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Saving You, Saving Me

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Prologue

The sky was clear, a perfect pale blue, and the sun was shining, warming the frigid waters of the Pacific. It was a day made for playing, at least that seemed to be what the school of striped dolphins were thinking as they roto-tailed. They leaped high out of the water vigorously rotating their tails while airborne and chattering wildly to gain each others' attention. Try as he might to copy their stunts, the merman in their midst was having a hard time keeping up as he laughed at their hijinks, diving under the water with them and jumping back out.

It was all this fun that Sam blamed for his recklessness, for not paying attention to his surrounding and for failing to see or hear the approaching boat. By the time he realized they were alongside a boat that seemed to come out of nowhere, it was too late, a large net already blocked their path. He and many of the dolphins he'd been racing were trapped, caught in the net of humans.

The dolphins looked to him for freedom since he had hands like man that could maybe break them free. Small sharp dolphin teeth tried to aid Sam as he tugged fruitlessly at the netting, trying to tear it open by pulling at the small holes, trying to widen them for even the smallest dolphin to pass. Their efforts were in vain, nothing seemed to be able to break the strong material. They were without hope, their day of fun came to a tragic end as the net was slowly pulled up from the sea.

Unceremoniously, he and the dolphins were dropped into a small shallow pool of salt water on board the ship, with too many of them inside that small space. Sam slumped against one wall of the pool, the gills on his sides moving slowly as he fought to breathe, trying to push himself lower into the shallow salt water, trying to get it to cover not only his tail but his gills. Water dripped from his hair which partly covered his slightly slanted hazel eyes from view. His gaze darted about the foreign vessel, confusion and fear wrapping around him. The small shrill cry of one of the dolphins had Sam's head snapping to the side to look. Seeing how weak and wounded the creature seemed, his own shrill cry tore from his throat in answer as he reached for the dolphin.

"What the hell? Boss! Boss! Look what we pulled up outta the water!" a human's voice nearby had Sam's gaze quickly moving toward the creature they had all been taught to stay away from, to fear. Man. Soulless and heartless. A killer.

Another human walked over, eyeing Sam, his gaze moving slowly, crudely running over Sam's body, down his bare chest, to his side, where his gills moved with each breath, and down to his aquamarine hued tail. The man's lips slowly turned upward at the corners in a lewd smile. "Looks like we caught ourselves a merman, boys. Secure him, I think my brother'll be purty interested in the likes of this one," he sneered, reaching out to run the back of his knuckles along Sam's cheek.

Sam quickly turned his head, biting the strange human's hand and earning himself a hard smack across the face that caused his lip to bleed into his mouth just before the others joined in, clubbing him. Blood sprayed from Sam's mouth and nose, even as he fought to hold off his attackers.

Minutes later, with his hands bound behind his back, one eye swollen, his face covered with his own blood and with blackness hovering at the edges of his vision, Sam watched his home get smaller and smaller in the distance as he was taken away from all that he knew. A dolphin next to him gave a mournful high pitched cry to which Sam only nodded slightly, a tear slowly tracking down his cheek. He shouldn't have swum so close to the shore, he should have paid more attention... but none of that mattered anymore... home was gone....

* * *

[Chapter 1]

The sex club, aptly named Flesh, was a two story structure in the industrial part of Seattle. Most places were closed down at this time of the night, but the neon lights flashed around the name of the club, advertising its presence. It was a strange mix of shabby and chic, ultra-modern and old fashioned, classy and seedy. The walls were old style, plastered with burgundy wall paper, and chandeliers dropped from the ceiling in the middle and around the large room, making it look a little like an old dance hall. But the stage and long ramp equipped with shiny poles for the girls to dance on was glossy black and silver. There were several bars, and half-dressed men and women delivering drinks to the tables. Lap dances often lead to couples or groups leaving together to go upstairs, but only after they settled on a price and were paid up with the rough looking 'managers' whose expensive suits did nothing to disguise the fact they were raised on the street.

The air was thick with smoke. Dean had just finished making a deal to get a few cases of specially equipped rifles for Bobby who was now in the business of getting hunters the equipment they needed to do the job. The business turned a good profit, one that Bobby could use to finance more hunting jobs. Sometimes Dean helped out with the weapons deals, especially when he got low on cash. He was cursing at the fact that he'd need to stick around Seattle for a week until the rifles were ready to be delivered, when his gaze fell on the long fishnet clad legs of the cocktail waitress walking toward him. He gave her a look that was more than an invitation when the guy he'd been talking to about the deal got up and slapped his shoulder.

"Make sure you get a load of the merman in the aquarium, he's the talk of the town."

"Merman, yeah... whatever. I think I like this gimmick better," Dean answered, licking his lips and keeping his eyes on the blonde.

"That's what I thought, but it's no gimmick. See ya in a week. Make sure you have the cash... small bills," the man said, disappearing through the crowd.

Just as the gorgeous waitress was about to reach him, she was called away. "Fuck." Thinking he might as well move closer to the stage, Dean pushed up from the plush sofa and grabbing his bottle of beer, made his way.

He saw a small crowd gathered by the wall and knew it had to be that merman everyone was talking about. Smoke and mirrors, it's what it had to be. Still, bored and ready to find a reason to laugh, he ambled through the crowd to get a look inside the aquarium. Stopping a few feet away, his mouth dropped open. It looked real, so very real... but it was impossible. He couldn't see the guy's face, not yet, but his body ... his shoulders and back narrowing down at his waist, and then turning into a silvery green fish tail, it looked very real.

Dean was just wishing the man would turn when someone hit a red button on the wall and an electric current lit the water up like an electric bolt, making the merman jerk and shudder in pain. Enough pain that he quickly turned around and showed the audience what they wanted to see. He was... simply... beautiful. His body was perfectly proportioned, with chiseled muscles and abs that sported a six pack. His arms were spread out in the water as he swam in place, tail moving back and forth. What drew Dean's attention was the man's face.

Sucking in a breath, Dean trying to ignore the fluttering in his chest, he wondered if the slightly long hair floating around the guy's face was as soft and silky as it looked. The guy's ever changing hazel eyes were riveting and held mystery and misery in their depths. His parted, well defined lips were practically scarlet and so fucking sensuous, Dean couldn't help thinking of how it might feel to have them pressed against his own mouth.

He dragged his gaze away and saw that others were mesmerized too. Some of them touching themselves as they watched the merman. He looked back at the guy, his gaze slipping over his gills, then back to his face. Siren? he mouthed, trying to give himself an explanation for why his body was reacting so strongly, why he was getting a hard on for a man with a tail.

Sam hated it, hated what his life had become, hated that he was trapped, placed on display for humans to gawk and point at. He was alone, never in his life had he been alone. It wasn't that he'd been surrounded by many others of his kind before but there had always been other sea creatures around him. Dolphins, whales, sea turtles, a variety of fish and even sharks to annoy into chasing him. To the north there were seals, and otter, always there had been something to play with, but now he had nothing and no one but the humans that stared at him and who were cruel and abusive. And there was the pain that always seemed to come when the humans gathered around him, pain that would continue until he did whatever it was that would please them. Their faces bled and blended together into a vast sea of cruelty. All Sam wanted was to be free, to go home.

His gaze locked with one human tonight, one who seemed almost leery of coming closer to the glass walls that caged Sam in. Even through the finger print smeared glass, Sam could see the brilliant green color of that one's eyes. He watched as his lips moved, though he had no idea what he was saying. Sam tilted his head to one side, brows knitting in thoughtful confusion, before another jolt of pain had him jerking and shuddering, his body spasming until finally the pain subsided when he turned, showing himself to another section of the crowd.

After a few moments, Sam looked away from the cruel beasts outside of the small world he'd been given and dove down toward the bottom of the tank, trying to hide himself away from prying eyes.

Dean was disappointed when the merman flattened himself on the floor and disappeared from view, then he saw the bolt of electricity going through the water. The merman swam up and at the same time, a man's hand reached for the button again, taunting the creature inside. Without thought, Dean took a step and grabbed the guy's forearm before his hand touched the button. "Leave it, or I will break your fucking arm," he said. Only when he felt the guy relax, did he let go of his arm, and turn his head back to look inside.

Looking back over his shoulder, Sam saw the human with eyes like the surf standing closer to the side of the tank. He'd seen the human stopped the other from making the pain come. Pushing away from the side of the tank, Sam swam over, coming to a stop directly before the green eyed human, his eyes locking with the man's as he swam in place. Slowly Sam moved one hand, hesitantly placing his palm flat against the glass, a small shrill whine tearing from his throat. Thank you.

Dean put his hand over the glass, right where the merman's hand was pressed. He gave a small smile and ignored the chatter behind him.

"Look, he's talking. Make it talk some more!"

"Bring a girl, I want to see its cock again."

Something tugged at Dean's insides as he searched the merman's face.

Merfolk had something in common with whales. A whale aided by a person or one which feels a soul deep connection with a particular person takes a mental picture of the human, never to forget that one being. In that moment, Sam took in this human's image to remember for all time. It was the last peaceful moment Sam had before pain seared through his body making him jerk and spasm as the others hit the side of the tank where the pain always came from. Sam turned to each side and still it didn't stop, diving down in the tank in an attempt to escape the pain, a shrill mournful cry tearing from Sam's throat.

"Goddamnit, leave him alone," Dean snarled, pushing the people closest to the button away.

"You can't do that, that's what the button is for. I'm getting management..."

"You do that, but let's see if they watch your ass for you when you leave here. Lay off the fucking button... all of you." He stood close to it, his body shielding it so no one could touch it without getting through him this time.

By the time the merman swam slowly back up, one of the dancers had taken a position in front of the glass and started to dance for him. She rubbed her hands over her bikini clad body, then pressed her breasts against the glass, her mouth parting in fake pants and moans. "Come on lover, show me your stiffy," she said in a throaty voice, knowing if she managed, she'd get a lot of tips.

Sam watched the girl for a few moments, his eyes moving up and down her body as she danced before him. Slowly, Sam's eyes swung over toward Dean, standing at the far end of the tank, the area where the pain came from. With a glance back at the human female before him, Sam turned, swimming over to the side of the tank. Stopping before the man and placing his hand once more against the glass, his eyes tracked the movement of the man's hand as the man once again placed his hand against Sam's, only from the opposite side of the glass. Sam looked up at the human's face, his full lips, brilliant green eyes, the sun kissed skin with darker speckles across the bridge of his nose. Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth as he looked at the man, his gaze sliding down the guy’s body, traveling downward, taking in wide shoulders, a flat stomach, narrow waist beneath the material he wore. His body starting to respond to the sight of the man before him, the one who had been kind to him, the only one.

"You, stop it, whatever you're doing!" the dancer hissed, moving closer and banging against the window, trying to get the merman's attention.

Dean looked at her, then back at Sam, not really aware what was happening. His gaze locked with the merman's again, only now, he saw some sort of heat in the guy's eyes. The way he parted his lips, licked them... the way he was focusing only on Dean had Dean feeling all sorts of warm. Somehow he was turning the merman on, and that in turn was making Dean go hard. He didn't understand any of this, but couldn't look away.

"Look, his cock is coming out," someone snickered.

Seeing it was true, that a fully developed cock was unfolding from the merman's body, a few inches below his belly button, Dean let out a hot breath. Stepping up against the window, he pressed his body to it, trying to get a bit of the coolness on him, but also pressing his now hard cock against the glass.

Sam dragged his eyes away from Dean's, looking down at the man's crotch pressed against the glass, noting the way his coverings bulged where they hadn't before. Swimming down a little, Sam pressed his hand against the glass over the area where Dean's groin was pressed against the glass before his gaze darted back up to meet and lock with the man's jade hued eyes.

"Oh God..." Dean groaned, the thought of those lips wrapped around his cock entering his mind. His stomach clenched tight, he pressed harder against the glass.

"Tell him to swim up, we want to see his cock."

Dean barely heard the demands. All he knew was that his body was on fire, and all this merman had done was swim down and paid attention to his cock straining against his jeans. Biting his lower lip, he put both hands on the glass, his breaths misting the glass.

Sam leaned in, his cheek rubbing against the glass at the guys crotch level as he raised his hands, sliding them up the side of the tank to press against the glass at the same area where Dean's were pressed, his eyes closing, small shrill sounds breaking from his throat.

So fucking erotic, Dean thought he was gonna have a heart attack. Someone was panting and moaning. As his gaze slid down to the merman's cock, now very visible and aroused, he realized that the sounds were coming from himself. Jerking away from the window, he blew out a hot breath. He put one hand back over the merman's, and mouthed, "I'll be back."

As he tore himself away and walked toward the bar, there were protests from those around the tank. He'd caused the merman to react and they all wanted to see more.

At the bar, he ordered a couple shots, then turned around and kept his eyes on the merman for the rest of the night as he drank. On occasion, he saw the bolt go through the tank, making the merman shudder and sometimes hit the window. Those were the moments he drank more steadily and asked himself why he should care. It was an unnatural creature in there, not human. The prettier they were, the more dangerous... these supernatural beings.

*

Hours later, as the club emptied, Dean walked to one of the managers. "How much for a half hour alone with him, the merman?" he asked, pointing at the tank.

"Sorry, we don't bring him out."

"It's fine, I don't want him out. I just want some time."

The guy looked at another manager, then back at Dean. "Price of two lap dances, double."

"Done," Dean answered.

A short while later, the room was empty and Dean was back at the tank, watching the merman intently. His hand wandered down to the button of his jeans and he slowly undid them. "Meet me half way," he slurred a little.

When the man had walked away from the tank Sam had been more than a little confused, wanting nothing more than to swim away, but where was he going to go? Diving down toward the bottom had only gotten him pain. Now, as the man returned to the tank, Sam watched him through narrowed curious eyes. Slowly Sam's gaze dropped to the human's hand at his coverings, watching him as he opened the material before his eyes moved back up to the man's face. Lips parting, Sam gave a high pitched call as he turned, body rolling in the water, only to return to his former position, hands pressed palms flat against the glass.

Dean put one hand over the glass over the merman's, but used his other one to free himself of his pants and briefs. The sounds the merman was making sent a thrill through his body, making every nerve tingle. Maybe this was why they had been trying to arouse the merman earlier, it was good for business. His breaths once again started to mist the window as he started to squeeze himself, wondering what it would feel like to press against the guy, to have their cocks rubbing. "Please... show me," he pleaded, gaze dropping to the smooth expanse of flesh below the merman's belly button. "Show me."

Sam slowly looked down, watching as the man revealed his cock, one hand wrapped around his length. Dragging his gaze back up to the human's face, Sam's tongue darted out to run along his parted lips before his attention fell once more to the man's cock. Slowly walking his hands down the side of the glass, Sam lowered himself down his cheek pressing against the glass as his eyes closed, forehead rolling against the side of the tank, the merman's tongue darted out once more to run along his lips.

Dean groaned, wishing that tongue was flicking over his own skin. His eyes were laser focused on the merman, traveling between his face and the center of his body. "The way you move," he said, "it's got me all sorts of hot. I know... freaky right?" He licked his lips and squeezed himself harder, stroking up and down his cock.

Sam's eyes opened, watching the man's hand slide along his cock, his own body responding. Tearing his gaze from the human's hand and cock, Sam looked up at his face, his breaths coming harder, gills at his side moving in and out faster with each breath as Sam's attention darted between the man's face and the hand on his cock. His hands against the glass slowly curled into fists as he watched, a shrill cry tearing from Sam's throat as he started to head butt the glass, swimming so that his body slid against the side of the tank, dragging against the glass.

Watching the merman all but hump the window, Dean wanted to do the same. But his hand would feel better than the glass, he knew that, and instead watched intently as the merman tried to get some relief by rubbing his now visible and very aroused and cock against the smooth glass. The erotic and desperate motions had his breath catching, his hand moving faster over his hard flesh. Fuck... he didn't know if he'd ever been this hard before. He rubbed one thumb across the glass, over the Merman's mouth, then leaned slightly back and started to stroke faster, breaths panting out.

Continuing to swim so that he could drag his hard cock across the glass, Sam's breaths came faster, gills moving in and out with each breath, lips parted as he kept an eye on the man outside his tank, watched as the human ran his hand along his hard length. Body banging harder against the glass, small shrill sounds broke from Sam, the sound muffled through the glass. He'd never seen a human do what this one did, at least not up close and with the material that usually covered them up peeled away to reveal their cock. He had never pleasured himself the way this man was, had never touched himself in such a way. Sure, merfolk had their own forms of masturbation, but rubbing themselves against something was always the way they took care of such needs. And of course most of them were paired off with a lifemate by Sam's age and could turn to their mate to ease their sexual frustration.

"Oh God..." Dean groaned at the sounds coming from the merman. He spoke a little louder, letting him hear how he was affecting him, not knowing whether he was giving the same pleasure or not. "Fuck... you got me twisted in knots," he said, between labored breaths. He wondered why the guy wasn't touching himself, why he was trying to get relief just by pressing against the window. "Close... " He stepped up to the window, his face over the merman's, then he jerked his head back as his balls drew up tight against his body. Eyes tracking Sam's undulating motions, Dean came hard, his spunk spraying against the window. He kept stroking himself, another rope of cum splashing against the window, and then a peace he hadn't felt since the instant he saw the merman started to settle inside him.

Sam's motions became more erratic against the glass, an ocean sponge or cluster of seaweed would be softer and easier to work with than the side of the tank but he couldn't care. It wasn't until he saw the first spray of spunk hit the side of the tank that Sam felt his own body tense. The heat pooling low in belly and the pulsing of his cock had Sam throwing his head back as he came, his own cum smearing against the glass, only to mix and wash away with the salt water a moment later. Head falling forward, his forehead banged against the glass as his body slowly relaxed. Sam looked at the human through half lidded eyes, a small shrill sad cry sounding from his throat.

Dean was slightly bent over, both hand flat on the glass as he watched the merman come. He nodded, giving a grateful smile as he tried to catch his breath. "Thank you," he whispered, slowly pulling back and putting his cock back in his pants and re-adjusting himself. For a long while, until his time ran out, he stood there, eyes locked with the merman's, wishing he knew what those sounds meant. Were they words, or just sounds... cries of pleasure? He didn't know, but he did know that there was an intelligent look in the merman’s eyes, he was more than an animal. But what was he beyond that?

"Come on, time's up. Beat it." The lights flickered, an added hint that Dean had to leave. He wiped his hand across the glass, the started to back away.

Sam's eyes widened as his head shot up, looking around through the glass, then back at the human that was now backing away. Smacking the glass with his hand, Sam gave a sharp shrill cry. Don't go! Turning his head, he watched the man continue to back away, the fingers of his hand against the glass, slowly curling into a fist.

Dean shook his head, shoved his hands into his pockets and turned away. Slightly hunched over, he walked out of the place, feeling confused and a little guilty. He couldn't shake the image of the merman's face from his mind, the depth of the sadness in his eyes and in that last cry. But he had to, he would.

* * *

For the next three nights, Dean tried to keep from going back to Flesh, but failed miserably. He'd pace in his one room motel, wear out the cheap carpet, channel surf... and try to think of a single person he could talk to about this strange need to go back. The reality was, he didn't have friends. He had no family. And Bobby... well they had been close once, but not so much anymore. Hunting... maybe he just did it now because he'd always done it. But ever since a bunch of hunters had taken his dad down thinking he was possessed, cracks had started to form in everything Dean had believed. Hunters weren't always right. And they weren't always the good guys. They came in all stripes, and many of them had power trip issues. That realization left him almost friendless now.

Maybe he could go spend the night in the arms of a warm willing woman. Yeah he knew how to work the charm, it wouldn't be hard... it never was, never had been. But morning always came and he was back to square one. The fix would be temporary. And really, he wasn't so sure it would get his mind off the merman. He didn't know what it was about the guy, the look in his eyes? Something deep, like a reflection of his own soul, which was a fucking load of crap. He knew that.

Dean knew that, even as he gave in again and drove his ass to the club. The instant he walked in, the bar tender asked someone to move from the seat that was now 'his' and from where he could watch the tank. He sat down and pushed his money across the bar, his eyes immediately seeking the merman's tank. He saw the electric bolt light up the waters, and the merman arch back in pain, his teeth clenched together in a grimace. He cursed under his breath and took his first shot.

He'd stopped them from pressing the damn button a few times, but it never lasted. Management would walk over and under their suits, they were packing. Dean played the scenarios out in his mind, every one of them ending with himself pushed out of the club and having gained nothing for the trapped merman. So he did nothing, he sat there and watched, a part of his soul being eaten away by his inaction, another part seeking... seeking something he couldn't fathom.

The days bled together for Sam, he was no longer certain how long he had been in captivity, had no idea if it were day or night, only that once he saw one human, the others would be coming soon to point and mock him. To make him perform for them, causing pain when he did not do as they wanted, not that he understood the things that they shouted to him. Their banging on the glass, rang loudly in the tank, nearly enough to make his ears ache.

The one bright spot in all of this were the times that he would catch a glimpse of him, the human from the night when the others had left. He'd come back, though he had not returned to the side of the tank, he had been there, stopped the others from causing him pain a few times, though that didn't happen anymore either. It seemed that the human had become bored with the 'freak' in the tank. That didn't stop Sam from seeking him out each night, or the fluttering of excitement in his chest when he would catch sight of him. More often than not, swimming over to the side of the tank where he could see the man better would only result in pain. The others crowded around his tank yelling out to him and pounding on the glass.

His gaze locked on the human now, Sam stayed in the center of the tank, allowing the others to get their fill of looking at him, though he paid their shouts no mind, his attention solely fixed on the man across the room, a sharp shrill cry tearing from his throat, loud enough to normally carry miles across the ocean, as he tried to get the human's attention.

Dean's chin lifted, his breath leaving him in a woosh. He heard the bartender say that the merman was crushing on him, but didn't answer. He knew, if he went up to the tank, it would be a repeat of the first night. He'd want to break people's arms, and then he'd want to... the merman held a certain power over him, or stirred something in him, he wasn't sure. He'd always thought he had great control over his body, but not with this man... half man. He managed to smile, to acknowledge him, and fought the urge to go to him right now. "Another drink," he said, slapping his palm against the bar, but not turning around.

The smile was something, but it wasn't what Sam had been hoping for. He had hoped that the man would come over, would interact with him. That he would be able to look into his bright green eyes again, but he had remained where he was. With another shrill cry, Sam hung his head, rolling in the water and diving deep toward the bottom. He knew that the others would make the pain come for his moving out of their sight, but he didn't care. Let them hurt him, he was already suffering, being held here in this tank, in captivity. He wanted to be able to do what he wanted and not what a bunch of humans forced him to, he wanted to be free, he wanted to go home...

"Sonova..." Screwing his eyes shut, Dean knocked his drink back.

*

The club was closing, last minute stragglers were getting one last lap dance. Those who were experienced knew that you got a lot more bumping and grinding for your cash when the hour was late and the 'artists' were trying to rake in the last of their tips.

Dean headed for the managers, glancing at the tank as he passed it, but not stopping. "I want inside the tank," he said.

The portly man laughed, his jowls shaking with the rest of his body. He straightened his suit. "There's no touching the freak. You want the same deal as last time, you got it. Otherwise, hit the road."

"A thousand dollars. Cash. Fifteen minutes," Dean said, his gaze hard and unwavering.

"Deal, but if he's harmed, I will have your head displayed in that tank."

Ten minutes later, Dean was only in his briefs and climbing up a ladder set up in the adjoining room where the back of the tank was located. He reached the top, and waited while one of the thugs who owned the joint unlocked the hatch at the top of the tank.

Sam had been swimming back and forth through the water, the closest thing to freedom he had were times like this, when the lights went down on the outside and there were no people around. That was when he could swim and flip through the water as he wanted, except now some loud clanking above him drew his attention and caused him to halt to look up and see what was going on. He knew better than to swim to the surface, the few times he had tried that he had been met with beatings with sticks that caused the same pain that the push of the button worked on him.

Dean looked down into the water. There was about a foot of air between the top of the water and the hatch, though it wasn't visible from the other side of the tank in the club itself.

"You might make a nice addition to the display," the guy said to Dean as Dean sat on the edge of the opening and put his legs in, face contorting at the coldness of the water.

"Yeah, well... you're not the only one who has friends," he answered, dropping down, arms raised as he slipped all the way through the water nearly to the bottom.
As soon as the human dropped down into the water, Sam bolted, swimming away from them, plunging down to the tank floor as far away from the human as he could get. Turning, he pressed his back against the glass wall of the tank, eyes wide, his heart hammering in his chest as he stared at the human who had invaded his small world.

Dean opened his eyes. It took a few seconds to get used to the sting, then he looked for Sam and saw him. He would have swum toward him, but he recognized the panic in his face, and quickly back away from him, only putting his hand out. Holding his breath as he waited was getting harder and harder. Kicking, he pushed himself up to the top of the tank to take in some air, then swam back down, this time head first and reaching his hand out toward Sam again from a distance. Really, he wouldn't blame the merman for refusing contact. Just because Dean wanted it, it didn't mean the merman had to perform.

Sam watched the human, his eyes following his every move, face tilting upward as he watched him swim up to the surface of the water, then dive back down. Slowly, hesitantly, Sam swam closer, his gaze moving over the human before slanted hazel brown eyes met brilliant green and the merman swam a little closer still, reaching a hand out, the way the man was doing, their fingertips touching. Sam's eyes snapped over to their hands, to their fingers as they touched, before returning to the man's face, a shrill cry breaking from Sam's lips.

Dean only just remembered not to let his breath out when the sound the merman made vibrated through his entire system. It was like being touched from the inside, at every point in your body. He pushed forward a little, his hand closing lightly over the merman's finger tips, squeezing gently. His flesh felt just like a human's, but Dean had to wonder how the rest of him felt. "Hi," he mouthed, then ran of air and released the man's hand to kick up to the surface again. Maybe next time he'd think to bring an oxygen tank. Next time?

Taking a deep breath, he dove again, swimming for the merman, slowing as he approached him. Reaching out, he gently touched his cheek, his hand accidentally brushing over his mouth. A warm feeling curled inside his belly, almost making him lose his air already.

Sam again watched as the human swam up to the surface, his brows knitting together at the man's actions. His gaze following him as the human dove back down, only to jerk away at the feel of the man's hand at his cheek. The feel of the human's palm against his lips had the same fluttering feeling dancing in Sam's chest that occurred when he first saw the man. Swimming back a bit, Sam flipped his tail playfully at him, sending a wave of water toward the human, chuckling as he watched the man nearly topple backward by the force of the water.

Rolling as he swam away from the man, Sam turned back around, diving deep only to come up behind the human, much the way Orca's liked to play, though instead of breaking the surface of the water, Sam wrapped an arm tightly around the man's waist as he continued swimming swiftly through the water. Turning his head, Sam looked over at the man, a wide smile on his face, making dimples show in his cheeks.

Dean couldn't even protest in the water, not without taking mouthfuls of it in, but then strong arms closed around him and he was swimming with the merman, being pulled through the water, and turning before they hit the end of the tank. At first he was cautious, but catching the man's smile, he understood it was okay, that he was just playing. Smiling back, he put one hand over the merman's on his waist, and with the other, reached back to touch his sides and hips... tail. He felt no scales, the man's body was smooth and slick, and he could feel powerful muscles moving... pushing them through the water.

When he started to run out of air, Dean tried to break away, then gripped the guy's forearm tight and pointed up.

Sam looked down at the man's grip on his arm, then to his face, before his gaze followed the direction of his finger, his head tilting back as he looked up. He stilled, swimming in place in the water as he looked at the human, his hold around him tightening as he shook his head slowly a shrill cry breaking from his throat.

He didn't understand, that much was clear to Dean. He shook his own head, pointing up again, and this time kicking his feet and trying to push up and away from the merman, but the guy's grip was tight and he had a balance in the water that Dean just didn't have. Slightly panicked, Dean started to struggle.

Sam shook his head, holding tight, shrill cries breaking from his throat as he tried to tell the human to calm down, that it was alright, but the man didn't seem to understand any better than Sam was able to understand the things that the human's said. Sliding a hand up the man's back, Sam cupped the back of the man's head and quickly leaned in, slanting his open mouth over the human's, breathing in and out deeply, pushing oxygen into the man's mouth, his own gills steadily moving.

About to push him away, this time possibly hurt him, Dean was shocked when the merman's mouth closed over his. Despite his need for air, his tongue automatically sought out the guy's, a thrill going through him as he finally had the chance to kiss like he'd wanted. Groaning soundlessly, he pressed closer, stroking the guy's tongue with his, then exploring the depths of his mouth, the tension in his belly tightening. His back and ass rubbed against the merman's smooth bare skin and had Dean going hard. Reaching to his side, he held the guy's face in place as he deepened the kiss, moving his mouth harder over the merman's.

Sam's brows instantly furrowed as the human's tongue slid into his mouth, uncertain why he was doing it, but fairly certain that the man could not breath without his help under the water, needing to take breaths like the dolphins and whales. Sam held still, allowing the human to do as he was, after all, it wasn't as though it were not enjoyable. Instead it made his stomach clench in a good way, that same fluttering to fill his chest. Though Sam was unsure if the man expected him to reciprocate.

Dean started to take a breath through his nose and stopped suddenly, eyes widening. He'd been so lost in the kiss he'd wanted so badly and for so long, he'd missed the fact that he was breathing... or rather... he was breathing air from the merman's mouth, the man was giving him air. Realizing he'd misunderstood the merman's intent, he reluctantly withdrew his tongue, took another deep breath and pulled back, nodding his thanks, and slipping his hand over the merman's again and going horizontal so they could swim again.

Sam's expression slowly slid back into a smile as he looked at the man, slowly sliding his hand away from him, his arm from around the human to take Dean's hand within his own, giving a small nod. Sam started to look away, out before them, only to stop and look back, quickly leaning in dropping a quick soft chaste kiss on the man's lips, much the way one might a pet or a friend. Sam's smile widening as he drew back, his tongue running over his lip as he looked at the human, before his gaze swung away from Dean and he took off, pulling the man with him through the water at speeds there was no way the human could swim were he not holding onto the merman's hand.

The tank wasn't huge so they turned a lot. It was like being on some ride at the fair, and Dean had to keep reminding himself not to call out or try to talk. The most he could do was smile back in those moments that the merman slowed to see his reactions. Each time he needed more air, he'd start to squeeze the merman's hand hard, and they'd exchange air. The temptation to kiss him again was so fucking strong, but Dean couldn't make himself do that to him. As sexual as the merman had been when they'd both jerked off watching each other, right now, he was the opposite of sexual... he was as playful as some child, or a friend showing you something new and exciting.

Time passed too quickly. A loud knock on the window had Dean jerking and wondering how the merman could take the sound every night. He pointed up, pulling the merman up toward the surface with him.

At the knock on the glass, Sam's head snapped to the side to look as he pulled Dean closer to him, the gesture almost protective. Slowly releasing his hold on the human, Sam shook his head as Dean tried to pull him upward toward the surface, only to start to panic as the man continued to pull on him. Wrapping his arms around Dean, Sam dove down to the bottom of the tank, pinning him against the floor, his eyes locked on Dean's as he held him there, hands against Dean's shoulders, a mournful shrill cry tearing from Sam's throat before he leaned in, pressing his lips softly to the human's and lingering briefly before quickly darting away, swimming to the other side of the tank, mournful shrill sounds sounding from the merman.

It was odd. Dean's momentary panic disappeared quickly even when he was held to the floor of the tank, even when his hunter's instincts usually kept him distrustful and suspicious. Instead, he didn't fight, and accepted the soft kiss, then found a lump developing in his throat as the merman swam away. He'd wanted to tell him his name, up at the surface, but it was clear the merman didn't want to swim up. He raised his arm in a wave, then kicked to push himself up through the waters.

When he reached the surface, the hatch was opened up and he pulled himself out.

"Did you get any cock?"

"Shut up," Dean snapped. Climbing down from the tank, he dropped to the ground. Heading for the table he'd tossed his clothes on, he left a wet trail behind him. There was no towel or anything to dry off with. He waited until the guy was out of the room, then stripped his wet boxers off and got into his jeans and clothes. Shrugging his jacket on, he walked through the doors to the main room of the club and stopped in front of the tank. He put his hand on the glass, seeing the merman still practically cowering at the back wall.

Sam didn't understand why the man left, didn't know what it was that he had done to make him leave. Was it because he had refused to go to the surface with him? The others, they didn't want him up there. He couldn't go. Mournful sounds broke from Sam's throat until he caught sight of the man now outside the tank, standing with his hand pressed against the glass. Once, that would have been enough, but now he'd tasted what it was like to be near the man, to swim and play with him, to press against him and hold onto him. Instead of swimming up, Sam merely hung his head a shrill sad cry sounding through the room as it tore from Sam's throat. Goodbye.

Feeling a sense of loss, Dean watched for another long moment, his fingers sliding... spreading apart on the glass.

"Alright, we're closed. You can come back tomorrow to see your girlfriend."

Dean shrugged the heavy hand off his shoulder and started to walk.

"Next week we're bringing in an animal trainer, real professional like."

Turning his head, Dean spread his hands out. "For...?"

"Gonna try to teach that thing to give head. You paid a thousand bucks for a swim. How much would you pay for his lips around your cock, eh?"

Dean saw red. He gripped the guy by the front of his suit. "That's fucking sick. He's not a sex slave. That's illegal." So was the tank, or it should be.

"He's not real. Not a person, ain't no laws against this," the guy answered, coughing. "Let go or you're banned."

Pushing him away, Dean walked out, his entire body... every muscle tensing to breaking point. He couldn't imagine forcing that gentle merman to do anything. It was already killing him, the thought that he'd been trapped in that small area, tortured, forced to perform. And yeah, he knew damned well that he himself was one of the people for whom the merman had been forced to perform. If there weren't people who were interested in him, then the guy would be tossed back to sea. Guilt and a bottle of whiskey would be Dean's companion this night.

Chapter Text

[Sometime The Following Week]

When the first man dove into the water, Sam had turned, a smile on his face thinking that maybe it was him. Sam's smile melted away as he saw rather quickly, that it wasn't. It was someone he hadn't seen before, followed by more men diving in, all of them wearing tanks like he'd seen human's wear on their back in the ocean.

Sam turned around, quickly swimming as fast as he could for the other side of the tank in fear, and turning back around when he ran out of places to go. His back pressed against the glass as he tried to hide, but there was nothing to hide behind, nowhere to go and they were all looking right at him, the same way that the human on the ship had the day he had been taken away from his home.

Two of the swimmers grabbed the merman, each by one shoulder, and brought him forward. Bubbles rippled out of their mouths and through the water as they breathed out. One of them grabbed the merman's chin and forced him to look beyond the glass into the club where two men demonstrated what was required. One of the men whipped his cock out of his pants, the other bent down on his knees and started to lick and suck the standing man's cock.

His heart banging against his chest, Sam watched what the humans outside the tank were doing with wide eyes. Shaking his head, Sam struggled against the human's hold on him, frantic high pitch cries tumbling from his lips, No! No! No!

One of the divers motioned to another diver who approached and pulled his own shorts off. He was weighed down with weights so he stood on the bottom of the tank.

They dragged the merman to the waiting man, pushed him down and forced his face close to the guy's flaccid cock. When the merman did nothing, one of the men released his shoulder and used his hands to pry fishboy's mouth open, then squeezed his cheeks hard as he pushed him close to the guy's cock again.

Sam struggled until the last moment when he was shoved down, his face near the human's sex organ. Eyes squeezed tightly closed, Sam waited, hoping if he held still, if he did nothing they would give up and leave him alone. They didn't.

Shrill cries broke from Sam's throat as he flailed, fought for freedom, to be left alone, not wanting to do this, not wanting to have the humans use him like this. With his mouth forced open, Sam stared, his eyes wide as the other man moved closer, grabbing a handful of his hair, just before the human's cock was shoved into his mouth. Sam did the only thing he could do to defend himself in that moment; he bit down as hard as he could, ignoring the pain in his own cheeks and jaw, the taste of blood in his mouth.

The water in the tank churned as one man dragged the merman's head back by his hair, and the other punched him and kept punching until he opened his mouth. The man who was bitten pushed the weights off and swam to the surface, both hands over his cock.

The two swimmers holding the merman dragged him up to the surface, one of them getting up the ladder, leaning down and grabbing the merman while the other pushed him up. Once the merman had been dragged out of the tank, he was thrown down to the ground, where they proceeded to beat him more easily.

Sam tried to defend himself, or at least to block some of the blows, but there were so many, it seemed he would cover one area, only to be stuck elsewhere, causing his body to twist and contort as he lay on the small deck above the tank.

"Freak... you... will... obey," one of the men said, using a stick to beat the merman across the face and chest. "Pull something like that again and I will cut your balls off."

He tossed him aside, and they all stood watching him gasp for air as they talked about alternatives.

"Get a dildo, next time we make him practice on one. And force him to do it out here, where we can fucking shock him into submission... I don't fucking care if he has trouble breathing."

Eyes wide with fear, Sam gasped for breath, gills opening and closing with each labored breath, rose hued lips parted as he stared up at his attackers, his abusers. Using his hands, Sam tried to slowly pull himself away from them, his gaze darting over toward the water, before snapping back to the human's. Water, he just wanted to get back in the water and be left alone. Small sad shrill sounds broke from his throat as he weakly edged closer to the side of the deck. Rolling, Sam bounced off the glass side as he dropped into the tank, water splashing up high as his body fell.

"Darken the lights in the tank tonight," one of the men snapped. The last thing he wanted was questions about the state of the merman. The public like to see pretty displays, not bruised and battered trash like this.

Sam didn't come out for the others that night, even when the pain came. He hid on the floor of the tank, huddled in a corner, curled up as much as he could, trying to not be seen by anyone, hoping that maybe they would just forget about him being there.

* * *

Dean had concluded his business in Seattle, but the farther he'd driven out of town, the more it became clear to him he had some unfinished business still waiting for him there. Eventually, after desperately trying to forget the merman, to put him out of his mind, Dean turned the car around and headed back, formulating a plan in his mind as the miles went by.

*

It was five thirty A.M., at least an hour and half after the club had completely closed down and emptied of employees. Dean hopped down from the truck he'd rented, and went to the back. Reaching up, he brought down the guarding of the flatbed down so it was flat and would be ready when he got back. Duffel bag in hand, he crossed the sidewalk, and bent down to get to work on breaking in. There was a wrought iron sliding door in front of the main door. Using his lock picking tools, Dean quickly got the padlock open and pushed the metal to the side. Then he moved closer and worked on the more complicated lock on the door. Nothing was gonna stand in his way. Nothing.

A short time later, he had his small flashlight on and was walking through the club. There was no sign of security, but he moved quickly anyway in case there was a silent alarm he'd missed. As he approached the tank, his heart thudded against his chest, excitement flushing through him at the thought of seeing the merman. Only, as he used the light, sweeping it back and forth across the tank, he saw no sign of him.

His stomach dropped. Had he been taken somewhere else? Sold. Had something worse happened?

"God no..." he whispered, this time pressing his face against the glass and knocking on it lightly.

Usually about this time, Sam was sleeping, simply floating in the water, his eyes half closed, sound asleep. Tonight however, he was wide awake, fear and trepidation making him unable to relax enough to get any rest. Head still hanging, Sam caught the movement of light against the tank floor. Slowly he tilted his head back, looking up from his corner against the wall. He was about to look away when he saw who it was standing there, his face distorted slightly by the glass, Sam would still always know him, anywhere. Pushing away from the wall without thought, Sam swam upward, cringing against the brightness of the flashlight shining on his still swollen face as he swam to the glass right in front of him.

Momentary joy was replaced by anger when Dean saw that the merman was injured. He'd been on the other end of a beating often enough to know what did that... not just fists. He put his hand on the window in greeting, moving the light slightly so they could both see without being blinded.

"Do you want out?" He asked distinctly. He pointed at the merman, "You, come out," he pointed to the place next to him, "with me?" he pointed at himself now. He didn't even know if he could be heard through the water or if the merman understood English, but maybe the gestures were clear.

Sam looked at the man before him, the corners of his lips starting to curve upward, only to have the start of a smile slowly slide away as he watched the gestures. The man wanted him to come out there? To - to do what the others wanted? Sam's eyes widened in a look of horror as he swam backward, his eyes fixed on the spot next to Dean, before darting to the human's face. Sam shook his head adamantly as he continued to back away from the glass, the betrayal he felt clear in his slanted hazel brown eyes.

Dean cocked his head, sensing the sudden distrust coming from the merman in waves. He licked his lips, turned and pointed to the door. Looked back, and used his hand to emulate waves, the way a Hawaiian dancer might. He pointed again to the merman, the door, and showed him what he hoped the guy would understand was water.

Sam's gaze darted to the door before returning to the man as he watched him. Tilting his head to the side, Sam frowned, though he slowly swam forward, pressing his hand against the glass, palm flat. Sucking his lip into his mouth as he looked at the human, Sam swam back a little, waving him into the tank. Wanting Dean to come inside again, to be with him, swim with him. He wasn't completely certain what the man had been trying to say, but he knew that the man had been in the water with him before, he should be able to again.

Dean shook his head 'no.' One more time, he pointed at the merman, and then at the door, this time after gesturing to show him waves, moving his hands like he was swimming, then pointing to the door again. He put both palms against the window and looked in, willing the guy to agree.

Sam's eyes widened as he watched the man. 'Swimming? Out there? Home....' Sam nodded adamantly, striking his hand against the glass, shoving against it, wanting nothing more than to get out, to not be in this place any longer, to be set free.

Smiling, Dean nodded, realizing the merman understood. He pointed to the other side of the tank. "Go... go there," he kept pointing, as he pulled his gun out of the waistband of his jeans. He pointed again, then watched as the guy swam away looking puzzled. Taking the safety off, Dean shot a line of bullets into the glass, shattering one side. Water poured out like a tidal wave. When the tank mostly emptied out, he kicked the rest of the glass into the tank, and stretched his arms out as the merman was swept toward him.

Catching him, Dean lifted him up over his shoulder with a grunt. "You're heavier outside the water," he grumbled, taking a quick look around and then rushing for the door. "That'll probably send an alarm somewhere..."

Dean heard a sound and looked down to see it was the merman's tail sweeping the sidewalk. For one moment, he wanted to laugh so bad he almost dropped the guy. This wasn't the time. When he reached the truck, he turned around so the merman faced the flatbed and was level with it, and gave him a push so he'd climb in.

Seeing the vehicle, Sam clung tighter to Dean, nearly frantic to not have to go inside, but when Dean gave him a push, Sam released the man, half crawling, half falling inside the truck. The unexpected feeling of water splashing up around him as he fell into the small tub inside the truck was a welcome relief. Laying back in the tub of saltwater, his body covered to his chest, Sam waited anxiously for what would happen next, his heart hammering wildly in his chest.

He was out of that horrible place and maybe, so it seemed, headed back to the ocean.

Dean raised his hand in a 'halt' gesture. "Say there, stay right there," he commanded, closing the guard and locking it then racing around the side of the truck.

He could hear sirens coming from a distance and cursed. Tossing his duffel inside, Dean immediately started the truck and hauled ass out of there. He had figured out various routes to the coast and one of them would get them there. Slamming his foot on the gas pedal, he turned a corner, tires squealing.

