paces around the rooom.

“Wichita,” Sam answers. “Safe house Dad used a couple of times when we were little.”

Dean takes a look at the body on the floor. White male, mid-thirties. “Who’s the stiff?”

“Glen Ellman,” Sam answers. “Former x-ray technician. Demon rode him hard, broke his neck as I was bleeding him.”

“So he wasn’t dead yet,” Dean clarifies. “Innocent guy was still on board when you summoned the demon.”

Sam shakes his head. “He took a fall off the hospital roof yesterday,” he explains. “Wouldn’t have survived without the demon.”

“Huh.” Dean looks up, skeptical. “Pretty specific.”

“I was careful to summon a demon with a dead or dying host on purpose, Dean,” Sam assures him. “I’m not an idiot.”

Dean’s impressed but he’s damned if he’ll let Sam see it. “Never said you were.”

The house has a kitchen, a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, and a bathroom with running water. There are cans of chili and soup in the kitchen cupboards.

“No heat,” Dean notes. “You check the furnace in the basement?”

Sam scoffs. “I’ve been a little busy the last couple of days.”

“Yeah.” Dean can’t meet Sam’s eyes. “How long was I... out?”

“You died almost two days ago,” Sam snaps, blunt, stubborn.

“And in that time, I’m guessing you tried a few things,” Dean growls, hiding his terror behind more anger.

“You could say that,” Sam agrees. “The first couple of spells didn’t work. The first demon I summoned figured out what I was trying to do and smoked out. I couldn’t get Cas to answer my prayers. Or my texts.”

“Why does that not surprise me?” Dean mutters.

“Dean, you died,” Sam says. “And I did what I had to bring you back without selling my soul or making some deal with God or Lucifer or Death or anybody. The world’s not ending. We’re not on the line for anything this time. Can’t we just take the win for once?”

“We’re always on the line. Every time!” Dean snaps. “What you did was black magic, Sam! An innocent man is dead!”

Sam shakes his head. “The demon had already killed him,” he says, stubborn. “I made sure of that. I didn’t kill him.”

“You should’ve tried to save him, Sam, not use him!”

“I’m not gonna apologize for bringing you back, Dean,” Sam insists. “Not when nobody had to die to do it. It’s not like that time back in Nebraska. I’ve got real skill now.”

“Yeah, you’ve got something, all right,” Dean gripes.

Without warning, Sam grabs him, shoves him up against the wall.

“You died, Dean! You died and left me alone for two whole days! Don’t tell me you don’t know how that feels!”

Dean blinks up at his brother, at the fear and desperation in his beautiful slanted eyes, the panic and grief in his gaunt features. He smells like incense and blood and old sweat, and it turns Dean on so fast he gasps.

“Okay, I won’t,” he pants. “I — “

Sam’s mouth slams down over Dean’s, shutting him up. Sam shoves a leg up between Dean’s, rubbing against his suddenly rock-hard dick, and all bets are off. Dean’s wanted this for too long. Getting it still feels like a dream, like all the years of jerk-off fantasies he let himself have as consolation prizes for the real thing, for giving up hope of ever really having it long ago.

It’s so new Dean’s still afraid of losing it. He can’t believe Sam really wants it as much as Dean does.

Of course it started because of a woman. When Sam brought Eileen back from the dead, Dean couldn’t help the jealousy that flared in his chest, the snarky comments that flowed from his mouth.

Sam tolerated it for a few hours, confusion furrowing his brow, as if Dean’s reaction to Eileen’s resurrection was a puzzle he needed to work out. Dean talked himself into believing that Sam wanted Eileen, had probably always wanted her. She fulfilled Sam’s fantasy of having a mate who was a hunter, the fantasy Sam had shared with Dean on more than one occasion. It always gave Dean fits to hear it, but he told himself that Sam deserved that, after everything he’d been through. Dean would do anything to give Sam that.

But when the reality of that outcome was suddenly occupying a guest room in the bunker, Dean couldn’t take it.

“I’m going out,” he announced to Sam after finding them cooking breakfast together in the kitchen. “I need to clear my head.”

Which is when Sam pushed him up against the wall and laid one on him, kissed him so hard and so thoroughly he was a gasping, breathless mess when Sam finally let him up for air.

“You’re such an idiot,” Sam murmured before kissing him again. “It’s always been you, Dean. I choose you, damn it!”

