Sam dropped his pack on the marble steps and nodded, resolute that tonight would be fine and this was no big deal. He had all he needed--snacks, a thick paperback, a freshly sharpened knife--and not like he hadn't made do with much worse.
He lowered to stretch under the statue, leaned on the curving wall out of sight at its base, appreciated that the weather here never got too terrible and that this out of the way monument always seemed left-alone and safe enough, relatively quiet. He pretended the angel kept watch, part of what made this place so serene, palmed his knife against his thigh.
This was his second night, and last night had been no big deal either. No one had bothered him, and he knew part of that was because Winchesters understood how to disappear in plain sight. A beat cop had walked past and offered no reaction, then later a couple had sat at the far side of the ring and talked lowly, made him mildly uncomfortable when they'd started to giggle, neck and grope, but he'd shoved onto his other side and closed his eyes, had closed out the world, had even managed to catch some sleep.
Stanford was on its holiday break, and Sam was adrift. Freshman year hadn't overwhelmed him; he'd done well in his first semester and knew in his heart he was going to be okay. But he didn't have anything else, nothing but books and musty stacks and the refuge of classrooms, a narrow bed on his spartan side of the dorm room. Without actual school, he was anchorless. He hadn't qualified for dispensation to stay in the dorms over the holidays, because he didn't have work-study hours and he'd refused to apply under special circumstances. There'd be no one to contact, and the school would have tried to pressure him to find family or even a friend to share and enjoy this time with instead.
Fuck that. As if.
He shivered and hunkered further in his jacket, tucked his hands into his armpits when he crossed his arms. Sam had enough money squirreled away for a motel room a few nights a week, maybe less. Definitely not more because he refused to burn through it on a bed and a ceiling when it'd taken him so long to save. He'd only go when it rained or showering became a necessity; he hoped being able to stay here otherwise held, because he liked it here.
Staying out here instead of someone's home was better. Charity was far colder, and not like he and his roommate were friends, not like he wanted to choke down Thanksgiving dinner past murmurs and pity and feeling, being, the non-fit in a place he'd never belong.
It's not he'd have told anyone, anyway. He wasn't sure he was ready for people to know him, yet.
Sam started near out of his skin when his shoulders were taken in a sure hold, and it pissed him off that he'd been so easily stalked and snared. He growled, on instinct flicked his knife to the person's throat, but Dean only laughed.
Dean laughed. Warm but tired and short.
Sam dropped the knife, went wide-eyed and the dim lights bathing the stone circle seemed harsh and over-bright, all of him suddenly nerveless and shaking, and Dean grappled him to stand.
"Get moving, Sammy. It's supposed to rain tonight."
He gaped, tried to form words-- a retort, how how how, why-- anything.
Dean rolled his eyes and snagged Sam's knife, hefted his pack it onto a shoulder. "I got us a room and I have at least a week, and I really don't want to get soaked waiting for your slow ass. Now, c'mon." Gave him a long look that said, been searching, sorry about last night, you know I ain't gonna spill more.
Sam followed, of course he followed, felt sluggish and going so fast everything warped and blurred without full texture, meaning or sound. It was so familiar, so achingly perfectly as it'd always been before--allowing Dean to lead, sinking into the car with a grateful, strange sigh, listening to the road and tires thrum them just-somewhere-else, impermanent but acceptably right.
Dean didn't talk or act like anything in particular, and Sam let the silence drag, didn't want for anything beyond them easing into a 70's throwback roadside that probably rented rooms on the hour, depending. He swallowed when they stopped, was afraid if he got out he'd wake, the angel's remote serenity mocking him, but the engine clicked and Dean's door creaked and when Sam stretched and got out, everything remained.
He stood outside the open room for a moment, hesitated. Should he offer to help pay for this? Was Dad angry and looking for Dean? Was Dean angry for having to deal with the prodigal son, did Dad even think about this absence -- his or Dean's -- at all.
Dean stripped down in front of him, in front of the parking lot and passing road, without care. Sam smiled, stepped inside, closed them in. Safe, quiet, absolutely. He followed that, too, then in his boxers and tee crawled to flop onto the bed that Dad would have picked, nearly overwhelmed with weariness and the reality of all this hitting him to churn hotly in his gut. He'd run, he was gone, but Dean was here.
Even if just for now, these weeks, Dean was here. Anyway.
"Sammy." Dean peeled back the blankets on the other bed, on the bed they'd have if it was like it used to be.
The one next to the bathroom, somewhat sheltered from where Dad would sit scribbling in his journal leaned on the headboard not watching the tv.
Sam blinked, rolled onto a shoulder. Dean shook his head, smiled, sagged into the bed and the blankets then sunk onto his back, left his arm outstretched, patted the mattress.
"Oh." Sam laughed that he'd said it aloud, dared Dean to laugh too as he scooted the short distance between the beds and curved into Dean's body, and soon as their skin touched the crazy slow-rush haziness cleared, released him, and he unashamedly buried his face in Dean's neck.
Dean pulled away enough to rest against Sam's forehead, rubbed their noses together. "You good, Sammy?"
There was so much they wouldn't say or discuss or acknowledge, and Sam understood there was so much more that they were that'd never require words. He should probably say thank you, ask what they'd do and did Dean want to see anything special, what could Sam show Dean and prove and share, could he fuck Dean tomorrow when they woke if Dean promised to fuck him to sleep tomorrow night and could they keep doing that, anything more, until Dean had to leave. But he only nodded, tugged and shifted until Dean was covering him over, their legs slotted one, the other, one, the other.
Heat suffused when Dean pulled him closer, pleasure and undeniable gladness sluicing to rush his veins and swirl in his limbs and tease his cock, and he gave without hesitation as Dean kissed him breathless.
Yes, he thought. Yes. Whatever else them here, like this, together yes.
Then Dean nodded back, answered Sam's yes. Yes, too. Looped them more comfortably tucked in, and Sam couldn't help but grin and almost cry, fought to stay awake so he could he feel Dean relax, let go then fall asleep.