Ten minutes later, though he could no longer hear the sound of sirens, a couple of black SUVs suddenly appeared. Two from the front, two behind him, trying to drive him off the side of the road.

"Sonovabitch," Dean shouted, throwing the truck in reverse, hitting one of them then, driving into an alley that was almost too narrow, scraping the side of the truck against the walls and trash receptacles along the way. He couldn't worry about what the merman was thinking, he just had to get him away.

An SUV crashed into him, leaving a shower of sparks as they drove glued together for a while. He jerked the wheel to the side and got away.

Fuck...

The chase went on, through city streets and freeways, with Dean driving the wrong way to get a couple of the cars off his tail. He swerved between oncoming traffic, knowing this was going to bring cops too, but he had no choice. Hand on the horn, he kept driving, until he exited, narrowly missing a car getting onto the freeway.

There was only one SUV chasing now and he was determined to get away. Driving downhill at a breakneck speed, Dean was calculating how quick he'd need to turn when the SUV crashed into him.

The truck rolled down an embankment. Dean yelled as it rolled and when it eventually came to standstill, crawled out of the window and headed to the back. The tub was gone, at least it wasn't crushed under the weight of the truck.

"Hey, where are you?" He shouted. "Hey!" He ran back, looking for the tub on the other side of embankment.

Sam and the tub had flown off the truck, landing at the edge of a wooded area. Dead grass and leaves clinging to his wet body. With the tub on top of his chest, midsection and arm, he was trapped against the ground lay gasping for air, his gills working on overtime.

Hearing the man's voice, Sam lifted his head from the ground, lips parting, wanting to call to him, but the human didn't make sounds like a dolphin or whale, Sam had no idea how to tell him that he was injured, that he needed water badly, that it hurt to breathe without it. Instead a shrill high pitched cry broke from Sam's throat before he let his head fall back against the earth, staring up at the night sky.

Scrambling toward the sound, Dean stopped suddenly as two men started to climb down. Walking back towards them, he aimed and shot, and aimed and shot again, and again, until both dropped down onto their backs. He reached them and kicked the gun out of one of the men's hands. The lower sections of both their bodies had bullet holes and they were writhing with pain.

Dean aimed his gun at the forehead of one of the guys. "Give me an excuse," he snarled, moving the barrel over to the other one's forehead. "Either of you move one single inch before we're out of here, I will kill you," he said coolly.

Dropping down, Dean searched them for weapons, took them away and headed to where he'd heard the merman's call.

When he found the merman, he let out a breath of relief. There wasn't any blood, and he seemed like he was in one piece.

"I'm gonna get you out of here, I swear," Dean promised, pulling the tub off the merman before starting to lift him up.

As Sam was lifted, his arm turned sideways, causing him to cry out in pain before he could stop himself. Licking his dry lips, Sam turned his attention to his arm, noting how swollen it was, how he was unable to move it even a little without sharp excruciating pain shooting upward into his shoulder. Turning his attention back to the man he shook his head. Something was wrong with his arm, there was no way he could swim like this.

Dean's gaze followed Sam's. He closed his eyes for a second before opening them once more and nodding.

"I'll take care of it," he said, getting Sam near the edge of the embankment but knowing now that the merman couldn't help him by pulling himself up the side.

Dean set him down. "Wait here, I'll be back," he said, scrambling up the embankment himself. He'd sensed the merman's panic, and wanted to get back to him as soon as possible.

He climbed up onto the road and reached the SUV, slamming the passenger door shut before getting into the driver's side. He started the car and drove it down the embankment. A moment later, he had hefted the merman inside the passenger seat and was back in the driver's seat. Driving at an angle on four wheel drive, he made it back up to the road.

"You're not gonna be able to swim, are you?" He asked, not expecting an answer. "I gotta get you to water."

He wasn't going back into the city, instead he headed to a safe house he knew in the woods. It wasn't that close to the ocean, but he could always get the merman to the ocean when his arm was better. Glancing over at him, he gave a reassuring look, then turned onto a dirt road.

Slumped down in the seat, Sam panted his breaths as he gasped for air. His head rolled against the back of the seat, eyelids growing heavy.

He needed water, each breath seemed to be weighing him down, making him feel weaker, his gills moving steadily at his sides, trying to force air into his body. Tongue darting out to lick his dry lips, Sam looked over at the man, his lips curving upward into a weak smile as his eyes started to slowly droop closed.

"Hang on, pal," Dean patted the merman's shoulder, then drove as fast as the car would take them. Occasionally, he'd look over and see the guy's gills moving, spasming as they tried to process air where there was no water. He remembered how the merman had shared air with him, but knew he wasn't sure he could do the reverse for him, and even if he could, they'd be stuck in one place so it wasn't workable. All he could do was get him to water... a tub... a shower... fast.

He kept up a steady stream of talk, knowing the merman didn't understand a thing of it, but maybe it would help to keep him calm. Or maybe he was doing it to keep himself calm. Worry was gnawing his stomach, he didn't know how long the merman could live outside water. He seemed to be in pain, but there wasn't any thrashing like he'd expect if someone were running out of air.

As he drove, he noted the few motels he passed, thinking if he needed to get the guy into the shower fast, he could drive back. But what he really wanted was to get to the safety of the cabin. If the guy could hang on.

The dirt road forked and he took a left, going deeper into the forest. From here on out, there would be no more motels, or houses or anything.

Another few miles, and he pulled up to two side by side log cabins mostly hidden from view. Jumping out, he opened one of them up, it was a garage with a cabin facade. Driving the SUV inside, he closed the door again, and now no one would see the vehicle. Turning the lights on, he moved around the vehicle and opened the door.

"We're here," he said, pulling the merman gently out and into his arms.

Sam's eyes opened to mere slits as he nearly fell into the human's arms, lack of oxygen wreaking havoc on his system. Sam had never been out of the water for this long before. Small interludes upon the rocks in the sea, sunning himself for a few moments before pushing off to dive back into the ocean were the longest periods of time he had ever been out of the water and even then his tail had been submerged, splashing water up onto his body from time to time as he lay there. But this was nothing like that, it was frightening and painful, each breath harder to drawn than the last. A small shrill sound broke weakly from Sam's throat as he was carried inside, his head laying against the man, body limply laying against him.

"I gotcha," Dean whispered reassuringly, getting into the main cabin and quickly finding the bathroom. He strode right into the shower and turned it on, still holding the merman and getting a face-full of water as the cold spray hit them. Slowly, the water warmed up a little, but he was afraid to make it hot. He bent down and gently setting the guy down onto the tile floor, trying to move out of the way of the water so all of it would reach the merman. "It's not salt water, I hope it works..." He said, his gaze moving to the merman's gills on his sides.

Sam slowly released his hold on the man as he was set down on the floor of the small room, water pouring over him, but it wasn't right. It was better than no water, but it wasn't the same, something was lacking and Sam knew it even as his gills stopped moving quite as fast as they had been, his eyes opening a little more, though he still felt weak. Reaching out, Sam snagged the man's hand, grasping it within his own, his head rolling against the tile wall behind him as he looked over at him, his tail slowly moving along the shower floor, fins flapping against the drain, splashing small amounts of water.

'Don't go.'

Hair and clothes plastered to him, Dean found himself sitting down next to the merman, letting him hold his hand. He watched over him, looking for signs of either improvement or that he was getting worse. He knew he'd have to take care of his arm once he got breathing okay again. Gently, he cupped his square jaw and turned his face to look at him. The bruises pissed him the hell off again.

"What did they do to you?" He asked, his thumb gently caressing the merman's marred skin. "Bastards."

Sam's gaze slowly lowered to the hand cupping his face, his eyes closing slowly as he leaned into the touch, a small shrill near whirl sound coming from deep in Sam's throat. Dark lashes fluttered before his eyes eased opened again as he lifted his head, his gaze searching the human's face. Taking in a breath, Sam's gills paused, causing his eyes to widen in fear, his entire body going ridged, hand tightening its hold on the man's hand. A moment later the merman's gills started to move once again, his breaths panting out, gills working double time again. A small weak high pitch sound tore from Sam's throat, his eye lids drooping, head rolling against the tiled wall as he licked his lips.

"What's the matter? What?" Dean asked, gaze moving to the merman's gills again. "This is supposed to be helping. Tell me what's wrong... tell me," he demanded. "Salt... it's the salt."

Releasing the merman, Dean shoved the shower door open wider and ran for the kitchen. His stuff was back at the motel, but this was a safe house for hunters, and even if there was nothing else, there would be salt.

In the kitchen, he opened the cabinets and found one filled with bags of salt. Grabbing one, tearing it open as he ran back.

Sam's eyes were glued on the door through which the man had left. His gills moving faster, had him panting for breaths before stopping completely. Sam's back arched, his eyes wide, lips parting and a shrill cry of pain tearing from his throat, hands clenched into tight fists at his sides. He had no idea what was happening to him, was he dying? Was this what it was like to suffocate? Body jerking as Sam fought for breath that wouldn't come, gills refusing to move, he felt his tail rip, pain slicing up the center from fins to just below his groin. His head jerked to the side, eyes pleading with the man to help him, Sam's lips moved, small shrill cries breaking from his throat that seemed to slowly morph into a deeper human sounding cry of pain as legs and feet began to form out of his torn tail. The gills at his sides closed over and sealed as the merman's body arched back at an extreme angle, a deep cry of pain tearing from his throat as deep inside his body, lungs expanded and filled with air. Sam's eyes slid closed, his body going limp, falling back against the tiled floor, head rolling to the side as he lay unconscious.

The bag slipped from Dean's nerveless fingers as he dropped down next to the merman... eyes wide at the changes he'd seen.

"You..." He licked his lips, seeing the guy was out cold. He ran his hand down the merman's side where there had been gills just a little while ago now there was only smooth skin, and the rest of him... very human. Closing his mouth, Dean picked the guy up, grumbling once again. "And you're heavier with legs than with a tail. And I can't believe I just fucking said that."

In a few strides, he had him in the bedroom and inside the bed with the sheets pulled up to his waist. Dean cupped the man's nose, made sure he was breathing, then went to get the medical kit from the kitchen. Meanwhile, he tried to process what he'd just learned. The merman had two forms. Being out of water... or outside of salt water... that had made him morph. That meant he could walk around and they could get to the water easier, once he was ready to leave.

For some reason, the thought of him leaving had Dean depressed. That was when he realized that deep down, maybe he was just a little pleased about how things had turned out. Yeah, it made him feel guilty, because the merman had been injured and the change had been hard, but he couldn't help it, it was how he felt. Like they were about to go on an adventure, or something.

He returned to the bed and started to take care of the guy's cuts and scrapes, dabbing a little iodine on him first to see if there would be a reaction. Then he checked out his arm, feeling the bone. He'd thought it was broken, but couldn't feel a break. The swelling told him that there was definitely at least a sprain. He quickly put a splint on the man's forearm and wrapped bandaging around it. "There. Now you rest," he said, getting up and pulling the sheets up all the way to the man's chin. He stroked his face and forehead, then leaning down, kissed him lightly before walking out of the room.

*

An hour and a half later, Dean returned to the cabin with the Impala and his things. He'd left the SUV at the Seattle airport parking lot, went and grabbed his gear and did a little grocery shopping. Now he crept into the cabin, not wanting to awaken the merman, and yet dying to see him... to confirm he hadn't imagine the change.

Sam was just starting to wake up, lashes fluttering as he stretched, flicking his tail in the... His eyes popped open, brow furrowed in confusion. He wasn't in the water, he wasn't in any water. Licking his lips, his gaze darted about the room as memories of what had happed began to play through his mind. The man coming to rescue him from the horrible place, the accident, his arm...

Sam's gaze slid to his arm, looking down at the bandage. Slowly he reached across his body, his opposite hand fingering the bandage. He remembered being in the shower, remembered being unable to breath. His eyes darted to his side, just as the man walked into the room. No gills. How was he breathing? Sam's head snapped up, his wide eyes focused on the human as his hand slowly slid over the smooth skin of his side. Swallowing hard, his attention fell to the bed, focusing in on the odd shapes underneath the sheet that moved as he did.

Legs that he didn't know kicked back the covers, lips parting intent on making a high pitched cry, only to let out a deep. 'Gaaugh!' instead. The strange sound had Sam's attention snapping back up to the man's face, his eyes pleading for information. He reached up with one hand to his throat, his breaths panting fearfully out as he stared incredulously up at the human.

"Shshsh, it's alright," Dean said, coming up to the bed. He pulled the sheets back up, if only to prevent himself from getting distracted, then took the guy's hand away from his throat.

"You're confused," he nodded, realizing that the man had not gone through the change before. "I think I know what happened. It's the same as any shapeshifter. You're a shapeshifter, I'm hoping not violent." His gut told him that this guy wouldn't hurt anyone, but he had to keep the possibility in mind anyway. "I'll show you," he said, going to the bag he'd dropped onto the ground and getting his lap top.

He sat on the bed, next to the guy, and turned the lap top on. He wasn't going to any real supernatural web sites, but he easily found videos of werewolves shifting, from the movies, and vampires turning into bats. Turning the computer screen toward the guy, he hit play. "Look. Shifters, like you," he pointed at him, then his legs under the sheets.

Sam tore his confused gaze away from the man to look down at the thing that he held out in front of him. Sam's eyes slowly widened in horror as he watched, lips parting as small sounds, deep whines and near grunts sounded in his throat. Sam scurried back away from the thing that showed images of creatures he had never seen before and didn't care to be seeing now, beings that were more frightening than anything he had ever seen in the ocean. He kept scurrying back until suddenly, there was nothing under him and he found himself landing hard on the floor flat on his back, with legs he didn't recognize, though they seemed to be attached to him, draped up over the side of the bed.

"Hey, you... Uh..." Shaking his head, maybe laughing just a little, Dean got off the bed and put his hand out to help the guy back up. "I better get you some clothes, you seem determined to wave your nudity around. Not that I would ordinarily mind, but the temptation... And it's a good thing you don't speak English," he concluded.

Reaching up to take the man's hand, Sam simply laid there a moment before he seemed to realize he needed to move the legs that were now apparently his. Pulling them slowly down off the side of the bed, he planted his feet against the floor, knees bent, watching his legs move as if they belonged to someone else. Slowly tearing his gaze away from them, he looked back up at Dean and gave a small nod. He tried to pull himself upward only to find that despite his now having legs, he might as well still have had a tail as much good as they were doing him. In trying to pull himself up, he ended up releasing the man's hand and falling forward across the bed. Slumping over with a frustrated huff, he hung his arms off the other side of the bed.

Peering up at the human from under his long bangs, he shot him a look that was nearly accusatory as if his legs and their lack of function were somehow the human's fault. With a sigh he rolled gracefully over onto his back or at least it would have been graceful, if there had been water there and not a mattress and sheets, which he got partly tangled in.

"Fffffff-ug," Sam slowly forced his voice to work, trying to say the one word he had heard over and over since he had been on land. Though he still didn't come out quite the way he had heard the humans say it.

Dean had been trying not to laugh, but his shoulders were shaking. "Did you... did you just say fuck?" He laughed again, "I don't know who you been hanging out with, language... tsk tsk... but, if you want to say it right, it's fuck... f-u-c-k."

What the hell was he doing? The guy had probably just made a sound and not meant that at all.

"Don't move," he said, going to get some clothes. When he returned, the handed the merman some shorts and put the jeans and tee shirt on the bed.

"Pull 'em on," Dean instructed. He mimed the action of putting the shorts on.

Sam watched the man, brow knitted in confusion as he watched what he was trying to get him to do. His gaze moved from the human to the material in his hands. What he had seen hadn't looked so difficult so Sam decided to give it a try, lifting his legs up off the bed, his knees to his chest as he reached out, the shorts in both hands and tried to stick his fins, er, feet into the material, only they got caught. The more Sam tried to tug, the more it wasn't working, until Sam rolled in a somersault off the bed, the shorts flinging across the room.

Sitting up with his back against the wall, legs spread out wide before him, Sam looked over at the man and frowned, 'Yeah maybe that hadn't been such a good idea, hm?' "Fa - uck," Sam muttered matter-of-factly.

"You have got to be kidding me," Dean said, laughing so hard his stomach hurt and he was doubled over.

This time, he was sure that the guy had tried to say fuck, and it was pretty damned close. He crossed the room and got the shorts, then went over to him and bent down to help. Lifting his leg up for him, he got both feet into the correct side of the shorts, then started pulling them up. When he reached the merman's thighs, his gaze swept slowly up his body, lingering over his cock, but he dragged his gaze away.

"Come on, let's get you dressed before I want something I shouldn't," he said.

Sam reached for the shorts, his hand covering Dean's, meeting his gaze. Pulling his back away from the wall, he leaned in, pressing his lips to the human's softly, lingering a moment before pulling away.

"Fuck," Sam said with a nod, a proud smile pulling at his lips.

Mouth burning, mind a little numb, Dean asked, "You want to fu... oh..." He shook his head to clear it of his dirty thoughts. "Sorry, I... yeah, good job saying it," he said, patting the guy on his shoulder, and licking his lips.
"Is that like a kid thanking a parent kind of kiss or a... never mind." He just had to keep his mind off sex, that's all.

Dean pointed at himself, "Dean. I'm Dean. D-ee-n," he said, hoping the merman understood. Grabbing the jeans, he got the guys legs into the pant legs, then gestured for him to pull them up too.

Looking between the man's face and the added material he was pulling up his legs, Sam frowned. Tilting his head, he reached out, grabbing the hem of Dean's shirt and lifted it, pressing his opposite hand against the human's skin. His eyes finding Dean's as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, gazing at him, a smile curving the corner of his lips. Moving quickly, Sam suddenly wrapped his arms around Dean, turning the way he would in the water, body arching as if to dive downward, only to hit Dean's back against the floor, the merman's own body blanketing the human's.

"Fuck," Sam said again, excitement in his voice, a wide smile causing dimples to show in his cheeks.

"Um... yeah... I'd like that, but I don't think it's what you're asking," Dean said, biting back a groan. His own arms went around the guy, then he slid his hands down his thighs and started to pull the jeans up for him.

"Can you say my name... and not look at my mouth like that or I'm gonna..." Dean blew out a hot breath, tugging the jeans upwards a little harder between their bodies. "Dean... say Dean." 'And stop squirming like that... or getting me hard or...'

The material was coarse and uncomfortable like some of the rock coral and Sam was actually trying his best to wiggle out of the pants as much as Dean was trying to pull them up. In a last ditch effort to distract the man from pulling the uncomfortable material over him, Sam dipped his head, open mouth over Dean's, breathing in and out into the human's mouth just like he had done in the tank before.

Moaning, Dean rolled them over so he was on top. He pushed his tongue inside the guy's mouth and started to kiss him, when once again, he realized the merman wasn't kissing. Pulling his head up, looking a little confused, he cocked his head, "What is it? What are you trying to do? To say?" He licked his lips, wanting so badly to crush them down over the merman's, to take what he kept dangling so innocently in front of him.

Sam bucked underneath him, wiggling until the jeans started to slide back down then lowered his back and started to kick his legs, smiling up at Dean once the rough material was off of him. Raising one hand he pressed it to Dean's chest. "Fuck... Dee-an." He pulled his hand away, wrapping his arm back around the man's body, rolling them again and again on the floor, stopping once Dean was under him. Pulling his arm out from under the human, Sam slid his hand under Dean's shirt, his smile slowly melting away as he ran his palm over Dean's stomach and chest, his gaze intent on Dean's face. Lips parting Sam tried to make the same sounds he used to be able to, though they came out as only whines, causing his brows to furrow in aggravation.

As they rolled, Dean was extra careful not to put his weight on merman's splinted hand. He wasn't sure what they were doing, it felt a lot like when they were playing in the tank. "Keep doing that and I'm really gonna lose it," Dean said a little huskily as the guy explored his body under his tee. "I don't understand what we're doing," Dean told him. "You want..." He lifted his hips, pressing his now hard jeans clad cock against the merman's belly, even as he settled his hands over the guy's ass, massaging lightly. "Or..."

Sam's brow creased as he looked down, sucking in his stomach to try to see Dean under him, before he pulled his gaze away, looking back into the man's face. A small smile pulling at his lips, he leaned in, his cheek against Dean's, small whines breaking from his throat as his hand continued to run across Dean's chest, sides and abs. It was the only way he knew to show affection, depth of feeling. The sounds he made sounds sounded like a dolphin or whale .... well, if the sounds had come out the way they were supposed to, the way they had before his legs suddenly appeared where his tail had been and his gills had closed up.

There was no water for him to dive with Dean to show him, there were no other Merfolk to point out, there weren't even any dolphins, whales or seals for him to show how they received affection and he didn't know the human words for this or how to make them. Pulling his head up, he pressed his lips softly to Dean's again, a quiet moan sounding deep in the merman's throat as his lips lingered against the man's. He sucked Dean's lower lip into his mouth and slowly pulled his head back to look at the man.

"Deean..."

God he wanted the merman. And now, now Dean thought the message was clear. His lip had slipped out of the merman's mouth, but Dean wanted a real kiss. He pushed his palm up the guy's back, feeling his rippling muscles, then cupping the back of his head. "Kiss," he said, bringing their lips together. He licked across the seam of the merman's lips, then pushed his tongue inside. Twisting his tongue around the guy's, he moaned and rolled him over, so he was on top and had more control. Pulling up slightly, his lips hovering over the guy's, he put his tongue out, licking his lips, teasing, waiting for him to meet his tongue with his own. "Kiss."

Sam's gaze flittered between Dean's eyes and his mouth for a long moment before he licked his lips, "K… issss." Sam repeated, before he parted his lips, sticking his tongue partway out of his mouth.

When Dean's mouth covered his, Sam tried to mimic the motions of Dean's tongue, plunging his tongue into the human's mouth, sliding it alongside the human's and then pulling it back into his own mouth before breaking the kiss. Sam smiled softly, his gaze searching Dean's face. "Kiss," Sam repeated, the word much more clear this time.

Lifting his hips, Sam rubbed his body against Dean's, his eyes slowly slipping closed, a soft moan working out of his throat.

"Fuck..." Dean hadn't meant to let the word slip out, but hell, the way the merman was grinding against him, smiling at him like that... it was twisting Dean up on the insides.

He pressed his hips down, sliding his cock against the merman's, getting the pressure he needed. Putting his palm against the guy's face, he ran his thumb across his mouth, and when his eyes fluttered open, he spoke again, "Dean," he said pointing to himself, "You?" This time he touched the guy's chest.

Sam looked down at the hand on his chest and back to the man above him, "Fuck."

Dean thrust against him. "Fuck... this is fuck..." he said, taking a deep breath as he restrained himself from doing more.

Sam gasped in a breath through parted lips, arching up against the man above him, hands tangling in the back of his shirt. He nodded as he slowly lowered his back down against the floor, "Fuck," he murmured releasing Dean with one hand, bringing it around and placing it on Dean's chest. "Dean."

"Oh God, you're killing me," Dean whispered, then nodded. "Yeah... Dean. Fuck, Dean," he agreed, grinding down again. "Your name? I'm Dean... you?" His breaths were labored, the urge to move his hips getting stronger by the moment.
Sam squeezed his eyes closed as he arched against him, pushing against the floor with his feet, rubbing his body up and down Dean's. "Kiss," Sam groaned, head rolling to the side as he continued to move his body against Dean's.

"No, 'kiss,'" Dean slanted his mouth over the merman's and left him with little doubt of what a kiss meant. He thoroughly explored every corner of the silky cavern of the merman's mouth, his tongue running over the roof of the guy's mouth, mapping out every inch of it, before Dean withdrew. "Kiss," Dean rasped, his breaths panted out, skimming over the guy's cheek.

He took the merman's hand, and brought it to his chest, "Dean."

He brought his hand to the merman's chest, "Name? Tell me your name."

He pointed at himself, "Dean," then again at the merman, a question in his eyes, even though the fires burning in his body were not going to allow them to talk much longer.

Sam licked his lips and shook his head, he didn't know how to say his name the way human's spoke. Swallowing, Sam nodding and opened his mouth, trying to find the octave that would be as close to the correct one and gave the highest pitch short cry that he could, one that sort of died off at the end into a whirling sound deep in his throat. He placed his hand on his own chest then, hazel brown eyes locked with green.

"Seriously?" Suddenly Dean forgot about the sex, well mostly, because he was imagining trying to shout that sound as he came. "I can't..." he shook his head. "How about something shorter? A nickname? Drew? Alex? Um... John, no forget that one. Sam? Pete?"

At the first two names Sam made a face, the third had him actually looking away, the fourth drew his attention back, but Dean continued on with more. Sam shook his head, placing his hand on Dean's chest to stop him, before returning it to his own, "Sssaaam," he nodded. "Saam," he tried again, "Sam."

"Sam. Sam?" Seeing the merman nod again, Dean grinned. "That's much better. Dean kiss Sam," he said, lowering his mouth, and kissing the merman, tasting him, loving how he felt under him. He moved his hands up and down Sam's sides, then feathered kisses along his throat, nipping him lightly.

"Kiss Sam, lick Sam," he showed him by dragging his tongue lower. "Bite," he nipped him lightly, and raised his head to see Sam's reactions.

Sam's head tilted back as Dean kissed and licked his neck, his hand fisting in Dean's shirt at his back as the one on his chest slowly slid away. Lips parted he gulped in breaths, squirming slightly under the man. Feeling Dean's teeth nip him gently, Sam arched, mouth opening as his eyes slid closed.

Feeling the man's eyes on him, his lashes fluttered as Sam opened his eyes. "Dean. Lick. Bite. Kiss. Sam," he replied and arched, pushing against the floor again with his feet, sliding his body against Dean's, "Sam. Fuck. Dean."

"Dean lick, bite, kiss Sam," Dean agreed, doing just that in the right sequence, tracing Sam's mouth, then biting his chin lightly, and kissing it better. "Dean fuck Sam," again Dean nodded, thrusting against Sam, groaning as Sam pushed up again and again, moving against him in circular motions, the way he'd masturbated against the glass of the aquarium.

Straddling Sam's hips, Dean lifted up onto his knees and undid his pants, unzipping and pulling his cock out. "Sam, lick, Dean," he said, walking up Sam's body, still straddling it, pushing the jeans down as far as he could get them, and leaning forward, eyes burning with need.

Sam moaned softly at the feel of Dean's mouth, his teeth and tongue on him, arching and rubbing his body against Dean's, his eyes slowly sliding closed, breaths panting out between parted lips. As Dean pulled back, Sam's eyes opened, watching him through heavy lidded eyes, as he writhed under the human. His gaze dropped to where Dean's hands opened the material covering him, just like he had done that day at the tank. It was only as Dean spoke those words, walking up his body that Sam's eyes widened with panic. Shaking his head, Sam struggled to get out from under Dean, hands shoving at the human, strange panicked sounds breaking from Sam's throat, eyes wild as he fought to get away.

'Just like them, he was just like them.', Sam thought fearfully.

Rolling over, Sam scurried out from under the man and reached up, hand on the side of the bed, struggling to pull himself up onto legs that were shaky and unstable. Pain lanced through his arm as he put weight on it, a shrill cry of agony tearing from Sam's throat though he didn't stop. Attempting his first steps on new legs ended abruptly with him falling face first onto the floor. Using his hands to catch himself caused more pain to slice through his arm, eliciting a cry of pain. Rolling back over as he heard the man approach, Sam held up an arm to block him as he shook his head, curling himself up into a corner of the room.

"Sam! Sam," Dean shouted, first because he didn't know what the hell happened, then because he was tripping over his own jeans and trying to stop Sam from falling at the same time.

Pulling the fucking thing up and zipping the now uncomfortably tight jeans, he crossed the room to Sam and bent down. He was still breathing hard as he reached out, but didn't touch the merman.

"Sam... no lick, no fuck," he corrected in a way he hoped was soothing. 'What the hell?' "Sam listen..." Dean sighed, rubbing his hand over his own face. "I'm sorry, I don't know what you want. I misunderstood," he said, knowing Sam wouldn't understand any of it. "Don't be scared of me, please?" He put his hand out, offering it to Sam.

Looking at the man through wide traumatized eyes, Sam cringed back against the wall as his gaze dropped to Dean's hand, his breaths panting out with his fear.

Slowly, hurt and confused slanted hazel brown eyes slid back to meet the man's as Sam shook his head. "Sam no lick," he said as he pressed back against the corner more, waiting for the fist punch, for Dean to pick up one of the sticks and hit him, or maybe this was when he would be like the others and make the pain come.

Tears stung Sam's eyes as he shook his head again, "Ffffreak no --" he opened his mouth to say the word but couldn't remember the insult they'd hurled any better in the human language, but their meaning had been clear in how they'd looked at him, so he repeated the word in his own language, a loud cry tearing from his lips as shrill as he could make it.

"Freak? I didn't call you a..." The bruises. Something had happened, maybe something he'd done reminded Sam of the incident where they'd given him the bruises, thought Dean.

"Shshsh, Sam no lick, no lick," he said, reaching out and pulling Sam up off the ground. "Shshshsh, it's okay. Sam... Sam it's okay," he kept whispering as he pulled the merman over to the bed and sat him down.

"Sammy," he gently put his fingers under Sam's chin and lifted to make him look up, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. You ah... sit back. I won't touch you," he nodded, dropping his hand. "Don't cry..." he pleaded, seeing the tears rolling down the man's cheeks.

Scurrying over to the edge of the bed, Sam watched the man with distrusting eyes, every movement, every gesture, every sound, Sam's eyes remained glued to him, hands curled into fists as he half sat, half laid on the bed, the way he would be forced to, if he still had a tail.

"Dean no..." He didn't know the word, so when Dean looked at him, Sam pounded a fist against the mattress, "Sam?"

"Hit?" Dean sucked his breath in and looked away for a moment. Then he pounding his fist into his hand, "hit? No. Dean no hit Sam. Never," he shook his head, wanting to draw Sam into his arms but keeping his distance.

He took a step back as if to prove his point. "I won't hit you Sam, not ever," he promised, searching his face, hating the fear etched in his expression. He kicked himself for starting that whole kissing and licking thing. Enough people had taken advantage of Sam, he shouldn't join that bandwagon. Maybe they'd been forcing him to give blow jobs, just like they'd said. And then he'd tried to... yeah. That's what had happened.

Sam gave a small nod, hanging his head. Drawing in a breath, Sam looked toward the window, wishing he could go home. Longing for the ocean and his friends there. He knew he couldn't swim the way he was, but he hated it here on land. He was scared and confused, he didn't know how to talk like a human and no one could understand him, no matter how hard he tried to make them. Dean had been the exception. He dragged his gaze away from the window to look over at the human. He liked Dean, he felt connected to him in some way, but this still wasn't home. He wanted to ask where the man lived, wanted to tell him about his home, about the school of dolphins he often played with, about how in the winter months the Orcas would run and he would swim amongst them, but he couldn't even do that. All he could do was wait. Wait for his arm to heal, wait to be returned to the sea, just wait...

"Sorry," Dean repeated. "I'll get some food going. Food," he gestured as if he was putting something in his mouth, but felt like a chasm had opened between them all of a sudden. "It's alright, you'll see," he said thickly, feeling suddenly very sad as he turned around and walked out of the room.

Chapter Text

In the kitchen, Dean put away the groceries he'd brought, then started to fry up some hot dogs. All the while, he tried to forget the fear he'd seen in Sam's eyes. It disturbed him on a level that made him want to go back to that club and kill every damn one of the people responsible.

Brow furrowed, not understanding where the man had gone, Sam slid his legs off the side of the bed, slowly pulling to his feet, reaching out with his uninjured arm to brace himself against the wall. He stood there a few moments trying to get his bearings, to understand and figure out how these legs worked and why he had fallen down before. He learned rather quickly that he couldn't try to move them both at the same time or even close to the same time or he would topple back over onto the bed. They were weak, but it was mostly his inexperience that had caused him to fall. Now, as he slowly walked, using the wall to steady himself, he was soon making progress in the direction that Dean had disappeared. He moved through a large room and followed the sounds coming from another room, then paused at the entryway. Watching him, Sam's nose wrinkled at the smell.

Turning around, Dean saw Sam at the door. He searched his face, then continued cooking, getting the buns warmed and ready, then grabbing an onion. He quickly sliced enough for four hot dogs and got the condiments. Occasionally his gaze landed on Sam, but he was almost afraid to talk... afraid to scare him away.

Stepping away from the entry way, Sam slowly moved around the counter to the unsliced half of the onion Dean had left there. "No Sam?" he asked, waiting until Dean looked at him, then looking down at the onion and back.

"Sam 'yes,' but wait. It's better with the hot dogs." Walking to the frying pan, Dean put a couple hot dogs in buns and brought them back. "Look," he instructed as he smothered his dog in mustard and ketchup, then put a healthy serving of onions over it and took a bite. "Mmm, good," he patted his stomach.

Sam eyed the strange looking things wrapped up inside the other strange looking things. If he had to guess, he's say the first looked a little like a dolphin penis and the other like sea plankton, but he was fairly sure neither guess would be correct. Leaning in, Sam took another sniff of the thing that Dean was holding, only to pull back, nose wrinkled in disgust as he looked at the human. The only thing that looked nearly edible was the second half of the white thing Dean had cut into pieces and sprinkled over what he was eating.

He pointed to the onion, "Sam?"

"Sam," Dean nodded, and handed the entire hot dog to him, waiting, "It's good, trust me."

Sam pushed the hotdog away, shaking his head and instead picked up the onion, taking a large bite and chewing. This lasted all of about six chews before Sam was opening his mouth and letting the onion fall back out as he made a face.

"No, you're supposed to eat the whole thing together, like this," Dean explained as he made up the second hot dog and took a bite of it, bread, condiments, and onions. He was chewing and talking, "See, just like that. Eat," he nodded at Sam's hot dog.

Looking from the hotdog to Dean and back as he continued to pick small pieces of onion out of his mouth, Sam shook his head, moving to step back around toward the entrance of the kitchen. It was alright, he understood that Dean didn't eat the things he did, though he couldn't quite fathom why someone would eat the things Dean was eating. It was probably rare for a human to have a supply of fish and plankton available, or even shrimp and seaweed. He would wait or maybe another day he could somehow get Dean to understand that he wanted to go down to the shore and eat.

"Sam, at least take a bite." He brought his own hot dog close to Sam's mouth, "Sam, bite." Moving his mouth in a biting motion, he showed the merman what he wanted him to do.
Sam's gaze lowered to the hotdog, then raised to meet and lock with Dean's. 'Sam bite, Sam hit,' he thought, but he didn't say it, only sighed softly as he looked back down at the hot dog. Slowly he leaned in to take a bite, looking up at Dean from under his brows. Pulling back, Sam chewed and fought not to gag. Chewed some more and tried not to make a face or spit it out. Chewed a little more, and quickly turned, letting the food fall out of his mouth into the sink as he reached up to wipe at his tongue.

Dean made a face. "Okay... I'd say 90 percent of the people love hot dogs so you must be that pesky ten percent. How about some chips?" He grabbed the bag and opened it, offering it to Sam.

Sam looked toward the bag, shaking his head as he wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. No, better that he quit while he was ahead. He didn't even know how to ask for what he wanted, what he liked to eat. Sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, Sam tried to think of a way to tell Dean. Raising a hand, Sam moved it in a slow up and down, wave like motion in the air, dragging it along. Fish.

The blank stare from Dean had Sam's brows furrowing. "Hmm..." He looked around the kitchen, grabbing the onion skin, but waving it in the air slowly as if to show waves moving it. Seaweed.

Still he wasn't so sure he was getting through to Dean, but he couldn't think of how to show shrimp or plankton, so he merely sighed, shaking his head as he reached out, gripping Dean's shoulder as he began to walk past him, slowly letting go as he passed by.

"Ah... alright, maybe mermen don't get hungry that quickly. It can't be my cooking, cause dude, I'm an awesome cook," Dean said to Sam's back.

Grabbing both hot dogs on a plate, he followed Sam into the living room and pointed at the sofa, "Sit down." Dean sat and grabbing the remote, aimed it. "T.V. watch." he said, clicking the remote, and looking over at Sam.

As the television came to life, Sam's eyes widened. 'How did they get those people inside that small tank?' Pulling off the couch, Sam went and knelt down in front of the television, raising one hand to lay against the screen, lips parted in awe and confusion. Turning his head, he looked over at Dean, then back at the television, a small sound of confusion breaking from his lips.

"Sam, come here," Dean patted the sofa.

"T.V.... that's the T.V., look," He changed the channel, then changed it again. "Pictures, come let's watch."

Seeing the merman was intent on blocking his view, Dean sighed and shoved a quarter of his hot dog into his mouth. It was a damned good dog, even if some people didn't appreciate it.

When the channels changed, Sam gasped in a breath, eyes widening as he wondered what happened to the others who he had just seen in the small tank. Smacking the side of the tank, Sam tried to get the first picture to return. Tearing his gaze away, he looked over his shoulder at Dean, a semi-high pitched sound breaking from his throat as he tried to voice his concern.

"What? I just changed the channel. Don't tell me you like that Lifetime crap." Sighing again, Dean put the movie back on. "Better?" He asked, cocking his head.

Sam stared at the screen, he sat quietly for a second, until he saw the large orca jump up out of the water, flipping and splashing into the tank, then he gasped, a near scream breaking from his throat followed by a series of semi - high pitched sounds as he tried to talk to the Orca on the television screen. Smacking the front of the television, Sam looked back at Dean, a look of panic on his face. They had to get the whale out of there, set it free. It didn't belong there. Like him, it should be free in the ocean.

"Dean...." he made a high pitched sound, smacking the television again, his breaths panting out in agitation.

"Sam," Dean dropped his plate on the coffee table and went to him, sitting down next to him. He tapped the screen of the T.V.

"This is not real," he shook his head. "Picture."

He grabbed a magazine from the pile on the shelf of the T.V. stand, turning the pages and showing them to Sam, "See? Pictures," he said, while the whale on the T.V. made sounds that were a lot like some of the sounds Sam had made before, when he had the right vocal cords.

Sam looked at Dean in confusion, then down at the book in his hands, before returning his gaze to the television, tapping the screen, a look of panic and sorrow in his face. He was silent a moment as he watched the movie, listening to the human boy inside it for a few minutes. His gaze swung back to Dean then, as he echoed, "Frrree. Willllee," his hand tapping against the screen again.

"No, Willie is not in there. Sam, Sam listen..." Getting up, Dean walked across the room and pulled his phone out of his jacket pocket and returned. Sitting back down next to Sam, he held the phone in front of them. "Look, you see the camera?"

Though Sam looked, he didn't say anything. Dean brought the phone in front of Sam, then sliding his finger across the screen, replayed the short video twice, showing the two of them sitting there and Dean asking about the camera. He tapped the screen of the phone. "Not real. Sam is here," he pointed at Sam. "Dean is here," he pointed at himself. "This... it's a picture."

Sam looked from the phone up to Dean, brows furrowed in confusion, obviously upset, not understanding any of it. His gaze swung to the television, watching the Orca for a few moments before dropping his gaze to the phone again as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. Slowly he looked up at Dean sadly, shaking his head. "No free Willie? No free Sam?" He asked, voice softer, eyes wet with unshed tears.

"Sam is free, you're free. Look," he showed him the phone again, depicting Sam. Pointing at it, he said, "No Sam," The he touched Sam. "This is Sam."

He touched the T.V. screen, "No Willie," he murmured. Cupping the side of Sam's face, he used his thumb to catch a tear. "Free, Sam is free. Dean freed Sam."
Blowing out a breath, Sam slowly tore his gaze from Dean to look back at the television. Drawing in a deep breath, Sam's brows rose as his head tilted slightly as he looked at the ocean on the T.V. Reaching a hand up, he placed it, palm flat against the screen, thumb slowly running over the glass, "Free," he mumbled softly.

Just like that, they weren't talking about the whale anymore. A lump rose in Dean's throat as he reached for Sam's hand on the T.V., pulling it back and then touching the splint on his arm. "Get better, and I'll take you to the water. Sam free," he said, his voice thickening with emotion as he struggled with the conflicting desires of seeing Sam swim away to where he belonged, and keeping him. "I promise, Sam free," he said, gaze locked with Sam's.

"Dean free Sam?" Sam asked softly. Reaching for the human, Sam pulled him in, wrapping his arms around Dean, holding him tightly, his face tucked against Dean's neck. Sam's soft lips brushed the sensitive skin there, kissing him as he held on. "Sam free," he whispered softly, closing his eyes.

"Sam free, yeah." Dean gave a small smile, and closed his eyes as he held the merman, offering what comfort he could. Once the swelling was down, he vowed to take him to the ocean, and if Sam was well enough... then...

* * *

By late evening, Dean had Sam settled in bed with some pillows behind his back with the T.V. on. He found some children's show, hoping there would be nothing in it to freak Sam out because though at times he seemed to understand the people in the box were not real, at other times he still got freaked out. The magazines didn't hold his interest so it was the T.V. or sleep.

Seeing that the merman was engrossed in what was happening on the T.V. screen, Dean went to the bathroom and left the door open. A few minutes later, he was enjoying a steaming hot shower. Tomorrow he'd call his contacts and see what type of interest the missing merman was stirring up, but right now, he wanted to relax. It had been a long forty eight hours.
Sesame Street was ending and Sam was getting restless again. He was bored and didn't know what to do with himself. His attention went to the open bathroom door and the sound of rushing water. Reaching for the blankets, he tossed them back, sliding his legs off the side of the bed, this time standing with less difficulty than he had the first few times. He was getting better at the whole walking thing.

Making his way slowly and carefully to the bathroom door, Sam peered inside, frowning at the closed shower door which was fogged to the point that he couldn't see in, couldn't see what Dean was doing in there. Pulling from the doorway, he walked over to the shower door and opened it, his gaze roaming over the man before him before his eyes finally met Dean's.

"Green," he told Dean simply, it was the color he had just learned on the television show, the brilliant color of the man's eyes that had fascinated him for so long.

"You alright?" That was Dean's first thought. "You should step back... you'll get wet," he said, seeing Sam wasn't upset. "Green? What's green?" he cocked his head, wondering if Sam wanted something that was that color. He still hadn't eaten a thing.

Entering the shower, Sam left the door wide open and stepped up toe to toe with Dean, the water beating down on his back, wetting his hair and boxers. Lifting a hand, the raised a finger toward Dean's eyes, "Green," he repeated, touching first one lid, then the other, forcing Dean to close his eyes.

"My eyes?" He chuckled, "Yeah, they're green. And now you're wet," he said, reaching out and closing the door.

He cupped the water in his hand, "Water," and tossed it on Sam's chest. "Sam wet."

Giving him a look, Dean moved around a little so the hot water could still reach him. There was no way he would be able to explain showers were usually taken alone so he just accepted Sam's presence and tried to focus on his amusement instead of on other thoughts that wanted to invade his mind when he was naked and Sam was barely dressed. Seriously, if he looked down, he was sure he'd see right through the wet material of Sam's shorts.

Sam smiled, "Sam live house wet," he nodded.

