Dean doesn't know this, because Sam's never told him, but sometimes, Sam likes to fuck guys. He doesn't think Dean would freak out--Dean's pretty tolerant, has even been known to get his rant on after a couple of beers, bitching about the wrongness of the government sticking its nose into people's bedrooms and marriages. Dean keeps a running tally of illegal sex acts he's performed in states where things like blowjobs were still against the law up until a few years ago, and Sam's pretty sure Dean's done his share of experimenting, but it'd just be one more way Sam is different, and Sam is tired of being different, of having to work to fit in, first within his own family, and then at every school he's ever gone to, including Stanford, which for some reason he'd expected to be different.
He'd gotten over his shyness with girls once he was out of Dean's shadow, but he's always been a little awkward, a little self-conscious about his size--he'd gone from being a chubby twelve-year-old to a rail-thin beanpole at fourteen, with no real transition between awkward stages--always hunched over in defiance of Dad's command to stand up straight, Sammy, and always a little afraid of his own strength.
With guys, he doesn't feel so freaking huge, doesn't worry so much about the bite marks and the bruises, doesn't feel like he has to hold back or he's going to break them in half.
Once he and Jess got together, he hadn't really been interested in anyone else, so it hadn't mattered either way. And Jess had liked it a little rough sometimes, used to toss her hair over her shoulder and tease him: not everything has to be hearts and flowers, Sam. Sometimes I just want you to fuck me raw. It was one of the things he loved about her, how fearless she was, and how straightforward, how she'd always asked for what she wanted without making him play stupid games or punishing him when he'd guessed wrong.
He misses that, and her, so much sometimes, even now, though it's less like a burning ever-present pain and more like a slow ache in his bones when it rains, and he knows he's moving on, living instead of dreaming about the perfect life. He's wary of dreams now--they all seem to turn into nightmares. He thinks maybe he's ready to try something a little more solid, built around someone he can trust.
He's not in any position to think about settling down and having a relationship, but he's starting to think about getting laid again, about finding something other than his own right hand to fuck, but he looks at girls, and he sees Jess, dead on the ceiling above him, or Jo, her hand trapped beneath his, how she was just at eye level when he was sitting on a bar stool and she was standing, how she felt pressed in between him and the bar, soft and warm and tiny, so easy to break. How he'd almost broken her, how the demon inside him had wanted to. How she'd flinched away, as if she'd known.
And that makes him flinch now, makes him look at guys, instead, to think about broad chests and slim hips, and the hard, heavy length of someone else's dick in his hand or his mouth.
The problem, of course, is that when he thinks about guys, he's not really thinking about guys so much as he's thinking about Dean.
When he used to have those thoughts, before he left for Stanford, they were easy enough to dismiss, to hide. But now he and Dean are stuck together like glue, what with the demon, the feds, and half the hunting community gunning for them. And they've always been closer than maybe they should be, the only constants in the ever-changing world they grew up in, SamandDean, and DeanandSam, all in one breath like milk and cookies or Bonnie and Clyde. And Dean's watching him like a hawk now, waiting for him to go darkside, or maybe just afraid he's going to take off again, and he can't really blame Dean for that. It's not like he doesn't have a history of running away, of leaving, of coming back possessed and covered in someone else's blood.
He presses the heels of his hands to his eyes until he sees spots, tries to stop the vicious train of thought circling in his head.
"Hey, you okay?" Dean asks, tapping him on the knee. He leaves his hand there for a few seconds, squeezes lightly, warm and strong and more comforting than it should be. Sam stares down at it and swallows hard.
Another thing Dean doesn't know, and Sam's not ready to tell him: sometimes, when Dean's in his own little world pretending to be John Bonham, drumming along to "Moby Dick" for all he's worth on the steering wheel, Sam stares at Dean's hands--long, square fingers with blunt-cut nails that more often than not have dirt beneath them, because Dean's never been afraid to get his hands dirty, never held back when the job needs doing, and more often than not, it's a dirty job. There are freckles scattered across the backs of Dean's hands, and fine golden hairs that shimmer sometimes when the light hits them in a certain way. Sam's never seen Dean's hands shake--not when he's holding a gun, or a needle, or a kid who needs saving. Dean's hands are always steady and sure. Sam remembers the weight of them on his back, his neck, his forehead, pushing through his sweaty hair in the middle of the night, pulling him back from the nightmares, the words--It's all right, Sammy, it's just a nightmare--never mattering as much as the touches.
