Sam wakes in the middle of the night and lurches upright, clutching his chest, as a lightning bolt of terror makes it’s way through the entirety of his body. The sheets are wet beneath him and his heart is hammering so fast, that he feels like he can’t breathe. And the more he tries to regain his breath, the further it seems to escape him.
Sam tries to focus on the fuzzy alarm clock numbers, but his eyes only scream with protest. He crawls out of bed and stands up, looking dazed in the middle of his bedroom. Carding shaky fingers through his damp hair, he catches his reflection in the mirror above his dresser. He couldn’t make out the time, but he can see that he looks like shit.
Standing before the mirror, Sam looks at himself and puts a hand over his heart, mentally willing it to slow down. It takes a few minutes, but he’s successful. He takes a deep breath and nods to himself in the mirror as he feels the panic leave his body.
‘You’re okay,’ he thinks to himself and tries to mean it. ‘You are--you’re okay.’
He gives himself another good look in the eyes and they are hazel and clear and everything that is his. The images from his nightmares flash through his head--of black eyes, of fire and smoke, of bodies--so many bodies laying before him, and at the end of all of it is Dean--on his knees. Dean on his knees, his head bowed and a bloodied knife in his hand, the bodies around them, clearly an offering to him. And then Dean looks up and something about the look on Dean’s face terrifies him enough to lurch him into a full scale panic that always jars him awake.
Sam looks into the mirror again, leaning closer, making sure the sunflower hue of his eyes are truly reflecting back at him and not those horrifyingly empty black eyes. He waits, blinks, opens his eyes and tilts his head. Still the same. For the first time since he woke up, he feels a small tremor of calm trickle down his spine and he greets it warmly with a dry swallow of his throat.
Throwing on a wrinkled t-shirt that he plucked from the floor, he turns and looks at the mess that is his bed and decides that sleep is not his friend, but that coffee is indeed his friend. Maybe if he drinks at least four pots he can convince his body that he feels a whole hell of a lot better than he looks. There’s obviously not enough coffee in this world to wipe away the bags of sleepless nights from under his eyes, but damn it if he wasn’t going to try.
Heading for the kitchen, he stops outside of Dean’s door and touches the door knob. He feels his chest constrict with pent up emotions and immediately lets go of the knob and paces himself slowly down the hallway. His shuffling feet echo like drums as he walks, as though the bunker is eager to remind him that he is all alone. Even the beat of his heart is louder within these walls and when he tries to quiet it, it only gets more pronounced.
Sam pulls up the research he was doing from the night before on his laptop and mentally wills himself to not look at the date. But the numbers seemingly throb from the corner of his eyes and he is helpless to look. And when he does, his loudly thumping heart, sinks.
It’s been three fucking weeks since Dean vanished like a zombie from his room. Three weeks of looking around every corner and under every damn rock he could think of. There are no signs of his Brother and with every day that passes, the harder it gets to save face and pretend that he’s truly optimistic about the situation.
After all, it’s a little hard to be hopeful of the outcome of a dead Brother who vanished from his very room, without a trace--without a word.
Sam sips his coffee slowly and tries to forget the dreadful tickling thoughts in the back of his head. Instead, he scrolls through freshly written news articles and prays something hairy will show up on his radar. And he hopes it’s sooner rather than later.
Four days later, Sam thinks he’s found a lead in a couple towns over. A man fitting Dean’s description was reportedly causing havoc in a local bar and well, Sam knows it’s most likely a stretch, but he has nothing else to go on--so this is it.
He borrows an old jeep from the bunkers garage and hauls himself down the interstate. His foot presses eagerly into the accelerator, the almost happy panic that fills his body whole is edging on worrisome, as though his body will explode if he doesn’t get to his destination fast. Every nerve in him is focused on one thing and one thing only--finding Dean. Of seeing him and reassuring himself that Dean is okay, that they’ll both be okay.
They have to be.
And maybe the nightmares Sam’s been having, have caused him more sleep deprivation than he'd thought. Because he doesn’t make it but 10 miles down the road, when he starts to feel strange. Like there’s a pull in his brain, like a hand is in there and it’s pulling him somewhere else. And then he notices the music on the radio and how it seems to get further and further away, no matter the volume.
It happens slowly, the world around him going from bright and sunny, to severely overcast. A whisper in the back of his head tells him to relax, and without questioning it, he does.
The last thing Sam can coherently remember, is mile marker #48 slowly whirring by and then his entire world fades to nothing.
Dean stands before him, a satisfied look sitting across his lips. As though he’s been waiting for this moment, for a really long time. And well, it has been a long time--3 whole weeks in fact. But Dean looks like he’s waited longer, so much longer.
“Dean?” Sam calls out, not sure of what is happening or if it’s truly Dean he sees.
“Oh, it’s me , Sammy.” Dean chuckles as he answers a question that never left Sam’s lips. “And I’m better than ever. And soon, you will be, too.”
Dean looks at Sam and smiles. But the smile is wrong; it’s somehow misplaced.
Dean has smiled at Sam a hundred and two-million different times during the course of their lives, and this smile--this smile is dark and it’s twisted. It bears no resemblance to the one Sam’s always known. And this realization, pools a troubling thought at the deepest part of Sam’s stomach. It’s heavy and it’s ugly in it’s boldness. It clings to his stomach and festers like a rotting corpse. It’s a single terrible thought and it repeats endlessly within him-- ‘will he’ll ever see ‘His Dean’ smile again?’
“I brought you here, because we need to have a little chat.”
Sam follows Dean as he walks back and forth. A shadow seems to follow him as he walks and Sam can’t decide if he should be worried or not.
“Here?” Sam somehow manages through his traffic jammed thoughts.
“Consider this a dream,” Dean says and then winks. “A dream within a dream.”
“This, this is our true destiny, Sammy…” Dean seethes creepily, his eyes flashing black, his words echoing repeatedly around them. “It’s was right in front of us the entire time.”
Sam’s heart races as he tries to process Dean’s eyes and how they mirror the nightmares where he, too, has black eyes. It can’t be coincidence, but he shuts off the thoughts of it being something--because this, this is not their destiny. He’s not sure how Dean is the way he is, but he’ll fix him, there has to be a way--
“Sammy, stop.” Dean chides and offers a pitying look. “I don’t want to be fixed. But, I will fix you.”