Those were other words he had learned. Burt and Ernie had talked about where people lived, about different homes and lives. He turned his head, looking up at the waters spray, then back at Dean, remembering how he'd had to keep going up to the top of the tank. Leaning in, Sam reached for Dean's sides, holding onto him as he covered Dean's mouth with his, breathing in and out into the man's mouth the way he had done before.

Amazed by how much Sam had learned from the kid show, Dean was prepared to have him watch a lot more T.V. when suddenly he found Sam's open mouth over his. Automatically, he started to push his tongue into Sam's mouth, but stilled as he remembered how he'd freaked Sam out before. Instead, he licked around Sam's lips, feeling him pushing air to him, but breathing through his nose. Maybe this was how merpeople kissed. Or maybe it just meant 'thank you' or something. Dean wasn't going to jump to conclusions as to what Sam might want.

Slowly, he pulled away. His cock was definitely paying attention and he wasn't sure how much of this he could take without making a move again.

He looked up at the water, then at Sam. "Shower. Dean is taking a shower."

"Dean live wet Sam?" Sam asked, tilting his head. He wasn't sure if Dean was going to come home with him when he went or what exactly would happen. In the ocean there was no word for 'goodbye'. You always saw one another again, sometime. Lifting a hand, Sam placed it on Dean's chest, his thumb wiping away a water droplet. "Dean wet," he said softly, his gaze on the water running down the man's skin, before snapping up to meet his eyes. "Sam kiss Dean wet?" Sam asked, taking a small step forward as his hand slid down to Dean's waist, his other hand rising to hold Dean's opposite side as Sam dipped his head, lips pressed against the skin of Dean's chest, kissing away the water.

'Sam drive Dean nuts.' Sucking in his breath, Dean leaned a little back as Sam's mouth moved over him, gliding down and dropping feather light kisses across his chest. His own hands went to Sam's sides, moving up and down, exploring the planes and curves of his muscles. He wanted so badly to push Sam against the tile, to kiss him hard, to press his body against Sam's, to rub their cocks together. Desire thickened his blood, and had him moaning softly, even as he fought against his nature and allowed the merman to show him what he wanted, what he was playing at now.

Sam pushed against Dean, forcing him to step backward until his back was against the tiled wall, his mouth slowly working its way upward to Dean's neck, teeth scraping against his flesh.

"Sam bite Dean," Sam mumbled softly, nipping the flesh of Dean’s throat, kissing it better, "Kiss." Lifting his head, Sam's eyes met Dean's, one hand lifting, index finger extended. "No lick. No," his hand curled into a fist that he pounded against the wall behind Dean, "hit," Sam told him, his gaze intent on Dean's a moment longer before he slowly dipped his head. "Kiss, bite," Sam told him softly, kissing along the column of Dean's throat, nipping and kissing it better. Sam pressed his body against Dean's, rising up on his toes and lowering, rubbing his body against Dean's.

"Sam fuck Dean," Sam mumbled softly, moaning as his eyes fell closed.

Dean's mind was so fucking cloudy and Sam expected him to think... to puzzle through this? All Dean knew was that his cock was fucking hard, harder than when he'd been standing outside the tank that first time when he saw Sam. The way Sam slid against him, a motion so different from anything he'd ever felt, it had his blood burning with lust... lust that he had to control. "No hit... never hit..." he said, voice raspy.

"Sam fuck Dean," he pulled Sam closer by his hips, but held him loosely enough that the merman was free to undulate against him in that dolphin like motion that didn't give Dean all the pressure he needed, and was sure to eventually drive him crazy with need. "Kiss Dean," this time, Dean's words came out in a demand as he sought the merman's elusive mouth, cursing softly when he missed. "Dean touch Sam," he said, sliding his hand down Sam's slick chest and abs, cupping his cock over his shorts, just holding it for the moment, feeling its length and thickness, imagining it free of the thing material and groaning.

Sam moaned as he pulled his head back, looking at Dean through heavy lidded eyes. "Touch." His cock pulsed and twitched in the human's hand, tenting the shorts he wore. Sliding the hand he'd punched the wall with down Dean's cheek, his neck, across his chest and abs slowly, his gaze locked with Dean's. Sam placed his hand over Dean's cock the way the man was doing his own. "Touch," he mumbled softly, leaning in, brushing his lips across Dean's cheek bone.

"Yeah..." Dean hardly dared to breathe as Sam's 'touch' wreaked havoc with his senses. "Touch harder," he whispered, squeezing Sam lightly, running his index and middle fingers along the sides of his shaft, to his tip, then using thumb to massage his crown.

Sam gasped in a breath at the feel of the man's fingers sliding along his hard cock, even though the material it was more than Sam had ever felt before, more 'touching' than he had ever experienced, unless you counted stray springs of sea weed floating by, ticking against you as you rubbed against a sponge or something in an attempt to get off. His stomach muscles tensed and flexed, low moans breaking from his throat, spilling out through parted lips, eyes gently closed in pleasure.

Dean moved his face closer, rubbing his mouth against Sam's, licking it, then sucking his lower lip into his mouth. He wanted to do so much more... God he wanted to do it all, to touch Sam all over, have him. He wished they could communicate, that Sam could tell him how far to go. But this was where they were and he had to deal with it. Sam hadn't been against jerking off for each other at the club, maybe he'd be cool with jerking each other off now.

Pulling his hand up, this time Dean pushed it under Sam's shorts and curled his fingers around Sam's rock hard flesh, stroking up and down, "Sam want this? Touch?"

At the feel of Dean's bare hand touching him, skin to skin, against his hard aching flesh, Sam gasped. His eyes opened wide, he stagger stepped backward, then forward again, his gaze locked on Dean's, breaths hitching.
Licking his lip, he gave a small nod. "T-touch," he agreed, dropping his gaze to the man's cock under his hand. Slowly he curled his fingers around Dean's length, holding his shaft in his fist. Dragging his gaze back up, hazel brown met green, as he panted through parted lips and gave another nod. "Touch."

"Okay," Relief flooded Dean. He pushed Sam's shorts to his thighs, and looked down, biting his lip at the sight of Sam's thick hard cock. Wiping his hand over the bar of soap in the holder, he closed fist around Sam's cock and started to pump, the soap lathering and making the merman's wet dick slicker, allowing Dean's hand to glide over him in smooth motions. He twisted his wrist with each stroke, then lifted his gaze, lips parting as he breathed the steamy hot air in. "Touch Dean... just like that."

As Dean started to pump his cock, Sam gasped in a breath, stomach muscles jumping and tightening as his gaze swiftly lowered to watch, to see what it was that the human was doing to him. Low moans broke from Sam's throat, lips parted as his breaths came faster. Dragging his gaze back up to Dean's, Sam looked at him though passion glazed eyes. Swallowing, he gave a small nod to the man's words, sliding his hand along Dean's shaft, slowly at first, experimentally. His attention darting between Dean's face and his cock as he watched and tried to mimic the motions that Dean had used, only to finally forgo that. Bringing his other hand up with the first, he took Dean's hard cock in both hands and pumped him harder, faster, his thumbs running together along the underside.

Pleasure coursed through Dean's body, a loud groan breaking from the back of his throat as Sam moved his hands just right over his cock. "Good... good touch," he muttered, over and over, thrusting into Sam's hands as he tried to concentrate on giving him the same pleasure. "Feels good, Sam, Mmm," he breathed. Leaning in, he kissed Sam lightly, not invading his mouth, just lingering over his lips... wanting, dying to tangle their tongues together.

His moans were muffled by Sam's mouth. Thrusting into each others' hands, to Dean it was like time stood still. Just like when he'd been outside that tank, lost in a world of lust and need, all brought about by one man. He took a step forward, sliding his mouth down to Sam's to his jaw, and his throat, licking and sucking, nipping his sensitive flesh between his teeth, then licking him better again. "Harder, touch harder," he demanded, as he squeezed and stroked Sam harder, bringing his other hand over to cup his balls and using a finger to massage along the sensitive area between his hole and balls, pressing and releasing.

Sam gasped and groaned, writhing against the human touching him in ways he'd never felt before. His head slowly tilting back as he continued to stoke Dean's hard flesh. Breaths panted out through parted lips, muscles tensing and flexing, rippling. A low whine tore from Sam's throat as his head turned, eyes closed. "Dean..." he breathed the man's name softly, moaning. Stepping closer, Sam pinned Dean against the wall with his body, rubbing the length of his body against him, thrusting his hips, his cock into the man's hand. Sam shook his head, lowering it, dipping to nip at Dean's neck, hot breaths panting against the sensitive flesh.

"Dean fuck Sam," he whined, whimpering and moaning softly.

"Keep saying it and you're gonna make me come," Dean said through gritted teeth. He was close and could tell Sam was very close, the way he was moving increasingly desperately against him. "Yes, yes," Dean answered Sam's thrusts with his own, "Oh God yes, Sam." His legs slipped against Sam's as the merman pressed against him, every touch between them sending heat coiling tighter low in his belly.

"You want to come, Sam. I'll help you come... come for me," Dean said, opening a little more space between their bodies and using both hands on Sam's cock, moving one hand in a twisting motion at his base, the other to stroke up Sam's shaft to his crown, moving faster and faster. "Come baby, come for me," he whispered roughly, his own balls drawing up tight against his body.

Sam threw his head back, eyes closed, his hands working Dean's cock as hard and quickly as he could manage. He groaned long and loud, muscles tensing as he arched against Dean, hips bucking, the muscles of his ass clenching with each thrust of his hips. "Dean..." he breathed the name, a sound as high pitched as Sam's human voice would allow breaking from his throat as his balls drew up tight to his body and heat coiled tight in his lower belly.

"Naaugh!" Sam cried out just before the first rope of cum shot from his cock, his head falling forward, face pressing against Dean's neck, hot breaths panting hard against Dean's sensitive as he fought for air. His body spasmed as he continued to come, his spunk coating the human's hands.

Sam's call had Dean coming with Sam, fucking into his fist even as he tried to concentrated on stroking Sam, giving him as much pleasure as he could as he milked the last drops of cum from Sam. Still holding Sam's cock with one hand, Dean put his other arm around the merman and turned them around, pressing Sam back against the tile wall. "Dean kiss Sam," he said, and it wasn't a request. Bringing his mouth down hard over Sam's, he pushed his tongue into the silky warm channel of his mouth and started to explore every corner, then tangling his tongue around Sam's, demanded a response.

As the man's tongue delved into his mouth, Sam held still at first, unsure what Dean wanted, what he expected of him. Slowly, Sam released the hold he had on Dean's cock, both hands sliding across Dean's groin to his hips, pulling him in closer before his hands slid back, cupping the man's ass as he swirled his tongue around Dean's, moaning softly. Sliding his tongue alongside Dean's, Sam tried to mimic what Dean did, chasing his tongue, moaning as he suckled at the tip, then his bottom lip.

"Sam Dean kiss," Sam mumbled softly, warm breath fanning Dean's lips before he leaned back in, brushing his lips across Dean's again.

"Touch. Kiss. Bite. Fuck. Dean. Sam want," Sam nodded before leaning in to nuzzle his face against Dean's neck.

"Mmmm, Dean wants, too." He held Sam close, satisfied at last. He'd resolved himself to sleeping on the couch because he didn't want to freak Sam out again and he'd known, if they shared the bed, there was not a chance in hell he'd keep his hands off. But this had been Sam's show. He'd taken the first step. He'd showed Dean what he wanted. And life was good, so fucking good.

Kissing Sam's throat, Dean pulled away and grabbed the soap. "Time to wash up," he said, lathering the soap between his hands, then applying it to Sam, rubbing his stomach, and his chest, grinning at the look on the merman's face. "Soap. Makes us clean," he said, turning his attention to his own upper body. Then he started washing the rest of himself, more than aware that Sam watched his hands as they moved over his own cock and the crack of his ass.

Sam continued to look from his bubble covered chest and stomach to Dean's face, brows furrowed in confusion as to why exactly the man was rubbing foam on their bodies. It also didn't make a lot of sense as to why this foam remained... foamy for as long as it did.

Watching as the man continued to rub the foam across his own body, Sam couldn't help but track the movement of Dean's hands as they ran over his own body, his hand sliding along his own cock just like it had the first night he had seen Dean. No, not exactly like, there was no lust in the man's eyes now, just a smile that Sam couldn't help returning. His eyes following Dean's hands as they moved over other parts of his body, parts that Sam was more than a little curious about. Sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, his gaze darted back to the man's, the corners of his lip turning upward into a smile once more as he gave a small nod continuing to silently watch.

* * *

The sun was just starting to rise when Sam's lashes fluttered and his eyes opened. It took him only a moment to remember where he was, and that he wasn't reclining back against an underwater cave wall, or some soft sea sponge. Rolling over onto his side, facing the man next to him, Sam allowed his gaze to roam over Dean's features, to take in more of his appearance, his build and body.

Slanted hazel brown eyes roved over Dean's form, his broad shoulders, toned, muscular chest, tight firm abs. Slowly his gaze returned to the man's face, a small smile pulling at his lips as he took in the darker speckles that dotted the sun kissed skin across Dean's nose, his high cheekbones. His full lips were nearly the shade of a lobster, their appearance so appealing, soft and lush they lead one to want to touch, like the poisonous colorful sea urchins. His long lashes, like sea jellies tentacles, decorating the edges of brilliant green eyes, fanning his cheeks.

Leaning over the man more, his face hovering just above Dean's own, Sam moved a hand to the side of the human's face, thumb slowly brushing along Dean's bottom lip. Sam's gaze darted down to watch his thumb move across the soft flesh, a soft sigh escaping, warm breath ghosting over Dean's face.

Sensing movements, Dean reluctantly opened his eyes. Not expecting to see a pair of eyes drilling into him from only a few inches from his own face, he gave a start and a half shout, his head rising, forehead hitting Sam's before he relaxed and laid back down. "What the fuck... scared the hell out of me," he said, giving the merman a look. "Personal space... you know?" Putting his arm between them he gently pushed Sam a little ways away. "Space."

Sam's eyes snapped up to meet Dean's as his body jerked slightly, the shout had Sam's eyes widening. The smack to his forehead eliciting a grunt of pain from Sam as his eyes squeezed momentarily shut. When Dean finally relaxed back against the pillow, Sam's hand rose to his own forehead, a wry smile pulling at his lips. He tilted his head to the side as he listened to Dean, rising up a little, his hand moving back down to press against the mattress as he looked down at the man.

"Fuck?" Sam asked him, then moved a hand to press against Dean's chest. "Space," he added. "Fuck space," he grinned, giving a nod.

"Huh? No no no, don't want to confuse you," Dean tried to wake up all the way, and the pair of hazel eyes staring intently at him helped him along.

Oh God, it looked like Sam was one of those 'cheerful in the morning' types.

He put his hand on his chest. "Chest. This is my...Dean's chest." He took Sam's hand and placed it on the merman. "This is Sam's chest."

Dean sat up. "Watch..." Recalling how Sam had slipped off the bed and yelled 'fuck,' yesterday, Dean did the same, pretending to slip off onto his ass. "Different kind of fuck. Like OW Fuck. Or Oh my God... fuck." He said, looking up at Sam's face now hanging over the side of the bed looking down at him.

Sam frowned, reaching down to place a hand against the floor near Dean's shoulder, pulling himself off the bed and down onto Dean, his body blanketing the human's. "Fuck," he placed his free hand against Dean's chest, "Chest. Space," he gave a nod, smiling proudly. "Yes?"

Clearly, he wasn't a good teacher. "Chest," Dean nodded, then pushed Sam up and gestured at the space between them, "space."

Yeah... too hard to explain. Chuckling, he pulled Sam back down. "Kiss." Kissing him lightly, he rolled them over. "Kiss Sam's chest." Dipping his head, he did that. "Now... you want breakfast? Food?" he asked, before his body started taking too much notice. Getting up, he put his hand out to Sam.

Sam smiled up at him, reaching for Dean's hand. Pulling to his feet, Sam's stomach growled. Sam placed his hand against his stomach. "Wet," he told Dean, not knowing how to tell him what it was that he ate, what he needed. Maybe if he told him where it was at, the human would understand. "Live wet."

"You want to go home, I know. I'll get you there. I will." Giving him a solemn look, Dean pointed to the doorway to the living room. "I'll be out in a minute, and we'll eat."

True to his word, after disappearing into the bathroom to brush his teeth and take care of business, he reappeared and headed straight for the kitchen. Feeling Sam's eyes on him then noting the look on his face as he started to pull food items out of the cabinets, Dean was at a loss. He put cereal on the table and fried up some eggs. "Come... just try them," he suggested, pushing the cereal bowl and some eggs to the side of the table he expected Sam would sit at.

He himself took a bit of the eggs and made 'Mmm', sounds, hoping to open up Sam's appetite. He knew the merman was hungry and wondered just what the hell they fed him at Flesh.

Taking a seat, Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. He tried not to look ungrateful, but he didn't know what this stuff was and none of it looked very appealing. Looking from the food up to Dean, he tried again, "Sam," he frowned trying to figure out which word he had heard Dean say was the right one, "Eat. Wet."

"Cereal is wet," Reaching across the table, Dean dipped the spoon into the bowl and brought it to Sam's mouth. "Open your mouth... just taste."

Sam sighed, closing his eyes as he hung his head a moment. Raising his head, he opened his mouth letting Dean push the spoonful of whatever it was inside. He watched Dean as he pulled the spoon back out, brows furrowed at how odd the stuff felt in his mouth. Slowly starting to chew, Sam began to gag. He quickly stood to his feet, shaking his head as he rushed over to the sink, hands gripping the counter as he let the food fall from his mouth. He continued to shake his head as he reached up with one hand, pulling the remaining bits of food off his tongue. "Sam no eat. No eat."

"Aww, come on, it's not that bad..." Rolling his eyes, Dean stabbed his fork into the eggs and started to eat faster. "I'll take you to the grocery store. You choose what you want to eat. Fish food?" He made a face thinking about the flakes sold in pet stores and was pretty sure Sam didn't eat that. "Fish?" He turned bodily toward Sam. "You want to eat fish?" Besides the fact that fish for breakfast was just gross, Dean hadn't thought about getting any because of the whole... Sam had a fishtail ... thing. It kinda seemed cannibalistic.

Sam's brows knitted in confusion. Another word he didn't know. "Ffffish?" he asked, shaking his head, giving a small shrug. He sucked his lip into his mouth as he tried to think of how to tell Dean what he ate when he didn't know the words. Maybe if he showed him how he got his food? Sam made a diving motion, his hand snaking out, grabbing at air, then tilted his head back, pretending to hold something in his fingers, he opened his mouth and exaggeratedly opened his hand. "Eat," Sam told him as he lowered his head.

He bent over, acting as though he were snatching something off the floor, bringing his hand to his mouth, tearing pieces of an invisible something off, "Eat," he repeated, giving a nod as he placed a hand on his chest, "Sam eat."

Dean snickered at Sam's antics. "Fish," he nodded. "Fish is wet... it swims in the water. I got it. We'll go get fish for Sam, okay?" He took a drink of his coffee, washing down his food. "Have some water," he nodded at the glass he'd set down for Sam, "so you don't get dehydrated, then we'll go." He finished his breakfast quickly, then waved at Sam to come with him to the bedroom.

"You need clothes. You gotta put them on, okay?" His clothes would be tight on Sam, but they could get more in town. "Here... sweats are soft." He remembered how Sam rejected the jeans before. "Put them on, and this tee," he said, dropping them on the bed, then getting dressed himself.

Getting dressed had been odd and rather difficult, but he had managed... after Dean pointed out that he couldn't put both legs in one hole AND helped him pull his head through the right hole on the shirt and not the one made for an arm. Barefoot, but dressed, Sam grinned at Dean. "Sam eat," he gave a nod and started for the door.

Dean looked at Sam's bare feet, ran a hand over his face and nodded. Not like his shoes would fit, and it would probably be a struggle getting Sam to wear them. In town, he could maybe get him some of those flip flops... to complete his 'beach bum' look. Grabbing his wallet and key, he followed Sam out of the room, and then headed for the door to the hidden garage.

Inside, he saw Sam's surprise at the change in vehicles. He patted the top of the Impala, "Dean's baby," he nodded, opening his door and getting inside. Leaning over, he opened the passenger door, "Sam. In here."

Climbing in the car, one leg on the seat at a time, Sam bumped his had twice before he finally ducked down low enough.

His gaze roamed over Dean, taking in the way he was sitting, Sam turned to do the same, "Sam. In here. Dean's baby," he nodded, looking around the car before his gaze met Dean's, "Eat."

"Starving huh?" Looking in the mirror, Dean started to back out, then turned the car onto the dirt road leading to the nearby small town.

Fifteen minutes later, they'd parked and he was dragging Sam inside a tourist trap type store and picking out some plain flip flops. It was a minor battle, but Dean made it clear they had to have shoes before they could eat and Sam finally put them on. Then they walked out and toward the grocery store down the road.

Walking in what Dean had called 'flip-flops' was distracting. They kept hitting the back of his feet as he walked, drawing his attention, until he was just watching the shoes work, 'flip-flopping' against the ground and his feet as he moved and was no longer watching where he was going.

Dean had to grab Sam's arm and drag him into the grocery store or the guy would have probably kept walking and not even noticed he'd gone inside.

"Food. Let's see what you like," Dean said, looking at the signs and then heading to the back, but stopping to grab some cans of sardines and tuna, cause they wouldn't always be able to have fresh fish around. He tossed the cans into a basket and pointed at the counter at the end of the aisle. "Fish."

Sam was so busy looking around that he hadn't really noticed what Dean put in the basket, but as they were walking and Dean pointed ahead of them Sam looked... and his mouth fell open, eyes wide. Netting hung from the ceiling of the area, trapping fish that seemed to just be floating in midair. Below it all was a glass area where he could see the innards of the creatures he had once swam with. His steps slowed as they approached. Staring, Sam swallowed hard as he looked around. Wrong, this was all wrong. Where was the chance to get away? Where was the thrill of the chase? Why were they all.... dead? Sam turned his head quickly to look over at Dean, a shrill cry breaking from his throat, eyes wet with unshed tears as Sam shook his head slowly backing away before he turned and ran down one of the isles. He didn't stop until he came to another area set to the side, where there was a large tank filled with lobsters.

They were all captured too, in an aquarium, just like he'd been kept. Walking slowly over to them, Sam kicked off his shoes and grabbed the edge of the tank, jumping up and swinging his legs around, landing dead center of the tank, sending the lobster scurrying away in all directions.

Kneeling down in the water, Sam started pulling off the bands from around the lobsters' claws. Leaning over the tank he set them down on the floor. Slowly but surely he worked through them all, until he was at the last one, which he picked up and removed the bands from the creatures claws before taking a bite out of it, sitting back on his heels to watch the others crawl away.

"FREE!" He called out to them as he chewed, waving them away, "Free!"

"Oh my God!"

Hearing the commotion, Dean ran to where the sounds were coming from. "Sam, get out. Sam! I mean it, out of the tank... dammit." He reached in and grabbed Sam's shoulder, pulling him. "Hurry, out. Sam... fuck!" A few people came to watch, though luckily it was too early for the store to be crowded. He could hear the manager getting called over the PA speakers.

"Sam, come on. Please," he dragged him to the edge and practically pulled him up. "Get out," he demanded, needing to raise his legs over the edge.

Sam didn't understand what he had done that was so wrong. All he'd done was free them, they didn't belong in a tank, just like he hadn't. People had gotten angry at Dean for freeing him too, but it didn't mean it wasn't the right thing to do. Frowning, Sam threw a leg over the side of the tank, then his other, hopping up in the edge. Half eaten lobster in hand, Sam hopped down from the tank. "Sam... free?" he asked Dean, unsure why Dean was angry, but disappointed that he had made him that way. He turned his head toward the direction many of the lobster's had crawled off to, pointing with his free hand. "Free." Tilting his head to the side, "Free Sam," he said pointing at himself. "Free Willie," he pointed back toward the lobsters crawling away, "Free -" he gave a loud cry as high as he could make his voice, saying the merpeople word for lobster.

Clapping one hand over Sam's mouth, Dean tried to explain to other shoppers, though his explanations kept changing as he marched Sam toward the door.

"PETA... you know how crazy those people are..." he shrugged. "Ah... his mom dropped him on his head when he was a baby." Then he turned his head and almost shouted, for the first time noting Sam was eating a lobster... just biting right through its shell. "He's a... he's practicing for a role. Wild man .... Neanderthal defrosted out of a glacier... method actors," he said, shaking his head.

When they reached the front of the store, he told the cashier, "We're taking this, and the ones he picked out... they're crawling around the store. I'll be back to get them, and if you could toss in a couple fish... any kind. And these..." he dropped the cans of fish he'd gotten earlier. "Give me ten minutes," he said and pushed Sam out of the store.

"What was that?" Dean demanded. "Do you want to get caught? Dammit, Sam... come on." He pulled him along toward the car, hoping to hell the incident wasn't noted by anyone. The last thing he wanted was to draw attention to them before Sam made his getaway.

"Caaught?" Sam asked, as he walked along behind Dean, or rather was dragged along behind him. Reaching the car, Sam shook his head when they finally stopped for a second, "Sam no caught. Sam free," he held up the lobster, "Eat." He held it up near Dean's mouth, "Bite?"

He still didn't understand why Dean was angry or what he had done that was wrong, but he didn't suppose he was going to understand anytime soon. Human's had a lot of odd ideas about things. Keeping things from their home was one of them. He didn't understand that, would never understand it. It was wrong, and he didn't care what anyone else said. How would they feel if they were stuck in some tiny old tank?

Taking a giant step back from the smelly lobster, Dean ignored the offer. "Sam is free. But Sam is going to get caught if you..." He pointed to the store. "You have to be like humans. Be like Dean, or those people will come after us again." He made an exasperated sound and looked down at Sam who was sopping wet. No way he was getting in the car like that. He headed for the trunk and opened it, rummaging through a bag for clothes.

Sam frowned, hanging his head. That's when he saw his t-shirt moving. Lifting the material with his free hand, Sam sucked his lip into his mouth as he watched gills move in and out on his side. "Dean?" he called, tearing his gaze way from his side, to look over at Dean, though he still held his shirt up. "Dean, Sam wet," he nodded, "Sam live wet fuck."

Almost banging his head on the trunk, Dean looked over. "Drop it," he said, then walked to him and pulled the shirt down before anyone else could see.

"It's okay Sam. Sam wet... merman, to breathe in the water. Sam dry... human." He grabbed some towels from the back of the car, then opened the door and spread them over the passenger seat. Holding Sam's shorts in place with one hand, he peeled the wet sweats down. "Get in the car," he said, guiding him, making him sit, as he pulled the pants off. He tossed the flip flops into the car, then closed the door. "Sam, stay here. Okay. Stay. I'm getting your... Just stay."

Sam nodded, holding up a hand. "Stay. Sam stay. In here. Dean's baby," he gave another nod, watching as Dean went to the back of the car and then headed back into the store. Looking away from the store as Dean entered, Sam looked around the parking lot, sighing softly. Looking down, Sam pulled his shirt back up to look at his gills, watching as they moved in and out as he breathed. It was harder to take deep breaths, but otherwise at least he wasn't in pain this time, but then he hadn't changed back totally either. Releasing his shirt, Sam looked back up out the window as he finished the rest of the lobster he held in his hand, tossing harder pieces that he didn't eat out the window.

The sound of something eating outside the window of the car next to him, drew Sam's attention. Peering out the window at the ground, Sam watched as an animal stood devouring the pieces of lobster he had tossed out. Once the food was gone the dog looked up, seeing Sam looking at him, the canine jumped up on the side of the car and looked in at Sam. Startled, Sam jumped and backed away from the strange animal, a strangled cry tearing from his throat. When the animal only stood panting, tongue hanging out as it looked into the car, Sam slowly sat back up, reaching a hand out to touch it. Immediately the dog started to lick Sam's fingers clean.

Chuckling, Sam allowed the animal to lick his hands, reaching for the door handle as the dog jumped down off the side of the car and started to sniff the ground more. Pulling from the car, Sam crouched beside it, holding his hand out to the animal. Everything was fine for a few minutes as the dog wagged its tail and allowed Sam to pet it. It sniffed Sam and seemed to enjoy the attention but then the dog found Sam's gills and start to nose and lick at them through his shirt.

Sam made a pained sound, pushing the animal away, "Space!" Sam told it, but the dog only came back, it's attention fixed on the oddity of this human before it.

Tumbling over backward onto the ground, Sam shoved at the large dog, "Space!"

Apparently it thought this was a game as it only became more aggressive, nipping and clawing at Sam's side. "No bite! Space!" Sam yelled, "Space! Space! Space!"

Once again, the shouts had Dean running with the bag of groceries in his arms. He set the bag down on the bonnet of the car and used his foot to kick the dog away. "Beat it!" He reached for Sam and helped him up, then pushed his body in from of Sam to separate him from the dog.

"Get in the car, Sam. Now." A muscle pulsed in his jaw as he waited for the half naked man drawing more attention than he wanted to do as he said. The instant he was inside, Dean closed the door, grabbed the bag and walked around to his side of the car.

After he put the bag in the back, he looked over at Sam. "I told you to stay in the car. What the hell was that? Meet and greet your furry cousins?"

Sam was busy inspecting his gills when Dean started yelling again, or at least it seemed like he was yelling. He was definitely angry.

Turning his head to look over at Dean, Sam shook it. "Sam stay here. Sam stay eat," he pointed out the window. "Bite Sam space!" he pointed at himself. "Sam no bite. Sam stay."

"If you'd stayed In the car... forget it," Dean sighed.

Gripping the steering wheel, Dean took a moment to get a hold of himself, then started to drive. A few minutes later, he couldn't stand the silence, "I just want you to be safe. I don't want them to catch you, okay? I want Sam safe. How's your arm?" Reaching out, he tapped Sam's splint.

Sam gave a small shrug as he looked down at his arm, flexing his fingers and mumbling softly, "Sam safe, Dean free Sam."

"Sam, there are bad men out there. Sam is free, but they want to catch you, okay? Remember how they followed us? We have to be careful, keep our heads down." He licked his lips. "Bad men, you understand that? Like sharks... come after you."

Sam slowly raised his head, looking over at Dean, "Shhharks?" he asked, shaking his head.

He looked away, out the window, muscle twitching in his jaw as he thought about what Dean said. "Bad men," he licked his lips, looking back over at Dean, "caught Sam?" he frowned darkly, hanging his head as he gave a nod. Leaning over abruptly, he nuzzled his face against Dean's, laying his cheek against the man's trying to show that he was sorry. He hadn't meant to cause problems, the lobsters needed to be freed and the furry animal had seemed nice.

"Driving..." Despite his surliness, Dean held Sam close for a moment, then put his hand back on the steering wheel with his arm around the guy.

"I know it’s hard to understand." If he hadn't seen Sam in that tank, night after night, if he hadn't felt that strange connection, would he be one of the people hunting him? Did that make him like the hunters that had killed his dad? As the weight of the world started to settle on Dean's shoulders, he realized that for the last forty eight hours, he'd been free of that. Sure he'd had other sorts of problems... like what the hell to do with Sam, and trying to get him to understand, but his life hadn't sucked. He didn't know what to make of that, so he pushed the thoughts away.

"You like music?" he asked, reaching for the dashboard and hitting play, then lowering the sound. "Music makes me feel better, feel good, you know? In here, in your chest," he said, touching Sam's chest, then singing softly and a bit off key under his breath.

When the music started to play Sam startled just a little, eyes widening a bit as he stared at the dashboard, but as Dean talked to him and started to sing, Sam laid his head down on Dean's shoulder.

"Free," Sam sighed the word, closing his eyes.

Not answering, Dean sang a little louder, a smile spreading over his face, though he couldn't explain the reason if asked. Maybe 'why' didn't matter, it was enough that he was happy, right here, right now.

Chapter Text

Sam sat on the floor, leaning back against the couch watching television while Dean did something on the computer, Sam wasn't sure what. In a bowl next to him, Sam had slices of raw fish that he was nibbling on as he watched the end of Super Friends. He'd already sat through Sesame Street, Barney, Scooby Doo and Lambchop. As the cartoon ended, there was nothing else on except old movies and documentaries that Sam either didn't understand or thought were hogwash because he had first-hand knowledge about the creatures in question and Eels just didn't act like that.

Reaching for the remote he pushed a button grimacing when the sound turned up too loud before he hit the correct one shutting off the T.V. Popping the last piece of fish in his mouth, Sam turned and looked at Dean. "Dean free?"

"Hmm?" Dean looked over at Sam. He knew Sam was learning new words at an extraordinary rate and had parked him in front of the T.V. for that reason. So far, Sam had seemed interested.

Pulling up from his spot on the floor, Sam walked over to Dean, sitting down across from him at the small table where Dean had the computer plugged in. "Busy?" Sam asked, "Sam," he frowned, trying to remember the word he had just heard on Barney, "bored."

Getting no answer, he leaned back in his chair and started to sing the song he had learned off Lambchop. "This is the song that doesn't end, yes it goes on and on my friend, some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because it is the song that doesn't end, yes it goes on and on my friend ---" He didn't know what half the words meant, but he had learned the song, mostly because it had started at the beginning of the show and went on and on all through it. It was both annoying and catchy.

Dean tried not to make a face. "Neverending songs are never good." He closed the lid of the lap top, then looked back at Sam.

There weren't really any T.V. shows they could watch together, without one of them getting bored. There was no way in hell Dean was taking Sam back to town, so that left the woods. "You wanna go for a walk outside?" The sun was only just starting to set.

"Walk?" Sam asked, raising his brows and nodding. He pulled from the chair and headed toward the door, dressed in only his tee and boxers.

"Wait... wash your hands, with soap, and brush your teeth," Dean said, pointing to the bedroom. He had no intention of smelling fish breath, even if Sam's body seemed to process the stuff so well that there was no smell, it just made him feel better after seeing him snack on raw fish like that. "And your flip flops, get them on so we can go." He got up and stretched, then went to get the bowl Sam had left on the coffee table.

Sam looked down at his hands as he bent his arms at the elbows, flexing his fingers. Wash his hands. He could do that, they did that in the shower, though he didn't really think his hands were dirty. The tooth brushing Sam wasn't as keen on. Dean had showed him how to do that that but the stick made him gag and the bubbles made him sneeze. He hated brushing his teeth. With a sigh, he hung his head, walking slowly into the bathroom. "Snuffleupagus," he mumbled under his breath.

"Did you call me a name?" Dean demanded, shaking his head.

Suddenly he felt old, like a dad or something. Rolling his eyes at the thought, he went to the door, opened it and leaned against the frame as he looked out into the forest. It was so quiet and calm, except for the sound of birds and tree leaves rustling. It would be so fucking easy to forget people were after Sam, but a couple of phone calls and his internet search of the news showed that the danger was nowhere near over. The owners of Flesh had put out a bounty on the merman, and hunters were all over it too. Course there was speculation that by now the merman would be out at sea, but the two guys whose SUV they'd stolen had seen that Sam was injured, so the bastards knew there was a chance that Sam would need to recover first.

A few minutes and nine or ten sneezes later, Sam walked out of the bathroom. "Hands washed, teeth brushed," he told Dean as he walked up to the door. "Sam ready."

Glancing down to make sure he had the shoes on, Dean made room for Sam to pass and then locked the door behind them. There were a few trails leading from the cabin, so he picked one. As they walked, he gave the names of things. Trees, leaves, sky, sun. Many of the words, Sam already knew from the shows he was watching. "You like outside?" He asked, suddenly curious as to what Sam thought about the world outside the sea.

Sam gave a nod. "I like outside. I like --" he stopped not finishing his words, he knew that Dean already was well aware of his desire to go back to the sea, he didn't mean to keep bringing it up. "You come Sam live," Sam told him, smiling wide, dimples showing. "I show you Sam live."

"You mean in the water, the sea?" Dean stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked down. "I can't breathe in the water. No gills, not like Sam," he said looking back. "But I'll get you there, okay?" He realized it was Sam's greatest wish, to go home. It hurt just a little, which was really stupid, he realized that. "You'll be home soon."

Sam gave a nod, reaching out and grabbing Dean's arm, stopping him. "I go water, you come. No need gills, Dean have Sam." he told him, stepping closer and leaning in to cover Dean's mouth with his open one. He stayed like that a second, breathing into Dean's mouth. "I do for Dean." Sam told him, his lips still pressed to Dean's as he spoke.

Dean brushed his lips against Sam's, taking his hand out of his pocked and putting it behind his back, holding Sam against him for a moment. He was going to be alone soon, too soon.

"You know you can't breathe for me for that long. It's not possible. But I will... I will miss you," he said thickly, pressing his mouth to Sam's, giving him a hard, but short kiss before pulling away. He took Sam's hand and started walking, trying to regain control over his emotions, it wasn't a problem he usually had.

Sam frowned as he watched Dean, but he held his hand tightly. He didn't want to leave this man behind. Why couldn't he go? Sam had seen other humans under the water before, from a distance. And they had done alright, without a merman to help them breathe.

"Sam live," he shook his head, "no word for 'good - bye'." He held Dean's hand a little tighter, "I see you," Sam told him with a nod before looking away from Dean, out in the direction they were going, humming the melody of a song he had learned on Barney.

"Okay. You'll see me," Dean echoed, knowing it was a lie, knowing once Sam left it would be forever. It wasn't as if Dean could stay some place permanent and on the coast, he was inland most of the time. Good bye would be just that, when it came. And he knew it would hurt like a sonovabitch, even if it was 'right.' Shifting his hand, he threaded his fingers through Sam's, locking them together. He sniffed. "You have... family?"

Sam frowned, "Family?" He shook his head. "I have family, but far. Sam family ... fish," he frowned. "Not fish, dol - phin-sss," he nodded, "and whales."

"No parents, mother and father? No brothers and sisters?" He searched Sam's face. "Girlfriend... boyfriend? Just... you hang with whales and dolphins?"

"I..." he thought a minute, "hang with whales and dol-phin-sss. My family," he pointed to himself, "Sister. She have family. She away far at..." He frowned, giving an exasperated huff, due to his lack of word knowledge of the language. "Town?" he said the word, then nodded, "Town," he shook his head, "but not Sam's town. Sam... lone."

"Like me." Dean's fingers tightened around Sam's. "Loner. I guess in the old days we'd be called nomads. I don't stay any place long either." He licked his lips. "Why don't you stay in town? Isn't it lonely to be away from your people?" He knew first hand you could also be surrounded by people and still be alone.

Sam looked at Dean in confusion. "Sam have whales and dol-phin-sss," he shook his head. "Sam not really alone, Sam happy."

"Okay. Good, I'm glad you're happy." Dean smiled. "With your whales and dolphins."

"When Sam see you Sam show you," Sam said with a nod, smiling. Slowly his smile melted away as he stared at the ground thoughtfully. "Sam was with Dol-phin-sss when bad men caught Sam." He pulled his head up, looking over at Dean. "Men came and took Sam and dol-phin-sss from playing," he stated before looking away. "Sam fault. Sam fun," he shook his head. "No pay attention."

"Yeah... happens. But you're free now. And next time, you'll pay attention." Nothing like getting caught to teach you that. "What about... you know? Sex?" He bumped his shoulder against Sam's. "With other people."

"Fuck?" Sam grinned and shook his head before looking down and mumbling softly. "No. Sam age to mate, but, not many like Sam."

"You mean there aren't many you like? Or... not many males who... In town, you couldn't find one that would fuck?" He raised his eyebrows. "So you're a virgin?"

"Sam no like," he shrugged, "Sam... choosey," he grinned. "No fuck. Once fuck, mated. Sam no want..." He frowned and looked at Dean for an explanation, "Vir-gin?"

"Once fuck-mated? Really?" He whistled. "Yeah... I get why you'd want to stay a virgin. 'Virgin'... means never fucked anyone." He wasn't quite sure why Sam had been so casual about fucking him, but maybe he figured he might as well get experience where he wouldn't be stuck with a mate. His time at Flesh would have taught him that one-fuck-mating wasn't the norm on land. "You kissed anyone? Do mer people, people like Sam, kiss?"
Sam laughed. "Be sure no tell like-Sams that we fuck when you come see Sam, so you won't be stuck with Sam." He chuckled shaking his head as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. He wouldn't tell the man that he would like to have him as a mate. Wouldn't tell him that when he got back to the sea he would tell his friends about the human with green eyes. "Kiss?" Sam shook his head. "Not like-Sam people, only kiss whales and dol-phin-sss." He licked his lips, "Merrr peo-ple kiss friends. We no kiss like humans," he told Dean, one hand raising to cover his mouth as he laughed.

"Oh." Yeah, he'd guessed that. "That's too bad. You're a good kisser," he said, grinning. "You have a talented tongue, just a little more practice and you'd have mer people swooning." Despite his words, Dean was kind of glad Mer people didn't kiss. That mean the kiss was just... it was just a Dean and Sam thing and would always be.

Sam scoffed, "Dean think Sam kiss good?" He gave a nod, "Maybe someday Sam meet like Sam and Sam teach them what human Dean taught Sam." He had to make the joke to keep from telling Dean that he didn't want to kiss or touch or fuck anyone else... just him. He hung his head. "Dean kiss humans?"

"No, don't teach!" Dean's chest rose and fell as he took a deep breath and told himself to calm his ass down. Demanding that Sam never kiss anyone else was damned illogical. Crazy. He licked his lips. "Sorry... yeah, Dean kisses humans." He closed his eyes. "Dean just kisses to make time go by, to feel... something... anything." He opened his eyes again. "But not with Sam. You're special. Come on... let's walk," he said, realizing they'd stopped.

Sam's heart fell hearing that Dean kissed others. Of course he did, to think that he hadn't was naive and stupid. Even Sam knew that, based in the things he had seen in the tank at that horrible place, but it didn't make the ache in his chest any less real as he hung his head, simply nodding to Dean's words that he was special.

Giving a nod, Sam started walking with Dean again. A silence fell between them as Sam continued to try to think of a way for Dean to go home with him. Did Dean even want to go? Maybe it wasn't something that the human really wanted and was just trying to be nice not saying it. Sucking his bottom lip into his mouth Sam's brows furrowed as he tried to not think about it, not think about how he would never see this human with the green eyes again. There was no word in his language for good-bye, because they simply didn't know how to say it, and Sam was having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that for once in his life, he might just have to.

* * *

Hours later as they lay in bed, a bowl of raw fish between them that Sam continuously snacked from, Sam smiled as Dean pointed to another part of his body to tell him what it was called. He had just learned, arm and belly, and he had known chest and hands from before, especially with Dean's obsessive need for Sam to keep washing his hands every time he ate something.

"This... belly button," Dean said, leaning over and kissing Sam's navel. As he started to get up, he saw Sam's hand descending to play with his hair. "Uh uh, not till you wash," he protested, sitting up and escaping.

Sam pouted. "What wrong with Sam's hands?" he flexed the fingers of the hand he had been reaching with.

"Fish juice. I don't want it on my hair. Wash... then touch," Dean nodded. "This is your 'knee,'" he squeezed Sam's knee cap, warily watching the hand that had been dipping into the bowl.
Sam frowned at Dean, slowly reaching for another piece of fish, his gaze never leaving Dean's face as he did. Taking a big juicy chunk out of the bowl, Sam held it up in front of Dean, under his nose. "Dean bite."

