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Bold-Blue Shadows of Dusk

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Sam waited for him across the road, watched him help unload gallon water bottles and box-trays of canned food inside.

Sorley nodded, wiped her hands on her jeans. "That's what I call good timing." She grinned, motioned him to the quiet desk that stood against the front window. Bright and sunshiny here, too, Sam still visible through warped glass.

Dean scoffed good-naturedly. "For you, maybe." He wrote a name that meant nothing on the line she indicated, paid cash, forty-dollars upfront for three nights. He'd left his prized possessions at the motel, crossed here because a neat, hand-printed note affixed to each room's door indicated Office--at other sign.

The only other sign Dean had found was on this place, same lettering Office--you found it, storefront long forgotten on a lonely highway that no longer saw traffic. Sorley lived in it, apartment and her studio upstairs, motel office and her small gallery right here. Dean had been about to knock when she'd pulled up in her truck, introduced herself with a smile and said if he was here about a room, she'd give him a discount if he was willing to do the heavy lifting.

Dean would have anyway, didn't breathe a word of that, but she looked at him with easy hazel eyes thick at the edges with sun-burnt crows feet, knew. She'd made small talk while she'd carried paper towels and toilet paper and a huge carton of maxi pads inside, dumped each with efficient care at the foot of the stair that led to the home part of her place. He'd hesitated at the first step, arms protesting the a triple-stack of soup and veggies and German potato salad. Sorley had said oh leave them, that's more than far enough.

She laughed and took his money, didn't count the mess of ones and fives, simply divided them, ones from fives, creased them deeply in the middle then folded them away into a drawer. "Well then, you got my meaning." She was red-headed, naturally, so it was bronze in the light and softly saffron in the shadow. She painted and took pictures, she'd explained, bought this place on a 99-year lease for a dollar and the willingness to do her own fix-its then suffer the consequences.

Dean wondered what she'd feel like. Her freckled skin, the crisp of her hair, scent between her legs. She was weathered and lived-in, and he reckoned her as quite the beauty some ten years ago. Still pretty now, just no longer fighting the gray that had taken the fire from her eyebrows or the thinness that'd overtaken her hips and hands.

"I'm not lonely." She smiled at him, eyes twinkling.

"Oh. Yeah I mean, I'm sure." Dean shrugged, cursed the blush that heated his neck and cheeks. He scuffed his hair with the heel of his hand and kicked the toe of his boot to the arch of the other. He didn't think what she was doing was a bad way to live, couldn't imagine him and Sam doing anything like it.

Sorley pointed at a photograph. It was nighttime, dense with stars. "Had everything wrong, here. Too fast on the shutter speed, moved while snapping it so got these little trails, even dust on the lens." She swirled her index finger around the fuzzy mote, huge and mysterious and infused with moonlight. "But you know, it's my favorite." She poked in another drawer and glanced across the road, through the blinding sun to where Sam leaned on the car. Her lips quirked and she nodded, then with a full, satisfied sigh pushed a key into Dean's hand. "Thanks again for the help."

"Thanks for the discount." Dean winked, sparkle of playful tingles jumping his arm when their fingers brushed. He didn't want her, not like that; when he imagined pussy and tongues and everything that followed it didn't last, had no heat, turned direction and had him staring at something cool and blank instead. He appreciated her, humor and grit and uncaring, nice and comfortable in herself without being overbearing. The kind of person people like him collected along the way, could without remorse leave behind, and were glad for.

He figured she was busy collecting him right back.

"If y'all have time, there's more than just my shop. Lots of us here, dotting the roadways. I drew a little map." Sorley snagged one from a pile on the desk, held it for Dean to take, didn't give him a choice. "Peek makes sculptures out of old car chrome. Thinking that might just be your style."

Dean had the grace and self-awareness to chuckle, curled the map in his hand around the room key. "We'll see."

"If you're here for the haunting, hmm, best of luck with that, too."

He stared at her, harder than he meant, but she just waved him away.

"What, like you'd be the first to come tramp about old stones in old hills and poke at old bones, just to see if it's real?" Sorley followed him out and leaned in the doorway, waved at Sam then watched Dean go. "S'why I ended up here. You can do one better and not decide to stay." She lifted her chin towards the sky and her eyes narrowed, but not unkindly. "Gonna be a good sunset tonight. Fires in California all but guarantee it. Sleep well--call me if your room needs anything."

Dean waved, and Sam waved, then Sorley waved again. She went inside but didn't close the door, started to shuffle her monthly haul without going up the stairs. It was brighter and hotter even than when he'd ventured over, so sweat started to itch his collar and the arms of his t-shirt.

He liked and hated places like this, sparse on population and those that were here not giving a damn about your reasons why, just happy for a moment's time spent and to wish you well on your way.

Sam laughed at him when he came even and Dean shook his head. "Shut up."

It was the middle of the day and he was exhausted. Sam probably thought he'd been flirting, even here, even with her. Dean shouldered them into their room and opened the windows wide, front and back, left the curtains closed. He had flirted with her, a little, why not and ingrained habits and her deserving it a lump of reasons unwinding in his head. It'd be cold once the sun went down, and in the darkened room it didn't feel hot. Would be a waste to turn on the a/c. Suffocating, too.

Sam dropped their bags on the floor and snorted, pushed the door closed with a foot.

"What?" Dean turned into the room, had made it to the far side without paying any attention. There was one bed, and it was huge, dominated the space, looked sinfully comfortable and cool with its piles of pillows and turned-down layers of white on white.