“More like, see-to-it that you reach your full--” Dean stops and thinks for a second, before being satisfied with the word, “potential.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sam spits, confusion bubbling within him like a boiling pot of water. The entirety of his body tightening like a taut rubber band, as ‘Not Dean’ Dean circles him like a vulture.
A warm calloused hand cups the side of Sam’s face and Sam arches his body away involuntarily. No matter how much he’s missed his Brother, no matter how much he longs to feel that hand on every inch of his skin, he can’t bear this ‘thing’ charading as his Brother, to touch him.
Dean steps back and away and nods as though he understands, a sadness falling over him. And it’s strange how this ‘Not Dean’ Dean with his black eyes and his destiny speeches, can look so much like the Brother that Sam has always loved.
Sam’s brows furrow as he tries to really look at Dean and see if he can find the places he’s memorized with the back of his hands and the lick of his tongue. As though, if he looks long enough, he’ll find the cracks in the seams. That he’ll see where ‘Not Dean’ and ‘His Dean’ begin and end.
“I’m all here, Sammy.” Another answer to an unasked question.
“How are you doing that? Stop!” Sam shouts, suddenly more angry than he is scared. Annoyed that this ‘Not Dean’ Dean is such an intrusive asshole. “If you can read my mind, hear this--” Sam snarls as he tells Dean to fuck off over and over and over, in his mind.
“That’s not very nice, Sam.” Dean laughs with amusement and then lazily lifts his right hand to play with the amulet around his neck.
Sam watches Dean twirl the golden horned token between his index finger and his thumb, as though it’s giving him advice that Sam simply cannot hear. But then Dean lets it go to fall against his chest, tapping it meaningfully as he looks directly into Sam’s eyes.
“It was right here the entire time.”
Dean doesn’t say more, he just lets the silence envelope them whole for a few minutes. And the sound of nothing, sounds louder than any voice or noise Sam can ever remember hearing. It’s deafening and seemingly endless. It’s got the back of Sam’s neck covered in a thin sheen of sweat; has his leg bobbing anxiously as his fingers curl around the arms of the chair he sits in. There’s so many questions he wants to ask, but somehow he knows, there’s simply just not enough time to ask them.
Dean breaks the quiet air once again. Sam sighs with relief and tightens immediately when he feels his body try to relax.
“Sammy, it was right there,” Dean says again, this time more enthusiastically, as he waves his hands around the amulet suggestively. “All this time, it was right in front of us. We just never saw it.”
Sam doesn’t know what Dean’s talking about, so he stares dumbfoundingly in his direction and waits to be enlightened.
“You are our King and you will rise ---oh, Sammy--you will be an amazing King!!”
And before Sam can get the words ‘of hell?’ out of his mouth, Dean’s fingers are at his temple and suddenly he is overwhelmed by a million flashing images inside his head. Images so vivid and real, they’re like memories he’s never known he’s had; so real, they stimulate every sense he possesses.
(Yellow eyes. The taste of warm blood on the tongue. The scent of fire, of flesh burning, the sound of screams like a symphony on the most crooked of strings. The feeling of two arms carrying him, always carrying him. His mighty chariot, protecting him and loving him unconditionally--even the darkest parts of him. A love so real, he can taste it. It’s like the finest wine he’s ever had the privilege of drinking. Of a golden horned amulet that glows in his palm, a pendant that feels like home, one that mirrors the face he’s been seeing in his nightmares. The face in the nightmares, decorated with golden flecks of ash, a horned crown sitting upon his head and when he opens his eyes, they’re black--black as Dean’s. The amulet is in Dean’s hands, given to him by his own small hands. And then he feels his knees hit something hard and he looks up to see his Brother hovering above him with nothing but utter devotion in his eyes. And then he feels a thousand coursing lightning bolts swimming through his veins and he knows what it means because he sees the foot of his throne and he sees his feet besides his Brother’s in a sea of broken bodies, all in His name. He feels the mighty chant of His name on every crooked tongue that’s ever come to be-- ‘Boy King! Our King! Boy King!’. They bow, they all bow--even his Brother, whom he’s always bowed before. His own voice rings, he can feel it vibrate in his throat and he says, ‘ I am here. ’ )
When the images dissolve and his eyes put back the pieces of his Brother standing before him, his fingers still at his temple, he looks at the amulet hanging loosely between the both of them. He stares at it and manages to get some barely tangible, hiccuped pictures, of himself in gold. And he can’t help but wonder, was it all really right there this entire time?
Sam looks up and he is met with green eyes, the same hypnotizingly beautiful, green clover eyes he’s always known. And something inside of him wants everything to go back to normal, but something else, a strangely deranged part of himself, wants to accept the reality Dean had just shown him.
“I’ll find you, Sammy.” Dean whispers it tenderly and kisses Sam’s lips meaningfully.
And before Sam can digest the lips pressed hotly against his, or any number of the other things going through his mind, he is met with utter blackness once again.
Something hard and painful against Sam’s ribs, is what stirs him back to reality. When he opens his eyes, it’s dark outside and he’s still in the jeep that he borrowed from the bunker. He finds himself haphazardly sprawled across the center console and it is a seat belt buckle that is the cause of the throbbing pain at his side. And when he moves to get away from it, his body aches with stiffness, as though he’d been out for more than just a few hours.
Sam reaches for his cellphone sitting in the passenger seat and flips it open. He’s been out for more than 8 hours and he looks around him to see he’s parked in a random diner’s lot, yet he has no memory of driving there at all.
He wipes his hand over his face and makes the mistake of looking into the rear-view mirror. And the only question that finds itself home within his brain--
Is he really a golden crowned king, hanging from his Brother’s neck?
Sam stares down at his plate of over easy eggs and half eaten hashbrowns and feels his stomach beg for food like he hasn’t eaten a bite. There’s a gnawing hunger in his bones, it’s been there ever since he woke up in the parking lot of the same diner he now sits in. And it’s a familiar pang, one he’s felt once before, but he sweeps that thought away immediately.
He finishes the rest of his $3.99 ‘on the run’ breakfast special and stares at his shadowed reflection on the white, egg yolk smeared plate. Maybe if he stares long enough, black saucer like eyes will appear in his eye sockets--just like the vision ‘Not Dean’ Dean showed him. But minutes pass and he feels nothing but the strain of his tired eyes screaming at him to relax, so he looks away.