"Not in this lifetime." Making a face, Dean shrank away from the fish. He was crazy even letting Sam eat it in bed.

Frowning Sam reached for the bowl, setting it on the nightstand before scooting closer, holding the fish near Dean's mouth. "Dean bite for Sam."

"Uh uh... humans don't eat ... wet food, wet fish, ah... raw fish." Frowning at Sam's insistence, he shook his head 'no.' The fishy smell had him wrinkling his nose and he was about two seconds from knocking Sam's hand away.

Sam moved, tackling Dean over onto his back, his own body blanketing the human's. "Dean bite. Sam want Dean bite. Good," he nodded, taking a bite himself before putting it back down in front of Dean's lips. Sam smiled, "Dean eat fish when come see Sam."

"Gross, no...pah..." Putting his hands in front of himself for protection, Dean tried to push the merman away. "Dean will bring hot dogs, but fish, uncooked? Forget it. Sam!" He half rolled away, shouting when a bit of juice from the fish dripped.

Sam chuckled. "Fish good. Dean eat fish. Give glossy tail."

"Uh uh, no... nooooo... dammit." The cool wet fish touched his lips, but he pressed them together tight, pulling away as far as he could with Sam on top of him. "Mmm mea mme." Pulling back further, he rephrased, this time parting his lips to talk property. "Personal space Sam."

Sam pushed the fish past Dean's lips laughing, "Taste. Eat bite... for Sam. Sam special," he nearly giggled.

"Oh..." Rolling Sam over, Dean scooted off the bed, spitting the fish into his hand and making a face. "Not funny, not funny Sam." And yet, looking at the merman laughing at him, Dean started to laugh. "Come on, wash hands... brush teeth. Me too," he groaned. "You couldn't like goldfish crackers." That wasn't a bad idea, he'd have to get some for Sam.

Sam sighed as his laughter slowly died away. "Why always wash hands and brush teeth after Sam eat, Dean not after Dean eat," Sam asked him, eyeing him suspiciously as he slid his legs off the side of the bed and stood to his feet.

"I'm brushing my teeth and washing my hands now, aren't I?" He walked to the bathroom door and waved Sam inside. He felt the weight of the merman's gaze and rolled his eyes. "Fish smells fishy."

"Onions smells oniony," Sam told him with a nod as he walked into the bathroom and reached for the soap.

"It's not the same. Trust me."

"Why?"

Dean made a face at Sam in the mirror. "Because."

Sam made a face back at Dean in the mirror. "Because why?" he asked, lathering his hands.

Putting toothpaste on the toothbrush, Dean shoved it into Sam's mouth. That was one way to shut him up. He hoped. Grabbing his own toothbrush, he quickly put it into his mouth so he wouldn't have to make explanations to hard questions.

Sam shot Dean a narrowed sideways glance, but only reached up to grab the end of his toothbrush and started brushing his teeth. He sneezed half way through and didn't stop sneezing until he finally had spit all of the toothpaste out of his mouth as he finished up. He looked over at Dean then. "Dean not know... do Dean?"

Chuckling, Dean nodded and rinsed his mouth. "It's just the way it is. Some things have no answer, like why does Sam sneeze?" Setting his toothbrush down, he dried his mouth with a towel, and stepped back toward the door.

Wiping his own mouth with the towel, instead of using his hand like he usually did, Sam walked out after Dean. "Tooth - paste tickle Sam, Sam sssneeeze," he sounded out the word out as he spoke it.

"Tickle huh..." Waiting till Sam was closer, Dean tackled him onto the bed and started to tickle his ribs. "Like this? How come you're not sneezing Sam? Sam not know, do Sam?" he said in the same voice Sam had questioned him.

Sam let out a small high pitched squeal as he was tackled, his ribs assaulted by Dean's wiggling, nearly digging fingertips. He laughed, squirming under Dean as he tried to get away, his hands reaching for Dean's to try and pull them off. "Stop...stop... space..." he said through his laughter, gasping in breaths. "Space!"

"Oh NOW you know about space, huh?" Dean tortured him some more, but then leaned down and kissed him square on the mouth. He hadn't even thought about it or anything, he'd just... he wanted it. As his mouth moved over Sam's he thought about how the merman made him feel. Happy. Even when he exasperated him, scared him, freaking chased him with raw fish... Dean was happy. Kissing him one more time, he lifted his head and swept his palm over Sam's cheek. "You make me feel good, and I haven't in a very long time," he admitted.

Sam reached up, his gaze locked with the humans, his hand sliding back against the human's cheek, fingers threading into his hair, thumb ghosting across his cheekbone. "Sam feel good," he gave a nod, smiling. Slowly his smile melted away as he searched Dean's face. "Sam no want to say 'goodbye'," he told him softly. If Sam felt something, he dealt with it. If he was in pain, he fixed it or endured. If he was happy, he smiled or laughed, when he was sad, he cried, or told what was on his heart, even if the human before him wasn't ready or able to hear the words.

"Then don't." Dean looked away for a moment. "Go swimming... then come back. You can stay with me, we can travel around, I'll teach you to hunt..." Even as he spoke, Dean knew it would be impossible, or would take years to train Sam. He couldn't put him in that type of danger before Sam had an understanding of the world and what they were dealing with.

Sam opened his mouth as he shook his head, only to snap it closed again, a sad look in his slanted hazel brow eyes. He didn't want to not go back to the sea, didn't want to live on the land. Land was dangerous and humans were every bit as scary and cruel as he had been taught... all but one anyway. "Sam swim... Sam always think of Dean."

"Sam swim. Sam is free," Dean nodded, a lump rising in his throat. "I won't forget you either," he said, now laying on his side and looking down at Sam. He trailed his hand up and down Sam's chest, over his tee, "I'll miss you."

Sam nodded. "Sam miss Dean," he told him, searching Dean's face. Licking his lips, Sam dropped his gaze momentarily before looking back up into Dean's face, his fingers gently playing in the soft short strands of the human's hair. "Dean kiss Sam, touch Sam?"

Sliding his hand under Sam's shirt, Dean nodded. "Yeah, touch you. Everywhere." Eyes locked with Sam's, Dean explored every inch of his stomach and chest, mapping his body, memorizing it as he pushed the material up as high as it would go. Dipping his head, he closed his mouth over Sam's nipple and sucked hard, then played with it with his tongue, making a soft sound when he felt Sam react.

Sam watched the human, his breaths quickening as Dean ran his hand over him, touching him, caressing his body. Back arching, Sam gasped in a soft breath as Dean toyed with his nipple the small bud tightening, a low moan breaking from Sam's throat. His hand that had been against Dean's cheek now lay at the nape of his neck, fingers threading through the soft short strands.

Moving to Sam's other nipple, Dean licked and played with it with his tongue, then dropped a kiss over it. Lifting up, he started to push Sam's tee, "Lift up."

Peeling it off Sam, Dean tossed it to the ground and dipped his head down again, this time dragging his tongue up from the base of Sam's throat. He lingered over his Adam's apple, rolling his tongue around, then sucking on it lightly, eyes closing when he felt Sam swallow. Feathering kisses the rest of the way up his throat, he brushed his mouth over Sam's chin, then teases his lips with his tongue. Each time Sam opened for him, he chuckled, and refused to thrust his tongue inside, instead licking Sam's scarlet lips and teasing or kissing the corners of his lips.

Sam's other hand reached for Dean, to hold him still, to pull him in closer as he chased his elusive tongue, small moans and grunts of annoyance leaving him as Dean avoided his mouth, continuing to only tease him.

"Dean tease. Not nice to tease," Sam told him, eyes narrowed before he rolled them over, pinning Dean under him. "You swim, Sam tease you. You never catch Sam," he told Dean, smiling before he dipped his head, pressing his mouth to Dean's, opening up for him, his tongue darting out to lick at Dean's lips.

"Mmm, tease." Chuckling, Dean cupped the back of Sam's head and kissed him, this time thrusting his tongue inside the merman's mouth and tangling it with Sam's, coaxing him into a game of cat and mouse that quickly got heated. His other hand roamed over Sam's back, pulling him close, kneading his muscles. A groan broke out of the back of Dean's throat as their lips parted with a wet sound.

"Dean touch Sam," he said, rolling Sam onto his back again.

He made his way slowly down Sam's chest and abs, licking, tasting, kissing. Occasionally he nipped a bit of flesh between his teeth, but always licked Sam better. His fingers curled around Sam's shorts and he slowly dragged them down, lifting his head to watch, his gaze lingering on Sam's semi-hard cock. Tossing the shorts off the bed, he scooted lower, settling between Sam's thighs. Dipping his head down, he licked the length of Sam's cock, from base to tip, then closed his hand around it.

"Gonna suck you so good, Sam," he said.

Sam sighed and moaned as Dean licked and nipped his skin, watching the human through lowered lids as he moved down his body. Sam didn't flinch when Dean pulled the shorts off, although they weren't uncomfortable, he wasn't used to being dressed anyway. He frowned as he watched Dean settle between his legs, it was on the tip of his tongue to ask the human if he was going to just fall asleep down there when the sensations from Dean's tongue on his cock had Sam gasping in a breath, eyes wide. Sam shook his head, trying to scurry backward away from Dean. "No, Dean no do. Not need do, no," Sam told him, holding a hand out, to try and stop the human from doing the very thing he had been disgusted by the idea of, that they had tried to force him to do to strangers at the club.

Dean grasped his thighs and held him in place. "I'm free. I want to lick you, make you feel good," he said, leaning in and flicking his tongue along the side of Sam's cock, his stomach tensing as he watched the merman's dick harden and thicken in reaction. Opening his mouth, he sucked on Sam's shaft, and moved slowly toward his crown.

Sam swallowed hard, his eyes still wide as he looked down at the human between his legs, his human. Free, how could someone who was 'free' want to do this to another? Sam had never seen or heard of anything like it before, had never witnessed anything even remotely close to it. The whales and dolphins didn't... the otters and walruses, never... even his own kind... it just wasn't something that was done. Like kissing the way that Dean had shown him, using your tongue, this was new and undiscovered territory for him, and after the bad men at that place had tried to force him to do this, it was a frightening thing.

At the feel of Dean's tongue sliding along the length of his cock, Sam sucked in a breath, holding it as he squeezed his eyes closed, his muscles visible tense. He held his bottom lip between his teeth, a soft whimper tearing from his throat as his body responded to the stimulation, his dick hardening and lengthening, twitching. The intense sensations from Dean sucking on his shaft had Sam gasping out the breath he'd been holding and his neck arching as he grabbed handfuls of the sheets in tight fists. "Nauugh..." his head thrashed to the side, eyes still squeezed tightly closed, "D-Dean..."

"Want me to stop?" Dean asked softly, right before he took half of Sam's cock into his mouth and sucked lightly, moving up and down his shaft, then pulling off and licking around his crown. "You don't want me to suck... and lick... like this?" He asked again, this time licking up and down the length of his shaft, pulsing his tongue against the base of his cock, then moving his mouth again and again. "I can stop..." There was a smile in his voice as he did just that, letting Sam's cock go, and staring hungrily into the merman's face as he waited for him to open his eyes.

Sam's breaths grew more labored as Dean worked his cock, teasing him with light suction and licks. Sam groaned, his head rolling back the other way on the pillow, his lips parting as he panted, nostrils flaring His hips bucked upward, craving more, deeper, longer contact with Dean's warm wet mouth. Sam could hear the human talking, but the words made no real sense and seemed unimportant to his lust fogged brain. It wasn't until Dean released his cock completely that his words sank in.

He didn't want to tell Dean to keep going. He didn't want to be like those bad men, but by Neptune, it felt good. Better than anything Sam had ever experienced. Opening his eyes on a choked gasp, Sam stared up at the human through lust blown pupils, swallowing hard, his hands still gripping the sheets tightly, a whimper tearing from his throat.

"You liked it, didn't you?" Dean asked, knowing the answer full well.

"Sam," Sam swallowed hard. "Sam..." He really didn't want to be like those other men. Sam tried to hide his face against the pillow as he turned his head away as far as he could, still refusing to answer.

"Sam what?" Dean blew a hot breath over Sam's cock, bringing his mouth close. "Do you want it. I want it Sam... I want to lick you, I want to suck you, I want to taste you... don't you want it too?" He knew this had to do with those bastards at Flesh, knew it, but he was gonna free Sam from whatever they did to him. "It's good, it's okay, it's like kissing... human."

Sam's hips bucked upward toward Dean's mouth a groaned whimper escaping him. Bottom lip sucked into his mouth, brows furrowed, Sam reluctantly gave a nod, hating himself for liking it, feeling ashamed and dirty.

Seeing something in Sam's eyes that crushed his heart, Dean crawled up his body, pressing his hips down to give Sam some pressure where he needed it, but looking at him solemnly. "It's okay to want it... this. Anything you and I want to do, it's not bad... it's good. I promise it's good. I love you," he whispered, bringing his mouth down and kissing Sam, his chest constricting as words he'd never imagined himself saying came tumbling out... and he meant them. Which wasn't a good thing, not when he knew he had to be prepared for being alone again sometime soon.

Arms lifting from the bed as he released the sheets, Sam instantly wrapped them around Dean who blanketed him. His hips bucking upward against his human, almost of their own accord. Gazing up into Dean's face, Sam searched it for the truth to his words, that this was really okay, that it didn't make him bad or dirty. He opened his mouth in invitation to Dean's kiss, moaning softly, relaxing into the kiss. This he knew, this he felt good about, felt good doing, he loved kissing his human. One hand slid up Dean's back, cupping the nape of his neck, digits threading up into the soft short strands of his hair as Sam's hand at his back held him tightly.

Dean's kisses became little desperate, a little fearful of the future. He told himself he would take what he could get, and right now, it was Sam in his arms... that was all that was important. Tomorrow he might have some crushing blows coming, but what else was new? It was the life he was resolved to, the life he had always known. When he finally ran out of breath, he pulled up and ran his palm over Sam's cheek, his thumb dragging over swollen lips. "Don't move," he whispered, determined to give his merman a blow job he'd never forget, no matter how far or deep he swam.

Breaths panting out past kiss swollen lips, Sam gazed lovingly up at his human. If he were to ever take a mate, Dean would be the one... if only it were possible.

Dropping kisses along Sam's throat, and chest, Dean crawled back between his legs, and grasped his cock, stroking it a few times, then dipping his head down and licking and sucking along the side of Sam's shaft, teasing but never taking him wholly into his mouth.

Sam's brows started to knit together in confusion as his eyes tracked Dean's movements only to close slowly, a low high pitched moan sounding deep in his throat at the feel of Dean's kisses along his neck and chest. Opening his eyes as Dean pulled back once again to rest between his legs, Sam watched him through half lowered lids, hands slowly gripping the bed sheets in tight fists as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. His mouth opened on a gasp as Dean started to once again lick and suck at his shaft, his neck arching back, his hips bucking as another tortured moan broke from his throat.

His merman's honest and unguarded responses sent Dean's lust shooting up to new heights. Wanting, needing to take Sam there with him, he redoubled his efforts, this time concentrating on the base of his lover's cock, licking and pressing his tongue down, then dragging it part way up. Holding Sam's cock away from his body, Dean licked a path down to his hole, then back, this time sucking on his balls, first one side, then the other. The entire time, he stroked his fist up and down, giving Sam slight pressure, just enough to drive him crazy... that's how Dean wanted him... needed him.

As his lover thrashed, Dean lifted his head and took Sam's tip into his mouth, sucking hard just once. Then he started to lick around Sam's head, each stroke a little harder, promising but not giving much more. His hand clenched and unclenched around his dick, squeezing and releasing, God... he loved how hard Sam felt, loved how he was moving, the sounds he made.

Sam writhed on the bed, moans and groans spilling from his parted lips as he panted his breaths, chest rising and falling hard, his fisted hands twisting in the sheets. He bucked his hips, cock throbbing, pulsing and twitching as Dean teased him. Doing things to his body Sam had never dreamed of before. "Naugh... D- Dean. Sam... Sam need..." Sam groaned lips pressed together, nostrils flared, face flushed with the heat of passion as he squirmed and thrashed under Dean's ministrations.

"Right here," Dean answered, opening his mouth wider and sucking the tip of Sam's cock inside. He rolled his tongue around its head as he sucked, then pushed down, taking more of his merman's rock hard flesh. Twisting his wrist at the base of Sam's cock, he started to pump his head up and down, each time a little harder, a little faster, allowing Sam's cock to penetrate deeper, forcing himself to relax his throat and accept the invasion. Humming around Sam's cock, loving how desperately Sam was moving, the sounds he made, Dean found himself thrusting his own cock into the mattress, seeking the relief he was giving Sam.

Sam arched, body tensing, his lips parted in shocked pleasure as Dean took the tip of his cock into his mouth a harsh choked cry of pleasure tearing from his throat. Breaths coming out in hard quick pants, Sam thrust his hips, his cock into Dean's hot mouth, groaning as his head rolled on the pillows. Clenching his teeth as Dean worked him harder and faster, Sam's muscles started to tense, heat singing through his veins to pool low in his stomach, cock pulsing in Dean's mouth. His balls drew up tight to his body, hips bucking his cock deeper into Dean's hot mouth.

"Nuagh!... Dean..." Sam groaned through gritted teeth, his head rising up off the pillows, eyes opening to reveal lust blown pupils before his head crashed back down against the pillow, eyes once again squeezing tightly closed as the first shot of spunk left his cock, hitting the back of Dean's throat.

Dean's splayed fingers raked over Sam's belly as he pulled up slightly and started to swallow, gently continuing to suck as his lover came inside his mouth. So hot... the sounds he made, the way he moved, the look in his eyes... Fuck, Dean was close to coming. He concentrated on Sam's slightly salty taste, memorizing it as he milked him, smiling around his wide cock as another rope of hot come filled his mouth. When Sam finally calmed and set his hips down on the mattress, Dean pulled off, licking his shaft, then stroked him one last time and dropped his now flaccid cock on his thigh. "Sam tastes good," he said, kissing his inner thigh, before rolling onto his back next to his merman.

Sam's unfocused eyes opened as he fought to catch his breaths, head rolling on the pillow to face Dean before he closed them again, his body trembling with aftershocks. A low soft moan sounded deep in his throat before he licked his lips. "Sam never," he shook his head, swallowing, "never felt that before." As he rolled onto his side to face his human, Sam's hand moved to drop across Dean's middle, limply. "Mm, was -" Sam frowned trying to think of the word, saying the only one that he could think of, "good."

Chuckling, Dean nodded. "Very good. So hot... never seen anyone come apart like that," he said, rolling closer and kissing Sam, dipping his tongue into the hot channel of his mouth and sweeping it across his tongue. "This is what you taste like," he said, his still hard cock pressing against Sam's hip. "So you don't do this... in merman land? Sea? That's just sad..."

Sam licked his lips as he gazed up at Dean and shook his head. "No, like-Sam... merman town," he repeated the words Dean had used, "no do that." He gave a soft smile, reaching out to run the pad of his thumb along Dean's bottom lip. "Only Dean do."

"I was hoping Sam does," he muttered, catching Sam's thumb between his teeth, then licking its tip, playing with it with his tongue, the same way he'd rolled his tongue around Sam's crown earlier. Slowly, he released his thumb.

Sam's eyes slowly dropped from Dean's his gaze traveling down his human's body to his hard cock before darting back up to look into Dean's face. He sucked his own bottom lip into his mouth as his brows furrowed softly, wanting to give back what Dean had been given, though uncertainty had him pausing and swallowing hard.

Without answering, Sam rolled up onto his knees before he moved back, reaching out to run his hand slowly down Dean's body, leaning in to place open mouthed kisses along Dean's belly as he knelt between Dean's legs. Pulling his head back, his gaze on Dean's hard cock, hands sliding down to the human's thighs, Sam swallowed hard. Remembering when they forced his face down on the stranger, shoved the man's dick into his mouth and told him to suck. He could almost taste the coppery tang of blood in his mouth all over again. Brow creased in a frown, Sam's hands gripped Dean's thighs tighter as he remembered the pain after he had bitten the man, the way he had been beaten as he lay gasping for breath.

The tension was thick as Dean waited a long moment, then realized what he'd done for Sam... what he'd shown him hadn't changed how he felt about this. Whatever they'd done to Sam at the club, the solution wasn't as easy as Dean had thought. "C'mere," he said, pulling Sam up, practically dragging him up his body, then wrapping his arms around him tight. "Sam is free. You don't have to do anything you don't want, not ever again," he vowed, kissing the top of his head. So he was hard, it didn't matter. What mattered was the man in his arms.

Sam grimaced slightly as he looked at Dean, feeling like he had let him down. "Sam sorry. Sam will...next time," he told him softly, eyes searching Dean's face, before he dipped his head, slanting his mouth over his human's, kissing him long and deep, his body slowly moving against Dean's.

When Sam finally pulled his head back, breaking the kiss, they were both breathing heavier. "Don't... move," Sam told him, repeating Dean's own words. Sliding half off Dean's body so that only his chest draped him, Sam reached down, wrapping his large hand around Dean's hard cock, squeezing him as he started to stroke, sliding his hand up and down Dean's length the way he'd seen Dean to outside the tank at that bad place. "Sam touch Dean. Fuck Dean."

One touch had Dean burning with need all over again. "Touch ...yes," he answered, his hand moving up and down Sam's back, digging into him each time he was hit by a wave of pleasure so sharp, it nearly ached. His eyes locked with Sam's, the intensity of the merman's gaze taking his breath away as he thrust up into his hand. His lips parted as he sucked air inside in gasps. "Good... oh yeah," he swallowed, then threw his head back, pressing it into the pillow as he raised his hips. "Just right... just right Sam," he chanted, heat inching through his veins.

Sam slid slightly down Dean's body, lowering his head to kiss and lick a trail across his chest, swirling his tongue around one nipple before sucking it into his mouth, tongue slicking against the hardening bud, teeth lightly scraping across it before pulling back to pay the same attention to its twin as his hand continued to slide up and down Dean's hard cock, wrist pivoting as he squeezed him, thumb running over the silky tip, smearing the precum that pearled there.

Arching practically off the bed, Dean groaned. "Don't stop... please don't stop," he pleaded, running his fingers through Sam's hair and bucking into his hand, eyes closing as he struggled to remember to breathe. "Just like that Sammy, angh..." His muscles rippled under Sam's mouth, shivers of pleasure skittering across his skin. "Oh God..." As the sensations intensified, he suddenly rolled Sam onto his back, straddling him, hovering over him. "Don't stop," he demanded again, biting his lower lip as Sam's hand kept stroking his hard flesh, bringing him closer to the edge. He wanted, needed to watch Sam, wanted to kiss him, like this. Lowering his head, he slanted his mouth over his lover's, tongue fucking him to the same rhythm as Sam's strokes, groaning into his mouth. Close... so fucking close.

The roll had been a surprise, but Sam wasn't complaining. Stroking Dean's cock a little faster, harder with each long pull of his cock. Remembering what Dean had done to him in the shower, Sam reached down, cupping Dean's balls in his hand, squeezing slightly as he kissed Dean back as hard as he could, moaning into his mouth.

The squeeze was all it took to push Dean over the edge. His back stiffened, his muscles tightening, his balls drawing up tight against his body as blinding heat slammed into him. "Sam!" He shouted against his lover's mouth as he came hard, his cum coating Sam's hand and dripping down onto his stomach. "So good... so good baby..." he crooned as Sam kept stroking, kept kissing him, touching him like he promised. Slowly, Dean lowered his body over Sam's, brushing his mouth one last time against his lovers, then resting his forehead over Sam's.

Slowly slipping his hands out from between them, Sam wrapped arm around Dean, holding him close. His eyes gazing intently into Dean's, shining with love for the human before him, Sam licked his lips before opening his mouth slightly, forcing the sounds out of a voice box that wasn't made to make the sounds he needed to make to telling Dean in the only way he knew how, that he loved him. That he was his mate for life. That no matter where he went, how far he swam across the ocean or how deep he dove, even to the murky bottom of the deepest oceans, a part of Sam would always be right here, in the sun, on dryland, with Dean.

The high pitched sound that was a cheap imitation of the sounds Sam had made when he was gilled had Dean cocking his head. He smiled, not understanding exactly, but knowing there was a compliment in there, or a declaration. "Bet you're some singer back home, hmmm? No one's ever serenaded me before. Doing it when you're under me and with no clothes? Bonus." He kissed Sam lightly. "Thank you."

Sam frowned at first. Though he had known Dean wouldn't understand what he said. Slowly his lips quirked upward at the corners as he gazed up at the human a snicker working out of him as he rolled his eyes at the idea of him singing. One leg sliding against one of Dean's, hooking behind it as Sam pulled him in closer, burying his face against Dean's neck. "Dean wet with Sam, Sam sing Dean always," he mumbled softly, closing his eyes with a soft sigh.

"In the water... always?" That freaking lump was back in Dean's throat. He swallowed over it and put his head down on the pillow, still spread out over Sam. "It's a nice dream Sam. Very nice." And maybe he'd actually dream it tonight. A few hours in heaven, even Dean Winchester should have that once in a while.

Chapter Text

[A few days later]

Sam sat on the side of the bed facing Dean, watching his human unwrap the splint from his arm. Dean hadn't looked up at him the entire time he was unwrapping it, hadn't returned the smile that was plastered across Sam's face as Sam waited for his arm to get free of the bandaging. Excitement at the thought of getting to go back home and being free in the ocean once again had Sam's heart thundering in his chest, a barely contained shout of joy lodged at the back of his throat as he sucked on his bottom lip. He couldn't wait to show Dean his world, to show him how he really was, how he lived and that he was more than something humans had caught and put out on display.

It wasn't until he started to think about taking Dean deeper into the ocean waters that Sam remembered Dean couldn't go, that he wouldn't be able to breath under the water and that even with Sam's help, the time he could stay under water would be limited. In that moment, Sam's smile slowly slid off his face just as Dean looked up at him.

Dean ran his hand over Sam's bruised flesh. "How does it feel?" he asked, eyes serious, though curious as to why the merman was no longer practically bouncing off the bed with excitement. "Does it hurt too much, still? We don't have to try it out today, we can wait." He tried not to make it sound like the plea that it was.

Sam moved his fingers, slowly closing them into a fist and opening them as he looked down at his arm and shook his head. "No hurt." His gaze met Dean's again. "Sam no hurt." He didn't say whether he wanted to wait a little, or to try to leave.

"Okay." There was a long pause while Dean gathered the strength to do what was needed. "Let's go do this. Let's test it in the water." Dragging his gaze from Sam, he got up and went to get his jacket. "Sweats and flip flops," he said, wondering if the order was being given for the last time.

Sam stood to his feet, lips pressed together as he gave a nod. Walking toward the dresser to get his sweats where he kept them, Sam stopped in front of Dean, looking at his face, searching it for a long moment. Swallowing hard, Sam dropped his gaze to the floor, though he reached for Dean's hand and held it in his own. "Sam see Dean," he murmured softly before looking back up into his human's face and giving a nod. "Sam never far," he whispered the words as his hand rose to press palm flat against Dean's chest above his heart. He stood there a moment longer, before tearing his gaze from Dean and walking away to the dresser. Grabbing his sweats, Sam disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door softly behind him.

Dean's gaze followed Sam until the door shut him out. His hand went to the place Sam had touched him, over his heart. Rooted to that spot, he tried to believe Sam wouldn't be far, but it was a lie. They both knew it. Guess it didn't mean they had to face it just yet. Swallowing, he walked out of the room and headed for the garage.

One and a half hours later, Dean parked in a lot next to a pier. They both got out of the car and although he'd thought Sam would walk straight down to the beach, he instead walked along the wooden pier. Reluctantly, Dean walked with him, his every step feeling heavier than the last. There were quite a few people and restaurants and bars on the pier, but at its very end, where people could fish from, there was no one.

"The water's a little rough," Dean said, looking straight ahead.

Sam's lips slowly quirked, his gaze on the waters as he took in a deep breath of ocean air. "Sam not feel it. Sam swim deep," he assured.

Slowly he looked over at Dean, brow creased. "Dean not swim with Sam?" He knew Dean couldn't stay in long, but he'd hoped he would at least come into the water with him for a few minutes, until he couldn't stay any longer.

Looking over the side of the railings as they continued to walk and seeing the water smash against the wooden columns that held the pier up, "no. I can't swim with you," Dean answered.

Pulling his gaze away from a world he could not share with Sam, Dean put an arm around Sam's waist and drew him close as they walked the last fifty feet of the bridge and then found themselves at the protective railing. A lump rose in Dean's throat as he looked up and met Sam's eyes. "Home?"

Sam gazed into Dean's face, tears pricking his eyes that he refused to let Dean see fall. Reaching for the hem of his tee, Sam pulled it up and over his head, dropping it down onto the wood planks at their feet as he gave a nod.

"Home," he answered, leaning in to slant his mouth over his human's, kissing him sweetly, tenderly, putting all the love that he could into it. His hands rose to cup Dean's face as the kiss deepened. It was tinged with desperation and maybe even a little anger at the fact that they couldn't be together ... that when he'd finally found the one he wanted to mate with, it turned out to be only an impossible dream. As they kissed, Sam pulled his hands from Dean and reached down to finish undressing and kicking off his flip flops.

Pulling his head back, breaking the kiss once he stood only in his boxers, Sam smiled sadly at Dean. "Sam love," he said the word he'd just learned the day before, "Dean." With that, Sam jumped up onto the railing and dove off into the water, disappearing under the churning waves.

"Dean loves..." before Dean could finish, Sam was gone and Dean was alone. Gripping the railing, he bent over, searching desperately for a glimpse of Sam. He was sure the guy would surface to at least wave, to tell him his arm was fine, to... to say goodbye one last time." Systematically, his gaze swept back and forth, expecting the flip of a tail, a brunet head, a wailing. Then he started to worry. What if Sam hadn't changed back? The process wasn't immediate... they hadn't thought of that. His gut clenched, cold fear blossoming within it.

No, Sam was fine. If he'd been in trouble, he'd have surfaced... a hand... something would have shown. He was fine. He had to be.

Dean didn't know how long he spent convincing himself of that fact, before finally raising his head up and accepting that Sam was gone.

Grabbing the clothes and flip flops off the floor, he shoved one hand in his pocket and headed back. His shoulders were hunched, his mind was a torturous mess with thoughts of Sam and 'never more' floating around, taunting him. Just as he stepped off the pier to the asphalt, a tear rolled down his cheek. He wiped at it impatiently and turned to head for the parking lot.

Breaking the water, Sam looked back toward the pier to find no sign of Dean anywhere. Changing back to a merman had taken a bit and he'd nearly sunk like a rock in the process, luckily his gills seemed to be the first things to change when he was reverting to merman form. After he'd morphed, he'd ended up swimming for a while with a school of dolphin knowing he couldn't stay with them long, at least not yet. He wanted to at least wave goodbye to Dean, but on his way back to the pier his arm started to throb. Apparently he wasn't as healed as he had thought. Finally spotting Dean walking across the parking lot back toward his car, Sam raised his head, a long high pitched cry tearing from his throat. It was loud enough to be heard for several miles had he been under water.

Dean's head jerked around to the beach. He didn't see anything, but he knew it was Sam and started to run. He ran along the pylons of the pier, onto the sand and as he neared the water, he saw Sam near shore. Thank God he was sticking under the pier so no one could see him or they'd be screwed.

"Sam," he shouted, running until the water was up to his knees and he couldn't go farther because he knew the water would drag him under and bash him against the pylons. "Here!"

Sam swam as close to Dean as he could without beaching himself, a sad look on his face, softening his eyes. "Dean leave Sam?" He asked, holding his sore arm in his opposite hand.

"You... you coming back to me?" Clearing his throat Dean walked deeper, unsteady on his feet, but determined. "I thought you left... you went home," he said, over the roar of the water, as he reached Sam and wrapped his arms around the merman's chest, under Sam's arms, and dragged him out. A smile split his face at the sight of the tail he hadn't seen in what felt like a long time.

"Sam home." Sam nodded, glancing back over his shoulder at the shore where Dean was dragging him. "Sam tell Dean see Dean. Dean not there," He said, looking up into his human's face as he was placed on the shore, his tail hanging off into the water. "Sam not good," he held up his arm. "Hurts. Sam no swim far."

"You were in there a long time, I thought you lef... I've got you now," Dean said, lifting Sam's body up into his arms. "I got you."

"Here, throw the clothes over your tail," Dean said, bending over so Sam could reach for the clothes he'd dropped on the beach. Heaving him back up, he waited for Sam's tail to be mostly covered, then looked around and headed as quickly as he could to the parking lot.

"I think you're heavier as a fish dude," Dean remarked. Laughter bubbled out of him as he looked into Sam's not so amused face.

Once he had Sam settled in the front seat, Dean walked around the car and got into the driver's seat.

"You can talk," he noted, though he knew Sam's talking voice seemed to have a far higher pitch while he was in merman form. Maybe he'd had the capacity to talk all along, but just didn't know how, that was possible.

"It's gonna start again, you know? The change?" Dean said, he remembered how panicked they'd both been as Sam suffered from lack of air until his gills and tail disappeared.

Looking over at Dean, Sam gave a nod. "Happened... in water. Sam sank." The corners of his lips quirked upward before he turned his head, laying it back against the seat. "Sam be okay. Sam with Dean." Sighing softly, he let his eyes close as he waited for the change.

It was sheer torture, listening to Sam gasp for air, seeing his gills work on overtime, watching his hand curl around the door handle as he writhed, his tail hitting against the glove compartment and sides of the car. The worst thing was that Dean was powerless to help him.

*

By the time they reached the town close to the cabin they were staying at, Sam had changed completely and was back in his clothes. Dean's jeans were stiff up to his thighs, but they'd at least dried up. They needed to pick up some groceries, and he was giving Sam a stern lecture on not leaving his side and extracting a promise that he wouldn't jump into the lobster tank, or any other tank, when the merman stopped in front of a restaurant they'd been walking by. Looking at it, Dean made a face. "Sushi."

"Bless Dean!" Sam mumbled still staring in through the window at the man behind a large bar cutting up raw fish and squid. Tearing his gaze away to look over at Dean, Sam gave Dean his best sad face, "For Sam?"

"That wasn't a sneeze it... aw, don't give me that look, man," Dean groaned. "I don't eat that stuff. We'll get you some from the grocery, take it to go. It's not human food."

"Not human?" Sam asked in confusion as he looked back through the window, watching others eat. "Humans." Sam nodded, motioning toward the window for Dean to see.

Dean sighed. "Not Dean. I don't like fish... raw..." he trailed off as Sam turned his eyes back on him. "Grocery store has squid too," he said, knowing deep down he was losing this battle big time. "Sam..."

Sam jutted his chin toward the window. He didn't know the word for sea weed but he could see it clearly enough through the window to know that the place had it. "For Sam?" He asked again, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth as he started to take a step toward the door.

Letting out a deep sigh, Dean followed, cursing himself for not leaving Sam in the car. Then again, the incident with the dog was fresh in his mind. Seeing there was place at the end of the curved sushi bar, from where he could see the rest of the restaurant and the door, he tugged on Sam's sleeve to follow him there. Taking a seat on the stool, he looked suspiciously at the little sauce plate, and soy sauce server, and the chop sticks.

As soon as a waiter came around, Dean ordered a beer. He made a slight face on hearing they only had some Japanese beers he'd never tried, but figured so long as they weren't 'fishy' he'd be cool with them. He ordered a water for Sam.

Then the sushi chef came over and asked what they wanted to start with.

"Raw fish... and squid... the green..." Sam told the guy as he looked up at him, pointing toward the seaweed rolls across the bar. He had no idea what he should have said, or that there were actual 'types' of this sushi or whatever it was, and Dean didn't seem to be wanting to help much.

"Which fish?" The sushi chef grabbed a menu with pictures, and passed it to the two men. "I'll make the squid first. Two orders?"

Dean's eyes widened. "Hell to the no, nothing with tentacles for me."

Sam looked down at the menu as it was handed to him, only to return his gaze to the waiter. "Only one fish Dean like," he said with a grin before looking back down at the menu and pointing to several different pictured.

Dean did a double take of Sam. He'd made a joke! Chuckling, he nodded in agreement. "Something cooked for me."

"You want squid, sea urchin, mackerel, and salmon," the sushi chef nodded at Sam, then turned and gave Dean a less than happy smile. "California roll and eel for you," he said.

"No... no eel, no... dammit," Dean muttered as the chef went off to do his thing. "You owe me big time, Sammy," he said, making a face when a waitress brought them a seaweed and cucumber salad.

Sam frowned not totally understanding why it was that Dean seemed upset. He had the clothes on that Dean always made him wear when they went out, he had brushed his teeth and washed his hands. What was wrong now? Sam's attention went to the bowl of greens placed in front of him. Reaching out he grabbed a bit of the seaweed, shoving away the other things with his finger tip. Popping the seaweed into his mouth Sam gave a soft moan as he chewed. Nodding, he motioned for Dean to try some. "Home," Sam told him pointing toward the bowl with his free hand, the one that wasn't once again digging out more seaweed from the bowl as if he were starving to death.

"That's weed... like grass." Oh, what was the use, he shoved his bowl to Sam. "Here, have mine too. And eat the cucumbers, they're more filling than that stuff." He had a feeling this place was gonna cost him big with everything served in tiny pieces and Sam's big appetite. He had nothing against the cucumbers, but they'd touched the sea weed.

Sam nodded. "Weed," he tried the new word out on his tongue, smiling. "Weed good."

"Sea weed. I think it's an acquired taste." One Dean never wanted to acquire. Already, he was feeling out of place. At least the beer had been brought over and was something he could enjoy. He knocked back some of it, watching Sam skeptically as the merman continued to pick out the black pieces of seaweed.

Wiping his hands as the first bit of sushi was brought over, Sam grinned up at the waiter before returning his attention to the food before him. He pulled the perfect rolled bits of meat apart and wiped off the strange white stuff. Bringing the squid to his nose, Sam took a sniff and popped it into his mouth. Turning his head, he looked over at Dean. "Dean, bite?"

"Ah..." Just then, the California roll was placed in front of him. "I got some," he said, looking just like Sam as he inspected the food. The crab was cooked. There was rice but the seaweed was turning his stomach. He started peeling it off, and feeling Sam's gaze on him, dropped it onto Sam's plate. "Ugh..you just put a tentacle into your mouth. Wait till I show you tentacle porn, bet it'll be the last time." It was funny in his own mind, but thinking of Sam's issues with blow jobs, he knew he'd never go there.

Sam frowned in confusion. "Tentacle... porn?" He shook his head, brows furrowed, waiting for him to explain as he took another bite.

There was some general laughter from around them, and Dean gave a guy a warning glance. The man appeared to be too interested in watching that damned tentacled creature enter Sam's mouth.

"More beer... beer is good," he mumbled before washing away the flavor or seaweed-tainted crab and rice with the liquor.

Then the sushi chef put something else in front of Sam, a sushi roll with big fish eggs on it. Dean watched, wanting to see if this was another strange thing Sam would eat.

Picking the small packed bit of food up, Sam frowned and held it slightly higher so he could peer underneath it. Seeing the small white grains that Dean called 'rice,' Sam started to pick and brush at it until he got most of the rice off the bottom before he took a bite, glancing at Dean from the corner of his eye. Chewing, Sam offered Dean a bite. "Eat. Dean eat," Sam told him, holding the food to Dean's mouth the same way he had the raw fish a few days ago at the cabin. "Sam eat. Dean eat."

"Mnnoo..." but he couldn't talk and refuse at the same time and some of the jewel-like fish eggs spilled into his mouth. Eyes widening with shock, Dean just about spit the damned things out. But all these people were staring at him or he imagined they were. Ordinarily, he might not give a fuck, but he was trying not to draw attention to them. Tentatively, he bit down. The soft skin of the egg broke and salty vinegary... fishy... liquid squirted out into his mouth. Lifting the beer bottle to his lips, he immediately washed the stuff down.

"Don't do that!" He gave Sam a warning look. "I... I have my own." The sauce drenched eel in his plate was cooked, though he still hadn't had the courage to try it. "Space Sam... space."

Sam chuckled, shaking his head. "Good. Make Dean healthy," Sam insisted with a nod. Returning his attention to his food, he quickly devoured the rest of what he had in front of him.

The chef came back with the salmon and saw the mess Sam had made separating the rice from the fish. And his companion was no better. "If you wanted sashimi, you should have asked. No rice," he said, picking the menu up and pointing to the sliced raw fish pictures on the backside.

Dean groaned. "Sam you're full, right?"

Sam frowned. "Sam have more?" He held up a finger. "More?"

"More. This, this and this?" The chef pointed at a few fish, then disappeared again.

"He gets the order, and that's the end of it. No more... or you're going to explode." Though really, each serving had been tiny, especially once Sam peeled away the rice. Dean just wanted out of there, and to be able to get rid of that fish taste still in his mouth. "More beer," he told a passing waitress.

Sam made a sound as he half stood up, "No..." he looked back at Dean frowning, hoping Dean would know what he was trying to tell the waiter. Finding a piece of the stuff on the table, Sam picked it up. "Sam no want," he told the guy, shaking his head.

"No rice."

"Sashimi," the waiter said, calling the sushi chef over and telling him.

The chef rolled his eyes as he'd been making sashimi anyway. In fact, he put a plate of sliced raw salmon in front of Sam and a plate of sliced tuna in front of Dean.

Immediately, Dean pushed his plate in front of Sam.

Sam nodded, smiling wide enough that his dimples showed as he started digging in to the food. This was much better, he didn't have to sit and pick at it and he didn't have to keep spitting out the two or three pieces of the... rice... that he had missed.

Despite Dean's requests for 'space,' Sam continued to try to feed Dean. Dean managed to fend him off and could see that he was amusing the merman. "Just wait till I rub your mouth with a hot dog," he threatened, though instead of amusement, he felt the blood surging to his cock at the thoughts and images his words conjured up in his mind.

When he paid the bill, he muttered about being able to buy fifteen burgers for the price they'd eaten... or one of them had. Once they were outside, he looked up at Sam. "First thing when we get home... teeth brushed, hands washed. Both of us."

Sam sighed, the smile that had been plastered on his face falling away. That was the one thing he would not miss after he returned home. Brushing his teeth and washing his hands every time he ate.

Thoughts of homemade Sam think of leaving Dean and his mood fell even more than it had at the idea of brushing his teeth and washing his hands again. Stepping over to Dean, Sam used his body to back him toward the wall of the building in front of the window to the sushi place. Leaning in, Sam shook his head. "Sam take Dean home," he murmured softly, leaning in and slanting his mouth over his human's.

Heart jumping, not for the usual reasons, but because the thought of a fishy tasting tongue invading his mouth freaked him out, Dean moved his sealed lips quickly over Sam's mouth then pulled back. "Just not possible, Sam. I wish it were, I'd love to see how you live but..." he shrugged. "Want to go shop for fish to take home?" He hoped the thought would brighten up the merman. "But no getting in the tank, right?"

Sam nodded. "Yes, Sam no get in tank. Sam remember," he answered as he eyed his human unsure exactly why Dean didn't seem to want to kiss him as much as he usually did.