They left poor Eileen in the kitchen with the cold food, stumbled down the hall into Sam’s room and shut the door. Dean’s pretty sure she wanted Sam — who wouldn’t? — but when she realized what was going on, she was gracious about it. Didn’t even seem surprised, which shocked him at first, but then he let it go.

After all, it didn’t really change anything. Fundamentally, they were still each other’s number one, which is all that mattered. Brothers and best friends and business partners with benefits.

They were on their way to Texas, leaving Eileen behind to search for God and Lilith, when they got pulled into this hunt at a truck-stop just outside Wellington. The rakshasa was disguised as an elementary school crossing-guard and had eaten three families in the little town before the Winchesters killed it.

But not before it fatally injured Dean.

He kisses Sam with all the desperation in his soul. He remembers exactly how it felt to lose his brother, all the stupid things he’s done to bring him back. The fact that Sam did this without apparent consequence makes him crazy, but he’s not looking a gift horse in the mouth while Sam’s kissing him like this. Not while Sam’s hands are all over him, tearing his ripped clothing off so he can clutch his newly-healed skin.

“Damn you, Dean,” Sam gasps as he shoves his hands into Dean’s jeans, fumbles with his belt. He rubs himself frantically against Dean’s erection as he sucks his earlobe, thrusts his tongue against the sensitive skin behind Dean’s ear.

“Fuck.” It’s all Dean can do to hold on as Sam gets their dicks free, wraps his massive hand around them, jacks them together. He tilts his head back against the wall as Sam sucks a line of bruising kisses down his neck, gasping mindlessly, coming so fast his head spins.

Sam bellows out his own orgasm as soon as he feels Dean’s. He sinks his teeth into the meat of Dean’s shoulder, breathing hard as he milks the last drops, wipes his hand on whatever’s left of Dean’s blood-crusted clothes.

“Dude!” Dean can barely breathe, much less muster any real indignation. His trembling legs threaten to give out beneath him. He’s grateful that Sam’s still holding him up against the wall, or he’s pretty sure he’d collapse in a puddle on the floor.

For half-naked, stand-up sex in a room full of blood, death and dust, it wasn’t half bad.

Who is he kidding? Grateful-to-be-alive sex with Sam is the best, hands down. He can’t figure out why they haven’t done it before.

“Okay, now I’m really gonna need that shower,” he says, because the last thing they need is tears. Lucky-to-be-alive tears are way too familiar, for both Winchesters.

Sam nods, sets him on his feet with a tug on his sticky, rumpled jeans. He busies himself pulling up his own jeans, deliberately not looking at Dean as he does it so that Dean can collect himself, pretend he’s still in control.

Sam knows him too well.

“Okay, okay.” Dean clears his throat. He’s damned if he’ll let what they just did get in the way of the job at hand. He’s still in charge, damn it. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna clean up that body, then we’re gonna get the furnace working so I can take a hot shower and you can put some food in your stomach, cuz I’m guessing it’s been a couple of days since you ate, am I right?”

“Been a little busy,” Sam grumbles.

The back yard turns out to be an ideal place to dispose of the body. It’s wooded and secluded, and the ground is soft and damp after the recent rainfall. It takes them a little less than an hour to bury the body, get the generator in the basement hooked up and running, and heat up some chili on the little electric hot plate. Dean makes sure Sam’s eating before he grabs his duffel from the car and heads into the bathroom for his shower. He tries not to think about the mess on the front seat of the Impala. Of course Sam wouldn’t have had time to clean it up, after Dean bled out all over it. It makes him crazy.

But first things first. Bury the body, feed Sam, clean up, in that order. Sam all clean, shaved and fed is too much for Dean to resist, so they fuck again later, in the bedroom this time, face to face. Dean can’t remember why he ever thought it wasn’t a good idea for Sam to bury himself deep inside Dean’s body. Dean wants to hold him there forever.

Sam falls asleep afterwards, and Dean lies next to him for a long time, watching his familiar features as the sun comes up. The warm sunlight makes Sam’s skin glow, makes him seem preternaturally beautiful, as if Sam was the one who just died and came back.

Maybe Sam knows a way to prevent his own death now, or maybe he can automatically resurrect the way Rowena could. Losing Sam will always be Dean’s worst fear, the one disaster from which he could never recover. Sam’s a part of him in every way now. God can’t have him.

Dean falls asleep vowing to fix the wound in Sam’s shoulder if it kills him.