The brunette waitress with a gentle smile waves a pot of coffee at him from the table over and he feels a shiver of gratitude for small miracles in this world. He needs all the refills he can get and the waitress obliges him with a small nod before disappearing back behind the counter once again.
Sam pulls out a twenty dollar bill and leaves it tucked under his plate, before finishing off his ‘refill’ quickly and shrugging back into his jacket. He looks back down at the empty plate and can’t help but let that unrelenting itch in the back of his throat, coax it’s way back into his brain.
He’s hungry alright.
But it’s what he’s hungry for that has him on edge and freaked out. Every fiber of his body is calling for it, his tongue literally aches in his mouth . He’s seen it a billion times throughout his life, he’s cleaned it up and he’s had his hands and clothes soaked with it--but this, this is a different type of need.
Sam exits the diner and heads for the jeep parked around the corner and finds his tongue licking his cracked lips with need. It’s as though his tongue has it’s own brain, for it doesn’t listen to his own. It knocks at the back of his teeth and it pleads to be drowned in a crimson red delicacy that only pulses beneath the flesh of his Brother’s skin.
He’s hungry for Dean’s blood.
And just the sheer construction of that sentence in his brain, makes him empty his ‘on the run’ special in a bush by his jeep.
Sam finds his way down the stairs to the empty bunker he had left earlier in the day and can’t help but feel an itch in the back of his head. Maybe he’s just had a really long day, too much coffee and not nearly enough sleep, but something about the space around him feels electric. Feels like something has changed, something he can’t quite put his finger on, but something big enough to have him looking over his shoulder and trying to smooth the raised hairs on his forearms.
He inches his way to the landing and drops his backpack and slowly peels off his coat, singing it to rest over the railing as he scans the space around him. It seems untouched. And yet in the same, it seems disturbed. He can’t quite put his finger on just what is different.
Relinquishing the notion that something is off, he sits at the library table and picks up the open whiskey bottle and pours himself a full glass. It’s been a full glass type of day. A full glass or two, or three, type of day really. He smiles around the rim of the glass and welcomes the burn that traces all the way down into his empty and starving gut. Perhaps parts of him hope it will satisfy the growing and festering chants of his bodies wants.
Sam’s hopes they are quickly squelched however, when he feels a wave of bold want, so strong and paralyzing, sweep over his body like an evening tide.
He remembers his jaunt with the demon blood. Remembers what it cost him. What it cost Dean. What it cost everyone around him. And after all this time, after all the fucking regret and trying to atone and wash himself clean of it--here he is, craving it. And not just it , but a particular brand.
What kind of sick freak craves his Brother’s blood? He swallows down another glass of whiskey at the thought. Because he’s always been a freak. He’s just played cat and mouse with wanting to accept it. But this, this right here, solidifies his opinion of himself.
He is a freak.
And with that, he finishes the rest of the bottle.
Warm hands find their way up Sam’s back, over his hill-like shoulders, and down the plains of his arms. Thick fingers weave themselves through his and a rough cheek wedges itself into the crook of his neck, where beautifully soft lips press lovingly into his pulse. And his instinct is to curl his fingers around the ones that hold his hand and to lean into the heat that he’s known all his life.
Sam’s lips crack slightly when he smiles, turning his mouth to meet hungry lips. He sighs contently when he can feel the heat of his Brother’s breath and moans when his Brother’s tongue breaks through the door of his mouth. He sucks on the pink flesh and chases it back into it’s own castle of pearly white teeth.
This must be a dream, a wonderful fucking ecstasy of a dream. And Sam doesn’t fight it, doesn’t open his eyes, just lets it take him over. His body, too tired from the usual nightmares and the sleepless nights. His body, completely full and useless, with the gold burn of whiskey coursing through his insides.
Dean’s hands find themselves in Sam’s hair and Sam is helpless but to turn in his chair and want nothing, but more--more of everything.
A burning rage of need starts to burn in his pelvis and it’s a million more times the intensity it usually is. It has him standing and pushing, his hands roughly tearing at Dean’s clothes, all the while his mouth violently nipping at Dean’s tease of a mouth.
Sam snarls as Dean’s teeth find themselves around his bottom lip. The sensation sending electric currents of desire through the entirety of his body and he can’t help his hips as they helplessly grind against his Brother’s. Sam dives down into the ocean of Dean’s throat and licks to bite, marking the expanse of Dean’s throat with ownership.
“It’s all yours, Sammy.” A husky voice breaks the silence between them, and it’s chased by panting breaths.
Dean’s hands grip Sam’s hips and Dean bucks exaggeratedly, making sure Sam feels how much he needs him, too.
And the sensation has Sam pulling away and opening his eyes, a look of utter confusion painting itself over all of his features. It’s not a dream, it is real. Dean is real and alive and hot against his skin. And Sam wants to cry with relief, but some parts of him want to curl away. Because Dean looks like ‘Dean’, but he feels changed and different like the ‘Not Dean’ from earlier.
Dean smiles devilishly and strokes his hand down Sam’s spine. “It’s okay.”
“Dean?” Sam whispers incredulously. He looks into the green orbs that reflect back at him and he wants to believe so badly that there’s not a black tide hiding behind them.
But his body can feel the darkness inside of Dean. It’s as though his own body is the moon, as though his ribs were meant to hang in the night sky of Dean’s chest.
It’s a troubling sort of thought and it has him dropping his hands and backing away from Dean.
Sam squeezes his eyes tightly shut and begs himself to wake up from whatever nightmare he has managed to climb himself into this time. Maybe it was the three quarters of the whiskey bottle that has this dream seeming so real and fuck if he was ever going to touch a bottle of it again, as long as he lives. Just let him wake up, just let this not be real. It can’t be real.
Sam turns to look at his Brother and feels his throat tighten when Dean’s eyes flash black and then fade back into the beautiful green he’s always known.
“How?” Sam questions, needing to understand how this could come to be. How his Brother, who has spent his entire life fighting and killing demons, is suddenly one himself.
“I’m not really sure, the details are kind of iffy. Could be because of the mark, could be because of Crowley,” Dean lists the reasons like he’s reading the nutrition facts off a box of cereal. As though there is no true importance behind anything he is saying, like it bores him to have to explain. “Could be just because it was meant to be.”