"Okay." Flashing a grin, Dean started heading for the grocery store when he noticed a dark SUV headed their way.

"Fuck!" Grabbing Sam's arm, he dragged him inside the store they'd been about to pass, a hallmark card store, and pulled him to the side. "Don't move," he ordered, looking out the window but hidden from sight. His heart pounded as the vehicle pulled past. Two men, in suits, wearing sunglasses. Crap!

Sam frowned as he turned his head, trying to look out along with Dean. "What wrong? Sam not do it. Sam did nothing."

"Shshsh, hang on." He waited until the SUV had gone down the street and was no longer visible. "Bad men, from Flesh," he said, still keeping his grip on Sam. "Come on, we gotta get outta here." Opening the door, he looked around and then started to head for the Impala. "At least they don't know my car," he said. "How the hell did they find this town, Goddamit."

Sam frowned as he walked with Dean back out to his car, scanning the parking lot for what he wasn't exactly sure. "Sam no want bad men. Sam want home, Sam free." He nodded back toward the road they had arrived on. "Dean Sam free." He knew Dean couldn't breathe the water, knew he was asking for a miracle, but it was the one place he knew they would be safe. Out amongst the waves in the deep blue sea.

"Get in," Dean snapped, motioning toward the car. "Hurry Sam." When they were both inside, he put his hand behind Sam's head and pushed it down towards his knees. "Duck, I don't want them to see you. We don't know how many there are."

When he was sure Sam would stay down, Dean reversed, turned the car around and slowly entered traffic as if he didn't have a care in the world. It wasn't until he was off the main street and headed to the cabin that he started to relax. "This is not good," he said. "You can sit up now."

Slowly Sam unfolded himself, sitting up in the seat, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth as he looked around before his attention fixed on Dean. "Dean... in trouble... like Sam?" He asked, hating that he might have put Dean in danger.

"Not like Sam. Dean's got guns... big guns," he said, gritting his teeth. "Don't worry Sam, you're gonna be fine. Just means that they're looking for you here, and we'll need to stay hidden, or move on. I'll make calls and decide what's better."

Giving a small nod, Sam didn't say anything, only pulled in his long legs, his heels against the seat as he wrapped his arms around his knees, laying his head down upon them as he looked out the window with a small soft sigh.

"Trust me," Dean said, reaching over and ruffling Sam's hair, but then concentrating on driving, his eyes occasionally moving the rear view mirror.

He'd feel a lot better once they were holed up and he had weapons ready. "Sing that song you learned from Barney, I wanna hear it," he said, trying to ease the merman's fears. He smiled a little when he heard Sam start to hum. It was gonna be alright.

* * *

[Three Days Later]

Rolling his truck to a stop some distance from the cabin, the large man got out. He grabbed his gear and walked toward the cabin while keeping hidden among the trees. He'd been watching the place for two days, and other than seeing Winchester go in and out, there had been no other movement. That, in and of itself, was weird. If the man was here hunting, he wouldn't be keeping himself mostly holed up in there and that meant the rumors were right. Or so this hunter who was intent on getting the bounty and the kill thought.

Just before he would have had to come out of the tree line, the front door opened. It looked like God was smiling down on him today, because Winchester came out, looked around, and headed down the road pulling some sort of cart after him. Waiting just until the man was out of sight, Mark headed for the front door and knocked on it. It was merely a formality, he didn't expect anyone to open, especially not some fishguy who was probably confined to the tub or a Jacuzzi.

Closing the refrigerator door, Sam turned and walked back toward the front door. He'd been about to grab a bite to eat, there was a bowl of fresh fish in there calling his name, but apparently Dean had forgotten something. Grinning as he neared the door, Sam reached out and unlocked it before pulling the door open. "Sam thought Dean go. Dean want ki -" Sam's eyes widened as he looked at the tall muscular stranger before him. Tearing his gaze from the man, Sam looked past him for signs of Dean, before his eyes swung back, meeting the man's nearly black eyes and swallowed hard.

"Dean no here," he mumbled before starting to close the door, hoping that maybe the man was a friend of Dean's and would go away if he knew Dean wasn't here. Either way, he knew he had to get the door closed and locked, Dean had told him never to open the door for anyone.

"Hold on now," Mark's meaty hand grabbed the edge of the door and pushed it open. "I know he's not here. I'm Dean's old pal, Mark Anderson. You don't mind if I come in," he said, walking in and shutting the door. He took stock of the tall man in front of him. Dark hair, dark green or brown eyes, shorts and barefooted... looking very much unlike any hunter he ever saw. "You look spooked. Why?" he asked in as friendly a voice as he could muster.

Sam backed away from the man, his wide eyes intent on the stranger's face. He shook his head to the man's question, not knowing what to say and remembering Dean told him not to tell strangers anything about himself. When the man took a step forward, Sam's lips parted, the start of a high pitch sound tearing from his throat, only to end abruptly as Sam stopped himself from calling for help in his native tongue. "Dean home... soon," he said, continuing to back away.

"Good. Who are you?" Mark advanced, sensing fear. He grabbed the man's shoulder. "You ain't got anything to be afraid of, not less you're hiding something. You hiding something?"

Sam gasped in a breath, knocking the man's hand off of him before cringing and stumble-stepping backward, his back smacking into the wall behind him. "Space!" Sam told him with a nod, "Space."

"You talk funny." Grabbing the guy's shirt, Mark pulling him close. "Merman. You're him, aren't you? How the fuck did you get legs? Shapeshifter?" Yeah he was talking out loud as he put the pieces together. "Let me see your tail. Shift." When nothing happened, he shook the man hard, "I said shift."

Sam clenched his teeth, his hands gripping the man's wrist and hand as he tried to pry himself free. "No! Space! Dean home soon! Space!"

"I fucking said shift." Clenching his fist, the hunter punched the strange-talking man in the face. "Shift." Again, and again, he punched and pushed the guy around the room. He hated shape shifters, hated all the unclean things that walked the earth. The only reason this one wouldn't end up with a silver bullet to the brain was the bounty. He shoved him down into a chair, taking in his blood spotted shirt. "Where's your tail boy?" Just because his gut told him this was the merman, didn't mean he didn't need evidence.

Raising a hand to his bleeding nose and busted lip, Sam didn't answer the man as he stared up at him one slightly slanted hazel brow eye already starting to swell from the man's numerous punches to his face, his chest heaving with his breaths.

"Answer me," Mark roared, striking him once with the right fist, then with the left. "Fucker..." Realizing he needed to get the merman out before Winchester returned, he headed across the room, and grabbed rope out of the duffel bag he'd dropped near the door. "Don't worry, we'll have plenty of time to get to know each other, and you'll show me alright. You'll do what I--"

The man's words were interrupted as Dean beat the hunter across the head twice with the thick branch in his hand and then tossed it.

The man had fallen to his knees, but after getting a look at Sam's bloodied face, all Dean saw was red. Pulling the hunter up by the jacket, Dean punched him in the face, shook his hand out, and then punched again.

Blinded with pain, Mark knew he had to get his gun out. Even as he reached for it, Winchester's boot connected with his face and he was shoved across the room, his back hitting the wall. He put his hand up. "Hold on..."

Dean followed, kicking the gun away and the hunter's hand in the process. Bending over, he grabbed the guy's face and shoved his head back against the wall, banging it again and again, then started to pull his heavy body up.

"Dean no!" Sam shouted as he quickly rose to his feet, though his head spun. "Dean no do! Dean be bad man, no do!" Sam told him hurrying over to Dean and trying to pry him away from the stranger. "Space Dean, space!"

Dean hit the hunter again, fist connecting hard with his jaw. He pulled his fist back, and tried to shake Sam off. "Sam... Goddamnit... stop..."

"Dean!" Sam's eyes met Dean's as he shook his head. "Dean do, Dean like bad men." Sam told him, he shook his head slightly, pleading with his eyes. "Space," he said softly, "please."

Nostrils flaring, chest heaving, gaze locked with Sam's... his mind, his entire body geared to beating the hunter to a pulp, Dean suddenly stopped. "Space..." he echoed, nodding almost reluctantly and dropping the now semi-conscious hunter. "Look what he did to you," he said, running his hand down the side of the gentle merman's face, trying to control the anger in his gut.

"Sam no shift," he explained, turning his aching face into Dean's touch, his eyes slipping closed a moment before he opened them again. "Sam no tell, Sam do nothing."

"I know," Dean pulled him into his arms, then whispered in his ear. "Go to the bedroom, sit on the bed. I'll come fix you in a minute. Go." Holding him for a moment longer, he released Sam. He waited until the merman left the room, then he went to grab the hunter's rope. Ignoring the man's grunts and groans, he tied his wrists and ankles together, painfully tight, and left him.

They had no choice now, they had to leave. Getting a bowl of water and towel, and the first aid kit, he went to stand over Sam who'd for once been obedient and was sitting on the edge of the bed. Gently, he started to clean the blood off his face, his jaw tightening as he saw the damage up close. "I'm sorry... sorry I wasn't here, sorry I left you. We need to get you well as soon as possible, and home, away from... from these kind of people." The tragedy was that Dean himself was exactly those type of people. Not for the first time since other hunters had killed his father, he wondered about the way of life he'd been born into and then followed.

Sam looked into Dean's face, his hazel brown eyes meeting jade. "Sam home... no Dean?" Sam asked softly.

Unable to answer the question this time, Dean merely kissed Sam very lightly and continued to work on his face. As soon as he had it clean, he started spreading some antibiotic ointment over the cuts. "We're going to go to another house, someplace close to the water, where you can practice swimming until you're ready," he finally said, making his mind up about their next step.

Sam nodded, dropping his gaze. "Sam swim good," he agreed softly.

It was for the best. Sam would never know peace here, not ever. Dean told himself that over and over, not daring to speak again... afraid, afraid he'd ask Sam to stay even when he'd just seen the grim results of the merman's presence here, on land.

* * *

A few days later, with the help of a guy who worked at a security company... someone whose ass he'd saved, Dean had them settled in a large house, with a pool, Jacuzzi, and even tennis courts. What he'd asked for was a pool, proximity to the ocean, and to be hidden from the view of passersby. This place was some wealthy guy's hideaway from the world, though he was hardly ever here. All Dean could say when they arrived was, "Yatzee!"

Now they were in the atrium in the middle of the large house. Dean sat on a chair, beer in hand, and watched Sam head for the pool. Watching his muscles ripple, he had to whistle at the completely naked merman. "Hot," he said, answering Sam's inquiring look over his shoulder.

Smiling, Sam shook his head as he continued to the pool and dove in, water splashing up and over the side of the pool. Swimming to the bottom, then up, Sam's head broke the surface of the water, hands raising to push his long bangs back from his face. "Water... different... but good. Dean come. Dean swim," Sam said waving him over.

Lifting the bottle to his mouth, Dean grinned. "You still got your legs."

Standing, he walked up to the edge of the pool, and just watched, instantly noticing how much happier Sam looked in the water. "This is called a swimming pool."

Sam's body arched as he dove back under the water, swimming to the opposite end and back quickly, coming up at the side of the pool directly in front of Dean. Reaching out he cupped the back of Dean's ankle smiling wickedly up at him as he gave a small tug, "Dean come."

"What... no!" He glared down at the merman, but could tell that Sam wasn't going to give up. Giving an exaggerated sigh, Dean put the bottle down on the ground and started undoing his pants. Stepping out of his jeans, he peeled his shirt off but left his shorts on. Jumping in next to Sam, purposely splashing his face, he broke the surface cursing. The water wasn't that cold, but the initial shock of it had been.

Sam threw his head back laughing and shook his head. "Dean no like water." He chuckled, swimming over to him quickly, wrapping an arm around his waist, his eyes searching Dean's face. "Dean look good... in water," Sam told him softly, voice huskier than it had been a moment before.

"I like water," Dean looked down at the hand around him, then into Sam's face. "I look good everywhere." The intensity of Sam's gaze had Dean's breath hitching. The merman was not kidding, he liked seeing him wet. Laughing, he said, "Dean tastes good in water," and leaned in to steal a kiss.

Sam's lips parted as Dean's lips met his, his tongue darting out to lick into Dean's mouth, a soft moan breaking from his throat.

"Dean taste good wet," Sam agreed softly, his lips against Dean's, breathing in his breaths.

"Dean always tastes good," Dean countered, chuckling and pushing away from Sam, swimming on his back so he could see the merman. In freshwater, like in the shower, at least there was a level playing field. Sam had his legs and no gills. That meant Dean could at least swim comparatively fast enough that they weren't like the slug and the hare, the way it had been in the saltwater tank at Flesh where Sam pulled him around like he was on some ride.

Sam grinned as he watched Dean swim away before diving under again, only to come back up beside him, still smiling wide.

"Dean feel good in wet," Sam told him, reaching out and running a hand up the human's side as his eyes met Dean's.

They were treading water so Dean had to concentrate on keeping afloat, even with the sensations Sam's touch and the heat in his eyes sent through his system. "That why you like taking showers with me?" He cocked his head to the side, then admitted, "Sam feels good when he's wet. Tastes good, wet," he added, swimming closer and stealing a kiss. Their legs slid past each other, his chest pressed against Sam's for a moment, before he pulled back. It was nice to forget about being chased... to find a place to rest and live in the moment.

Sam's tongue darted out, running along his bottom lip as his stared intently at Dean, his eyes full of heat. He slowly sucked his lip into his mouth, letting his gaze travel slowly lower along Dean's body under the water line before returning to his eyes. "Dean no want fuck Sam?"

"Huh? Did I say that? I always want you Sam, you know that." Dean had no clue what was going through the merman's mind. That's the way it was, very often. They were very different, they thought along very different lines.

Sam frowned in confusion, moving closer to Dean, forcing him to back up until they came to the wall of the pool. "Dean space Sam. Sam think no want."

"Dude, we're in the deep end, I can't do much of anything here or I'll, you know... drown." Reaching to his side, Dean grabbed the edge of the pool to hold himself steady in one place. Using his legs, he trapped Sam's body between his knees, and dragged him close. Once he had him there, he slid his legs down and curled each one around each of Sam's. Now they were touching everywhere and Sam's mouth was only inches from his own. "No space. Better?" He asked huskily, his gaze dropping to sensuous lips that made his own burn with need.

Sam didn't answer as he gazed passionately into Dean's eyes and slowly lifted a hand out of the water to cup the side of his human's face as he leaned in and tilted his head to the side, tongue darting out to wet his lips as he parted them, his eyelids slowly closing. "Better," Sam whispered the word just before slanting his mouth over Dean's.

Feeling Sam's tongue fluttering against his lips, Dean sucked it inside his mouth. Kissing might be something new to Sam, but he'd taken to it... thank God, since Dean liked kissing. Liked it a lot, and when it was with Sam... it was like his world exploded. Slowly, taking his time, he wound his tongue around Sam's... teasing, stroking, chasing, loving how in tune with each other they could be.

A low moan broke from the back of Dean's throat. He started to thrust lightly, his legs locked around Sam's made it easy for him to drag his groin over Sam's, to trap both their cocks between their bodies. It didn't take much for Sam to get him horny... not much at all, and he was getting hard pretty quickly. Still, he was in no rush, none at all. Curling his free arm around Sam's waist, he pulled him closer and deepened the kiss.

Still cupping the side of Dean's face, Sam slid his opposite hand down his human's side and around, sliding his hand under the waistband of his shorts to cup his ass, pulling Dean up closer against his body as a low moan tore from Sam's throat, his hips slowly thrusting against his human's. Slowly Sam started to pull them down deeper into the water until they were covered above the chest. "Sam got," Sam breathed the words softly against Dean's lips when he felt his human tense.

As the water approached his chin level, Dean's grip on the cement pool edge tightened. Eyes closed, he listened to Sam's words of reassurance. He nodded, knowing unlike the time they'd first swam together... in that tank... Sam now knew he had to breathe air. Without his gills, Sam needed it too, but Dean had seen how damned long the merman could hold his breath.

"Sam likes it wet," he said against his merman's lips. He kissed him again, a little frustrated by his lack of leverage. If they'd been in the shallow end, he'd be holding Sam, pushing against him so hard. Now, though when he thrust against Sam, he started to pull away from the wall and go a little horizontal. Breaking the kiss, Dean moved quickly, turning them around so that it was Sam whose back was trapped against the wall of the pool now. Their legs were still entwined, and they were chin deep in the water, but now Dean had both hands gripping the edge of the pool and when he pressed against Sam, the wall prevented the merman from sliding back. Now they could get the pressure they wanted, needed.

"Better," he mumbled thickly, eyes glazing over as he felt Sam shove his hands once more under his briefs to cup his ass. "So good... so good baby," he told him, before welding his mouth over Sam's and thrusting his tongue inside. This time, his kiss was hard, and needy, his tongue weaving in and out of his lover's mouth with more purpose, reflecting the movements of his body, of his cock now hard and aching.

Raking his fingertips, his short blunt nails upward from Dean's ass, along his sides, Sam moved his hands up to each side of his human's face as they kissed, tongues tangling and stroking feverishly. He smoothed the pads of his thumbs along his human's eyebrows, down the contours of his forehead to the sides of his eyes, across his high cheek bones, peppered with freckles, then slid his hands lower, down his throat and shoulders, back around to cup his ass once more, pulling him up hard against him, a moan tearing from Sam's throat. "Sam find way," he breathed against Dean's lips. "Dean home with Sam," he nodded slightly, his lips still against the human's, breathing in one another's breath's. "Sam find way."

The possessiveness with which Sam held him and made his unrealistic declaration surprised Dean and made him ache again, like he had when he'd watched Sam slip into the ocean without a goodbye wave. They were worlds apart, and somehow, he didn't think going into the water in scuba gear would bridge the gap.

"Okay, Sam," he lied . . he wished... he fucking dreamed. But the ache was still there, and the truth... reality still loomed over them. Fuck reality, he was gonna live in this moment. He moved his mouth over Sam's, just as possessively, bridging the gap between their worlds with a searing kiss, moving his body desperately against Sam's, fucking into him, groaning as he felt Sam fucking back, pressing his hard dick into his stomach. His biceps bulged and relaxed as he practically did pull ups to get the maximum pressure going between their bodies. His breaths grew labored, his body strained, his need doubled as thoughts of being inside Sam tortured him. Fuck... he had half a mind to drag the merman out of the water and fuck him next to the pool.

Sam's chest heaved, nostrils flared with his panted breaths as he moved against Dean with urgency, he tugged and pulled at his shorts, shoving them down his human's body and out of the way before wrapping a leg around him, anchoring Dean to him as he thrust up against him harder, kissed him urgently, deeply. Their tongues dueled, their lips pressed, teeth colliding as their heads moved from side to side, low moans and soft groans spilling from their lips. Tearing his mouth from Dean's, Sam tilted his head back, breaths panting out through parted lips. "More," he breathed the word, "Dean fuck Sam more," he mumbled breathlessly, eyes glazed over, head rolling against the tilted wall of the pool.

They were on the same page. "More, yeah... more," Dean answered, white hot heat running through his veins now that they were skin to skin. They fucked harder against each other, demanded more of each other. "God Sam, want to be inside you so bad," Dean said against his lover's lips, but it was too late to switch things up now... too late to get out, to move to the other end. Lust was riding him too hard.

"Come with me," he demanded, and started to thrust hard and fast, sometimes sliding his cock over Sam's, sometimes only sliding against this belly. He ground his hips harder against Sam's each time Sam's powerful leg drew him closer. He started a new round of kissing, desperate and hard, fucking Sam's mouth, penetrating it the way he wanted to be inside Sam. Tonight... definitely tonight, he thought, squeezing his eyes closed and imagining Sam clenching around his cock. "Now," he demanded as his balls drew up painfully hard. One last hard thrust, and he was coming... groaning out his release, Sam's name on every breath.

Sam gasped in a breath as Dean moved against him harder, it wasn't quite what he had meant, but then maybe he hadn't been clear. It was obvious this wasn't the time to ponder such things or try to find the human words to explain, his own body on fire, aching for release, simply wanting more of his human. His Mate...

Sam's breaths panted, body arching toward the human as he thrust is hips, straining against him, clutching at him, pulling him closer as his muscles tensed, his eyes squeezing closed, nostrils flaring as he grit his teeth, balls drawing up tight to his body, a low whimper sounding deep in his throat before his lips parted on a gasped breath, "Dean..." he panted, "Dean..."

Sam arched against him, fingertips digging into Dean's flesh as he held him tightly, muscles locking, nipples hardening into tight nubs just before the first ribbon of spunk left his cock, smearing between them as they ground against one another.

Sam slowly pulled his upper body back enough so he could look into Dean's face as their orgasms slowly subsided, each still panting their breaths. Moving a hand to Dean's chest, Sam watched his own hand as he ran the pad of his thumb over his human's nipple, watching it harden even more as he teased the over-sensitized flesh. Slowly lifting his eyes to Dean's, Sam ran the tip of his tongue along his own bottom lip slowly, his gaze full of heat and promise. "Dean. Fuck. Sam... mate," he told Dean huskily, slowly pulling his hand away from Dean's chest and releasing him, treading water backward away from his human, though his eyes remained laser focused with Dean's until he leaned back, flipping over backward in the water and dove deep below the surface.

Hand on the edge of the pool and fighting to catch his breath, Dean's gaze was locked on Sam's until the merman disappeared under the water. The way Sam had said each word, distinctly, separated by pauses, almost repeating what he'd said earlier, had Dean realizing there was a message here. Something he'd missed earlier. This time when Sam asked to be fucked, he'd meant it literally. He wanted Dean inside him, the way both of their kinds would 'mate.'

"Hell yeah," Dean answered, though his merman was nowhere to be seen. He looked in the water, then grinning, pushed off the wall and headed for him. Taking a deep breath, he dove under water, arms stretched until he caught Sam's shoulders. Then he didn't have to do a thing, the merman swam hard, dragging him around the pool. Only when he ran out of breath did Dean let Sam go. Dropping his legs down, he stood up in the shallow end of the pool.

A moment later, Sam was standing in front of him. Dean smiled and put his hand on the side of Sam's face. "After everything we've done, 'mating' makes you shy?" He half asked, half teased.

Sam smiled shyly, leaning his face into Dean's hand. "Sam not..." he frowned, looking for the word, "Sam not know."

It was true, as many times as he had seen the sea creatures mate, he had no idea how two males, even of his kind would do so. Killer whales defied death when they mated, same sex mating just didn't happen. Even dolphins though they were a randy bunch seemed to stick to male and female when they mated. Sea lions and otters were as close as he could think to what might happen. Sucking his bottom lip into his mouth he gave a nod. "Dean show Sam?"

"Yeah, I'll show you. Be with you, like that," Dean answered, closing his arms around Sam's waist and pulling him up flush against his body. "Tonight. In bed..." his hand slipped down over Sam's ass and he squeezed lightly. "Can you wait that long? Hmm?" He teased, kissing the corner of Sam's mouth.

Sam raised a hand to the side of Dean's face, tracing the contours slowly with the side of his hand, gazing heatedly into Dean's eyes. "Sam wait all life for mate," he gave his head a small shake, "only find Dean on dryland. "Sam wait. Sam wait to edge of sea for Dean," he answered softly.

"Look at you, all serious now," Dean said, feeling emotions stirring up in his gut. Only this man could do that to him. "I was running on empty until you came out of the sea," he answered, holding Sam closer for a second. "Now let's get out of here, before there are tears and ... and flowers... and stuffed animals. Come on." Clearing his throat, he tugged Sam toward the stairs.

Stagger stepping long as he allowed Dean to pull him up the stairs, Sam looked back over his shoulder at the pool water, a frown of confusion marring his features as he tried to understand where the flowers would come from, not to mention the stuffed toys... and who was crying?

Chapter Text

Dean knew Merpeople didn't have casual sex, they chose their life mate and then had sex only with that one person. By asking him to be his first, Sam was telling him he was special, or this... what they had between them was special, or he was giving up his 'first time' to Dean as a gift. Though they communicated pretty damned well, Dean knew that Sam didn't yet have the command of the English language that it would take to explain his reasons, but he didn't need them. All Dean needed to know was this night was special, and he would damn well rise to the occasion and give Sam a night filled with romance.

While Sam had gone to explore the rooms of the large mansion, Dean sat flipping channels on the large screen T.V. and then stopped to watch the 'Wedding Channel.' Talk about romantic ideas that chicks had. And not just chicks, they had guys telling how they'd proposed, or where they'd like to take their bride for their honeymoon. He sucked it up, and being a man of action, took action.

He set a table out on the balcony, off of the T.V. room, where they could still see the enormous screen. The romance music channel not only played the right kind of music, but also had video of the most romantic places on earth, many of which were islands in the seas. It was a little over the top, but this was a big deal.

Then dressed in clean jeans and a light blue tee shirt, barefooted, he padded outside and started barbecuing some fish. Sam's piece would be completely raw, though he wanted him to at least try a slightly cooked piece. Over the past couple days, they'd learned a little more about each other. Dean had eased up on making Sam wash up every few minutes, every time he touched or ate fish. Turned out that Sam's body processed the fish so that he didn't taste or smell like what he ate or touched at all.

Looking up at the darkening sky, he turned toward the house and shouted, "Sam. Dinner time, get dressed."

Making his way down the steps, Sam made a beeline for Dean, buck naked save for a pair of flip flops on his feet and grabbed Dean's arm, pulling him toward the stairs. "Dean come swim," he pointed toward the stairs, excited about showing Dean the large tub he'd found. "Pool... swim," Sam told him eyes bright with excitement as he nodded.

"Uh uh," Dean pulled his arm back. "Time to eat now. Why don't you ah... put some more clothes on, hmm? We're eating outside, on the patio and it's a little cold. Go on, but hurry back, okay?"

Frowning, Sam stepped back from Dean. He didn't see why he needed to put clothes on just to take them off again if they were going to do what they'd talked about earlier. But then... maybe Dean had changed his mind... maybe it was more than he wanted. "Dean no want," Sam pressed his lips together, giving a nod instead. "Sam go get sweats."

"Huh? Dean doesn't want? To swim, Sam. I don't want to swim right now. Aren't you hungry? What am I asking, you're always hungry. Just get dressed, then we'll eat and ..." he openly leered at Sam, knowing clothes were a damned good idea or else there was no way he wasn't going to be jumping straight to 'dessert.'

Smiling wide, dimples showing, Sam gave a nod before turning and hurrying up to the stairs, hand gliding along the railing as he took them two at a time up to the room that they'd chosen. Going to the dresser, Sam pulled out a soft pair of dark blue sweats and a sky blue V- neck tee. Pulling them on quickly, he nearly forgot to slide the flip flops back on in his haste to rush back out the door.

Descending the stairs, Sam walked back out to the patio and up behind Dean, wrapping his arms around Dean's middle, pressing up against him. "Mm, Sam dressed," he told him softly as he dipped his head, mouth near his ear, warm breaths ghosting over sensitive flesh.

Chuckling, Dean turned his head and kissed him lightly. "Uh huh. Sammy's dressed, and dude... you match me." It hadn't escaped his notice that Sam had chosen a blue tee as well. They swayed together for a moment, then he had to get the fish and vegetables off the grill.

Breaking away, Dean grabbed the plates and started to fill them. "Tiny piece of cooked fish for you to try," he said, then added the raw salmon to Sam's plate, and some grilled asparagus. "We're gonna be dipping those in some sauce. Supposed to be very... sexy," he said, in the same tone the woman on T.V. who'd been explaining 'sexy food' had said it.

Sam frowned for a moment not understanding why if Dean wanted to mate that he seemed to be nearly avoiding him, but then Sam thought of the dolphins with their playful antics and smiled. Dean wanted to play too. Okay, Sam could play. Waiting until Dean had finished filling the plates, Sam grabbed him around the waist, nearly lifting him off his feet as he turned them, pressing Dean back against the table as he loomed over him, a naughty smirk pulling at his lips. Thrusting up against Dean, Sam moaned softly and dipped his head, brushing his lips over Dean's. "Dean fish ready now," Sam told him softly. "Dark. Time for bed."

"Whoa." Dean's eyes widened as he found himself on the grilling table, angling to make sure he didn't push the plates over onto the floor. The heat in Sam's eyes, the hardness of his body pressing against him almost had Dean agreeing. But then he came to his senses. "No, not time for bed. Eat first," he said, brushing his own mouth over Sam's, but wriggling free of his hold. "Come on, grab your plate, I have the table all set on the other patio he said.

Not giving the merman time to argue, he picked up his plate and another, and headed inside on the ground floor. Walking through the kitchen, he reached the open sliding doors that lead to the patio he'd fixed up. There was an ice filled bucket on the table, with a bottle of champagne and some bottles of beer. There were flowers on the table, and candles.

Dean set his plate down. "I'll... I'll light the candles," he said, turning to see Sam walk onto the patio. His hand shook a little as he reached for the remote, and raised the volume of the music coming from the T.V. inside.

Sam frowned, brow furrowing in confusion. Candles? It was dark, but they had light, the moon was full and there were the electric lights inside. Flowers? Sam never really understood the need to cut flowers from the earth and put them gathered into a container.

"Sam Dean have tears?" Sam asked in confusion, reaching for him and pulling him up against his body, "Sam mate Dean," He murmured against the side of his neck, lips brushing against the sensitive skin.

"No tears," Dean answered, wondering for a moment if he looked sad. Nervous maybe but not sad. Then Sam was pulling him close and whispering suggestively, his hot breath fanning Dean's throat. "Sam..." he moaned, partly in exasperation. "Yes... yes we're going to mate, but after dinner. A little later, okay? Want you to enjoy... this... everything."

Pulling away, he turned Sam bodily, "Look, candles are pretty right? Once I light them? Music is nice... soft. Look at the T.V., see the couple dancing? It's nice and romantic, right? Now sit... we'll take this slowly, hmm?" Without waiting on an answer, he pushed Sam into the chair across from his own, then got the lighter and started lighting the candles.

"You can hear the water from here," he said, listening to the waves crashing, though they couldn't see the actual beach from the house.

Sam grinned up at Dean as he watched him. Humans seemed to have odd mating rituals, things that Sam wasn't familiar with at all. In the sea, when you mated, you simply found the one you were attracted to, got permission and you mated, that was the long and short of it. Day time, bed time, it didn't matter. Apparently, this was not the way of humans, they needed long and involved rituals to lead them into the actual action. It definitely wasn't something Sam had seen at the place with the bad men, there people seemed to just mate at random... but then, maybe that was only when humans didn't feel for the other person, perhaps that was... what was it he had heard on television? Casual mating? Perhaps when there were feelings involved this was how it was done.

Sucking his lip into his mouth, Sam turned his head to watch the couple slow dance on the television. It reminded him of the way Orca's swam together in the mating ritual. A smirk pulled at his lips. Maybe everyone had a form of ritual that they followed after all. Looking back at Dean he gave a nod, "Dance," he gave a curt nod, "sing.... like Orca..." he looked down at the candles. "Light... like moon... flowers..." he looked back up at Dean, "like home," he nodded. In his homeland under the sea, there were many water lilies and undersea flowers that grew and decorated the halls of his home, made it more beautiful. "Sam under - stand."

"Course you do." He'd heard it on the wedding channel, hadn't he? Squeezing Sam's shoulder, he leaned down and kissed him, then walked around the table and took his seat. Though he had a glass of water for Sam, he poured both of them a little champagne. He was sure he'd go for the beer in a few sips, and wasn't sure what Sam would think of the stuff, but it was definitely up there on the 'most romantic things' charts so he'd brought it to the table. Raising his glass, he waited for Sam. "Cheers," he said, hinting that Sam needed to raise his own glass, like he'd shown him to touch beer bottles.

Brows knitting at first, Sam quickly reached for the delicate flute and raised it. "Cheers," he echoed Dean's word back to him before slowly bringing the glass to his lips and taking a sip, the bubbles tickling his nose and making him sneeze. "Like brushing teeth," Sam mumbled softly.

"No not like brushing teeth. Like fairies dancing on your tongue... eh, never mind." He felt silly quoting the woman who'd gone on and on about the merits of champagne. "Let's eat. Oh, these are asparagus. You take them, and dip them in the sauce like this... and then..." He made a show of eating one, licking the creamy sauce off it, then sucking its tip before taking a bite. It was supposedly a phallic symbol that would get the 'romantic juices flowing.' Key to seduction, or so he understood.

Sam raised his brows and looked at the glass of champagne, "Fairies?" He asked, only to set the flute down as he listened to Dean explain to him about asparagus. Sam didn't 'get it', he really didn't. Why did you have to dip the food into the creamy mixture and then suck the cream off? Why not just drink the creamy mixture? But apparently it was important to Dean and part of this mating ritual of his, so Sam would try his best to do as Dean wanted. This ritual was definitely a lot more involved than the dancing of Orcas or the calls they made to one another, or the playfulness of dolphins. This ritual actually involved a lot of work and planning. He just hoped that the end result would be worth it.

Reaching for a sprig of asparagus, Sam dipped it as Dean had done, but instead of sucking it clean himself offered it to Dean. "Dean eat... suck."

"Fast learner," Dean said with approval, opening his mouth. He licked the tip of the asparagus, then sucked it, pushing his head forward and back just the way he might have sucked... did suck on Sam's cock that one time. He pulled off the asparagus, then licked its length, before sucking it back into his mouth and pulling it away from Sam. After he ate it, he licked his lips. "Your turn." Dipping a short stalk, he held it to Sam's mouth.

Watching Dean suck the cream off the sprig of greens Sam was shocked and surprised at the reaction it caused in his body, his cock twitching in his sweats, the flutter in his stomach as he thought of the time that Dean had done the very same thing to him. As Dean offered the greens to Sam, he pulled his head back making a face, but at the expectant look on Dean's Sam relented and opened his mouth allowing Dean to push the cream dipped greens inside, his lips tightening around it.

Dean tried to push it deeper, then looked at Sam. "It's not sexy if you make it seem like torture."

Sighing softly, Sam relaxed his lips and let Dean push the greens deeper into his mouth, his tongue darting out past it as he opened slightly further to lick the drop of cream from his lip before sucking on the sprig, cheeks hallowing out.

For once, something from Dean's world didn't taste too badly, it sort of reminded Sam of some of the plankton he'd had in the past and the cream wasn't bad either, it had a slightly salty taste which wasn't unlike fish eggs, not that he would ever tell Dean that it reminded him of that. His human would probably go make them both brush their teeth if he did.

"Now that's sexy," Dean said huskily, leaning across the table to lick Sam's mouth clean of the sauce. When he sat back, he was finally happy with himself, with all this. He cut into his fish and took a bite, his gaze lingering on Sam. After he swallowed, he smiled. "You look very handsome. In clothes, and without. Dry and wet," he said, not really knowing what type of compliment a merman would enjoy.

Sam frowned. "Sam look..." he shrugged, "like Sam," he answered, popping a chunk of raw fish into his mouth.

Tilting his head to the side at the look on Dean's face Sam got the impression maybe he was suppose to say that too. It seemed there was not only a lot of buildup of things to do for human mating, there were certain words that needed to be spoken. "Um, Sam mean Dean look... handsome too... wet," he nodded vigorously, "or dry." He wasn't really taken with the last part of the compliment he'd felt he'd had to give but wet... yeah, he really liked Dean wet. Unsure what came next, he reached for another piece of fish.

"I'm boring you, aren't I?" Dean took a breath and scrubbed his face with his hand. "You want me to change the music? Or talk about ... answer questions about each other or ah..." He licked his lips. "Do you want to dance?" He wanted to seduce Sam slowly, but he was getting the feeling that he was messing up, even when he had listened and followed the instructions on that show to the letter.

Sam frowned, slowly looking up at Dean. "Dance?" He knew how to do that.... in the water... like the Orcas... His gaze went to the sliding glass door through which they'd have to walk to get past the en and to the pool, then returned to Dean as he swallowed. He didn't know how to dance on land. "Sam dance wet," he shook his head. "Sam not know dance dryland," he explained, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth nervously. He didn't want to mess this up, this was obviously an important ritual to Dean, but he was completely out of his element and had no idea how to do any of this, or what he was suppose to be doing.

"Don't worry... I don't really dance either. I just..." He was screwing it all up here. How could they dance, if they hadn't finished eating first anyway? Dean started to eat again. "After we eat, we'll give it a try. Just like that, on the T.V.," he said, not that he planned to try a waltz or anything.

He knew Sam liked hearing stories of how he got in trouble as a kid, and he told a couple as they ate, exaggerating them and editing out the hurts of his childhood, just to be sure he kept Sam laughing. Once they were done eating, he asked Sam to help by clearing the table, and when they were in the kitchen, made sure the merman washed his fingers since he'd eaten the fish with his hands. He didn't bring up tooth brushing since he'd discovered it wasn't necessary.

"Dessert," he said, pulling a platter out of the fridge. It was chocolate dipped fruit. He walked Sam back to the patio, and pulled his chair close, then held a strawberry to his mouth.

Sam stared at the strawberry for a long moment before realizing Dean was actually waiting for him to open his mouth to feed it to him. "Oh." Sam opened up and waited, unsure how this was supposed to lead to mating, but if it was part of the human ritual, he would do it. Taking a bite of the fruit, Sam tried to lick off the juice that ran down from his lips before it dribbled down his chin.

"I'll get that," Dean offered, dipping his head and licking a trail up from Sam's throat, to his chin, and then his mouth. He brushed his mouth against Sam's, then couldn't resist a taste. He started to kiss him, his tongue delving inside and tangling with the merman's. Just as they started to get a little hot and heavy, he broke away. "You want to try a grape?" He asked, breathing hard and dragging his gaze from Sam's mouth.

Sam sat drawing in panted breaths a little shocked that Dean had simply pulled away like that right in the middle of kissing. His gaze slid to the fruit then back to Dean's face before he swallowed hard and shook his head. "Sam want Dean."

"I want you too. So much Sam," he nodded, bringing the grapes to his mouth. "Taste this. Come on, you'll like it," he said, dangling the chocolate covered fruit over Sam's lips.

Sam's gaze darted to the fruit as he gave a soft sigh. It was evident that this was an important part of the ritual so he gave in, accepting the fruit that Dean offered him.

Once Sam ate the grape, Dean leaned in and put his arms around Sam again. Slanting his mouth over the merman's, he kissed him, exploring his mouth as if it was the first time... gently, savoring every moment, committing his taste to memory. Though he wanted to either straddle Sam, or drag him over, he resisted, keeping the kissing as tame as he could.

Thankful they were finally kissing again, something Sam recognized as part of mating, he wrapped his arms tightly around Dean, fighting to deepen the kiss, chasing his tongue as he pulled Dean closer. When that wasn't going quite the way Sam had planned, he changed tactics and pushed Dean back against the chair as he leaned more forward, nearly crawling on top of him as he loomed over him, half out of his chair.

"Ritual over?" Sam asked hotly against Dean's lips, moving a hand and sliding it up under Dean's tee, slowly moving it up Dean's stomach and chest, thumb circling the flat disc of his nipple.

"Aw... fuck me," Dean breathed, trying to fight the feelings flooding his body, trying so fucking hard to keep order... to do this right. He grabbed Sam's wrists and pulled them down and out of his shirt, moving his face to the side and avoiding more contact with Sam's lips. "What... what ritual? Sam, need to take this slow. Want... want your first time to be special for you."

Sam tried again, leaning in and dipping his head to press his lips to Dean's neck, kissing him there, scraping his teeth over the delicate skin before sucking hard then biting, only to lick and kiss it better once more.

"Sam time special," he breathed against the damp skin of his human's neck. "Dean fuck touch kiss Sam." He reached for Dean's hand, pulling it down and covering the very evident bulge in his sweats. "Sam mate."

"You're so impatient. Oh God Sammy," Dean groaned even as he squeezed Sam's cock. "Dance, at least let me give you one dance," he said, almost panicked that his planned seduction was going down in flames. "I'll touch you, when we dance," he promised, pushing up and pulling Sam into his arms. "One, two, one, two... just like this," he whispered, showing the merman how to move, and biting back a groan as he felt Sam's erection brush against his belly. He ran his hand up and down Sam's back, turning them around. "Dancing under the moonlight... isn't it perfect?" he asked.

Sam pressed his lips together, nostrils flaring as he looked at Dean, sucking his own bottom lip into his mouth. He didn't know why Dean thought he was impatient, he was very patient, he'd waited his entire life for this, nearly ten years longer than he had to in order to be of mating age. His sister had mated at sixteen. He'd been expected to do the same only to leave home instead.

He concentrated on moving the way Dean had shown him as he held his human tightly, wanting nothing more than to end this silly ritual and really start kissing and touching... to caress and fondle and...

Sam cleared his throat as he gave a small nod, "Perfect." He echoed Dean's word, though it was choked.

"Yeah?" Dean gave him a brilliant grin, and moved them around a little more so they crossed the length of the patio. "You're perfect too, Sam. Never thought I'd say that to anyone. But you are," he said, putting his hand on Sam's cheek and kissing him lightly, but pulling back before Sam drew him in. His other hand slid down from Sam's lower back to press lightly on his ass and back. "I could do this with you forever. You know?"

Sam's eyes widened slightly. "Forever?" He shook his head, half walking, and half doing that step thing Dean had shown him as he directed them into the house and through it back into the atrium then slowly down the steps into the water despite Dean's protests. Wrapping his arms around Dean's waist once they got into deeper waters and swimming into the deep end with him. "Dean want dance, Sam dance here," he explained before releasing him and diving down into the water.

It was a lot harder without gills and every time he made a sound bubbles rose to the surface of the water, but Sam went about swimming around Dean the way the Orca did their mate as he gave as high a pitched cry as his lungs would allow, 'singing' to him under the water the same way that they did to their mates.

What the fuck? Dean turned around in the water, trying to follow Sam who was circling him like a shark and partially succeeding in making those sounds he used to make in the tank. He'd thought Sam was enjoying himself, but now... he wasn't so sure. He started to swim away, to head for the side of the pool, wanting to get out on the cement before he started asking questions.

Quickly swimming after Dean, Sam gripped him around the waist and pulled him back before his head broke the surface of the water. "What wrong?" Sam asked frowning as he held Dean with one hand, pushing hair back from his face with the other.

"I don't know. I was going to ask you the same thing. What... what are we doing here?" Dean cocked his head, sputtering when he started to sink despite Sam's arm around him. "I thought we were gonna... you know... but now you want to swim?"

Sam searched Dean's face. "Sam thought Dean want dance. Sam was..." he frowned and huffed, running his free hand over his face, "Sam not know Dean what want. Sam never... human... Sam thought... wet is easier...." he shook his head. "Nothing."

He'd screwed it up big time,that Sam got.

Drawing in a deep breath, Sam let it out slowly. "Maybe tomorrow bed time." He could wait another day, he could want until he got it right, however long it took. Tomorrow he'd do better, follow what Dean wanted and not ask questions, just let him do whatever it was he needed to. He jutted his chin toward the edge of the pool, "Sam help out."

"So you really don't want to... tonight?" Dean's face fell. He felt like he'd messed up big time, like the air had been let out of his heart shaped balloon. "Okay..." he nodded and started swimming backwards toward the stairs on the deep end. "Whatever you want. I don't want to rush you."