He rubbed his face with his hands and tossed the key onto the tabletop under the back window, decided he didn't care. All the furniture was ponderosa pine, the walls sage green, bare hardwood floor, longhorn skull over the bed and elsewise, photographs of abandoned gas stations. Dean reminded himself of her admonishment, and he'd never let himself get too attached to liking a place, anyway. "Whatever, dude. I'm gonna quick shower then sleep. You good?"

Sam was blushing, the dork, had started to fiddle with their bags and his laptop and their piles of research all at once. Dean snickered and toed out of his boots then snaked from his t-shirt as he walked into the bathroom.

He was good to his word and the shower felt better. Lukewarm with great pressure and this place was endlessly quiet. Not silent--nothing and nowhere was ever silent--but even over the thrum of the water he could hear Sam's movements, could hear the wind rustle and wend around their room, could hear some goddamn folksy rock crap that had to be Sorley's, tickling the same breeze.

Nothing was louder when he turned the shower off, only clearer. He dried and actually hung the towel back on the bar, then carelessly stretched into boxers and the first shirt he pulled from his bag. He crawled onto the bed and couldn't keep from grinning at how huge it was.

"How long do you wanna sleep?" Sam was perched on the far side of the bed, laptop on the side table, a book split open and engulfed in his hands.

"However long you're gonna."

Sam smiled wryly. "Yeah? What says I wanna sleep?"

"That you're sleepy," Dean said in his best know-it-all tone. Sam didn't argue it. He dove into the pillows and blankets and sighed blissfully. They were airy and fluffy and promised to surround them, warmth kept serenely close, once night overcame.

He'd driven the better part of sixteen hours to get them here. The haunting was old, well-established, and was very likely no threat to them and would make for easy pickings. Dean had let Sam simply be, riding along, pretended to jones hard for this job because he knew Sam needed a break. Understood they both did.

It wouldn't take them three days to smoke the fuckers, if they had to at all. He was already considering paying Sorley to stay out the whole week.

The bed shifted and groaned--maybe that was Sam, groaning--and Dean didn't have to wriggle anywhere to make room. He thought about how huge the bed was, how awesome that made it, and the wind picked up as he fell asleep.

He woke to Sam's body tight against his, breath harsh in his ear and hands stiff almost-touching his sides. Dean didn't even think about it, saw through warped glass across a forgotten road, Sam, standing there waiting. Everything he cared about, everything he was.

Dean opened his mouth and let Sam in, chased with bites and licks of his own. They tangled in the sheets and the top blanket slithered away, bold-blue shadows of dusk showing him Sam in inky washes with vibrant undercurrents. They'd missed the sunset, and Sam's slow flavor and limbs told Dean that they'd both slept it right through.

They rolled, one on top, the other on top, jostled then agreed to lay together on their sides, arms and legs and static-sparks entwined. Sam shuddered and tried to press into him, curl smaller than his embrace, and Dean made himself bigger, made it so Sam could get lost and hold on.

He kissed Sam's brow, furrowed in concentration and want, reminding him of them working diligently on a given task to earn some small reward. He kissed behind Sam's ear, swept his tongue after his kisses, reminded himself not to forgot that this was a spot that made Sam whimper and whine and knuckle into his skin. He kissed Sam's throat, bites and deeper bites, would remind him for weeks as they faded of when they finally did this, came together, finally gave in.

Dean felt flyaway, anchored, impossibly content. He should want to outpace this, for so many reasons, could only grind firmer into the cradle of Sam's pelvis and grin.

Sam grasped his hips and Dean lifted his leg, hands frantic and sure as snaps shucked and sweaty cotton was bunched aside. All of Dean's muscles straightened in shock and pleasure at the first so hot tip-touch of their cocks, then Sam breathed his name--a roar--and he contracted in again, closer than ever.

They barely moved, didn't want anything taken away from the other or to be denied, just rutted and kissed, urgent and sloppy, Dean's knee in Sam's armpit and Sam's fingers bruising his ass.

He let go when Sam did, when he felt Sam's sweet tension uncoil. He came so hard and fully that he couldn't make a sound, just gripped Sam's shoulders and ached as he forced his way past desperate breaths. Sam grunted, burrowed into him, and Dean smiled. They lay in the middle of the huge bed, loosey-goosey wrapped all around, and he didn't let them worry or wonder. Kissed away Sam's murmurs, ran his fingers in Sam's hair to calm his own.

The curtains lofted as they took in air and Dean blinked at the world outside, gone dark and star-drenched. Sorley had moved on to Patsy Cline, low and perfect warbles that Dean had absolutely no problem with lilting on the wind, the only light in this place from her upstairs shining dully over her forgotten road and motel with only Sam and Dean inside.

"There's no job here."

Dean swallowed, winched Sam's long hair around and around a finger.

"I mean, the rumored haunting is bunk. Figured that out while you were showering." Sam tilted from Dean's arms and landed on the bed, dragged his hand back to front as he settled alongside. He stared over Dean's shoulder, pale ghost of the moon in his eyes. He didn't call Dean's pretenses out further, clearly didn't mind. "How many nights did you get us?"

"Three." Dean circled his thumb under Sam's eye, chased the moon and the crust from sweat and tears, exertion and relief, that had dried there.

Sam looked at him and smiled. "Think she's got vacancy for five?"

He glanced across the road again, thought he'd give Sorley fifty and tell her he and Sam could fix something, anything, or carry the water she'd left for the night upstairs for her. She'd know everything they'd done in here, everything they'd keep doing all the days that'd linger, think it was how they were and always had been. Really, she wouldn't be wrong.

"At least that." Dean grinned, lowered his thumb to tease Sam's lips, grin warming to a needy grimace at the sharp intake of breath and heated skin that pressed against his.