Dean winks coyly and shrugs his shoulders as he walks around the library table. He picks up the empty whiskey bottle and eyes it’s emptiness, looks up to Sam and then puts it back down. He falls into the wooden chair and kicks his feet up on the table.
“How can you say that?” Sam nips angrily, straining to keep his voice level, but failing. “How can you sit there and not be pissed off about all of this? How can you be okay with being the very fucking thing that killed all of our family?”
Sam pinches his nose and forces air through his mouth to calm down, but his heart still races with fury and his thoughts are still spinning like he’s on that stupid tilt-a-whirl ride at the fair, the one he always hated. He looks over at Dean and Dean just looks back with a smirk, as though this is just a storm he’s gonna have to wait out. And it only aggravates Sam more.
“You’re hungry,” Dean chimes, as though he can feel the festering need in Sam’s gut. As though he can tell that Sam is biting down the bitter taste of what he knows he truly wants. “I can help.”
“Shut up.” Sam spits, running a shaky hand through his hair. His upper lip sweats as he tries to remain stoic. He wants to cement his words with a meaningful look, but he finds himself looking down instead. And the minute he does, he swears to himself, because it probably looks like defeat.
“Thing is, Sammy, I’m tired of fighting this. I’m tired of fighting against the very thing we were always meant to become.” Dean drops his feet back to the floor and stands, the wooden chair screaming against the floor. “And whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, you’re tired too. I know you are.”
Sam stands unmoving, Dean’s words filtering in through his brain and settling in the back of his throat. He wants to yell ‘no’, wants to scream and shout and plead with his Brother to see the light. The same light they were always convinced shone in the distance. But what if there never truly was any light to begin with? What if what Dean says is true? Were they both cast from the same darkness? Was the tainted blood that has been in him since he was 6 months old, really the only destiny for them both?
Sam looks up and meets his Brother’s gaze, hoping to see a shred of hope, the hope he’s always chased, the one he’s always convinced himself exists. But when his summer orbs pierce the green fields of Dean’s, he’s not met with ‘hope’, he’s met with darkness. Dean smiles as black envelopes the green of his eyes, his tongue tracing a smile across his lips. And Sam can’t help but swallow this reality whole.
There is no light in his Brother, no hope. Only acceptance.
Sam feels the back of his eyes fill with the heat of unshed tears, because to admit defeat, to accept this for all that it truly is, terrifies the living hell out of him. He see’s a wave of concern flash across Dean’s face, like he can sense the rising wave of grief in Sam’s chest. And Sam can’t help but feel exposed down to the bone, more than he ever has been before. He doesn’t know how he’s doing it, but he knows Dean can hear his thoughts and feel the inner struggle within.
“I just want us to be together, Sam. And in this way, we can be-- forever. ” Dean shuffles a few feet and drags his fingers across the cold surface of the wooden table. “You and I, together, for the rest of time.” He stills and looks up, his eyes knowing and also pleading. “You can’t tell me you don’t want that, too.”
Sam feels his chest tighten with Dean’s words, lets them marinate and soak into the depths of his heart. And he doesn’t need time to mull it over, to already feel his answer on his lips. He tastes the words, lets his mouth taste them for what they are, and swallows them back down to be sure.
He loves his Brother, more than life itself. He would do anything for him. To the ends of the earth he would go to save him, he’s done it before, but this time is different. Dean doesn’t want to be saved and even if he did, Sam would have no clues how to do it. He whispers a string of swears under his breath because it feels like he’s giving up. Feels like he’s giving up on Dean; giving up on them both.
“It’s not like that,” Dean counters, knowing just what to say. “Don’t look at it that way. I mean, if you did save me from this, we’ll be dead before we hit forty. And then what?”
“And then we die, as we should.”
“The natural law and order of this world, Dean--that’s who!” Sam clings to his resolve, not ready to give up.
Dean inches closer to Sam, till he’s standing right before him. He lets his body heat linger there, lets it drift over to Sam and exaggeratedly flexes his neck, accentuating the pulse at his throat. He watches Sam’s eyes find their way there, watches Sam as he subconsciously licks his lips with want, knowing with every fiber of his being that it’s also what Sam needs.
“It could all be yours,” Dean whispers, lifting his hand to Sam’s cheek, letting his thumb rub circles of comfort into his Brother’s skin. He smiles gently and he can feel Sam melt into his palm. “We can make Hell fall to our feet, Sammy.”
Sam looks into Dean’s eyes and tries to find a ledge he can stand on, because he feels himself slipping. Images of their entire life, flash before his eyes. They rewind and slow down and they focus on tiny details that would have no meaning to anyone else, but to them. Their lives travel all the way back, to a time before Heaven and Hell, before monsters were anything more than storybook villains, before a four-wheeled car became their home, before everything they had was torn out from under them in a blink of an eye. Sam watches, helpless to do anything else.
Sam sees a white house in the distance and gasps as it gets closer and closer. He’s seen this house, but never as it was-- before . When the windows were painted with warm glows of light and familiar silhouettes. He looks down and he sees his feet, full grown, standing in the lawn of the home he once had, but would never come to truly know. And he knows, deep in his gut, that these memories--this place, is not from him, but from Dean.
Time lurches forward and suddenly it’s night and the house looks darker than it did before. The lights are out, there are no silhouettes to be seen. It’s just him, the house, and the night--together like matches in a matchbox. Sam can feel his spine tingle with the eerie knowing that something bad is going to happen. His palms sweat and his breath quickens, his lungs like chimneys that puff white clouds out into the cool Kansas air. And he’s focusing on the dimly flashing pictures of a television screen, from the living room window, when it happens.
A scream takes flight into the night and it paralyzes him still with knowing. It’s high pitched, sharp, and he feels his skin vibrate with the terror that it evokes. He thinks of Jess and the image of her burning on the ceiling, and feels nauseous and weak. Because this isn’t Jess, no, this is his mother.
Burning hair and flesh, no longer scented with honey and lavender, drift out the window and he can’t help but feel tears in his eyes. He hears shouting and chaos within the house and a few seconds later, a little kid is carrying a baby out the front door. There’s soot on their faces and terror in their chests. They’re scared and they’re alone; they used to have a family, but that just went up in smoke.
Sam watches as Little Dean wraps the baby tightly in his blanket and rocks him back and forth in his small arms. Dean’s whispering to the baby, but Sam can’t quite hear it. He strains to catch the words, but only catches the breaths between them. And then, as if the volume shot up, or he himself is remembering the words, he hears Little Dean crystal clear.