Turning and grabbing the rails, he pulled his body up, and climbed out. They hadn't brought towels, and he didn't want to track water all over the house. He pulled the sopping wet tee shirt off and dropped it on the ground. Fucking wedding channel...

Sam's face fell and his chest ached as he watched Dean climb out. Covering his face with his hands he let himself fall backward into the water and sink to the bottom. Maybe he could hide there until Dean went to sleep so he wouldn't have to face him and feel any more stupid than he already did at having totally screwed everything up. In a lot of ways things in the ocean were a lot easier than they were on dryland, apparently this was no different.

Dean unzipped his pants and looked into the pool, wincing when Sam disappeared. He peeled the pants off, but kept the shorts on and waited. Once Sam finally emerged, he cleared his throat. "Sam... I'm sorry. Whatever went wrong..." he spread his hands, knowing something had, but unsure what it was that made Sam change his mind. "I'm not good at this... this flowers and candles thing. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to be something other than what I am... I just..." He shrugged, "I didn't want it to be like it was at Flesh."

At the sound of Dean clearing his throat, Sam tensed. He really didn't want to turn around, but the first words that left Dean's mouth had him turning... and swimming over to the side of the pool. He leaned his arms up against the edge as he listened to Dean, frowning in confusion. When Dean said he didn't know about candles and flowers, Sam's eyes darted toward to inside the house where Dean had set up the dinner table, before he looked back at his human and sucked his bottom lip into his mouth before he said something stupid.

Knowing Sam probably didn't get what he was saying, and probably just wanted to play in the water, Dean turned and quickly headed for the stairs that went up to the second level. On the way, he kicked the flower petals that he'd trailed up the stairs all the way to their bedroom door.

Head turning, Sam watched Dean walk away and up the steps leading to their room. With a sigh, Sam hug his head a moment before pressing his hands palms flat against the edge of the pool and lifting himself out of the water, jumping up onto the side, then turned and stood to his feet, peeling off his wet tee in the process, his gaze fixed on the stairwell. Hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his sweats, Sam pulled those and his boxers off too, tossing them into a wet pile in the corner before heading inside and up the stairs.

Slowly Sam pushed open the door to their room, looking around for Dean he spotted him near the small dresser to the side of the room. Walking over, bare feet padding silently against the plush carpeting, Sam wrapped his arms around Dean from behind, pulling his human up against him as he dipped his head. "Sam sorry," he mumbled softly against the skin of Dean's neck before kissing him there and sliding his lips upward to the tender flesh behind his ear.

"Sam not know what Dean do." Pulling his head back slightly, Sam kissed across the back of Dean's neck as one hand rose, sliding slowly up his human's chest, thumb grazing over a nipple before he nipped the opposite side of Dean's neck.

Having been about to change into dry shorts, Dean was completely naked when he was pulled up against Sam's frame. He'd been prepared to get in bed alone and watch some T.V. until maybe Sam finished playing in the water and came up, and was surprised by the kissing and touching. Closing his eyes, he swallowed hard as Sam's nearness wreaked havoc with his senses.

The apology tugged at Dean's heart. He was pretty sure Sam was no more aware of what had gone wrong than was Dean. "Two different worlds," he said eventually, head rolling to one side to give Sam access to his neck. He put his hand out behind him, cupping Sam's ass, pressing him harder against himself. "I guess we're bound to fuck up... not understand. Sam. Do you want me to fuck you tonight?" He asked distinctly, turning around in the merman's arms and locking gazes with him. "Or... do you want something else?"

Sam reached up cupping Dean's face in his hands. "Sam still want," he gave a nod. "Dean fuck Sam," he murmured softly as he leaned in, slanting his mouth over his human's and kissing him tenderly, the way Dean had kissed him before, slow and lingering, tasting and sliding his tongue alongside Dean's, a low moan tearing from Sam's throat.

Closing his arms around Sam, Dean dragged him up so hard against his frame that the merman would leave an imprint on his body. Sam was wet and cool against Dean's warm flesh and Dean moved his hands up and down the merman's body, warming him up even as he molded their bodies together. He pushed his thigh between Sam's legs, deliberately rubbing against his hardening cock and groaning the instant he felt Sam push back.

One step at a time, Dean walked Sam backwards toward the bed, kissing him, tasting him, loving him with hands and body. "Dean... really wants to fuck Sam," he said between kisses. "Tonight. Now."

Sam ran his hands over Dean's back, down to his ass, cupping it and squeezing, pulling him in closer before sliding back up and across his shoulders, his fingertips dragging gently up the back and sides of Dean's neck, fingers tangling in the soft short strands of his human's hair as Sam kissed him. He sucked at Dean's bottom lip gently, then sucked on his tongue like he had the asparagus spear, low moans breaking from his throat.

"Sam want Dean fuck Sam," he answered thickly, his lips grazing against Dean's as he spoke, warm breaths panting into one another's mouths. "Tonight. Now. Sam mate... mate for life."

Heart constricting, Dean cupped the side of Sam's face. "Mate for life on land. Mate for now, only, Sam. In the sea, you'll find..." his voice cracked. Unable to continue, he pulled Sam's face toward him and welded their mouths together in a hard, possessive kiss. In his heart, in his soul, he knew Sam was his, that he was Sam's... mate for life. The thought of anyone else touching his lover, it killed him when he thought about it. But in his mind, he knew this was no fairytale and once Sam went to the oceans, it would be the end for them.

Sam wanted to argue, to tell Dean that there would never be anyone else for him, that he meant what he said before, he was going to find a way for them to be together no matter what it took. Instead, he let it go, he didn't want to get into a debate, didn't want to hear how he was just fooling himself. He wanted to be with the human that he loved, mate and be happy, at least for a little while.

Pushing everything out of his mind, Dean concentrated on here and now. Sam in his arms, pliable, willing and needy. He deepened the kiss, running his hands up and down every plane of the merman's body, fingers splayed wide, exploring every muscle, every ridge along his sides and stomach, the shifting muscles of his powerful back. Pulling back slightly, holding Sam's shoulders, Dean dipped his head down and licked him from the base of his throat up to his chin, then found his mouth again.

"Mine," he whispered against warm lips, before moving his mouth to the side of Sam's throat and sucking on the sensitive skin there, hard enough to leave his mark.

Moaning at the feel of Deans mouth at his neck, sucking and licking his flesh, Sam ran his hands back down Dean's back, cupping his ass, forcing him to thrust up against his body before releasing with one hand to lift it to his human's chest and run is thumb across his nipple, tweaking it then dipping his head to suck the sensitive nub into his mouth just before he backs of his calves hit the bed and he found himself being pushed back against the soft sheet covered mattress.

Dean put his knee on the bed and hovered over Sam, allowing him to push his way up the bed, and following him. As soon as Sam's head touched the pillow, Dean captured his hands and threaded their fingers together, holding Sam's hands on either side of his shoulders. Lowering his head, he proceeded to worship him with his lips, skimming his mouth over every angle of Sam's face, committing it to memory. He tasted the merman's lips from the outside, chuckling as Sam's tongue peeked out and tempted him. His kissed his way along Sam's pronounced jaw, and down his throat, sucking his flesh and nipping at times.

"You're really beautiful. I couldn't take my eyes off you... from the moment I saw you," Dean said, dipping his head down again, licking and kissing Sam's chest, then sucking on his nipple. He felt Sam's nipple tighten and he kept licking and sucking until he was rewarded with a groan. "You know, you can make your dolphin sounds," he said, moving to pay equal attention to Sam's other nipple.

Back arched, Sam tried to make sense of his words, the pleasure coursing through his body making it difficult, his brows furrowing. Gasping out a hot panted breath, Sam moaned low before sucking air in between clenched teeth. "Dol - dol-phin sounds?" He asked, breaths panting, nostrils flared. Arching his neck back he bucked his hips upward against his human another low moan, tearing from his throat.

Still holding Sam's hands, but bringing them lower on either side of the merman's hips, Dean worked his way down Sam's chest. He licked and kissed and explored the muscular planes of Sam's stomach, loving the way the merman writhed and moved under him. So responsive... his Sam was so damned responsive, and there was nothing practiced or fake about his reactions. It thrilled Dean to know he was showing Sam a new world.

He sucked the flesh around Sam's navel, hard, then licking it better. "Yeah... dolphin sounds... like..." Throwing his head back, Dean let out a few high pitched sounds that even he had to admit were nowhere near as high pitched as the sounds that Sam managed. "Those," he said, lowering his head again and carefully working his way towards Sam's cock, knowing the merman wasn't entirely sure about the pleasures of cock sucking.

Sam swallowed hard, straining up against Dean before a choked almost chuckle worked out of him. "Heh," Sam panted a breath, "Dean - Dean asked Sam to bite Dean's fin," Sam told him, tongue darting out to lick his lips, "with a walrus accent." The muscles of his stomach rippled and tensed as he squirmed under his human, hard cock twitching.

"I did not!" Dean responded indignantly, "I asked if I could kiss you here." Brushing his closed mouth along Sam's shaft, he met his eyes.

Sam gasped in a breath, arching against Dean, his hips bucking of their own accord as a deep groan tore from his throat. "Sam..." he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, thrashing slightly against the bed. "Dean did... ask that." He gave a small nod, hazel brown eyes pleading, for what, even Sam wasn't sure.

"I don't even have a fin." Releasing Sam's hand, Dean closed his hand around his dick, pulling it flat against his belly as he kissed his way up from the base of his shaft to his crown. He lingered there, kissing and brushing his mouth along his tip. Occasionally, he flicked his tongue out and licked, recalling the single time Sam had let him suck his dick. "Do you want me to make you feel good with my mouth, or my hand?" He stayed away from the word 'suck.'

Sam's hand moved immediately to tangle his fingers in the soft short strands of Dean's hair as he writhed, "Sam..." He arched his neck back, squeezing his eyes closed, thrusting his hips toward his human. "Naaugh..."

When Sam nudged his cock up against Dean's mouth, Dean knew what Sam wanted. "Mouth it is," he said, smirking slightly. He took Sam's tip into his mouth and started to suck, alternately squeezing shaft gently and humming as he licked. He had his free hand splayed wide across Sam's belly, holding him firmly in place and feeling his own cock stir each time Sam's belly tightened, or he pushed against his palm, trying to move. Oh yeah, he was slowly driving his merman crazy, and loving every moment.

Panting heavily, Sam thrust his hips, his throbbing cock toward his human's mouth, part hating himself for it and part unable to care for the pleasure coursing through his veins. Low moans and soft groans broke from his throat along with grunts as he fought to move under Dean's heavy hand, body writhing and wiggling against the bed.

Sam gasped in a startled breath as Dean took his cock deep, feeling him swallow as the tip hit the back of his human's throat. "Aaugh..." he clenched his teeth, nostrils flaring as he panted. "By Neptune's magical trident..." he groaned, head rolling to the side, his hips thrusting as Dean worked his cock, head bobbing as he hummed against his length, his muscles rippling and tensing with each feel of his human's tongue flicking against the side of his shaft.

Dean almost laughed at the exclamation. He would have, if his mouth weren't busy. As he felt Sam push harder, wanting, needing to thrust into his mouth, Dean started to take him deeper. He sucked his way down Sam's cock, taking as much of him as he could. His cheeks hallowed as he moved up and down his lover's shaft, mouth banging into his fist closed around the base of Sam's cock, squeezing and twisting, giving him as much pleasure as he could.

As Sam's movements became more desperate, Dean's hand moved to Sam's inner thigh, kneading it, his thumb brushing against Sam's sac. He could feel the skin had tightened, that Sam was getting close to needing release. He wanted to give it to him, give it to him so bad, but the selfish part of him wanted Sam to come at the same time as he did.

Slowly allowing Sam's wet cock to slip out of his mouth, Dean scooted back a little, grabbed a pillow and stuffed it under Sam's ass. As he arranged Sam's legs, making him bend his knees and put his feet flat on the bed, looking between the merman's legs, Dean met Sam's startled gaze. "Dean fuck Sam."

Pushing Sam's cock out of the way, he lowered his head and parted Sam's cheeks, then used the tip of his tongue to draw wet circles over Sam's hole.

If the pose wasn't shocking enough, the first thing Sam felt after Dean dipped his head down was his human's warm wet tongue licking over areas he'd never been touched before. Sam gasped and nearly crawled backward across the bed to get away from him. Eyes wide, chest heaving with his panted breaths, Sam shook his head. "No," he swallowed, "Sam no... Dean..." he groaned, again feeling his human lick over his hole, his hips thrusting upward as his cock twitched, bobbing as precum ooozed from the tip.

Following him, Dean gripped Sam's thighs. "Need to prepare you, baby. So it won't hurt. Don't... isn't that how mermen..." He knew Sam hadn't had full on sex, but surely he understood Dean would have to loosen him up a little. He had the lube handy, but he wanted to pleasure him in every way he could.

Sam's neck arched back, his eyes squeezing tightly closed as a long low moan sounded deep in his throat. "Sam not know... wet.... sea..." he writhed against the bed, hips bucking.

"Don't know what?" Dean raised his head. It had to be the same in the sea, how could it be different? "How... how do you think I'm gonna fuck you, Sam?"

Lifting his head to look down at Dean, Sam swallowed hard and shook his head. "Sam not know... sea lion... otter maybe?" He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, eyes pleading that he'd gotten it right. It was embarrassing enough to have to tell Dean that he was ignorant about these things, it was even worse to try to explain that most sea creatures paired off male and female and that he hadn't seen those that mated male with male.

"I ah... I don't know how otters do it." Dean couldn't believe those words just left his mouth. He had to think for a moment... no otters couldn't do it any different way either, no way. It was only the deeply mortified and unsure expression his love was wearing that stopped Dean from laughing or making a joke of it. He moved his hand down, pressing his thumb lightly against Sam's hole. "But when I fuck you, I'll turn you over and be inside you... right here. That's why I have to open you up a little... so it doesn't hurt. Is that what you want?" he asked, holding his breath, afraid of the answer.

Sam gave a nod, lips pressed firmly together before his head fell back against the pillows and he swallowed hard again. "Sam want," he breathed the words softly, his hand slipping down from Dean's hair to grip his shoulder as his opposite hand gripped the bed sheets.

Nodding, Dean dipped his head down again, hands on Sam's inner thighs, thumbs spreading his cheeks as he started to lick him open, forcing his tongue inside Sam's hole, wetting him as much as well as he could. Tight, so fucking tight. His head spun with thoughts of what it would feel like to be inside Sam. He slowly worked a finger into Sam, alongside his tongue, making it easier for him to tongue fuck his lover, to push his warm wet tongue deeper inside him.

Sam's breaths panted, chest rising and falling with each one, his grip on the sheets and Dean's shoulder tightening as he squirmed and bucked his hips, pushing back against Dean's tongue much to his embarrassment, moans and soft mewls spilling from his lips before a high pitched call tore from Sam's throat, his neck arching back as Dean's finger pushed deeper inside his tight hole.

Finally, Dean was certain this was what Sam wanted, that he was enjoying this. He pushed his tongue inside him one more time, then pulled it out, but slowly replaced it with a second finger. Feeling Sam tense, he kissed his thighs, and moved his mouth so it brushed over his cock. "Relax... gonna be okay, Sammy," he promised.

When he thought Sam was ready, he started to push his fingers deeper, curling them slightly and searching. His anatomy couldn't be that different, could it? A frown had formed on his forehead, but the instant he found Sam's prostate, he smirked, and looked up at Sam, brushing his fingertips over it again lightly.

Sam's back arched, eyes wide, a strangled high pitched cry tumbling from his lips, his grip shifting and tightening on Dean's shoulder. The fingers of his other hand walking more of the sheet into the white knuckled grip he had on them as Dean's fingers moved inside him and intense pleasure shot through his body. His cock twitched and pulsed, precum oozing from the tip.

His breaths panted out hard, head rolling from one side to the other. "Dean..." he moaned, sucking in a breath through his teeth, "Oh Neptune... Uaagh..."

The sounds Sam made kicked Dean's lust and desire up a notch. He struggled to maintain control, to finger fuck his lover until he was able to push a third finger inside him.

"Gonna be good, so good, Sam," he promised thickly, his gaze taking everything in, from the way Sam tensed, to how he clawed at the sheets, how the veins in his neck bulged slightly... how his tongue darted out to wet his lips. Need shot through Dean, need for this man... his merman.

Pulling his fingers out of his lover, he crawled up and across the bed and reached for the tube on the nightstand. Then he was back, and kissing Sam, one mind drugging kiss leading to another until both of them were breathless. Rolling off his lover, he got onto his knees. "Turn over, like this," he said, demonstrating that he wanted Sam to be on his hands and knees.

Once Sam did as he asked, Dean poured lube down his crack, sliding his finger up and down the now slick channel between his cheeks, before pushing inside his hole. The way Sam clenched around his finger had Dean groaning with need. He'd unconsciously straddled one of Sam's legs and was rubbing against the back of his thigh, precome smearing over his lover's smooth hard flesh.

Sam jumped slightly at the feel of the cold slippery lube sliding between his ass cheeks, it wasn't warm the way Dean's tongue had been, and something about the position he was in, it was nearly as shocking and awkward for him as the earlier position Dean had put him in. Though he understood the need for this position, the use of legs instead of a tail, of kneeling in this way instead of swimming over ones lover was a little hard to get use to. The muscles of Sam's ass clenched as Dean slid his finger between his cheeks and pushed inside of him. Head falling forward on a soft groan Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, pressing back against Dean's finger despite his efforts to hold still. The feel of Dean rutting against his leg both excited Sam and had him feeling a little less awkward about the motions of his own body.

As soon as he had another finger inside Sam, Dean reached around his waist and closed his hand around Sam's thick cock, brushing his mouth over Sam's back as he squeezed and started to stroke his length. Very quickly, he fell into a smooth rhythm, fucking against Sam's leg, pushing his fingers inside the tight channel of his hole, and stroking his very hard dick. Mental images of replacing his finger with his cock tortured him, had him groaning against the back of Sam's neck. He wasn't gonna rush this, he'd promised himself that.

"Want to be inside you, Sam. Need you so damned bad. Want to fuck you. Dean fuck Sam. Dean fuck Sam," he whispered hotly near his lover's ear.

Sam shivered at the sound of Dean's voice in his ear, the feel of his warm breaths fanning the sensitive flesh. Head tilting back, lips slack and parted as he panted his breaths. Sam moaned as he nodded to Dean, wanting the same thing, needing it more than he needed lungs to breathe on land. His hips thrust his cock hard forward into Dean's fisted hand before he rocked his body back against the fingers lodged inside of him, his movements matched the rhythm with Dean's working him. Gasping in shuddering breaths, Sam's muscles tensed, heat pooling low in his groin. He grit his teeth as his eyes slid closed, "Sam come.... Sam come..." he panted, the words breathlessly torn from his throat in deep grunts as he started to rock faster, thrusting and pushing back.

After allowing Sam to rock intensely for a few more minutes, when Dean could see that the merman was at the very edge, just a hair's breadth from the point of no return, he clamped his fingers around the base of Sam's dick and wrapping his other arm around his waist, forcing him to hold perfectly still. The high pitched sound coming from Sam, the slight jerking of his hips as he tried to move, excited Dean. His cock was hard and pulsing against Sam's entrance and it took everything Dean had to prevent himself from thrusting.

Sam didn't understand why Dean stopped, why he held him to tightly now that he couldn't move, couldn't get the needed pressure or friction to be able to come. His breaths panted out in hard puffs, the muscles of his arms and legs trembling slightly. He squeezed his eyes closed as high pitched nearly mournful cried tore from his throat.

"Shshsh, it's okay... okay Sam. You'll come when I'm inside you... slow down." He kissed the merman's neck and shoulder, then stretched forward. "Kiss."

Blinking his eyes open, Sam turned his head, gazing at his human through unfocused hazel brown eyes as he parted his lips instinctively for him and leaned in. His cock twitched and pulsed as Dean continued to grip the base preventing him from being able to come, his body slowly fighting to rock ever so slightly, seeking those fingers that he now mourned the loss of having inside of him.

Slanting his mouth over Sam's, Dean pushed his tongue and kissed him just like he wanted to fuck him. His tongue wove in an out of the merman's mouth with Dean very much in control of the kiss, sliding his mouth back and forth, deepening the kiss when he wanted. His hips pressed against Sam harder as he leaned in, his cock getting a little more friction, though he refused to rock just yet. All of his passion, all of his need, he put it into the kiss until he ran out of breath.

"Love you," he whispered simply, adjusting himself and leaning over Sam once more, his arm wrapped firmly around his waist. "Relax for me. It'll hurt a little... pain. Then it'll be alright, okay?"

Sam nodded, looking back at Dean as his breaths panted out between kiss swollen lips. "Sam okay," He answered softly. "Sam want Dean. Love Dean." He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth before turning his head back and letting it hang forward, eyes squeezing closed.

Dean cupped Sam's balls and squeezed lightly, trying to take his mind off the fact that Dean was slowly pushing into him. He bit his lower lip as his crown penetrated Sam's hole and all he could think about was burying himself all the way inside Sam the way every nerve in his body was screaming at him to. Breaths labored, he pulled back slightly and pushed again, moving deeper inside, until he was past that tight ring of muscle and stopped to allow Sam to adjust. His own eyes were screwed shut, every muscle in his body taut and strained, forcing himself to hold still.

Sam gasped at the feel of Dean's cock and not just fingers pressing inside him. He bit his lip instead of just sucking it, teeth leaving indentations in the tender red flesh. Fingers curled, dragging linens into his fisted hands, his head rising and lowering as he groaned softly, brows furrowed in a look of pain. Releasing his lip in a gasped breath as Dean paused, Sam hung his head, eyes blinking open, breaths panting harshly, small whimpered sounds tearing from the back of his throat.

"It's alright... alright..." Dean whispered between panted breaths. Slowly, he started to move his hips, in small circular motions, groaning against Sam's ear as the pressure squeezing around his dick had him one step closer to losing his battle to remain in control. He started to stroke Sam's cock, hardly daring to breath as he pulsed against him, dying... dying to fuck a little harder. "I gotcha... I gotcha," he said, running his hand along Sam's chest, playing with his nipple and tonguing the shell of his ear.

Sam shuddered at the feelings of pleasure and pain searing through his body. Shifting his weight on his hands, he released the sheets and reached up blindly, hand sliding against the side of Dean's head, pulling him in as he turned his own head, hazel brown passion glazed eyes with lust blown pupils meeting Dean's jade before Sam's eyelids slowly lowered. "Sam kiss Dean." He whispered softly, leaning in as he parted his lips, tongue darting out to moisten them before their lips met.

He'd waited so long, held off pleasuring himself as he did his best to make Sam's first experience special, and now he was rock hard, deep inside his lover, needing so badly to fuck. Yet the sweet request had him hanging onto the last shreds of his control, a sheen of sweat covering his body. Shuddering, Dean brushed his mouth against Sam's, then parted his lips to let Sam kiss him, accepting his tongue inside his mouth and sucking on it.

It was heaven and hell, all rolled in one. For as long as he could, Dean accepted Sam's tame kisses and kept the movement of his hips slow and easy, but once Sam's kisses became more demanding, heat flared low in Dean's belly. He slid his hand up Sam's side, to his face, pulling it closer as they kissed and thrust harder against him. That was it, his control snapped.

Groaning, Dean pulled partly out of Sam, then started to fuck, each thrust a little harder, a little faster than the last. His strokes were long and short, alternating, his aim true as he found Sam's prostate. When his lover clenched his muscles around him, a loud moan broke from Dean.

"Oh God... God baby, you feel so good. So perfect. You okay?" he asked, even through the haze of lust making it impossible for him to think.

Sam groaned, rocking his hips, thrusting his cock forward into Dean's fisted hand, high pitched cries tearing from his throat each time he pushed back against Dean's cock, muscles tensed and straining, face flushed a deep crimson as he hung his head, eyes squeezing tightly closed. Pleasure spiked through him suddenly and nearly had him collapsing down onto the bed, body lurching forward a surprised grunt leaving him as his eyes opened wide. "Neptune... by Neptune’s trident... Dean... Dean..." He mumbled the words breathlessly as he pulled his head up, only to have it lull back, mouth slack as he panted, dolphin-like cries tearing from his throat as loud and as high pitched as his human vocal chords were able to make.

The strange and haunting sounds from Sam vibrated through Dean. He might not understand the words, but the sounds pulsed with an unmistakable message. Need. Lust. Desire. Passion. Want. Fire.

His body echoed the message back in his increasingly erratic motions. With each strong thrust of his hips, he loved his merman. Showed him love, desire and passion, taught it to him, same as the way he was learning. He'd never felt like this, felt such heights, such need, so perfectly in synch with anyone. It made no sense. They were as different as they could be. Spoke different languages. Were the product of vastly different experiences. But right here, right now, no one could deny they were as one.

"Sam... Sam... Sam..." he rasped as he reached the point of no return. Gripping his lover tighter, he brought their bodies together faster, and harder, groaning as his balls tightened flat up against his body. His back stiffened, blinding heat ripped through his system as he shouted one more time, "Sammy!" coming hard and fast deep inside his lover, just like he'd wanted, like he'd dreamed, only ten times better.

Sam's back arched, muscles tensing, arms shaking as he gave a guttural groan, eyes squeezed tightly closed, tendons in his neck protruding, feeling the warm gush of Dean's spunk fill his ass, his own cock pulsing within Dean's fisted hand. "Dean fuck Sam... Dean fuck Sam..." He panted, not wanting him to stop as he reached for his own orgasm, straining and thrusting hard, his body rocking harder and faster.

Reaching back with one hand, Sam held Dean to him as he pulled up from the bed to sit back, Dean's cock still lodged deep in his ass. Sitting upright on his knees in Dean's lap, one hand holding his human securely to him, Sam reached down with his opposite hand, wrapping it around Dean's hand that stroked his throbbing cock. Nearly bouncing on his human's lap, his hand forcing Dean's to stoke him faster, squeeze harder, Sam's head fell back against Dean's shoulder, lips parted as he panted, chest rising and falling hard with each one.

"Naaugh! Dean!" Sam grit his teeth as his balls drew up tight to his body, muscles tensed, bulging and straining, back arched. With another hard stroke along his cock and slamming down into Dean's lap, the first ribbon of cum shot from Sam's dick, wetting both their hands. "Aaaugh! Aaugh! Oh Neptune... Dean... Ffffuck..."

"Sam..." Dean finished for his lover, digging his heels into the mattress and lifting his hips, grinding against Sam's ass one last time. Sliding his hand off Sam's cock, he smeared his cum across his stomach, still feeling his body shudder with pleasure. "Beautiful... it is beautiful. Dean mated with Sam," he said, his heart elated but with a heavy stone sitting in the pit of his stomach.

"Sam is Dean's," he murmured, sliding his hand all the way up Sam's body, to pull his face close, and kiss him... first nipping Sam's lower lip between his own, then his upper one. Letting go just got a thousand times harder.

Sam smiled against Dean's lips. "Dean Sam's. Always," Sam told him softly. His tongue darted and he slowly licked his way into Dean's mouth, kissing him in the human way. Pulling his head back when he ran out of breath, he drank in the sight of his love. "Dean beautiful."

Dean felt the sting of tears and blinked, but couldn't look away. Sam's eyes were clear, his smile brilliant and innocent, it made Dean wonder how ... why Sam would ever choose him. Swallowing, he answered thickly, "Sam is beautiful. Outside, and inside," he touched Sam's chest over his heart. Now that was something no one could say about Dean.

One of Sam's hands rose to cover Dean's on his chest before he leaned in and kissed him again. "Fish," Sam said abruptly with a nod, "need fish. Sam eat then Sam Dean swim." He told Dean as he wrapped his hand around the hand against his chest, holding it within his own and started to pull away, tugging on Dean.

"Swim...now?" Grumbling slightly, Dean released Sam, though he made a sound of protest as the merman left the bed but still pulled on him. "It's what you get for not eating," he muttered, though a snack sounded good. Grabbing the towel off the ground, he wiped himself clean and tossed it to Sam, then turned to put on a pair of boxers.

Racing up behind Dean, Sam wrapped his arms tightly around him, pinning his human's arms to his sides before he could get the boxers on. "Dean no clothes... too much... Dean go like Sam..." he told him, dipping his head to place a loud smacking kiss against his human's neck before releasing him with an accomplished sigh. Turning, Sam walked toward the door bare ass naked and out, feet padding softly against the thick carpet. "Dean come!" Sam called back from the stairs as he took them two at a time.

"Hunters don't go around ass naked, what if there's a..." Hearing Sam's voice trail off, Dean made a sound of exasperation, but dropped the shorts. Though he wasn't shy, he was a little self conscious as he walked down the stairs and headed for the kitchen.

Already, Sam had his bowl of raw fish and was munching. Dean leaned against a kitchen counter and grabbed a piece of bread and did the same. Partly, it was so his mouth would be moving and Sam would have no reason to force the fish on him. He waited until Sam looked over. "Happy?"

Sam smiled and nodded, his mouth stuffed full of fish. "Happy," he agreed after he'd chewed and swallowed. "Dean happy?" Sam asked still grinning at him, dimples showing.

"Yeah. I'm happy," Dean grinned back. "Don't move." Crossing to the other counter, he grabbed his phone that he'd left when he was preparing dinner for the two of them. First, he held it up to snap a picture of Sam, then changed his mind and got next to the merman. "Keep the smile," he said, one arm around Sam's shoulder as he took the picture.

Dropping his hand from Sam's shoulder, he looked at the phone. "Perfect," he said, seeing Sam had been smiling wide and showing his dimples. "Definitely goes in my best moments ever list," he said. He had a box in the back of his car, it had a few precious photos in it. There hadn't been a new one to add in years, in at least a decade.

Chapter Text

Reaching out, Sam snatched the phone away to look at the picture before handing it back. "Sam in phone," he said with a nod, the same smile pulling at his lips again before he popped the last piece of fish into it. Pulling away from the counter, he grabbed for Dean's hand, "Sam Dean swim now."

Dropping the phone, Dean was good - he didn't complain about fishy-hand and allowed Sam to drag him along. Swimming wasn't something he wanted to be doing right now, but he wasn't about to spoil Sam's night. Tomorrow, the merman could find out that Dean would rather curl up and sleep after sex, and maybe a snack. Tonight was for Sam... all the way.

They reached the indoor pool, and looking up, Dean could see the moon and stars through the glass ceiling of the atrium. It really felt like they were outside. He watched Sam gracefully dive into the water, and then followed behind him, mentally cursing at the shock of the cool water against his skin, though the pool was heated.

Breaching the surface of the water, Sam grinned over at Dean, "Sea better." He gave a nod before shrugging, "Sam show Dean." And he would, Sam was certain of that. After his arm was healed and he got his strength back, he'd take Dean into the deeper waters and after they made love, Sam would show him just how amazing life in the ocean would be for them. He was grinning wide at the thought of it as he gracefully dove back under the water.

"Right," Dean nodded, reaching one end of the pool, and putting his hand out to the edge to hang out there. He watched Sam for a while, swimming back and forth underwater, holding his breath for long periods. The longer he watched, the more convinced he was that Sam longed for his home, the vast waters of the ocean. The heavy feeling started to bloom at the pit of his stomach but before he could brood over it, Sam was swimming toward him.

Sam breached the surface directly in front of Dean, their bodies touching, a smile on his face as he looked at his human. "Dean fuck Sam in water," he said with a nod, "tomorrow bedtime." Leaning in, he pressed a quick kiss to Dean's lips before arching back and disappearing under the surface of the water once more.

"One track mind..." Dean shouted after him, laughing as he watched Sam swim back and forth underwater. He pushed off, and swam at his own leisurely pace, knowing his merman would come and check on him every once in a while.

***

Two weeks passed in the blink of an eye. It was weird that even though Dean was on high alert, always aware that the hunt for the merman was not over and that the hunters had in fact followed a false trail he'd left for them, it felt like one of the family vacations Dean could vaguely remember back from when his mom had been alive. He had a picture of a beach trip. They'd spent a week at the shore and it was one of the memories he held on to, thought about often, memorized so it would not slip away from him like so many others had.

He and Sam had spent a lot of time together both in the pool and outside. Sam swam regularly, many hours a day, getting stronger and giving his arm a work out. Dean had gotten better at swimming. He'd had to in order to fend off Sam's playful semi drownings, and attempts to fuck on the deep end of the pool.

They'd left the mansion on shopping trips, mostly for groceries. They'd also walked the beach a few times, Dean checking out the best way into the ocean for practice sessions that wouldn't be noticed. Each time they went anywhere near the ocean, his heart felt like lead and he had to force his smiles, had to pretend to be as light-hearted as Sam would get seeing the 'way home.'

He'd taken Sam shooting once, but that hadn't gone over very well. Sam didn't like the sound of the gun firing and it made him think of the 'bad men.' Abandoning the outing, they'd done a movie... and sushi. Whether he wanted to or not, Dean was getting used to some raw fish. God if Bobby knew...

Sam had been watching a lot of T.V., a lot of educational shows. His English had gotten a lot better and they had less miscommunications. Telling Sam he loved him came easily to Dean's lips now, telling him, and making love with him. He knew... knew in his heart this was just like the beach vacation with his parents. An enchanted time that would come to an end, that it was drawing to an end, and that there was nothing he could do about it.

Now, it was late afternoon. He'd rented a boat to go out into the ocean for 'fishing.' Quite a ways from shore, he cut the motor and watched as Sam prepared to dive into the water, which was quite calm for once. "Don't leave without saying goodbye," he said, hating the hint of panic that crept in his voice.

Sam turned his head to look over at Dean, a wide grin on his face, excitement dancing in his slightly slanted hazel eyes. He shook his head as his gaze met Dean's, "I'm not leaving you. I'm swimming." He winked in the human way and then returned his attention to the water. "I'll be back," Sam called just as he dove into the water, a loud splash sounding as his body hit the water.

"Gonna hold you to that," Dean called out though Sam had already disappeared. The boat rocked under him as he held onto the edge, looking, searching for Sam, knowing he'd be going through the pain of changing soon. He tensed on behalf of his lover, the word 'mate'... Sam's word... reverberating in his mind. How was he going to let Sam go when the time came? How? And it was very near, Dean knew that. He knew it as well as he knew that he probably could have brought Sam out to the ocean even a week ago.

The change took a long time, or at least it seemed that way as Sam's body seized up, pain searing through him as the process began and his form slowly fell toward the ocean floor. When at long last Sam lay gasping in breaths through gills on the ocean floor, he pushed off and started to swim, the cramped feeling and fatigue of the change itself slowly ebbing away like the tides that eased in and out against the shore.

Breaking the surface of the water a good two hundred feet away from where he'd entered the water, Sam looked back, searching for the small boat where Dean waited. With a loud high pitched call tearing from his throat, Sam held up a hand waving it, before he dove back under the water, swimming back to Dean.

The worried frown smoothed away the instant Dean heard Sam, then saw him. Grinning broadly, he stood up, balancing and watching for his merman. The fact that Sam had been so far away told him he was healing fine, that he could probably swim wherever he wanted right now, though the waters weren't choppy. Maybe they'd need a test run on a day when the sea was more rough.

He watched the sparkling surface of the water and then caught his breath when Sam shot up out of the water, somersaulted high in the air, and dove back in, his tail creating a splash that sent left Dean drenched. "Goddamn showoff, that's what you are," he shouted as his merman, just as Sam surfaced again, wearing a shit eating grin. "Hot dogs. That's what's for dinner," Dean said, pointing at Sam like it was a threat.

Sam's head tilted back as he laughed. Another high pitched cry tore from his throat and two Orcas shot out of the water on each side of him, doing the same flip and somersault that Sam himself had just done, their tails splashing hard against the water as they crashed through its surface, raining salt water down on Dean, causing Sam to laugh even harder. "Orcas don't like hotdogs either," Sam told him as he swam up to the side of the small boat, looking up at Dean.

"Holy fuck," Dean hit the deck and grabbed the edge of the now violently rocking boat. "That is NOT funny, Sam," he said, looking wildly for the large whales.

Sam chuckled as he nodded, "Yes it is," he disagreed, "it's very funny. You should see you... My mighty and brave hunter," he snickered, holding a hand out in the water as one of the whales swam up underneath it for Sam to pet it before rolling over for Sam to rub its belly.

"Sarcasm. I think I liked you better before you watched all those episodes of House." He watched as Sam got close and personal with that large sea creature, then working his courage up, reached out to try to touch it. Even though as a kid he had petted a dolphin once, he pulled his hand out of the water before he actually made contact with the whale. Demons he could deal with, this... he had no idea what to do with. "So is that your cousin?" Hey, he could make fun too.

Sam frowned up at him as he shook his head, "Nah, it's my sister. Isn't she pretty?" He dipped his head so that his face was next to the whale's, "Can't you see the family resemblance?"

"Yeah. Mouthy like you." Chuckling, Dean shook his head and sat down, grabbing a towel and drying his face and hair. A part of him was jealous of the connection Sam had with the ocean and with the whales. It was something he'd never have in common with the merman, a part of Sam he could never reach. At the same time, he was happy for him... just mixed-up happy is what it was he was feeling.

The whale made a low melodic call that vibrated in the water and had Sam frowning curiously at Dean as he slowly lifted his head. "She says you look sad. Are you okay?" Sam asked him, moving closer to the edge of the boat and grabbing the edge, leaning against it, forearms braced against the side.

Dean glanced at the whale, then leaned over a little more and kissed Sam, tasting salt on his lips. "I'm okay. I'm always okay," he nodded, "Go on and play." He couldn’t' bring himself to say anymore right now. And just how the hell had that animal picked up on his emotions?

Sam frowned a little and reached out, catching hold of Dean's shirt, pulling him close once again. "You should come in and play with me," Sam told him softly, a smirk pulling at his lips before he released Dean and disappeared into the water only to reappear a few yards out, the whale at his side as they both jumped out of the water, spun around and splashed, falling back, crashing bodily into the sea.

A smile slowly pulled at Dean's lips as he watched their antics. A full on show just for him. Sam still didn't fully understand that he couldn't... no matter how much he tried, he just couldn't participate the way Sam wanted. In the water, he'd be a liability, or not fun... floating around like a log, or swimming underwater for short spurts. Maybe if he had scuba gear, but it wasn't like they had that much time left together.

Sam's laughter rang in the air as he and the whales continued to jump and swim, weaving in and out between one another as they sped through the water. Diving deep, the surface cleared and calmed for a long time with no sign at all of Sam or the whales. Nothing. Then suddenly the three of them broke the surface at once, jumping high into the air only to somersault and body smack hard back against the water’s surface, disappearing once more beneath the deep blue sea.

Home... Sam was finally home... and home... it felt good.

Eventually, the trio jumped out less and less. Resting his elbows on his knees, Dean looked straight ahead through unseeing eyes. He kept track of time, and this time he'd give a loud whistle when it was time to leave and hope Sam would hear. But right now, he had to keep himself company, something that had never before been a hardship.

*

After he'd swam his fill for the time being, Sam went back to the boat and noticed the same look on Dean's face that the whale had seen earlier. It might have been even more pronounced now causing Sam's brows to furrow as he emerged silently next to the side of the boat. "Dean?" He called out softly, watching as Dean seemed to only then realize he was there. Frowning softly, Sam reached up with one hand, waving Dean toward him, "Come in, get wet," he grinned mischievously at his human. "Come on, please. For me?"

Dean had already started shaking his head 'no' but that tone, that look in Sam's eyes... it made Dean want to give him the world. It wasn't as if he'd have the opportunity to give him a lot, so what if he gave him his time, and made an ass of himself in the water? He started to strip. "Tell your big friends to keep their distance," he said. "And don't forget... I can't touch the ground here," he added, "can't breathe under water." Though Sam did like to roughhouse in the water, Dean had to trust that the reminder was enough.

Sam smiled and gave a nod, turning to look over his shoulder, giving a loud high pitched shout, then watching as the two orca pushed air out of their air holes and dove under the water, disappearing from view. Returning his attention to Dean, Sam watched him peel his jeans off. "They won't come over now. I told them you were scared," Sam snickered.

"I'm not scared, I'm... normal. And they don't seem to know about personal space," he glowered at his lover. "Water's cold, isn't it?" He groaned, knowing the answer, then jumped in next to Sam, surfacing and shouting. "Sonovabitch... my ass is gonna freeze off and..."

Sam laughed as he moved in closer to Dean, wrapping his arms around him and cupping Dean's ass through his wet boxers, "Sam will keep you warm." He smirked, leaning in to brush his lips across Dean's, lingering a moment before slowly pulling back. "And you shouldn't whine so much, whales are horrible gossips," Sam told him matter-of-factly, biting his cheek so he wouldn't laugh or smile.

"Hmph," Dean was only slightly mollified as he felt his lover's arms go around him and they shared body warmth for a moment. A second later, he was complaining again. "That was not 'whining' and what do they have to gossip about me? They don't even know.... dammit," right then, Sam disappeared under the surface. "Do you have any idea how frustrating it is when you disappear when I'm trying to say something?" Gritting his teeth, Dean started to swim away from the boat and found that the same waves that didn't look like much from inside the safety of the boat were larger than he'd thought as they slapped him in the face and had him sputtering.

Sam swam around Dean, between his legs and brushing against the outside of his thighs, nudging him with his body only to turn back and repeat against the opposite side and again, swimming between his human's legs, letting the full length of his tail slide across his crotch and along his ass as he slowly swam from between them.

"Sam!" The first time he felt his lover between his legs, Dean had swallowed water. This time, he put his hands out, trying to catch Sam, but his hand trailed over his long tail. He started to swim on his back, then felt Sam's body directly under him, brushing past his ass. That was funny, but when Sam returned, pushing his legs open, his face, then the entire side and length of his body dragging past Dean's cock as the merman swam between his legs, Dean jerked straight in the water, half laughing half drowning. "What the fuck are you doing?!"

Sam's head and upper body broke the surface of the water directly before Dean, so close that their bodies touched. His hands reached up, cupping each side of Dean's face. "You can't tell?" Sam asked him, his voice deep and soft, slightly slanted hazel brown eyes searching his human's beautiful wet face. "I must be doing it wrong," he mumbled, leaning in and slanting his mouth over Dean's as his eyelids slowly fluttered closed, a soft sigh escaping as their lips touched. Licking into Dean's mouth, Sam immediately entwined their tongues together, a low moan sounding deep in his throat.

This, this Dean understood. Mouth slipping against mouth, tongues tangling, sending erotic messages through his system. As he kissed Sam back, he weighed his words, and started to think on how Sam had been targeting his groin as he played and swam. Horny. Was his merman horny? Figured... just when Dean couldn't do a damned thing about it. Not only were the waters deep, but Sam had a tail and Dean wasn't sure how he'd even go about having sex with a merman, though the idea didn't turn him off at all like it once might have. There was nothing slimy about the texture of Sam's skin below the waist, and he could feel the muscles of Sam's ass and legs like a sculpture under a covering... inside his tail. He was different, but beautiful.

One hand sliding down the side of Dean's face, Sam leaned him backward slightly in the water, reaching out before him as his opposite hand slid around to the back of Dean's head, cupping it, holding their mouths together.