"Yeah," he says, because there's nothing else to say. Dean gives him a skeptical look, so he shrugs and says, "Just tired, I guess."
"We can call it a night early if you want. There's a Super 8 about twenty-five miles down the road. I've stayed there before."
Sam nods. Dean taps Sam's knee twice and puts his hand back on the steering wheel, oblivious.
The room is clean and warm, and the water pressure is stellar. Sam stands under the hot spray and jacks his cock, eyes closed and fantasy playing out in his head, not his own hands but Dean's stroking him, knowing exactly what he wants and needs, the way Dean always does. It's rough and fast and so much better than his own hand. He's disappointed when he opens his eyes and Dean isn't there, especially when he's so close by, and it's Dean's name he chokes back now when he comes.
Sometimes, Sam wonders what Dean would do if he told him. When he's got his hand shoved down into his boxers and jerking hard, he imagines Dean's eyes going wide, his mouth falling open, lower lip pink and glistening, and then they're kissing, hot and sloppy, all tongue and teeth and taste of home.
He squirms a little in the passenger seat, thinking about it, and Dean glances over, forehead creased with concern, so Sam just smiles like he's not thinking about bending Dean over the hood of the car and fucking him.
He shifts again, has to relieve the tightness in his jeans, thankful his jacket is covering his crotch.
He knows that's just a fantasy, though, and the reality would be more like Dean beating the crap out of him and calling him a freak. Which, okay, not that different from every other day, but this time the freak thing would be true. There was a time that would have bothered him, but that time is long gone. Normal is a million miles and twenty-three years past, and Sam's tired of reaching desperately for something he can never have, when what he's got looks to be all he needs.
Another motel room, this one done up like some kind of Hawaiian getaway, palm trees stenciled on the pink walls, grass green industrial carpeting on the floor, and the bathroom painted blue and beige and white like the beach.
Dean is restless, tired of being cooped up, of always worrying that they'll be recognized, and Sam can't blame him--Sam has his own nightmares of being trapped, of the walls closing in, cutting off all escape. It's just that for him, the walls were always more metaphorical, the trap bigger and harder to see coming.
Dean walks the three steps between the television and the bed, and barks, "What?"
"What?" Sam answers, startled, looking up at him from where he's sitting on the bed.
"Dude, you're staring at me. Again. You've been doing it for days. I realize I'm a lot nicer to look at than anything else you've seen lately, but it's kind of weirding me out now."
He's surprised Dean noticed, until he realizes he shouldn't be--Dean does watch him like a hawk, and he's so used to it he doesn't even notice anymore, notices more when Dean's attention is directed elsewhere and he wants it back, always wants to be the center of it, the way he is right now. Center stage, Dean's eyes narrowed and worried and focused, all on him.
Sam unfolds himself from the bed and stands right up in Dean's space--not that they have many boundaries, but it's usually Dean, not him, who crosses them--and stares down at him, finally letting everything he's been thinking and feeling and wanting show in his eyes.
Dean's eyes widen in response, reading him, knowing him, and it's like Dean's caught in a basilisk's glare or something--he doesn't move, doesn't step back, though he has to know what's coming when Sam leans in, just like he's been imagining every five minutes for the past three weeks, and on and off for years before that.
Dean's lips are soft and dry, his mouth wet and hot. He tastes of coffee and cinnamon gum and surprise, his soft gasp letting Sam in deeper. Sam's tongue feels thick and clumsy, and his hands are trembling almost imperceptibly when he cups Dean's face, thumbs sweeping over high wide cheekbones he'd be able to identify blind.
After that first startled instant, Dean kisses him back, and for a long moment, it's like his fantasies, but then Dean pulls away, shoves at him, fist already up and swinging.
"--the fuck?" he's saying as Sam stumbles back and barely blocks the punch.
Sam counters with a punch of his own, instinct maybe, but also a way to break the tension between them, giving them both permission to let loose. They go at it in a way they haven't since the night Dean broke into Sam's apartment in Palo Alto, sparring for real, no punches pulled, no weak spots left untested.