“You will see her again, My King.”
The words echo in his head and Sam stares in disbelief as the words slowly digest themselves in his ears. His insides slide around when Little Dean looks up and locks eyes with him. His eyes are as black as a starless night and it’s paired with a wicked smile, that rolls across his tiny pink lips. They stare at each other, both speechless, as understanding befalls Sam.
Little Dean, presses a tender kiss against the baby’s forehead. And then his head goes back, his mouth opens, as black smoke curls its way into the night. It moves through the burning flame and smoke of the house fire and disappears without a trace. And Little Dean stares dumbfoundedly up at the burning house, as though its the first time he’s seen the fire.
Sam feels himself fall backward, the world in front of him going black. And the only thing he can hear, is the baby in Dean’s arms, as it begins to cry out into the night.
Sam finds himself back in the bunker, with screams in his mouth and his Brother’s fingers around his wrists. There’s green orbs just inches away from his face and they’re pleading with him to understand. But there are parts of him that don’t want to understand, and yet, there’s also a quiet purr in his gut that knows this was always meant to be. He’s tired, he’s been so fucking tired for years. His only fight in life is standing before him and asking him to relinquish to the direction of the waves. And he knows he’s going under. He’s been going under for years.
Dean backs Sam against a bookshelf and runs his hands down the sides of Sam’s face. His hands are rough and calloused and tell stories of the wars they’ve fought. His callouses like notches in a music box, singing against the heat of Sam’s skin.
Sam reaches back and places a hand on Dean’s chest, trying to find the words that are revolving around his head like a merry-go-round. There’s so many things he wants to say in this moment, so many words that have been unsaid, that need to be spoken. There’s so many things, and he feels like he’s running out of time.
“I love you,” Dean whispers quietly and it sounds like a confession. “I have always loved you.”
“I will always love you, Sammy.” Dean reiterates. “My King.”
“I love you, too.” Sam answers. It comes easily, like a reflex.
Dean leans forward, his breath hot against Sam’s lips and he looks straight into Sam’s sunflower fields. His throat works around words, but he hesitates in letting them go. Sam worries at his bottom lip and raises an eyebrow to ask a question silently.
Dean looks away, takes a second to breathe and then looks back, more determined.
“Do you trust me?” Dean asks, his voice serious.
“Of course I do.” Another reflex answer that spills from Sam’s lips.
Maybe Dean isn’t one-hundred percent human, maybe he’s come off a little creepy with all this ‘let’s rule Hell together’ crap, but Sam has never felt unsafe. Maybe he should have, but they’ve been through so much together, that it overrides every momentary doubt he could have even managed to conjure up.
Sam smiles at Dean and feels like the world is complete again when Dean smiles back.
Dean leads Sam back to the library table and leans over to shove all the contents on top of it, to the floor. He turns to Sam and motions for him to get on the table.
Sam hoists himself into a sitting position on the ledge and spreads his legs to easily accommodate Dean between them. And for just a few minutes they linger there, touching each other and tracing the places they’ve always known as ‘home’.
They kiss and it’s gentle, loving, and filled with unspoken goodbye’s. As though they’re shedding skins and morphing into new bodies, as though they are staring at old photographs and remembering how things use to be. Leaving trails of kisses down each other’s throats and torsos, leading their past selves to the future they were born to see.
And for the first time in his entire life, Sam closes his eyes and truly relinquishes himself to the knowledge of who he’s meant to be, of who he’s to become. A chill washes over his body and he can feel his mouth twist like a mirror, full of broken shards of glass. He can feel the darkness in his spine start to seeth from the cracks and rugs he’s swept them eagerly into and under, his entire life. And he lets it pool within him, feels it rise inside like a tide he’s been swimming against all these years. He lets it come, lets it be coaxed out with every touch of Dean’s fingers. As though his Brother’s hands are the magnets that bring those darkened pieces of him to the surface.
When Sam opens his eyes, Dean stands before him, eager and willing. There’s blood on his lips, where he’s obviously bit himself and Sam can smell it like it’s the Holiest of wine and god help him, he growls with want.
There’s not much thought that goes through Sam’s head, he just lunges for the crimson promise on his Brother’s swollen lips and he feels it wet and dark against his tongue. It’s hot and it vibrates within him, it sings a darkened lullaby of desire and Sam sucks it down. He pulls it from Dean’s lips and whines when it doesn’t come fast enough.
Dean leans Sam back and climbs on top of him seductively. His eyes fix themselves on Sam’s mouth and he can hear Sam’s veins burn for the red pulsing within him. Dean pulls a knife from his pocket and drags it meaningfully along Sam’s torso before hastily using it to cut Sam’s shirt open.
Sam watches him eagerly and hisses with the feeling of cold metal against his heated flesh. Watches as Dean removes his own shirt, watches as Dean’s eyes darken as the heat between them thickens. Sam swallows as Dean drags the knife across his nipples, the sound echoing through the bunker, and he feels his jeans tighten in response.
Dean traces the knife along the length of his own torso, across his neck, over his lips and smiles proudly as Sam begins to squirm beneath him. Can’t help the breathless giggle that tumbles its way out of his mouth when Sam reaches for him, a deep need sown into his eyes.
“I know you’re hungry, Baby Boy,” Dean presses the knife hard against his neck and feels it bite into his skin. He’s met with a sting of relief as the first pearls of blood find their way down to his collar bone.
Sam doesn’t wait. He doesn’t fight it, doesn’t try to deny himself of the temptation that is at Dean’s throat. There’s only one urge in his gut and that is for more. He revels in that urge, lets it roar from the back of his throat, lets it claw out of his mouth and reveal its ugly self in all its blackness. He lets the monster loose; there are no bars, no chains, and no apologies. For the first time in his life, he wears his true identity, the one with a promised crown, made up of bone and ash. He does not curl away from his reflection in his Brother’s eyes, as he’s done his whole life. Instead, he boldly stares at his own reflection and dives deeper.
Sam sits up and pulls Dean’s racing pulse against his mouth. He lets his tongue drag against the broken flesh, lets it nudge the wound open further. Sam’s tongue, like a bloodhound, hungry for the hunt, wanting nothing but the taste of bitter red in his mouth. Every drop makes the need stronger and less innocent. Sam finds himself baring his teeth and sinking their dull points into Dean’s fleshed palace. His marks are like the red carpet to his throne, which sits on Dean’s mouth. And Sam claws his way there with every bone in his trembling body.