Feeling Dean tense, Sam pulled back upright, reaching for Dean's hand to wrap his arm around him, only then breaking the kiss enough to talk, his lips against Dean's, "Hold onto me, it's okay," Sam murmured softly before leaning forward again, causing Dean to lay back into the water. Sam swam them over to the side of the boat before straightening and pulling Dean back up.

Getting kissed like he was some damned ballerina being bowed backwards was not Dean's idea of fun. Until it happened. Though his heart was pumping hard, fear of having his head submerged when he drew his next breath making him slightly tense, the danger seemed to give an edge to the kisses they shared. By letting Sam have his way, he was showing the merman he trusted him... with his life.

Slowly breaking the kiss, Sam's lips curved into a smile as he searched Dean's face. Reaching for Dean's hands he raised them out of the water and placed them behind him on the edge of the boat. "I love you," Sam told him, a mischievous light entering his eyes. "Don't let go," he said just before disappearing under the water.

Dean hadn't even realized he'd been maneuvered toward the boat. Now he was hanging off its side, mouth still burning with their kisses, and eyes wide as he searched for his merman. That look in Sam's eyes told him to expect anything, and he wouldn't have been surprised if a whale's eyes emerged from the water to take a closer look at him. That, and other similar thoughts, had him tensing.

Swimming downward, Sam smiled under the water and taking his time to build up Dean's anticipation as well as trying to try to figure out the best way to do this and calm his own lingering fears. Jaw set with determination, Sam swam forward, running his hands down Dean's sides before hooking his thumbs in the waistband of his boxers, slowly sliding them downward.

Sucking his breath in, Dean knocked his head back against the side of the boat. If he hadn't realized it was Sam, he might have kicked out the first time he was touched. But then his shorts were being dragged off him, and he smiled. Opening his legs, he managed to trap Sam's body between his thighs, and lifted, pulling his merman up out of the water. "Sam, you horny? Every time I'm wet... I'm beginning to see a pattern here," he teased.

Sam grinned as he leaned in, brushing his lips across Dean and sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, moaning softly before letting go. "Dean looks good wet," Sam told him in the way he used to. Slowly easing back down Dean's body, Sam leaned in, letting his lips trail down his human's chest and stomach, before he disappeared back under the water.

Pulling Dean's boxers the rest of the way off, Sam swam upward enough that his arm and hand holding the boxers broke the surface of the water, throwing them toward the boat before disappearing once again. Moving in closer, Sam wrapped his hand around Dean's cock, slowly starting to stroke along his length as he placed small tender kisses along his human's thighs and the juncture where thigh and groin met.

Hanging his head down, trying to see through the dark blue water, Dean involuntarily arched toward Sam's mouth, eyes glazing over as his lover started to stroke him. His stomach tensed as he wondered where Sam's mouth would go next. He knew what his body wanted, had craved for a long time. But he also knew Sam wouldn't go there. Besides, apparently it wasn't a merman thing and now they were in merpeople territory. Still, he bit his lower lip and held his breath. This was a lot like being blindfolded and he wondered if his innocent merman was even aware of that.

Lifting his head up, his hand still stroking Dean's cock in long even strokes, Sam licked his lips under the water, glancing upward toward where Dean's body broke the surface of the water. Returning his attention lower, Sam's hand stilled on Dean's cock as he leaned back in, letting his lips glide softly along the length of Dean's shaft, slowly working his way up to the head where he flicked his tongue out, running slowly over the tip and dipping unexpectedly into the slit.

Pleasure coursing through him at the taste of his human, Sam grew bolder taking the sensitive head of his dick into his mouth and sucking softly, a low moan sounding deep in his throat as his eyes slid closed.

"Saaam!" Dean whispered loudly, the wind snatching the word from his mouth. He'd never felt pleasure like this, not ever, and that was saying a lot. Maybe it was all the pent up wishing. Maybe it was the inability to see. Maybe it was the fact that he had no control over what Sam chose to do to him now. Or maybe, maybe it was because he recognized this had to cost Sam. He knew how afraid Sam was of putting his mouth anywhere near his cock... what bad memories that act held for him. Whatever the reason, Dean was in the throes of pleasure within the first few seconds of having the tip of his cock buried in Sam's mouth.

Pulling his mouth off, Sam stroked Dean's length a few times, only to stop and dip his head once more, this time taking Dean's cock deep into his mouth and moaning softly, his free hand sliding up Dean's side to grip his hip as he sucked, cheeks hollowing out as he moved his mouth along Dean's length. Sam's hand at Dean's hip moved, palm flat against his lower belly, then slid downward past his cock, to cup Dean's balls, squeezing gently, his hand wrapped around his human's shaft sliding along his length, slowly chasing his mouth.

Dean's fingers tightened on the side of the boat, his arm muscles flexing, his face contorting with pleasure. His heels dug into the side of the boat as he tried to get a little purchase, his head rolling from side to side as the alternating sensations from Sam's mouth around his cock, then his hand squeezing and touch him, then the hard suction along his cock sent all sorts of heat through his system. "Oh God... oh God Sam, so good, so good," he managed to say, his body arching away from the boat. "Please baby..." he needed it so bad, so damned bad, he didn't know what he'd do if Sam changed his mind. "Don't stop... don't ever stop."

Pulling his hands away from Dean's cock and balls, Sam wrapped his arms around his human's thighs, a low drawn out bellowing call sounded deep, echoing through the water and above as Sam called over one of the Orcas he'd been playing with earlier.

The whale swam over toward the boat, his top half surfacing as he drew near, air spouting from his blow hole. Sam carefully pulled Dean away from the boat as he continued to suck and lick at his cock. He could feel Dean's hands gripping at his shoulders in a panicked attempt to find purchase that only intensified as Sam turned them so Dean's back faced the whale who was now slowly rolling over in the water onto its back.

Pulling his mouth from Dean's cock, Sam allowed his human to slide down in his grip slightly as his head breached the surface of the water. "Trust me," Sam murmured softly, as he started to lay Dean back onto the whale's stomach.

"Oh my God...oh my God... I'm gonna die," Dean protested, his pleasure forgotten and mostly replaced by fear and anxiety. What the fuck was he doing listening to a merman and laying down on a Goddamn whale that could crush him like he was a fly? His heart rammed against his chest as he gripped Sam's shoulders after finding that the whale's belly was smooth and there was nothing to hold onto. He almost shouted as the creature rolled back some more and he found himself spread out over the whale like he was laying on a table, with Sam climbing on. "Don't have to do this... don't have to," Dean quickly said, afraid he was being punished for wishing for a blow job.

Sam gave a small nod, "Want to," Sam told him, gazing down at Dean. "Don't be afraid," his eyes fell to the whale as he reached a hand out and stroked her stomach next to where Dean lay before returning to gaze into his human's frightened eyes. "She won't let you fall... I won't let you fall."

Letting himself ease back down into the water for a moment, his head submerging though his hands remained on Dean's thighs, Sam slowly pulled his head back up, cheeks puffed out before he spit the water out over the mammals stomach then rubbed his hand around in the water on the whales belly. "She likes you," Sam told Dean, his voice soft and smooth, eyes intent and full of hunger. "But not like I do," the corners of his lips quirked upward slightly before he dragged his attention from his human's face to his groin and dipped his head, licking a path from the base to tip of Dean's cock. Lifting his head just slightly, Sam looked up at Dean from under his brows, "Don't move too much, she might think you're playing." He grinned wickedly before dipping his head and taking Dean's cock deep into his mouth.

"What?!" Not move... how was he not supposed to move? Now he'd lost his grip on Sam's shoulder, and his palms were flat on the whale with no way to hold on. And Sam had him in his mouth again, and was wreaking havoc with his senses. Only now, he could watch the merman... see his cock disappearing into Sam's mouth, a sight he thought he'd never see.

Groaning, he felt his heels dig into the whale, then quickly stopped himself, making a sound of frustration. "This is not fair," he grumbled, but when Sam's mouth tightened around him, when he started to suck hard and fast, a deep groan of pleasure broke from Dean. Eyes glazed with passion, mind a haze of desire, he lifted up on his elbows and raised his hips, "More."

Pulling himself further onto the whale so his chest was completely out of the water and is tail trailed out behind him, slowly moving in the water’s surface, Sam smiled around Dean's dick in his mouth and continued to suck on it. Wrapping one large hand around Dean's cock as he sucked him, Sam started to stroke in time with the movement of his mouth, moaning softly, low hummed calls tearing from deep in his throat.

The second Orca joined them, swimming slowly alongside, though he did nothing, only silently swam alongside its own mate as Sam made love to his human mate's body with his mouth and hands.

The sounds emanating from Sam had their usual effect on Dean, had him moaning with need, putting him at the mercy of his lover. "Yes...oh hell yes..." he cried out, followed by a high pitched tone he was sure Sam would later tell him meant something dumb, but he was compelled to try to give his lover something that was of his culture, the way Sam was giving him something completely human now.

As Dean's movements, his thrusts into Sam's mouth became more and more fevered, he lost touch with reality. This couldn't be reality... all these sensations ... the world moving up and down under him, his body alternately washed with water, then drying off, Sam's mouth around him, moving up and down his hard flesh, his hands cupping his balls, touching him everywhere. Sounds broke from the back of Dean's throat, foreign sounds. Needy sounds. Sounds that were unintelligible but had one meaning. He loved Sam... loved his mate... and pleaded with him to never let him go. If there was a forever, if there was such a thing, if it was meant for anyone... it had to be them. It just had to be.

Crazy, fantastical thoughts whipped through Dean's mind, and then he was jackknifing up on the belly of the whale as balls tightened painfully hard against his body. "Sam!" he shouted as the first rope of cum left him, filling his lover's mouth. He tried to pull away, but Sam held him in place and he felt another rope leave him, bit his lips as he watched Sam's throat convulse around him, taking everything he gave, everything.

Sam's free hand moved to stroke along Dean's side, his thigh and back up in a comforting, soothing gesture. He'd come this far, he wasn't about to stop now. He wanted to taste his mate, wanted the taste of him in his mouth, down his throat so he eagerly drank every drop his lover gave, low soft moans sounding deep in his throat.

Slowly, Sam stopping pumping and sucking Dean's dick, his head pulling back to allow his human's now flaccid cock to fall from his slightly swollen lips.

"Sam's. Dean is Sam's," he said softly as he looked up into Dean's face, their gazes meeting and locking. Reaching for Dean, Sam pulled him forward, helping him off the whale's belly and into the water, arms wrapped tightly around Dean's body. Sam watched the whale quickly roll over, dive and submerge, blowing a breath out of her blow hole. "You nearly drowned her," Sam teased, a smile pulling at his lips.

He saw Dean glance past him toward the boat that was far off on the horizon now, they'd moved quite a way away from the boat now, Sam having swam them away from it as he'd pleasured his mate. "It's okay, I can take you back," Sam told him softly. "Did," he bit his lip, ducking his head a little in a gesture of shyness, "did you like it?"

Relaxing in the merman's arms, Dean grinned and waited for Sam to look back at him. "You have to ask me that? I thought I was announcing it to the entire fish population with a bullhorn." Leaning in, he kissed Sam, slowly, trying to show him the depths of his love by the way he worshiped his mouth. "I loved every moment, thank you. I know how hard it is for you... for that... for..." Dean swallowed. "Thank you, I know you did it for me," he finally said.

Sam nodded, his lips pressed in a thin line as he thought about how they, the bad men, had tried to force him to do that to the stranger, to someone he didn't want or love. "I was... scared... at first..." He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth as his eyes searched Dean's face, "But it was you, and I wanted to. I was free to choose, and I chose to do it. I wanted to taste you, to make you feel how you made me feel... before." He cleared his throat a bit nervously, tearing his gaze away. "I should get you back," he mumbled, changing the subject though he didn't regret what he'd done in the least and would definitely do it again.

"Yeah," Dean kissed Sam's temple, but dropped the subject. Some people liked to shine a light on top of the bad times in their life, he wasn't one of them. He understood wanting to bury an experience. "And you'd better get me back... look, I'm getting all wrinkled like a damned prune." Lifting his hand, he showed his merman, then slid around Sam, so he was behind him with his arms around Sam's shoulders. A moment later, they were slicing through the waters and moving toward the boat.

At one point, Dean felt the flick of Sam's tail between his legs and chuckled near his lover's ear. "Are you flirting again? At this rate, you'll never let me out of the water."

Sam grinned as he swam, turning his head to look back at his human. "Don't tempt me. I like that idea, you wet all the time." He purposefully moaned low in his throat, letting his eyes roll back as he closed them before turning his head back and reopening them, swimming onward but also making sure to flick his tail between Dean's legs every so often just to tease them both.

By the time they reached the boat, Dean was hard all over again. As he pulled himself up over the side, his erection jutting out and hard to miss, he muttered, "bitch." They both knew what he was complaining about.

Sam grinned up at him his eyes locked on one part of his human. "Mm, I could swim you out to some dingy somewhere and have my way with you up against it." He bit his lip as he slowly dragged his eyes away from Dean's erection to look into his face. "Or I could lay on the whale and you could have your way with me. You've just have to keep us both watered." He smirked and winked, a soft chuckle working out of him.

"Let me take another lap around the area and I'll get out," Sam told him with a nod, "I want to say goodbye for now to the whales," he explained, slowly swimming backward, before turning and diving into deep into the now choppy waters of the sea.

Dean's face fell, but his merman was back in the ocean so fast, he wouldn't have seen it. It was a fact that felt like the sharp stab of a knife to Dean's chest. "What the fuck... I'm turning into a Goddamned girl," he muttered.

He dried himself off, trying not to seek out Sam in the water, not wanting to recognize the high pitched sounds as mournful... maybe even tearful goodbyes between the merman and his friends. They'd have Sam soon, why did they have to take up the last hours of his time with Sam. A lump lodging in his throat, he pulled his shirt on, and then reached for his pants. Maybe he should think of this as a practice run. The thought had him even more depressed.

Liquor. For the first time in weeks, he thought it would be a good idea to drink himself to sleep this night.

* * *

[One week later]

It was a cold windy day and the ocean was choppy, the water churning roughly. In just his tee shirt, Dean barely felt the bite of the wind as he steered the motor boat away from shore. This was it. The end had come.

Cursing, he turned the boat out toward the drop-off point. Every muscle in his body was tense. He was doing everything he could to hold his emotions inside. Everything not to fall apart. There had already been tears when they'd made love for one last time before dawn. He'd told himself that was it. That was the end of the chick flick moments between them.

This was for the best, it was necessary. He'd learned that a group of hunters had arrived, and they both knew Sam had been well enough to leave some time ago. It was the only way, well the only way that the merman could be happy. If even for a split second Dean had thought that turning Sam into a hunter would work, he'd have done it. But the guy didn't have it in his nature, and really... he was so intrinsically happy and good natured that Dean didn't have it in him to slowly turn Sam into a bitter, distrustful hunter, like himself.

He passed the buoy, and slowed the engine, then cut it. Turning his face, for the first time since stepping on the boat, his eyes met and held Sam's.

Sam had sat behind Dean, his enthusiastic jubilation at being able to return home nipped in the bud and cut into two by the knowledge that he would be leaving Dean behind. There had been no magically found way for Dean to live beneath the water's surface and as much as he wanted to be with Dean, Sam knew his place just wasn't on dryland. Things on land scared and confused Sam since the beginning and the only thing that made him happy there was Dean.

The only good that had come from his being captured had been that... had been Dean... finding his mate, finding love. As Dean finally turned to look back at him, the red rims around his human's sea-like green eyes had Sam thinking back to their predawn loving and the tears that they had shared. Until that moment, until Dean had forced Sam to see the truth, Sam had stubbornly clung to the belief that they would find a way. Maybe it was part of the reason why he hadn't mentioned returning home, why he hadn't said earlier that he was strong enough, though he knew that his human had to have known. He was a smart human, as well as kind, charming, funny, loving... Sam sighed softly as he pulled to his feet and crossed the small distance that separated them, his head bowing as he stepped up to Dean and reached out, wrapping one arm around his human, the other rising to the side of his face.

"I'd breath forever for you, if I thought it might work." Sam mumbled softly, thinking back to how he had breathed for his love in the tank at Flesh.

Dean gave an almost imperceptible nod, acknowledging the truth that Sam spoke, and remembering that first time they'd touched each other. It felt like so fucking long ago. He felt Sam's hand shaking, but wasn't sure... it could have been himself. Or both of them.

Sam ran his thumb lowly across Dean's cheek bone as Sam searched his face, "I, um, I have something for you," he told him, giving a small nod before he pulled back, stepping backward to the duffel he'd brought with him. Unzipping it Sam pulled out a medium sized sea shell. The opalescent shell was lined with tones of pink and peach and swirled with light blue. Stepping back over to Dean, Sam held the sea shell between them, his gaze lowered to the shell to hide the tears in his slightly slanted hazel brown eyes. "If you hold it up to your ear... you can hear the ocean," Sam told him, slowly pulling his head back and sniffling as he brought the shell to Dean's ear. "When you listen to it... think of me."

A dry sob broke out of Dean, though he managed to hold it together as he listened. "I will always be thinking of you, Sam. Always," he said thickly. He waited a moment, then took the gift from Sam, his fingers curling tightly around the smooth surface of the shell. "Beautiful, and perfect, like my... my merman," he said, drawing in a deep breath.

He looked down at his own hand, where the thick silver ring he'd worn forever was on his finger. Slowly, he worked it off, then took Sam's hand. He polished it against his jeans, speaking in a shaky voice. "This, it's like me. Sometimes loses its shine and gets a little black, but... cleans up fine. Remember me," he said, slipping it onto Sam's more slender finger, pushing it down, and holding his hand like he'd never let it go.

Looking down at their hands, Sam's fingers curled tightly around Dean's hand, flexing as he tested the feel of his ring on his ringer.

Pulling his head up and drawing in a shaky breath, Sam smiled through his tears, one falling to make a slow track down his cheek. "I'll never forget you... my human... my mate... forever," Sam told him softly feeling as though his heart were in the tight grip of an octopus tentacle.

Taking a small step forward, Sam leaned in, pressing his lips against Dean's, a choked sob pushing warm breath from between his lips to fan against Dean's and into his mouth. He squeezed his eyes closed, tears falling past long dark lashes. "Sorry," Sam mumbled brokenly, drawing in a shuddering breath, "I'm sorry." It was frustrating to not even be able to kiss correctly due to his breaking heart and the tears that refused to be held back.

Dean pulled him back into his arms, slanted his mouth over Sam's and whispered, "I'll breathe for you." Dipping his tongue inside his mate's mouth, he slowly stroked and explored every comer, memorizing his lover's taste and feel. Hot tears fell, streamed and mixed on their cheeks. He finally pulled away, sniffed, and ran his hand over his face, wiping the fucking tears away.

He breathed through is mouth, his sinuses had gotten stuffed. Lips pressed tightly together, he nodded, and started to help Sam peel his shirt off. Just when he'd gotten him used to clothes...

Sam's eyes never left Dean's the entire time he undressed, trying to remember the way it felt to have Dean touch him, to have his hands slide against his skin one last time as he took his clothes off of him. Standing before his human naked, Sam raised a hand, cupping Dean's cheek, "I know I should go, but I don't want to," he whispered softly, "I'm gonna get us arrested... indecent exposure." He'd seen that on TV a few days ago and it was a threat Dean often used to make him get dressed. "I love you... so much..." his gaze traveled over Dean's features, "always." He gave a curt nod.

Letting his hand slowly fall away from Dean's face, Sam took a step back from him, "I've got your picture too. Right here," Sam told him, as he lifted a hand to place an index finger against his temple. "I'll never forget the way you look, or feel or smell, or taste... you'll always be with me." He nodded as his fisted hand moved to his heart, laying against his chest. Sniffling softly, Sam tore his gaze away to glance toward the water a split second before a sob tore from his throat and he jumped over the side of the boat, disappearing under the waves.

Dean lurched to the side of the boat, calling out hoarsely, "I love you, Sam." Water splashed up into his face, made his eyes sting even more. He blinked it away and stared hard at the gray waters, fingers clenched tight into fists, breath held until he saw Sam jump out of the water, his tail propelling him out, and then diving back under.

Turning away, Dean allowed himself another moment. His throat ached, hot tears dripped to the floor of the boat, then gritting his teeth, he sat straight and started the engine. As he steered the boat around, he threw one last forlorn look at the vast waters that looked more gray than blue, then headed back to shore. His shoulders were hunched, his face a steely mask until he saw the shell and picked it up. His expression changed then. Anyone who'd seen Dean Winchester on the night he'd burned his father's remains would recognize it well.

Dean was alone again. This time, Sam would not be walking at his side once he got to shore. Not now, not ever again.

Chapter Text

Sam had swum away from Dean as fast as he could that cloudy day when he had lost his mate. He had known that if he didn't, he would never leave him, no matter how miserable he'd been in the end, no matter how much he would miss his home. It wouldn't matter how glaringly obvious it was that he was out of place on land, Sam would have stubbornly stayed... and probably made them both miserable in the long run.

It hadn't stopped the mournful cries that had torn from Sam's throat only to echo through the ocean as he swam. The sound calling more sea life to him than Sam could count, all wanting to see what had made their ever joyful friend so terribly sad and heart sick. That night Sam had fallen into an exhausted and troubled sleep with a sperm whale watching over him as he tossed and turned amongst the soft seaweed that made his bed.

Most nights after were no different and although Sam got back into the swing of things or so it seemed, as he played with the dolphins, raced from the sharks and teased the eels, weaving amongst them for the thrill, there was a part of Sam that was forever changed. His smile didn't quite light his eyes the way it used to, there was a certain seriousness about him now that often had him sitting out of games that his dolphin friends tried to get him to participate in. One thing was for sure, no one would be able to accidently capture this Sam... there was never a time he wasn't looking over his shoulder... in hopes that maybe.... somehow.... but that hope never came.

* * *

[Six month later]

Dean had been across the country many times over, killing things. He'd also had to put down two hunters who'd been relentless in chasing him and trying to get him to give up his merman. They'd gotten violent. He'd gotten violent. Things had gotten out of hand, and they'd ended up dead.

He didn't feel a damned thing about it. His heart was as cold as ice. He had nothing to live for, he knew that now. There was no one he wanted to make proud of him. No one he needed to do things for just to see them smile. He did jobs, he worked the weapons market for cash and he drank. He drank a lot. Maybe his liver would give out or he'd meet a big bad that he couldn't handle, or more hunters would band against him and he'd bite it. Well he could fucking dream, couldn't he?

It was two A.M. and he was in Florida. Miami. Party town, right? But all Dean could think of was how close he was to the ocean. The salt air only reminded him of Sam. Goddamit, they'd called the last round of drinks in the seedy bar, and he'd already knocked it back. He couldn't talk the bar tender into another one, so he started to walk out.

A guy he'd been talking to earlier in the night bumped into him. He was younger, with dark hair, light eyes and an inviting smile.

"I'm local, have a place, really interested," the guy said, putting his hand on Dean's arm, giving it a squeeze. "And I got liquor."

Seeing the heat in the guy's eyes, Dean pulled away. "Fuck off, you're not what I need," he said, walking away from him. It wasn't like he hadn't tried. He'd thought it would fill the hole in his heart or just numb him for a while. Sex had always done that, but each time he'd tried to hook up with anyone, it had been Sam's face he'd seen, and worse yet... his voice announcing there was only one mate for each person. He hadn't been able to go through with it. He was tired and done with trying.

A short time later, he unlocked the door of his motel room, kicked away the beer bottles littering the floor and staggered to the bed. Sitting heavily down on it, he pulled his jacket off and tossed it onto the spare bed. Then leaning against the headboard, he grabbed the waiting open bottle of whiskey and started on it even before he had the T.V. on. Hopefully, he'd fall asleep soon. And that he'd be spared the torturous nightmares of Sam in a tank somewhere.

He channel surfed, clumsily dropping the remote once. When he flipped the channel again, the high pitched sounds coming from a whale had him looking, really looking at the screen. Free Willy. No fucking way. He turned the damned thing off, but it was too late. The hunter with the heart of ice felt hot tears coursing down his cheeks. He didn't fight them, they would end, they would dry, and then he'd be set for another month. Only he didn't expect the sudden sobs that shook his body. He hadn't cried like this since... since the day Sam left him.

With nerveless fingers, he put the bottle on the nightstand, then flipped over onto his stomach, muffling the sounds coming from him with the pillow. Tomorrow he'd leave the ocean behind him. Tomorrow he'd keep busy, drive until he was exhausted, and not turn on a T.V. And yet right now, as he squeezed the pillow, he couldn't help thinking of Sam's scent. How he'd felt and tasted. How they'd played.... played. Dean hadn't played anything since his merman left him, not even pool. His hand searched under his pillow, and closed around the smooth round shell, and only then did his sobs start to diminish. Exhausted, he fell into a deep sleep.

* * *

It was another dark, lonely evening and as Sam actually swam closer to his home than he had in years, he thought of her.

Marina, the sea witch. Merfolk feared the sea witch... it was rumored that all who had ever braved the caverns leading to her lair had never returned. Some said that she lived off the flesh of merfolk, that she would eat them alive if they got too close... others claimed she was in league with Hades and that she would simply send a merperson into the depths to be tortured for all eternity. However, there were a small percentage of the Mer population who claimed that even though she was indeed a witch and could be as evil as she used to be beautiful, she was still Mer at her core... and if you could touch that part of her... she would grant you whatever it was that you asked of her, if her magic were able.

Swimming toward the dark dangerous looking caverns that lead downward into the deepest parts of the ocean floor, Sam set is jaw and squared his shoulders. He would risk it, he would see this sea witch and voice a plea for her aid... if he were to be eaten or banished to hades, then so be it... it would be better than living without his mate, his Dean.

Entering the mouth of the caverns, Sam's eyes surveyed the area around him, the bones strewn about the cavern floor the dead seaweed that hung in clusters from the ceiling... watched as different sea creatures closed in ... creatures he had never seen in the ocean. This was indeed either a magical place... or a damned one.

Reaching an area where the cavern opened up into a large chamber, Sam stopped, peering around the corner from where he hid in the shadows and watched the sea witch move about before him, her back to him as she swam around the area, gathering various ugly deadly looking plants into her arms.

"I would think that one such as you, would have better manners than to hide behind walls and spy on a lady in her home," Marina spoke, though she did not turn around.

Sam's lips parted, mouth opening only to close and open again, just like any fish out of water.

The witch turned then, a cruel smile pulling at her pale pink lips, seaweed hanging from her tangled blond locks, "Now you look like a guppy and not at all like one would expect... your highness," She mocked, glowing violet eyes narrowing on him.

"I didn't mean to intrude... I - I need your help," Sam blurted, swallowing hard.

"Oh? You wouldn't come to just visit with the likes of me, isn't that right?" She asked, her chin lifting. "No, the high and mighty only come to me after they've fallen."

Sam opened his mouth, only to close it again as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. "I would, I didn't know..." He cleared his throat. "I need your help, please, Marina," He pleaded. "I didn't fall..." he frowned, "well, I did I guess... I fell... in love." He bit his lip, brow creasing as he pleaded with her with his eyes to have pity, to understand.

"You fell in love... you?" She gave a laugh. "And they said there was no mermaid good enough for you. I suppose you want me to ensorcel her into loving you back," she said, her gaze narrowing. "Love spells. That's what everyone comes to me for these days," she spat. "You see those creatures..." he pointed a long finger at the stone shelf up above both their heads. It was lined with cages. "After getting their love spell, that is what they turned into ... things as twisted as their supposed love. You... you will make a fine addition to that collection," she cackled, her long fingers wiggling in the water. "Unless your love is pure of course..." And they all thought their love was pure. But pure love would never seek to enslave another, thus they were doomed from the moment they requested their love spells.

Tearing his frightened gaze away from the small cages, Sam gave his head a small shake as he looked at her. "No, I don't need a love spell. He loves me and I love him...that's," he sucked his lip into his mouth, "that's not the problem." Sam cleared his throat and squared his shoulders. "He is a human."

"You love a human. A male?" her eyebrows climbed up her brow. It wasn't very often that she was surprised. "Then what is your problem. Do not tell me you haven't already learned you acquire land-legs if you beach yourself." Instinctively she knew he'd discovered this tightly kept secret.

"Well, yes I know that I am a shifter." He gave a nod, "De -" He stopped himself, "Uh, he told me that." He frowned, "The problem is, I don't belong on land and he," he shook his head, "he can't live under the sea. Land is a frightening place and other humans, they wanted to hurt me, to cage me. I -" He licked his lips, a nervous habit he'd picked up on land. "I need you to make him like me, a merman."

"Oh now that's a first," she said, a flare of interest entering her violet eyes. "A human wanting to be a shifter, like us... you. How badly does he want it?" She asked, her expression turning crafty as she started to think of what price she would charge.
"I - he doesn't know. I mean, he wants it, wants to be with me... but he thinks there is no way. He doesn't know of your powers." Sam tossed out the compliment in hopes of gaining a little of her sympathy. "I want this. I want to offer him this. Can you... I mean, can we do it like that?"

She swam-paced away, her skirts made of dead seaweed and strung with shells swirling at her fins as she turned and swam back. "Yes, we can work out a deal. Three things. First, you will kill El Diablo, and bring one of his tentacles to me. Within one sun rising and one sun setting," she added, her lips taking on a cruel twist. "Second, if this man refuses, you will both return and be part of my menagerie." Once again, her gaze moved up to the cages of smaller creatures. "Third, I will have your decision before they go to sleep," she said, pointing at the plants that had started to close up due to the twenty four hour cycle they were on.

Sam's eyes remained fixed on the small caged twisted creatures. He knew in his heart that Dean would say yes, or at least he thought so... but what if he didn't? What if Dean could no more say goodbye to the land than he could the sea? There was no way that Sam could allow that to happen to Dean if his choice was 'no'. Swallowing hard, Sam tore his gaze away from the pathetic creatures to look back at the sea witch. "No," He answered softly. "I will kill El Diablo for you and we shall come to an agreement before they sleep, but Dean will not join your little menagerie if he refuses... but I will." His slightly slanted eyes tightened as he glared at her, "I think that who I am makes me a lot more valuable to you than some puny human, don't you Marina?"

"Oh I'm not disputing our history or your value, not at all. But in your current state, sacrificing yourself, is easy. Him? That is what makes you think twice, what makes you hurt. Hurry, you do not have much time," she said, gesturing at the plants once more. "And when the deal is off the table... you will find yourself in the ocean and unable to find your way back. Ever."

Sam glared at the witch and was about to tell her that the deal was off, to forget it, that he would never do that to Dean, when his gaze caught sight of Dean's ring on his finger and his heart constricted. "Fine," He mumbled, head hanging as he stared at the ring, the fingers of that hand slowly flexing open and closed.

"Hmm? I didn't quite hear you," she said, her gaze locking with his.

He slowly pulled his head up, "I agree to your terms, but I ask him. I want to be there. I want to see him, to explain what I did..." He told her, bowing his head sadly again, "to both of us," he added softly.

"Done," she said, a smirk pulling across her lips. "But you will not tell him the consequence of refusal," she added after the deal was struck. "Now you'd better hurry, you will need every moment you have to face El Diablo. Go!" She put her hand out toward him, fire-like violet light shooting from her fingertips and catapulting him through the waters until he was gone from her sight.

* * *
"Stop..." Dean muttered, batting at phantom raindrops. Goddamit, he didn't want to wake yet. In his dreams, even if he wasn't quite happy, he didn't have to contend with that empty feeling. He was just dead to the world, which was fine with him. It didn't feel like he'd been sleeping long either.

Ice cold droplets struck his neck. "What the fuck?!" He rolled over from his stomach to his back and opened his eyes. As the haze dissolved, he saw a figure standing over him, something with long bedraggled hair and things hanging off it, and water dripping from it. His hand snaked under his pillow, and he was aiming his gun at the thing as he scrambled back from it. It smelled like a fish tank and as Dean's eyes adjusted, he could see the things hanging off its... her hair... were seaweed.

He'd started to squeeze the trigger, to be ready to pull it all the way, when another figure who'd been behind her stepped to the side. Even in the dark, he'd know that tall silhouette anywhere. "Sam?" Yeah... he had to be dreaming.

Sam smiled softly as he stepped around the witch, "Dean," he nodded, going to Dean and sitting down on the side of his bed. His hazel brown eyes searched Dean's face as he raised a hand to cup his cheek. "Great Neptune," he shook his head, "how I've missed you," Sam sighed softly.

"Sam?" Flipping the safety on, Dean dropped the gun to his side and turned the light on, twisting his body around to stare first at Sam, then that thing... then Sam again. He took a deep breath. "Really you?" He asked, unable to believe his eyes, or his sense of touch, or smell... because this man smelled like his lover, made him want to bury his face in Sam's neck. "How... why?" His eyes widened. "Is there a problem?"

Sam smiled, his eyes taking in his love's haggard appearance, the beer bottles strewn about the floor and along the bedside tables. Without answering, Sam leaned down, pressing his lips against Dean's kissing him softly, lingering there for a long moment before he finally pulled his head back. "I..." Sam pulled his gaze away from Dean to look back at the Sea Witch, "I brought someone with me," Sam told him before returning his eyes to Dean's. "She can help us be together," He swallowed hard. "Her name is Marina and she can make you what I am... if that's what you want. Do you want to be with me forever, Dean? My mate?" Sam asked him softly.

"A witch? You brought a witch, here?" Dean's hand went right back to the gun, and he brought it to rest on his knees, giving the strange looking woman a hard stare. "You know I'm a hunter." His gaze darted to Sam, only because he couldn't resist drinking in the sight of him. "And that... what you think she can do for you... usually comes with strings. Bad ones." No, he wasn't going to allow himself to dream Sam's dream.

Sam nodded, "I know, I already paid some of them." He answered softly and cleared his throat before looking back over his shoulder at the witch, hating that he couldn't tell Dean what would happen if he said 'no' and hating himself even more for having agreed. Returning his gaze to Dean Sam nodded, "But she can help us and she swore she will." He reached for Dean's hand, "all you have to do is say 'yes'... please Dean."

A high pitched wailing sound broke from the witch's throat, warning Sam not to say too much.

Dean raised his arm, aiming the gun in the middle of her body. "Step away. I'm gonna talk to Sam. Alone."

"Impossible. It is not permitted. The sun will rise soon, and your time to accept will end," Marina said, pointing her fingers toward the window where the sun could be seen struggling to rise on the horizon.

Giving her a hard stare, Dean reached out and took Sam's hand, closing his around the merman's. "You want me to ... to have a tale, and... eat raw fish, and... talk to whales?" He blinked. "It's not very realistic, Sam. I want to be with you. God I've missed you, you'll never know how much. Can you stay? Visit?" he asked, knowing in his heart the answer would be 'no.' Besides, if they were together another few weeks, how the hell would he give Sam up again? How was he going to give him up now?

Sam shook his head, "No, I can't stay." And neither can you. He nodded, "I want you to have a tail and eat raw fish and swim at my side and talk to dolphins and whales and be my mate and love me for the rest of our lives, yes." His eyes softened, "Please," he begged softly. "Do you love me? Do you want to be with me? Then say 'yes'."

Dean's heart started to beat out of control. He heard the urgency in Sam's, not just need, not just a wish, but something more. Was it fear? He searched his lover's face and noticed some strange marks on his throat. Frowning, he pushed Sam's face to the side, then pushed his shoulder to be able to see his back. A thick, angry mark that started around his throat went all the way around his back, and had suction marks along the middle. "You ah... been stepping out on me with an octopus?" He tried to make light of it, but he was afraid Sam had been injured, maybe even nearly died. He'd bet those marks went lower, beneath the white sheet Sam had wrapped around his waist.

Sam shook his head, "No," he breathed the word softly, tears pricking his eyes, "there's no one for me but you." Turning his head, Sam looked out the window to see the sun breaking over the horizon, fear clutching at his heart and slithered down his spine causing his breaths to come faster, eyes widening. "Answer!" Sam nearly shouted as he returned his attention to Dean, "Say 'yes' Dean, say it! Say it now!"

Indecision gripped Dean for a split second. But what the fucking hell did he have here anyway? Everything he wanted was about to wash back out to sea. "Yes. Yes, Sam, I want to go with you," he nodded, "don't cry... I said 'yes.'" He wiped the corner of Sam's eyes with his thumbs, then pulled him close and kissed him, lightly... like it was the first time.

Sam smiled against Dean's lips as he choked back tears, tears of relief, tears of joy, and tears of reunited love. "I love you," he murmured softly against Dean's lips. "Thank you, thank you so much. You won't regret it, Dean. I swear you won't."

Closing his arms around the merman, Dean pushed out the questioning voices in his head. Since when did a hunter allow a witch to put a spell on him? Wasn't that evil? And going from human to something supernatural, shouldn't that make his skin crawl? But those thoughts and notions had been drilled into him before he'd learned hunters could be bastards, that they could be ruthless in their errors. His dad was an example. Their attempts to collect the bounty on Sam, the way they'd come after him when Sam was gone... that was evil. "I regretted letting you go. I've hated my life ever since. I..."

"Yeah, yeah, it's dawn, let's go," Marina snapped, semi-irked that the hunter had agreed.

"Wait I gotta... I gotta get some stuff," Dean protested.

"You won't need it where you're going. And you'll have land legs, like Sam. You can come back on your time." She disappeared out the front door of the motel, leaving a wet trail behind her.

"She's kinda disgusting," Dean said, grabbing a duffel. He quickly grabbed all his things and stuffed them into the duffel, and ordered Sam to grab some weapons. "Need to put everything into the Impala."

A moment later, they'd thrown everything into the car and talked Marina into letting them drive it to the beach. This gave Dean a chance to park it where it probably wouldn't be towed, and to give Bobby a call to let him know what was going on. After the yelling, he told the older hunter to take the car and his things... keep them safe for him.

On the beach, Dean made a face but held still as the witch said a few words and walked around him. Then she slapped him in the face with a bunch of wet sea weed.

"Sam..." He touched his stinging face. "Is that really necessary?"

Sam looked between the witch and Dean, "I - I don't know."

Marina only smirked as she continued the spell and smacked him again with slimy weeds.

Mouth tightening, Dean was about to complain some more, but suddenly something sucked all of the air out of his lungs. He started heaving, trying to breath, the pain burning in his chest was greater than any wound he'd ever received. He tried to call Sam's name, but no sound came out of his mouth. Then everything went black, and he collapsed.

 

* * *

Lying beside Dean, Sam gazed down into his sleeping face, the fingers of one hand slowly shifting through the short cropped soft strands of his hair. The cavern that Sam used to hide in as a child was still his favorite place to go when he wanted to be alone, it was safe, it was littered with things that were.... him.... and it was where they were now. Only a few nautical miles away from his home of Atlantis.

Turning his head, Sam looked down the length of Dean's body; his strong chest, flat toned abs, down to his tapered hips where his silver-green tail started. A smile pulled at Sam's lips as his heart filled with love and excitement at the knowledge that Dean really was going to be with him forever.

Returning his attention to Dean's face, Sam dipped his head, brushing his lips against Dean's soft pliant ones as he continued to comb his fingers leisurely through his merman's hair.

"Had the weirdest dream," Dean murmured. His voice sounded right in his head, but he heard a high pitched sound like an echo and opened his eyes, expecting to be alone. First he saw Sam's face. Then he saw Sam's hair floating away from his face, as if suspended in water. Then he realized he was in water. Panicking, he kicked the ground, only he never gained purchase on his feet. Gripping Sam, he pointed up, only then realizing that the light around them wasn't electricity, it was something else that glowed. Were they in a tank?

Sam reached for Dean, wrapping his arms around him and pulled him close, "It's okay, you're okay," he soothed. "You can breathe, underwater, you can breathe now, just like me," Sam told him, his eyes slowly leaving Dean's to trail downward over Dean's side, to the gills that moved steadily in and out. Looking back up into Dean's face, Sam smiled softly, "You're like me now, it wasn't a dream. It was real."

His stomach moved in and out... uselessly. Dean looked down and saw the gills at his sides, also moving. His fingers bit into Sam's shoulder as he leaned forward and looked for his legs. They weren't there. Instead, there was a long, silvery tail... just like Sam's. He started to shake. It was like getting your legs amputated. He thought he was gonna go crazy, but then he looked at Sam again, and saw his smile. It gave him hope, and courage. And yes... he'd said yes to this. And he knew if he went out of the water, he'd have his legs again. So...

He put his hand over his gill, then gave a tentative smile. "I can breathe. Swim. Just like you." He tried to move his tail, but ended up curling it around Sam. "I'm not being a naughty fish... I think this thing has a mind of its own." Despite his joking, he never let go of Sam.

Sam's smile widened. "It's okay, you'll learn. The currents tend to move young swimmers around a little." Holding tightly onto Dean, Sam stretched his own tail out. "Kick out hard with your tail, as if you had legs and were kicking away something heavy," he instructed.

Dean pressed his lips together, his tongue darting out and caught between them as he concentrated hard. He managed to unfurl his tail, then on the count of three, whipped it back and forth and would have shot up toward the roof of the cave if Sam hadn't been holding him. "I did it... let go," he scrambled free of Sam and tried it again, only gentler so that he swam a lot slower. Deciding to come back before he drifted too far from Sam, he dove down ward, pushing with his tail.

"Whoa!" He shouted, arms out and grabbing for Sam as he was propelled toward him.

Sam laughed as he reached for Dean, grabbing onto him as he swam up and nearly past him. Wrapping his arms around Dean, Sam leaned in, kissing his lips softly. "You still look good wet," He murmured softly before pulling his head back.

Sliding his hand down Dean's arm, he took Dean's hand in his. "We're not far from where my, our people live... the town... or city, I guess you would call it," Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, "If you wanted to go there... I could take you. There's my sister and my parents..."

"Meet your family? Not before you show me how good I look wet. And not... not before I'm good at this," he said, moving his tail around, and hanging onto Sam. "Do they know?" Right, as if his life was ever that simple.

"Do they know, what? That I found a mate? No, not yet... unless the whales...." Sam smirked.

"Unless the whales what... what whales. Not from that day..." Chuckling, Dean shook his head. "Very funny Sam. So, you don't think they'll have a problem with the 'add on' tail?" He wiggled it, loving the fact that he was quickly gaining control over it.

Sam frowned, "I'll probably get an earful about how I got you here. A lot of merfolk believe that Marina eats merpeople and others think that she is in league with Hades, so... I'm sure they won't be too pleased by that, but you?" He shook his head, "They'll love you just like I do." Sam smiled, "Well, maybe not just like I do."

"Better not love me just like you do. Crap!" His eyes cut to Sam's. "We're gonna have to start all over, aren't we. Oh God, just when we'd gotten it down." Sensing Sam's questioning look, he added, "Sex... we're gonna have to re-learn that." Man it felt weird saying that. "And about Marina, you want to explain to me what happened to your back?"

Sam chuckled at Dean's worries about sex only to sober at his next words and drop his gaze. "I, um," he bit his lip and sighed softly. "Maybe you should relax a little before I start," he suggested.