There's no way to put it without making it sound like it's about the size of his dick, but this is why he thinks of Dean, who knows him inside and out, knows when to press and when to back off, and when a sweeping leg kick will bring Sam down on top of him like a load of bricks because he doesn't roll away quickly enough. And now Sam's got him pinned, got all the advantages of height and weight and reach he never had when they were kids. He straddles Dean's hips and holds Dean's wrists in a bruising grip, the excitement of the fight almost outweighing the insistent buzz of desire thrumming under his skin.
They're both panting, and Dean's still wearing that wide, surprised look, but when he bucks up to throw Sam off, Sam can feel the warm, hard line of his dick against his inseam. Sam sucks in a hopeful, surprised breath of his own, and lets Dean's wrists go. He eases back to sit on Dean's knees, still trying to catch his breath.
"You--You--" He shakes his head, tries to find the words. "I'm not holding you down, man. You can get me off--" Dean snickers, and Sam can't really blame him. "Okay, poor choice of words. You can get free if you want." He leans forward again, slowly this time, giving Dean all the time in the world to take another swing at him, to fight loose. "You can stop me," he says, his mouth so close to Dean's that they're breathing each other's air. "If you really want to."
"Sam." Dean's voice is low, intent, a warning that sends a thrill down Sam's spine, the same tone that he uses to tell Sam to get down or to shoot when they're hunting. "We do this, there's no going back. You know that, right? No getting free. No running off for whatever stupid reason you come up with next time."
"Do you hear me, Sam?"
"I get it, Dean. All or nothing, same as everything else with you."
There's another long moment of staring, and then Dean shakes his head, shoves lightly at Sam's chest. "Yeah, that's what I thought. Lemme--"
Sam cuts him off with a kiss. It's not soft or tentative this time, but hot and hard, all thrusting tongue and sharp teeth, an answer to Dean's question, one he'll believe more than any words Sam could ever say.
Dean's fingers curl into Sam's t-shirt to hold him close, and his hips shift again, foot hooked around Sam's ankle to roll them over so he's on top, his other hand already flicking Sam's jeans open so he can reach in and jack his cock. No hesitation, no mercy--but then, Sam never expected any.
Dean's hand is steady as a rock, palm damp with sweat and, after a few quick strokes, with precome. Sam moans into his mouth, thrusts into his grip, better than a thousand fantasies, every nerve in his body sparking like live wires in the rain.
He manages to get Dean's jeans open, huffs a laugh at the way Dean's low growl turns into a high whine when he lines their dicks up, wraps his hand around Dean's, and starts thrusting, until they're both nothing but slick, hard flesh, need spiraling so high and tight Sam can't breathe, has to gulp down the air Dean breathes out when he's not running his lips and teeth along the sensitive skin of Sam's jaw and neck.
Everything goes white around the edges, and Sam feels the pressure build and then break, everything pouring out as he comes, spurting warm and wet over their hands and bellies and thighs, leaving him boneless and satisfied on the rough motel carpeting.
Dean grins down at him like he's won or something, and maybe he has; Sam's not really in any kind of shape to think coherently at the moment. Dean keeps moving, though, fingers twined with Sam's now and jacking hard down the length of his dick, quick twist at the top, staccato, huh huh huh of his breathing warm and moist against Sam's cheek, same rhythm as his heart. And then Dean's eyes flutter closed and he bites down hard on his lower lip, even white teeth sinking into swollen pink flesh. He comes with a low moan that sends another pleased shiver through Sam, who can't help but grin like an idiot that he's done this to Dean.
Dean rolls off him when he's done, wiping his sticky hands on his t-shirt and then rubbing his forearm over his sweaty forehead.
The silence is broken only by the kick and clank of the heater and the harsh sound of their breathing.
Sam turns his head to look at Dean, who's giving him that intense stare again.
Dean holds up a hand, palm out. "No talking."
"The great thing about fucking guys is you don't have to have a heart-to-heart afterwards. It's part of the guy code. Don't screw that up, or I might have to revoke your membership."
Sam wants to talk, wants to analyze and clarify and make sure. He knows he's let go of his last chance at normal, wants Dean to know he knows, and is okay with that. But there'll be time for that in the days, weeks, months to come, just him and Dean against the world, and when he thinks of it like that, maybe he doesn't need to talk at all.
"I was just gonna say, I think we should order in."
Dean laughs and thwaps him in the stomach, and for right now, Sam can believe everything is going to be all right.