There’s a hysteria that crawls up the backs of Sam’s legs, up the heated flesh of his back and it overwhelms him as it erupts out of his mouth in the form of roaring laughter. It’s deep and it’s dark and it shakes the room. It feels foreign to Sam, as though it’s coming out of his body, but it’s not truly him. But his ribs rumble with the sound of it and he can feel his fingernails curling into crescents against his Brother’s skin. As though there’s an overwhelming need to mark his territory; to bite and suck, to leave his bruised and scabbed signature all over the canvas of Dean’s body.
“That’s right, Brother.” Dean presses his palms against the back of Sam’s head and encourages him to suck more. “Keep going. It’s gonna take a lot. It’s all yours, always has been.”
Sam moans as he bites a new mark and feels Dean gasp in elicit pleasure as blood pools within his mouth. It’s better than sex, this taste; it’s everything, it calms the pressing hunger he’s always felt within his body. As though his heart and stomach are sighing in relief for the first time in his entire life.
And while there’s relief, there’s a burning intensity that begins to stir within his veins. It’s like his blood is alive for the first time, feels like he could conquer absolutely fucking anything. As though he could command and the world would listen, as though he could rearrange the stars at the simple flick of a wrist. He feels a power boiling in his chest and it’s cooing in delight as he swallows Dean’s blood down.
Sam loses himself in the madness that is his lips, teeth, and the sweet taste of his Brother’s blood. Doesn’t notice when the lights begin flickering, doesn’t feel it when a breeze comes crawling through the bunker. Books begin to fall from the shelves around them and the papers on the floor start to stir with movement. It’s like the room around them has come alive, and they’re both too caught up in each other’s give and take to see it.
Dean howls when Sam’s bites intensify, when they stop being gentle nips and start becoming outright feral. There’s a pleasure in this, as though Sam’s lips are magically wrapped around the head of his throbbing cock, instead of at the numerous pulse points throughout his body. Every lick, every hot pressed mouth and suck, has him gasping and losing control of his demonic senses. His eyes flash black and his fingers tangle desperately in his Brother’s hair, the need for Sam to drink every last drop of him, sharp and hot.
And Sam complies. “You taste so goddamned good. Fuck. ”
Sam who lifts Dean and turns them both until Dean is the one laying on the table and Sam is on top. Sam comes to straddle Dean and his throbbing dick, still restricted by Dean’s clothes and gives a good jerk of his hips. He lets his own cock feel the friction with every snap of his hips.
“Oh shit,” Dean whines when Sam bites at the sensitive flesh of his wrist.
Sam holds the bloodied wrist to his lips, kissing it and licking it, moving his hips as he does. The table rocks beneath them, their cocks straining against clothes, desperate to feel each other and twitching every time the other catches the bundle of nerves at the other’s head.
Dean watches as his Brother’s aura bolds and electrifies. Watches as a darkness fills the corners of Sam’s eyes; brilliant storm clouds roll over the sunflower fields he’s always loved. And he finds himself coming at the precise moment the lights in the bunker go out, the panic alarms sounding and the emergency lights blinking overhead.
Sam comes seconds after Dean does, the wet of each other’s hot come making messes of the front of their pants. Sam moans like a wild animal, the rolls of orgasm falling over his body. The lights above them, flickering on and off and then exploding as Sam’s back arches and jerks with every pulse of come that leaves his body.
There are no words between them, just unspoken gratitude and adoration. They look into each other’s faces and let the other’s presence consume them. It’s as if the outside world ceases to exist; it’s just them. And for a fragile second in time they both let each other be content, they both let each other cling to this, the final moment of how things have always been. Both knowing somehow, that before the night is over, things will be irreversibly altered.
Their love, once having saved the world, will now come to consume and rule against it.
Sam finds himself on his knees, his Brother standing before him. The golden amulet around Dean’s throat, glows, as though it’s alive. And Sam can’t help but know that it’s meaningful in a way he can’t quite articulate.
Dean looks down upon Sam, his black eyes framed by his ghostly pale skin. Dried blood streaks itself like brilliant brush strokes, across the expanse of his body. And he reaches out his right hand, to press his fingertips to Sam’s forehead.
“He who kneels to his destiny, will rise from the ashes of life, on the wing of hellfire. He who is light, is also absolute darkness. It is by His light, that He will see. And it is by His darkness, that He will conquer the depths of Hell and be crowned.” Dean chants, as though he’s practiced the words his entire life.
Sam watches in awe, as Dean’s fingers curl around the glowing token at his chest and yanks to break the cord it hangs by. He is startled when it feels like Dean holds his heart, as though the amulet and his beating machine of an organ, are one.
“He who wears The King’s Compass, will guide Thee to the throne. He who guided Him in life, shall too, guide Him in death. It is by the these hands, that you will be freed. It is by my blood, that you will be crowned. By my life, that you will live.”
Dean raises the glittering and glowing amulet in his open palm, to his lips. He leans forward, and whispers, “Rise.” He sucks in a lungful of air and blows on the amulet and watches as it disintegrates into fire.
Sam gasps as the flames explode within Dean’s palm and forgets to breathe when he feels the sparks of the fire fall upon his skin. They don’t bite or burn as he expects, but instead feel like kisses against his skin. Feels like fingers tickling against the ridges of his shoulders and back. And before he can even comprehend what is happening, he feels himself be lifted, as though he’s weightless.
“My King,” Dean whispers in awe, his eyes brimming with tears.
It is then that Sam feels them. Feels them move, as though they’ve always been there. Feels the give and pull as they expand and fold. He looks behind himself and sees wings as black as midnight and the sight is stunning and exhilarating.
“Dean--” Sam begins, turning around to face his Brother.
But Dean isn’t staring back at him anymore. Instead he lies on the ground, unmoving, with black dust in the shape of wings surrounding him.
Terror floods Sam’s body, as an echo of Dean’s words come to circulate through his brain. As though, he didn’t understand them fully the first go around. But now, they ring crystal clear.
‘It is by my blood, that you will be. By my life, that you will live.’
Sam stands before his fallen Brother, in shock, as realizes that he is quite literally a ‘phoenix’, who has risen from the ashes of his fallen Brother. And the realization has him kneeling at the foot of Dean’s lifeless body, the taste of his Brother’s life still hot in his mouth and in his veins.
There is nothing but blind panic that fills Sam’s body whole. He arches his back, throws back his head and lets out a blood curdling scream. He lets it curl its way out of his mouth and into the empty world around him. He screams and screams and screams.
The bunker shakes, electricity popping and sparking, fires coming alive all around him. Sam’s anguish is like a wrecking ball of energy that swirls around them like a tornado, hungry for destruction.
It is the smoke that brings Sam out of his fit of panic and has him focusing on what he needs to do. He scoops up Dean’s body and pulls him tight against his own chest. He stands carefully, as though Dean is like fragile glass and is amazed when he feels his wings come to life around him.
“Stay with me,” Sam pleads, leaning down to press a kiss onto Dean’s forehead.
When the first teardrops fall from Sam’s eyes, his wings flap wildly, fanning the fires and burning everything around them.
When he flies up out of the bunker, into the night, with his Brother in his arms--he vows to them both, to make this right. To destroy Heaven and Hell if need be, to go to the deepest depths, to do whatever he needs to, to bring Dean back to him.
He flies into the darkness, small fires alive at the tips of his wings and he shoots across the sky like a shooting star.
And he burns hot and alive, for all the world to see.
It’s been less than twenty-four hours and Sam’s arrival into Hell as the new King, isn’t the fanfare and celebration that everyone was expecting.
Everyone falls to his feet and he picks them up and flings them left and right, demands to know who he needs to speak with, demands to know who is dealing. But they all look at him as though he holds the answers, and they all pay for their lack of knowledge, with their lives.
Sam leaves a red river behind him, painted on every surface of the kingdom he now rules. Paints a warning with his fingers that those who cross his path better have answers or be prepared to meet a similar end. He is savage and he is cruel and he is wicked. There’s so much blood. Red covers everything. And the smell of rotting and decaying flesh is sticky and thick throughout the thousands of layers in Hell. There’s nothing but a trail of broken bones and crooked jaws in broken skulls, that litter haphazardly behind him. Souls whisper and flesh wearing demon’s talk about the King who comes asking for ways to bring his Brother back. They whisper about how those who don’t have answers, become another tortured nightmare in his wake.
And sometimes, Sam sits next to the bed where Dean’s corpse lies. He whispers about how Dean can’t leave him here, how he can’t leave him alone--not now, not ever .
“I can’t do this without you.” Sam laces his fingers through Dean’s stiff fingers and squeezes, as though his touch can revive him alone. “I don’t want to do this without you.”
Dean’s body is marred with Sam’s teeth marks, the bruises having morphed into ugly colors, that now look horrific. Sam did his best to clean Dean’s skin, leaving kisses in those places that looked especially bad. His kisses, somehow left like they’re apologies for having done this to him. If Sam could wretch out all the blood in his veins and have it pulse within Dean’s again, he would do it instantly. He would claw himself inside out, to have Dean’s eyes open.
“Come back.” Sam whispers against Dean’s death swollen lips. “Please. ”
“ Tell me how to bring him back . ”
Sam has his fourth crossroads demon by the throat, has him pinned to the wall. He leans in, his lips pulled back as his teeth glisten in the light like a rabid animal. His fingers are clenched like steel around the demon’s throat, his fingernails like barbed wire, digging.
“I told you,” Vincent pleads, his eyes glazed over with fright. “There’s no way. There’s no deals to make. You’re The King. It’d have to be by your own hand.”
Sam’s eyes glow like moons in the darkened room, his breath hot as he demands, “What does that mean?”
“I don’t--I don’t know.” Vincent curls away from the growl that lets out of Sam’s throat. “My King, please…”
But it’s too late.
Sam lifts Vincent by his neck and raises his right hand to Vincent’s forehead. It doesn’t take but a simple wrist flick to kill him. Vincent’s borrowed flesh flashes with light and cracks as his soul falls to dust. And when he’s limp, Sam tears off his head with a guttural and anguished howl. He doesn’t stop there, he continues to rip and shred, to sink his teeth in and tear flesh from bone. Sam is lost in a hurricane of rage, blind and violent.
When he comes down, he’s breathing hard and blood covers him from head to toe. There’s a taste of flesh on the back of his tongue as he looks down at the carcass that once used to be a whole body.
“Dean.” He cries and it’s pitiful, the back of his hand to his lips, like he’s a scared little boy. He says it like he’s calling for Dean. As though he’s begging for his Brother to come from the shadows and reassure him, to tell him that he’s okay--that everything will be okay.
But Dean never comes.
Sam sleeps next to Dean’s lifeless body. He curls around it’s hardened edges and tries to find heat against Dean’s chest, where his heart no longer beats. It’s crazy, or so he tells himself, but he doesn’t know what else to do.
He doesn’t even sleep, never feels the need to anymore. But he still closes his eyes and pretends, hopes with every aching bone in his body that when he opens his eyes, that Dean will be staring down at him.
But those green lucky charms, never do stare back at him.
And Sam starts to feel that ugly black blanket of dread try to pull itself over his mind. But he shoos it away and tries to tell himself that there’s still hope. That he will find a way.
He has to.
Sam traces his fingertips against Dean’s ashened skin and longs for it to be soft and warm. He longs for it to be pale with life, longs for the constellations of freckles to be distinct like they used to be. Sam traces old protection symbols, like he used to and fucking wills them to be the magic remedy, even if it is silly to hope they could be.
He does this for awhile, before he notices how his fingertip causes Dean’s skin to glow where he touches. It’s faint and barely noticeable, unless you’re looking for it. Sam tests it again and watches as there’s a faint pulse of light that follows where his fingers go. He traces a heart over the place where Dean’s real one lies motionless. A whisper of light appears and then fades back into the depths of Dean’s body. It’s as though Sam’s touch is the magnet that brings it to the surface.
Maybe this is what they meant when they said He was the only one. It’s like pieces of a puzzle that sits before him. Like he holds both the lock and the key, but he doesn’t know how to fit them together, doesn’t know how to make it work.
It’s not until Sam thinks for a few moments that a sparked thought explodes through his brain and marches out of his mouth with an, “Oh, fuck!”
Sam reminds himself of the night he turned and Dean fell, reminds himself of the taste of Dean’s blood warm in his stomach, remembers the fire hot current it caused to pulse within him.
Dean’s blood is still in him. It still sings within his veins, within his flesh, and it is what Dean’s body was responding to. As though he could recognize the parts of itself coursing within Sam.
“Of course.” Sam shakes his head, as though he’s stupid for not thinking of it sooner.
Dean’s blood was strong enough to turn him and now Sam’s blood is the strongest, it is obviously the only thing that could save Dean. It is what every wasted demon he has destroyed had tried to tell him, but he just wouldn’t listen.
Sam doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t do anything but rip into his wrist with his own teeth. He bites it open, desperate and unapologetic, and doesn’t even bat an eye as the air around him stings his open wound. The only thing he can focus on is where Dean’s mouth is and getting it open enough to let the blood in. He pries Dean’s lips open and presses his wrist to Dean’s mouth, clenching and unclenching his fist, begging for the blood to flow faster.
Minutes pass and nothing happens and a bead of nervous sweat forms on Sam’s brow. What if he’s wrong, what if he’s wandered down another dead end. It’s been long enough, he should have seen a sign. But Dean lies as still as ever, the only difference being the red smear of blood across his lips.
“No!” Sam barks into the empty room around them. “This has to work, it’s gotta...please, please…”
Desperation mounts in his chest and nausea swims in his stomach and up the back of his throat as he viciously bites into his other wrist. He puts it to Dean’s mouth and lets out a sob, one drenched in all of his grief, in all of his guilt. It vibrates off the walls and crawls its way up Sam’s spine and he can feel just how heavy it is.
Sam presses his other wrist to Dean’s mouth, making sure to make fists, as he did with the other. He counts to five-hundred and still doesn’t see any difference. Dean is still just as lifeless as he’s been all along.
“Please.” Sam begs, taking his wrist away from Dean’s mouth and coming to clutching at the sides of Dean’s face. “Come back, Dean.”
But Dean doesn’t move, doesn’t stir; there’s nothing.
Sam lays himself on top of Dean and curls himself around the cold flesh that he longs to be warm. He tries to fit himself into every nook and cranny, tries to mold himself there, his insides stubborn with their need to never to leave again. All of him content with dying here with his Brother.
There’s just no life for him, without Dean.
Sam closes his eyes and lets the chill of Dean’s body cool his own. Minutes pass and he doesn’t question the pull of sleep in the back of his mind. But instead, he relinquishes himself over to it, hopes that it’s the death he’s waited for, the one that will assure him he doesn’t have to live another day without his Brother.
So when black greets him, he lets it in like an old friend. And he doesn’t know if he’s allowed to pray anymore, but his mind can’t help but let one last one be heard.
It’s simple and barely thought--
‘ Thank you. ’
It’s Dean’s voice and it sounds like it’s spoken underwater. Sam reaches for it, tries to hone in on it and make it clearer.
Sam startles awake and in his panicked gasp for oxygen, he doesn’t notice the arms that are wound tight around him. Doesn’t feel them until they pull him tighter against a hard and warm surface. And when he lets his thoughts organize constructively, one name comes to him.
Dean laughs groggily underneath him and Sam lifts his head, his entire body in a frenzy to see life, to see green staring back at him.
“Sammy,” Dean calls again, but this time with his voice. “Took you long enough, my back is killing me.” There’s a playful smile spilled across his bloodied lips and it’s all the proof Sam needs.
Sam presses his lips against Dean’s and he lets himself drink in the heat against his mouth. He savors it, like it’s the greatest relief he’s ever known. And there’s a wrecked sob that catches in the back of his throat as Dean deepens the kiss, proving that it’s real--that he’s alive.
“I thought,” Sam starts, his words getting tangled on another sob. “I thought I’d never see you, I thought you were dead for good. Dean, I killed so many… I just needed to bring you back. I nee--I needed you here.”
Dean lifts his arms and he wraps his hands in the tangled mess of Sam’s hair and he pulls Sam’s face up so their eyes can meet. “It’s okay. I’m here. ‘M not gonna leave.” He sews his words against Sam’s forehead, in the form of kisses. Each one promising him that he’s here and that he isn’t going anywhere.
Sam melts with each kiss, lets himself crumble right there in Dean’s arms. He lets the tears come until he’s cried himself tired, all the emotions having spilled out of him like a punctured air balloon.
And Dean just lets him, lets Sam get it out. He just pulls Sam closer against himself and lazily trails more kisses across the valleys of Sam’s face.
They lay there for what feels like days, reveling in their reunion, neither one ready to part.
The world could crumble around them, but neither of them would care.
For they have each other and it’s enough.
They walk to the throne, together. Sam’s wings are fully expanded and Dean’s are gone except for the gold scars on his back.
Sam is the image of everything anyone could have dreamed. There’s gold flecks on his skin and he glitters like royalty in the dim light. His hair is swept off his face and tucked behind his ears and he looks defined in all the right places. He looks like a sculptor's dream.
He is the Boy King. And he is more beautiful in life than his destiny could have ever foretold.
Hell falls to it’s knees as Sam proceeds to his rightful seat. It is silent except for the thousands of whispered greetings. ‘Our King!’, the depths of Hell rejoices again and again. Their voices reverberate off of every wall, like crickets do in summer and it sounds like a sweet midnight symphony to Sam’s ears.
Sam bows his head and lets Dean fit his crooked and golden crown upon him. And then he turns and looks at his kingdom and feels a fierce wind of rightfulness fall upon him. He looks at every twisted and broken face that looks up at him, like he’s the promise they’ve all been waiting to be fulfilled.
Dean laces his fingers through Sam’s and turns to face the same kingdom that Sam now looks over.
‘Are you ready?’ Sam hears Dean’s voice in his head.
‘This. You and me. All of it, forever?’
‘As long as you’re by my side, forever will never be enough.’
‘To forever and beyond?
‘To forever and beyond.’ Sam echoes.
Sam squeezes Dean’s hand meaningfully, promising to seal those words against every orifice of his body when they’re alone.
The room around them falls quiet as Sam sits in his throne built of all of those that had sacrificed themselves for this moment. And he looks out into the darkness, bores his stare into every set of eyes that looks back at him and he feels his eyes cloud over with black.
And his voice sounds, loud and final--
“ I am here . ”