Sam started to swim, it was a lot like pacing, the way he swam back and forth in the small area. "I went to her and made a deal," his gaze darted over to Dean before dropping once more. "I had to kill El Diablo for her and then there was um, well, if you said 'no', we would have been held prisoner by her for eternity." He cleared his throat, "I tried to get her to only take me, but she wouldn't do it... and I thought that you would say 'yes'... I mean I had hoped you would." He bit his lip, head hanging, "I'm sorry, Dean," he said softly, slowly raising his head, eyes rimmed in red by tears that were unable to be seen in the ocean. "I never wanted you to get hurt or be part of the deal. Please don't be angry with me."

"You fought El Diablo, alone?" Dean shouted. "And what the fuck is an El Diablo?" Dean was next to start swim-pacing. "You don't know how to fight. You're like the most gentle person I've ever met, and you had to... well?" He whipped around and headed for Sam. "Look, forget about the rest, I wanted out... out of my world. Wanted to be with you," he nodded. "But not at the cost of your life."

"El Diablo is a giant squid. He has wrecked boats and killed many, humans and merfolk alike. Marina needed one of his tentacles... I - well, during the fight I went sailing backward into one of the ship wrecks... and there was a sword there, so..." He gave a small shrug of one shoulder. "I'm alright. Marina tended my wounds with healing salves and after I rested..." He sighed softly and shook his head, "And no, I can't forget the rest of it. I made a deal without your say so, one that would have put you in a cage... forever." He swam over to Dean, "I'm so sorry... but I didn't know what else to do. If I didn't agree our one chance would have been gone forever."

"You're right, it was a very bad thing, what you did," Dean tried to keep his face severe. "You have a lot to make up for. A lot. And you can start by showing me the bedroom and..." Brushing his lips against Sam's, Dean grinned, "... everything else I need to know before I make love to you. Missed you so fucking much," he ran his hands up Sam's sides. "Turned my life upside down, you know that? But it wasn't much of a life before you, or after you. So this? It's really okay by me."

Sam had started to hang his head in shame and guilt, only to lift it back up, lips parted, eyes wide as Dean continued on, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "I'll show you anything, everything," Sam told him excitedly, kissing Dean hard and quick. "I'll teach you how to get food, to swim faster than the sharks and eels, I'll teach you to jump and play with the dolphins and whales and we'll make love, morning, noon and night..." Sam paused to stare into Dean's face for a moment before he shook his head, "I don't have a bed.... I mean, I just sleep wherever. The ocean floor, on a whale, in a cavern like this one." He frowned, "Is that - do you want a home? I can get us one, I can get you whatever you want," Sam added urgently. "It's okay, just tell me what it is that you want and I can get it."

Dean's head was spinning. "No... I don't know what I want. Let's try everything, go everywhere, and then decide," he said. "I haven't had a home since... well, forever. So I guess maybe I just need you, and did you say sharks?" Now that wasn't so thrilling. "What are you gonna teach me first?"

Sam nodded, chuckling softly. "Yes, sharks, I swim in and out amongst them," he shrugged a shoulder, "for the thrill... and eels. But, we can do that later. What do you want to learn first? Swimming maybe?" Sam asked him, "It would make everything a little easier on you if you knew what to do with your tail." He smirked, feeling Dean's tail start to curl around him again.

"Huh?" Dean only then realized he was clinging to Sam by his tail, which was very very weird. Clearing his throat, which was also very weird under water, he moved his tail, trying to swim back. Before he succeeded, the tip of his tail brushed up the entire length of Sam's body. "Sorry," he muttered, "I think I got a defective tail."

Sam's grin grew into a laugh before he shook his head and reached out, pulling Dean back over to him. "There is nothing defective about you. You are the hottest merman I've ever seen," Sam added softly, leaning in to kiss Dean's lips softly. "It just takes practice. Most of us have from birth to learn to use these," Sam told him, curling his own tail up toward his chest and then flinging it out to its full length.

That sent both of them sailing backward through the water and put a smile on Dean's lips. He remembered Sam dragging him around that tank at Flesh, how much fun it had been, though he'd been afraid the merman was going to accidentally drown him. Letting go of Sam, he copied his motions, pulling his tail up and unfurling it suddenly. Instantly he cut through the water, backwards and at a high speed. He did it again, and again, and found himself outside the cave, singing out loud, "Born to be wi...ild!"

Throwing his head back and laughing, Sam followed Dean as he tried out his tail for a while then set about teaching him the fine art of swimming merman style. It didn't take long since Dean seemed to pick things up easily, of course Dean's tail kept curling around Sam every time they were close but Sam wondered if it was just Dean allowing than Dean's inability to control it.

"After we eat, we'll chase sharks and really test your skills with swimming and maneuvering with a tail," Sam told Dean with a smirk as he watched Dean swim backward, his arms bent behind his head in a leisurely pose.

"Eat?" Dean lost his concentration and started to sink ass-first toward the floor of the ocean until he came to his senses and kicked his tail to propel himself back to Sam. "That was a dirty trick," he said, glaring at Sam. Faced with Sam's smile though, he couldn't really maintain his frown and ended up laughing and chasing Sam.

As they toured the water world, Dean saw both the expected and unexpected. The strangest thing was that whereas it ought to be dark at the depths they were swimming, he could see clearly and it was almost like looking through colored lenses. The water was various deep shades of blue and almost appeared to glow. Parts of the ocean were just like what you'd see on the discovery channel. Filled with sea life, corrals, shells, and schools of fish, only their colors were far more intense. Then there were pockets of areas, touched by the hands of merfolk, where things were arranged or built. Sam had shown him a ship wreck that looked nothing like a wrecked ship. Merfolk had fixed it up so that it was as shiny and beautiful as the day it had sailed. It was apparently used for special occasions, like festivals to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Dean had also seen a house, one that looked very much like an igloo, only decorated by shells and the like. Sam had told him a me couple lived there, but they were not very friendly, so he preferred not to bother them. Curious, Dean wanted to see them, but Sam said in the city he would see many merfolk.

Taking Dean's hand in his, Sam started to pull him away from the house and the areas they had been scouring. "Come on, I'll take you home. We can eat a good meal tonight," Sam smirked, "one we don't have to catch ourselves." He swam silently beside Dean for a few minutes before looking back over at him. "Atlantis is beautiful," Sam told him with pride, "I think you're going to love it there."

Chapter Text

"Atlantis? You don't mean the Atlantis. Greek city that sank into the ocean," Dean asked.

Sam pressed his lips together, brow furrowing thoughtfully as he nodded, "Yes, that's home. Our God of the sea, Neptune made the people of Atlantis merfolk to save them so that they, we wouldn't die when their, our land, my land sank into the sea."

"You've got to be kidding me. You're not kidding..." Deep in thought, Dean swam alongside Sam. So many stories had been told about Atlantis, "You have any idea how many people are looking or have looked for Atlantis? It's one of those stories that won't die. You know you shouldn't show it to 'just anyone.'" He meant himself for example, at least back when he'd been a bigoted hunter.

Sam shook his head, "We don't. It's well hidden and we never leave the sea." He reached back for Dean's tail that stubbornly continued to curl around him, gently pushing it away so he wouldn't be either pulled into Dean by it or tugged off course. "I didn't know I could have legs," Sam told him, shaking his head, "I don't think any merfolk do."

Wiggling his ass and tail, Dean tried to open more space between them. "If they knew, think a lot of 'em would go on land?"

"No," Sam said with certainty. "We are raised to fear humans. They are a vile and brutal, horrible people." Sam hung his head shyly, "Sorry," he mumbled slowly looking up at Dean. "I didn't mean you," he added, reaching out to take Dean's hand in his.

"We are," Dean agreed with a nod, threading his fingers through Sam's. "Merfolk... no bad guys?" He couldn't imagine that, but then again, Sam ... so pure an innocent... had not belonged in his world. Maybe the rest were in fact like Sam.

Sam shook his head, "We have no weapons and no wars. Anyone who tries to cause trouble is dealt with quickly and severely. They are banished from Atlantis and never allowed to return. Marina was a mermaid once."

"Marina was banished? Well I wouldn't call her one of the 'good guys.' Sure she changed me but she could have gotten you killed. And then she had her cage waiting... that's pretty damned evil, Sam."

Sam nodded, "It's why she was banished. That and she tried to murder me in my crib," he added with a shrug, glancing over at Dean. "Long story."

"Murder you?" Dean started turning around, back the way they came. Though he had no idea where her cave was he was sure it was in the opposite direction of where they were going. "There is no reason to let that bitch live and try again. None, Sammy."

Sam grabbed Dean's arm. "Dean, no!" He shook his head. "She has been dealt with. That's not how we do things here."

"Sam, she tried to kill you. I thought it was just a deal... a witch thing, but it wasn't. What if she tries again, huh?" He pulled his arm away, his features settling into a determined expression. "You know I have to deal with this. Show me where she lives."

Sam shook his head, "No," he told him stubbornly, "she won't hurt me and it was a long time ago. She had her reasons and those reasons were stripped of her when she was banished. It's alright, Dean, please." He reached for his mate's hand again, "We're almost to the city."

"She sent you to El Diablo a day ago, Goddammit." Dean was getting agitated, both because Sam seemed to be so carefree about it, and also because he himself felt a lot more helpless here, under water, in a world he didn't know or understand. Back home, he'd have gotten his weapons, known were to go, taken care of things for Sam.

Sam sighed softly, hanging his head a moment before looking back at Dean, "I could have said no. It was my choice," he shook his head. "She didn't force me. I was free to chose. And the possibility of being with you forever," he gave a nod, "was worth the risk."

"That's not the point. Why is she after you?" Dean sighed even as he was pulled along. "What if she comes after you with a new plan?"

Sam bit his lip so he wouldn't smile sensing his mate's genuine concern. "Come home with me and I think you'll understand," Sam told him softly. "Please," he gripped Dean's hand firmly within his own, "trust me."

Mouth flattening into a thin line, Dean eventually gave a nod. He really wasn't sure about this, but Sam had survived all these years without him and he really didn't have all the facts. "Alright. But if she ever tries anything... anything, then she's fair game. You got that?"

Sam gave a small smile as he nodded, "Fair enough," he agreed, pulling Dean long beside him.

They swam for a while longer, a few homes dotted the ocean floor here and there as they drew closer to Atlantis. Seaweed grew thicker, hanging in almost a curtain before them where the ocean darkened into total blackness.

"My home is through there." Nodding toward the natural seaweed curtain, Sam tugged gently on Dean's hand, "Come on, it's okay, I'll protect you," he teased, smirking as he kicked his tail out and pulled them both into the darkness.

The waters grew colder here and sunlight seemed to not touch the dark waters at all. Strange creatures with glowing eyes swam toward them only to dart away, scurrying off in fear just before the darkness opened up into a world of bright beauty, something like what one would imagine ancient Greece to look like if set in an overly large and expensive aquarium, complete with a large citadel sitting in the center of the town.

When Dean saw the marble buildings with numerous elaborately carved columns, the market place bustling with merfolk buying things at various stalls, and the citadel which seemed to be built on a hill in the center of town, he had to remind himself to keep his mouth from dropping open. "Holy crap, it's real... Atlantis is real," he said, his gaze darting around, trying to learn the secrets of the city.

As they swam, he felt many eyes on them. "I think they know I'm a stranger," Dean said, moving toward the entry of one of the houses he thought Sam was going towards, but swimming back when he realized he was wrong. "It's... it's beautiful," he said, looking at all of the people, smiling or going about their business. "So... you don't like to live here..."

Sam smiled as he shook his head, "No, I don't." He grabbed Dean's hand, pulling him closer, "And they aren't staring at you, they're staring at me," he added in a whisper, smiling wider, dimples showing.

A merman swam up to them, his eyes on Sam. "Your mother and father are awaiting you, sir," He announced with a bow only to have Sam roll his eyes.

"Yeah, I'll be there soon," Sam told the merman before completely ignoring his presence and returning his attention to Dean.

"Is there anything you would like to see before we go visit my family?" Sam asked Dean.

"They're really polite... merfolk," Dean said watching the man swim away. Just as he would have expected, Merfolk seemed to be quite attractive. Maybe fairy tales about them were based on real sightings. The women had long hair, some wearing it loose like a flowing curtain around them, others in braids or in a ponytail held by a decorated cone or cylinder.

"The kids are real cute," he added, glaring at a child that stuck his tongue out, but grinning when his father smacked the back of his head. Unfortunately, while he was laughing, he banged into a damned pillar and cursed up a storm. He looked up and saw no roof or anything. "So what are these random columns that hold nothing up?"

Sam looked over at Dean, then to the pillar that he'd just crashed into. "They were here from before... when Atlantis sank." Sam shrugged, "We lost a lot of structures but saw no need to remove the ones that serve no purpose, they remind us where we came from." He pressed his lips together as he turned his attention toward the citadel, frowning. "Why do you say that Merfolk are... polite?" He asked, returning his gaze to Dean.

"Well you gotta be old or rich to be called 'sir' where I'm from. So... home, let's do it, meet the parents." There was a bit of false bravado in there, Dean was a little nervous. It wasn't very often that he'd been taken home to meet a lover's family, but it looked like it was expected, so he would do it. "Which way?"

Not answering the old or rich comment, Sam sucked his bottom into his mouth and nodded toward the citadel, "That way."

Curling his tail toward his body like Sam had taught him, Dean kicked out and started swimming as fast as he could. He avoided getting close to other Merfolk, but zipped around them, occasionally looking back to see if Sam was following. He knew if Sam really wanted to, he could easily catch him, but it was fun teasing anyway. "Still straight?" he asked, as they entered an area that seemed to have larger homes. "It's kind of weird being able to swim out your second story window, isn't it?"

"Is it?" Sam asked him with a smirk and a small shrug, "Been swimming out my window since puberty hit. And yes, still straight," Sam answered, nodding his head forward. Entering the courtyard of the citadel, Sam frowned at the mermaid and merman who started to lower lengths of colorful sea weed beneath them as Sam and Dean swam up, murmurs of 'He is here' sounding throughout the crowd that was steadily gathering, all of whom were staring, the children pointing.

"Oh for the love of Neptune, could they be any worse?" Sam grumbled under his breath as he rolled his eyes before turning his attention to Dean and reaching for his hand to hold within his own, "Ignore them, I do," Sam mumbled softly.

Dean started to get a strange feeling. Sam hadn't been kidding, they were all staring at Sam. And what was with the beautification of the water under them? He glanced at Sam, then kept swimming. "Whoa... that looks like a palace. What are we doing here? Or do they let anyone in... I mean I'd like a tour, but not right now. You know?"

Sam glanced over at Dean and gave his head a small shake, "No, they don't let just anyone in without either an invitation or having asked to see the King or Queen," he gave a shrug of one shoulder, "Or the Princess..." he sighed softly tearing his gaze away, "or Prince," he added softly. "And they're expecting us."

"They're expecting us. Why?" Dean swam closer to Sam and searched his face. "Do I have to get their stamp of approval... real live newly made merman?" He asked, his tail seeking and curling around Sam's. "Dammit," he cursed as he started to sink until he freed himself of Sam's tail.

Quickly tightening his grip on Dean's hand to keep him from sinking with everyone watching, Sam shook his head, jaw clenching as he glanced forward, "It's not you they want to see. It's me."

"But I'm the new guy," Dean joked until he saw Sam's face. "What's up? Sam?" He moved closer again. "Is there a problem?" As they swam through the large doors, he following Sam's gaze and saw what appeared to be two thrones, a dark haired man with a crown resting on it, and a woman with long blonde hair also wearing a crown. Next to them was another woman, younger, who had dark brown hair and Sam's dimples. And a crown.

"Whoa..." he said for the second time in a short period, whipping his tail in front of him like hitting the brakes. "You have got to be kidding me. Sam?" No way, no way... his merman was not a freaking prince.

Sam sighed, hanging his head even as two mermen swam over to him, with his crown in their hands to place it upon his head. He looked over at Dean once the crown was in place and cringed. "Um, yeah..." he mumbled, "sorry, I guess I should have mentioned that, huh?"

"You're a prince?! A prince ... You've got to be fucking kidding me." Suddenly, Dean felt many pairs of eyes staring at him for his outburst. "Like a Goddamned fairytale? I'm in a kid's book?" He started doubting that this was reality. "I have got to be asleep," he said, wondering if this was another one of his drunken imaginings. If it was... well, he didn't want to go back, even if Sam had turned out to be royalty. "Do I need to bow, or somersault or what," he whispered.

Sam smiled wide, dimples showing. "Um, actually, you should do that jump out of the water somersault like I did with those Orcas that day," He joked, laughing outright at the look Dean shot him.

"Brother!" The young brunette mermaid called as she swam over to him and threw her arms around Sam.

Sam rolled his eyes returning her overzealous hug, "Hello, Sarah."

"Son?" The King called from his throne, drawing both his and his sister's attention as she slowly released her hold on her brother and pulled back.

"Father and mother are excited to see you," She offered softly.

Sam frowned, "Yeah, I'll bet." He didn't sound convinced. Glancing at Dean, Sam swam toward his parents.

"You must be his 'Dean'," Sarah greeted softly, holding her hand out for Dean to kiss the back of.

Taking her hand, Dean shook it. "Hey..." Once his gaze may have lingered on the beauty, but now he turned to watch Sam, not knowing whether to follow or whether he'd be summoned. He wondered why Sam didn't look happy to see his parents. Even if his own father had been a hard man, Dean would kill for the chance to see John Winchester once more.

Sarah frowned as she watched Dean shake her hand. How odd... Clearing her throat delicately, she pulled her hand back and followed his gaze to Sam and their parents.

"Sam has never liked his royal status, he always felt it too confining and longed for 'the freedom of the deep blue sea'." She rolled her eyes after quoting her brother's dramatic words. Reaching out she grabbed Dean's hand, taking it within her own as she started swimming toward the thrones where Sam now knelt before their parents, speaking softly.

"So, I hear that you were once human," Sarah said, her eyes widening as she looked at Dean, "What was that like?" Her tiny nose wrinkled.

Eyes still glued on Sam, Dean answered, "Good food." His stomach was complaining, and he'd refused food earlier. "Is he in trouble?" At least he didn't add the word again, since Sam seemed to be a trouble magnate.

Sarah looked over at her brother and parents. "Trouble? No, not exactly. It's more like..." She sighed, "Sam is the only son, he is to be King one day, or was to be. That role falls to my mate now as Sam has turned down the throne. He is more... in question." She gave a soft giggle. "We really never expected to see him again."

"In question? Oh you mean they're grilling him?" He chuckled then sobered, "I didn't mean in the sense of a fish..." Shit, he was really stepping in it, or flipping his tail in it!

Sarah wrinkled her nose, "Who would grill a fish?" She asked in confusion. "Come on, I'll show you." She swam them faster over to the throne.

"Your mother and I thought you were dead many times over," The king was saying.

Sam nodded mutely.

"Son, we only want what is best for you," The Queen cut in.

"Yes, mother," Sam mumbled.

As Sarah and Dean approached, the King and Queen turned their attention to them. The Queen offering Dean a small soft smile, the King only looking inquisitive before they both returned their attention to Sam.

"Where did you meet the human?" The King asked.

"Dryland," Sam answered softly.

His mother gasped, her hand rising to her chest.

"Dryland!?!" The king bellowed, "Did we not teach you the dangers of dryland!?"

Dean tried to stay quiet, he really did. But seeing as Sam was acting mute, and the silence was getting uncomfortable, he cleared his throat and spoke up. "He didn't walk out of the water, he was caught. Fisherman who ... well, he is different, from humans... So they pulled him out." Not knowing how much Sam wanted them to know of his captivity, he added. "Then we became... friends and I, we hung out until Sam's injured arm got better and he could come back to you... to the sea."
The King eyed his son, "The sea," he gave a nod, "not to us."

Sam slowly raised his head, "It was an accident that I was on land. Dean saved me and we fell in love. I returned home so that you could see I've found a mate, that I am happy."

"And how did this human come to be a merman?" His father asked, already knowing the answer.

Sam hung his head again, "Marina," he said softly.

Sarah quickly went to their mother suggesting that they go for a swim, that she wanted to see the new additions to the citadel’s chambers.

The king waited until his wife and daughter had left the room before continuing to question his son. "You turn your back on the throne, claiming to be a free spirit and needing the open sea before you, you go onto dry land," he held up a hand when Sam would have interjected to remind him it was not his fault. "And then once you find this human, you go to the sea witch, to Marina, the very woman who wanted you dead on the day of your birth and ask her to make it so. The woman who tried to kill your mother due to my choosing her as my mate and not Marina." He gave a nod and huffed softly shaking his head, "I am... disappointed in you, Samuel."

Dean had seen that look often in his own father's eyes. He knew firsthand what it could feel like to be on the receiving end of those words. "He took a risk, a dangerous one," Dean said, nodding. He'd already reamed Sam out for dealing with Marina. "He told me Merfolk choose one mate, for keeps. He chose me, and that meant he had to be alone for the rest of his life or find a way for us to be together. If what he went through... being alone... was anything like what I went through, it was worth the risk. I'd have done the same," he said, forcing out the admission of his feelings, for the sake of his lover.

The King looked from Dean back to his son and sighed. "You are well?" He asked Sam softly.

Sam slowly nodded, "I am," He answered, reaching for Dean's hand.

The King nodded, "Then we will feast and celebrate the return of my son... even if it is but for a night or two."

* * *

The room was large, as big as many of the houses Dean had stayed in during his lifetime. A grand bed sat in the center surrounded by a seaweed curtain. Laced through the seaweed that made up the curtains were colorful shells. The room's windows were large and of course there was no glass, nothing to separate the ocean outside from that inside the room. A small table and chairs that seemed to be as ancient as Atlantis itself sat to one corner of the area, trimmed in gold and ivory.

The 'mattress' was nothing more than piles of soft seaweed gathered and laced together with fine gold thread making it a whole piece which sat upon the larger marble and ivory bed. The room was indeed fit for a King... or at least a Prince.

Dean swam around the room, over the bed, pushing the curtains aside and then to the window. "Wow... hanging out in cabins and motel rooms with me would have sucked, if you'd stayed on land," Dean said, turning, and grabbing the shutter on the window to steady himself. "So what do I call you? Prince Sam? Princess?" He saw the fire in Sam's eyes and grinned, swimming backwards across the room. "Royal pain in the ass?"

Sam huffed as he swam in place watching Dean, "How about just 'Sam'. It's who I am, it’s all that I am, just... Sam."

"Too much 'kid network,'" Dean answered, still backing away. "Your crown's slipping, highness." His back hit the pillar of the four post bed, and he quickly swam around it, zipping once again toward the window.

"Kid network? What do you mean too much Kid network?" Sam asked, watching Dean swim and snickering at his clumsiness.

"T.V., you know, television? You sounded just like Dr. Seuss, you know... I am Sam, Sam I am, That Sam-I-am, That Sam-I-am!" At the blank look, Dean shrugged. "Okay, what are you doing, your majesty?" Lips quirking into a smile, Dean put a hand on one of the bed posts and swung himself around, eyes glued to Sam.

Sam smiled as he watched Dean. "Watching the sexiest merman I know swing on my bed?" He shrugged a shoulder before swimming over to Dean and grabbing him, wrapping his arms around him. "There are many better things to do in my bed." Sam told him softly, hazel brown eyes intent on jade.

"Yeah?" Just like that, Dean's tail curled tightly around Sam's. "I was wondering how that's gonna work. I mean with the floating? He wasn't just asking out of curiosity, he wanted Sam... wanted to make love to him. It had been so fucking long. "You're the expert here..." he whispered, leaning in even more.
Sam blinked, eyes widening as he pulled his head back to look into Dean's face. "I am?" Sam asked him. "Maybe we better go ask my sister then."

"Your sister? Ask her how to have sex? No fucking way." The thought was too ridiculous, and he'd seen the laughter in Sarah's eyes... all they needed to do was give her something to hold over their heads for the rest of their lives. "Kiss me. Been so long, want to feel your tongue in my mouth, want to be inside you," he said, his voice roughening as he pulled Sam closer and ran his hand down his back, and his ass, trying to discretely search for access.

Sam started to lean in, lips against Dean's, only to start to snicker, lowering his head as he laughed before they could kiss. "You're tickling me," Sam whined, wiggling in Dean's arms.

Reaching back, Sam caught Dean's hand in his, pressing it flat against his ass, stilling his search and leaned in, parting his lips as they brushed against Dean's lips. He licked his way into Dean's mouth, sliding his tongue along the roof and tangling it with Dean's own, low moans sounding deep in his throat.

Tickling? That wasn't what Dean had been going for, but once the kissing started he forgot all about that. Dragging Sam's body up hard against his, Dean twisted his tongue around Sam's, chasing it and being chased, when he realized Sam's body had slid past him. Gripping the merman's hips, he dragged him back. This time they started sinking, which was fine with him, he wanted to be on the bed.

When he pushed Sam back, his lover lay down on the seaweed. Dean followed to straddle him, then cursed when he realized that a tail would not allow for that. He looked down below his belly button at the smooth silvery skin, then down at Sam's groin area, then met his gaze. "There's no zipper."

Sam smirked softly as he shook his head, reaching to cup the back of Dean's head and pull him down. "No buttons or drawstrings either..." his lips quirked at the corners, "we're naked." He breathed softly against Dean's lips before opening his own in invitation, eyes slowly sliding closed.

"Yeah but..." Unable to resist the invitation, Dean slanted his mouth over Sam's and pushed his tongue past his parted lips. The instant his tongue stroked Sam's, a soft moan broke from him. He wanted more, so much more than this. Cupping the back of Sam's head, he deepened the kiss, and managed to bring his hips down so his body grazed Sam's. After a while, he found that more frustrating than satisfying. Sliding his hand between their bodies, he found that there was still no sign of his dick or Sam's. "How do I get it up?"

The instant those words left his lips, he made a face. God... had he just said that? No way.

Sam bit the inside of his cheek so he wouldn't laugh as he pressed his lips tightly together. "Well, first off, stop trying so hard. Second, relax, and third," his tail wrapped more snugly around Dean's as he rolled them and started to move, rutting up against Dean, swimming backward and forward against him, small grunts and moans tearing from Sam's throat, his cock hardening. "Move," Sam panted softly, head dipping to press his face against the side of Dean's throat.

Holding onto Sam, Dean did as he asked, trying his best to control his movements so he brushed up against Sam. If it weren't for the sexy sounds that Sam was making, and the way his mouth was slipping against Dean's throat, Dean might have given up and said they should swim to the surface to have sex. But Sam's sounds affected him now as they always had. It felt like he was getting hard, but was it internal? He lifted his hips harder, needing, wanting to be able to do this. "Oh God Sam... I don't know..." he said, "I need you ... but I don't know... this is torture."

Pulling an arm from around Dean, Sam reached down between them, wrapping one large hand around Dean's now very present cock, stroking his length. "I gotcha this time," Sam panted against Dean's neck, "s'okay... this part I know..."

A big grin split Deans' face. A part of him had been afraid the sea witch might have made a mistake and given him nonworking parts or something. "Yeah... good... fuck yeah," he started to relax, enjoying Sam squeezed and stroked him, just the way he liked. Running his hand over Sam's ass, he moved it under his body, and closed his own fist around Sam's cock. Eyes closed, he imagined Sam in the tank, jerking off for him... that time they'd done it in front of each other. Suddenly he was hot all over, and rolling Sam onto his back as he more aggressively started to fuck his fist. "Need you," he said, pushing Sam's hand out of the way and fucking against him. He had to use a hand to keep their cock aligned, but each time he managed to push against Sam, he was rewarded with intense sensations that kept him going.

Sam panted as he looked up at Dean, nodding. "Yeah, want you, need you," he agreed swallowing hard.

Reaching between them, Sam pushed Dean's hand away. "Wait..." Sam told him, immediately curling his tail up to his chest afterward, the flipper of his tail dangling behind his head as he offered Dean his ass, reaching for him. "Okay," he panted breathlessly.

Dean had a clear view of Sam's ass now and was relieved it was no longer hidden behind the veil of the silver green tail. He'd been about to turn Sam over, but now that his cock brushed against Sam's ass, he knew what he really wanted was to take him like this. To watch his face as he came apart.

Lube. Right, with all this water, that wouldn't be possible. Dipping his head down, he licked his way up Sam's crack, pulsing his tongue against his opening. Remembering how much Sam liked a little tongue attention, he started to push his tongue inside Sam. As he worked his mouth and tongue over him, he suddenly felt them floating upward. "Dammit..."

Sam arched his back, pressing against Dean's mouth, his tongue. Small high pitched sounds of pleasure tearing from his throat, eyes closed as he writhed. It was only due to Dean's curse that Sam's eyes popped open wide. "What is it? What's wrong?" Sam asked breathlessly, unfazed by the fact that they were floating upward toward the high ceiling.

"Bed, down there. We're... up here." Dean tried to maneuver his tail in the water so that he was driving them back down toward the bed of seaweed. "You know, I might just be able to get into bondage down here."

Sam's eyes widened, "Bondage?" He swallowed and turned, tail sliding out from over his head to propel them as they rolled and quickly swam them back down to the bed of seaweed, then rolled back over, lifting his tail as he reached for the seaweed with one hand holding a clump of it tightly in a fisted hand. "Better?"

Bubbles left from Dean's nostrils as he breathed out in a way that was totally unnecessary but indicated his frustration. He looked down at Sam, saw he was parallel to the bed and wasn't lifting up, and gave a nod, "Maybe."

Swimming harder, pushing his body down and wrapping his arms around Sam, he aligned his cock to Sam's hole again, he lowered his head and slanted his mouth across Sam's. As they kissed, he bucked and wriggled his hips, a soft moan escaping him as he pushed his tip just past Sam's tight ring of muscle and remembered how it felt to be inside his lover, how perfect.

Sam's free hand rose to wrap around Dean, digits sliding through and tangling in the short strands of his hair, a low deep moan tearing from his throat as he bucked back against Dean's, the fins of his tail slapping against the seaweed curtain around the bed, breaths panting into Dean's mouth as he pushed his way deeper inside. Sam's neck arched back, hips bucking as he strained and groaned, shrill high pitched sounds breaking from his throat.

He could understand the sounds Sam made now, recognize them for what they were... dirty talk, meant to enflame him, and to encourage him. A thrill went through Dean's body as he was able to answer in kind, "I am inside you baby, gonna fuck you... gonna fuck you so hard," he promised, thrusting his hips harder and groaning as he buried himself to the hilt. "So tight... you're so fucking tight," he said, shuddering with pleasure as Sam clenched around him.

Sam's gills moved faster, working harder with his panted breaths as he gripped Dean, forgetting to hold onto the seaweed cushion, both arms wrapped around his merman as he lowered his head, lifting it so his face was buried against Dean's neck, teeth scraping against sensitive flesh before sucking the skin into his mouth, small whimpered high pitched cries tearing from his throat. Cries telling Dean how good it felt, how full, to fuck him harder, not to stop.

"Not stopping... never stopping," Dean promised, white hot heat inching through his system as he got used to this and was able to set a pace, fucking harder, concentrating on brushing against Sam's prostate with every stroke. He felt his lover squeeze around him in strange, wave-like motions, something new... something that had Dean grunting from pleasure. He sought out Sam's mouth again, crushing his lips, teeth clanking together as he kissed him hard, weaving his tongue in and out of his mouth, showing how much he'd needed him, wanted him all the time he was gone. This was what he'd waited for, what he'd thought he'd never again have.

Soft whimpered sighs broke from Sam's throat as he returned the kisses with as much gusto, as much need and hunger as Dean, hands sliding over Dean's back and up into his hair, only to slide down again, fingertips digging hard into Dean's flesh, clinging to him, pressing him closer, low moans and groans spilling from his lips.

As the kiss started to end, Sam's eyes opened, just in time to see the window ledge above them, they were floating again, directly out the window. Releasing Dean quickly with one arm, Sam reached up, catching the edge of the sill, fingertips turning white against it as he fought to hold them inside, muscles tensing with his efforts, teeth clenched. "Dean..." his name tore from deep in Sam's throat.

"Sam!" Dean answered, his balls drawing up tight against his body, the need for release riding him like a bitch. "Now baby, now!" He shouted, gripping Sam's shoulder with one hand, bringing his body down harder against Sam's so he could feel his lover's hard cock trapped between them. "Now!" He repeated, snapping his hips forward and burying himself to the balls and groaning as he started to come hard deep inside Sam.

Sam's neck arched back, lips parting on a high pitched cry of pleasure, forgotten was the fact that they were floating out the window as he pulling his hand down, wrapping both arms tightly around Dean, body undulating under his lover, making his cock slide between their bodies, hips bucking and pressing back against Dean's cock in his ass. "Uaagh! Uaagh! Dean!" Sam cried out, muscles tightening, back arching, balls drawing up tightly to his body. With another small thrust, the first ribbon of spunk shot from his cock, smearing between them only to be quickly washed away by sea water, followed by more sprays of cum tinting the water around them with a cloudy haze as they floated out into the court yard.

It was as Sam was slowly winding down from his orgasm, gills working overtime with his panted breaths that the first clapping of hands began, only to grow in number and volume until every merperson who had been in the courtyard was now looking over at Sam and Dean and offering them a round of applause.

At some point, Sam's crown had apparently fallen off his head since a young slip of a girl swam shyly over to them, offering Sam his crown, her cheeks staining a deep scarlet as her large eyes flickered to Dean only to quickly lower.

It had taken all of Dean's concentration to keep his tail moving a certain way to keep them floating so the clapping took him by complete surprise. "What the..." Head jerking up, his gaze briefly met the young mermaid's before she looked away, but stayed only a foot away from them, holding out Sam's crown. Seeing as Sam wasn't doing anything, Dean snatched the crown from her and practically slammed it onto Sam's head. "Don't pull away, they just saw me bare assed, I don't need them seeing me in my full glory... especially when I'm only half mast," he grit out, moving his tail, but having no idea how to propel them backwards. "Dammit... need to go backwards!"

As the crown was placed rather roughly back on his head, Sam frowned at Dean. Sure, this was embarrassing, but it wasn't his fault, it wasn't like he'd planned it. "My tail is up over my head," Sam whispered back, eyes darting from one merperson to the next though he spoke to Dean, "I'm not exactly liking this position at the moment either." He glanced over Dean's shoulder toward the citadel window then back at his face. "I could get us back there, but I have to lower my tail to do that... which means half mast or not, you're going to have to pull out."

Nostrils flaring, Dean stared back at all the eyes staring at them, "I take it back, what I said about Merfolk being polite. Can't you order them to turn away? You're the prince!"

Sam pressed his lips together, frowning, "Well, technically they aren't doing anything 'wrong'... and they're happy for me, so... not really, no."

"So you don't mind them seeing me... us..." Then he remembered they were in the ocean now, and it wasn't as if the animals in the ocean mated in private necessarily. "Okay, but don't move away... too much." Slowly, he started to pull out of Sam, and felt them start to sink. Almost immediately, there was a surge in the crowd, moving toward them. "No, no... stay back... we're good," he shouted, panicked. When a few continued toward them, he shouted again, "Space!"

Sam quickly unfurled his tail with force, his arms around Dean tightening, sending them both upward and out of the courtyard. Loud applause accompanied what had truly not been him showing off but rather his attempt to get them the hell out of there.

Still clinging tightly to Dean, sometime later, as they neared the surface of the water, Sam only slowed the speed of his tail when they were about to break the surface, not wanting to turn this into a jumping flip move, only trying to take Dean away from prying eyes. As they surfaced, Sam slowly loosened his grip on Dean, his hair plastered in disarray about his head as he pulled back slightly to look into Dean's face. "Um, so how angry are you?" Sam asked cautiously.

"I don't know, Sam, I may be forever emotionally scarred. Next time we're fucking, I'll be expecting clapping." He blew out a breath, and put his head back, chin raised up and he could see the blue sky. Feeling the sun on him, he smiled. This felt more normal.

Sam slowly shook his head, reaching up with one hand to cup the side of Dean's face, "No, next time we'll be well away from here, from the others," he offered a small smile, "we'll be in my world, where we're alone and free from having others around to dictate to us, or watch us..." his gaze dropped momentarily, "or clap." His eyes met Dean's again. "I love you and I'm sorry... about them."

Seeing the worry in Sam's expression, Dean kicked with his tail and was practically on top of Sam, arms around him. "We'll figure it out, how to... you know float and fuck, and not need to be on the bed, and not shoot forward when we're... shooting our loads," he chuckled. "Don't worry so much, hmm? And I don't think the answer is to get away from your family." He waited a beat, "I... I kind of like having people to interact with. Just... not people clapping and watching and smiling at everything all the time, you know?"

Sam gave a small nod, eyes lowering, "But that's how it is," his gaze rose to Dean's face, "here, with my family." He gave a small shrug, "I'm a prince. People, they... they want to know about everything I do. They want to like what I like, just because it's me." He frowned, "It's a big reason why I left. I hate that kind of attention... that kind of pressure. I'm not special, Dean. I'm just me," he answered softly, sucking his own bottom lip into his mouth nervously.

"Wrong about that. You're special... special to me," Dean said kissing him a little too hard, so they both sank a under the surface. Correcting by flipping his tail to the side, he came up laughing, and released Sam. "Maybe if they saw a little more of you, it might be different. Or instead of living at the palace, citadel, whatever, you lived somewhere else but came into the city."

Sam's laughter slowly eased into a teasing grin, "Are you asking me to make a house with you Dean Winchester?" He asked, giving a fake gasp of shock at the idea.

Dean was taken aback for a moment, but then he grinned, "I guess I am Sam, that's what I'm asking you," he nodded. "That's my ring on your finger. These lips..." he moved in and pressed his lips against Sam’s, "only for me to kiss. This," he went horizontal, holding onto Sam's shoulder and bumping his groin area against Sam's, his tail instantly wrapping around his lover. "... mine, only." His voice was husky, huskier than usual, and maybe it was partly because his vocal chords were changing.

Sam's teasing smile slowly slid away as he gazed into his merman's, no his human's face. He bumped his groin gently against Dean's, "Only yours, only mine," he answered softly before leaning in to press his lips against Dean's, tongue darting out to lick across his bottom lip, "only mine too." He smiled and reached up, pulling the crown from his head, "I don't have a ring to give you right now, but," he placed his crown on Dean's head, "be my prince."

One part of Dean was sure he had seen some sappy children's movie just like this. Another part, one he didn't know lived within his hardened hunter's heart, surged with pure happiness, the kind he hadn't felt since... well until meeting Sam, actually. "I'd make an awful prince, but if you're asking... yeah, I'll be your everything, anything you want Sam," he said, leaning in, eyes closing, waiting to be kissed. When nothing happened, he opened one eye first, then the other, "This is the part where the guy who gives his crown kisses the other guy..."

Sam's lips quirked slightly, "Nah, that's only in kids cartoon romance stories." Though he leaned in and kissed Dean anyway. "This is the part where the merman teaches his human how to do leaps," Sam told him, quickly gripping Dean tight and diving under the water, swimming fast downward, only to turn and swim just as fast toward the surface, breaking the water and spinning with Dean in his arms, body slapping down hard back into the water, the loud splash raining water down on the surface.

"Whoaaaa!" Dean shouted all the way up, and all the way back down in the water, gripping Sam tight. Despite his shout, a certain thrill ran through him. His tail seemed to emulate Sam's, his body learning to twist and turn. They repeatedly raced back up to the surface together, and dove through the air until he 'got it.' Detangling himself from Sam, he swam back, "Watch."

At first he was clumsy, sometimes hitting the water with his stomach when he intended to dive head first. Then Sam started to show him again, and Dean followed, racing after him, emulating him, his own shrill cries of success surprising him. Fun. This was pure fun. And how long had it been since he did anything just for the hell of it? Other than T.V. or before he'd met Sam, sex?

After diving and jumping, playing and somersaulting through the water with Dean for a few hours, Sam grabbed at him, pulling Dean to him and kissed him soundly, "Tomorrow I'll teach you how to helicopter your tail when you jump." Sam waggled his brows and laughed, "Well, I'll try to teach you, I'm not even very good at it, the dolphins I was with the day that I was..." his words trailed off a small frown tugging at his lips before he pushed the feelings away, "I was learning before I met you." Sam corrected, smiling again.

He knew that day would forever be emblazoned on Sam's memories. But sometimes bad memories were good, they made you more cautious. They'd both have to be cautious. "Sounds good Sammy." Leaning in, he kissed him lightly. "Now let's see if I have this sonar thing right... I'll lead us back, starving." He touched his too empty stomach and, before diving down, returned the crown to Sam's head. He had no idea how it, for the most part, stayed put with all that jumping, but it did.

"Hold onto me," he said, feeling Sam's hands go to his hips immediately, and they parallel dove down, with him leading the way, and getting some minor course corrections from Sam.

* * *

The feast was held in the grand ballroom on the first floor of the citadel and everyone was invited to celebrate the return of the Crown Prince of Atlantis.

Rows of tables we set with the Royal Family at the head, to the Queen's side sat Sam's sister Sarah and her family and beside the King sat Sam and Dean, overlooking everyone else.

When Sam had entered of course there had been cheers and young mermaids had swum up to offer him shell necklaces and small trinkets and to get hugs from their handsome prince, though Sam had shoved Dean into the arms of some of the - if he was going to play Prince, Dean was going to do his part too.

The meal was served in four courses, they were on the second now as entertainment was started and Sam reached over to take Dean's hand in his. "This might be too much for you," he teased, holding his free hand up to shield Dean's eyes from being able to see some of the mermaids dance, their bodies undulating with the tide of the water.

"Hey... it's helping me digest," Dean said. He'd had to break down and eat some of the raw offerings. At least having sushi with Sam back in Oregon had helped him get used to the thought. "Sam... maybe I wouldn't be watching if you danced for me." The thought of Sam dancing when he had legs would have him laughing, but with his tail, he could see it being sexy and graceful. He pulled his head back, away from Sam's hand covering his eyes. "Just... we'll need to make sure our shutters are barred so no accidents..."

Sam looked at Dean for a long moment before his eyes darted toward the dancers and back, "You want me to dance for you, huh?" He asked, quirking a brow, a smirk pulling at his lips. "At home.... not here.... I just want to be sure I'm understanding, cause you know, I wouldn't want to maybe," he pulled from his chair, swimming and dancing slowly, body undulating, "do this now if you would rather I didn't."

Dean's gaze slipped down Sam's muscular chest, to his hips, then back, almost mesmerized by the sight that reminded him of how they moved against each other when they had sex. Lips parted, he licked them, still watching Sam with longing in his eyes. When he felt heat pooling low in his belly, he snapped out of it, reached out and grabbed Sam's arm, dragging him back. "Keep it up and we'll really be giving them something to talk about," he said a little panicked, knowing Sam knew what he was doing to him.

Sam laughed, head tilting back. Pulling his head up, Sam smiled wide at Dean, his dimples showing. "What?" He asked innocently, moving slowly against Dean's back, rubbing against him. "I'm just dancing."

A group of little girls nearby giggled, covering their mouths as they watched them.

"Just dancing... you're getting me horny," Dean hissed, but didn't shove Sam away, not when his body was pulsing with desire from the way Sam was rubbing up against him, not when he wanted to pull Sam down over his lap. Not when he realized this was another way they could have sex ... if he pushed the chair in so their tails were under the table, they wouldn't float away. He cleared his throat. "Your dad's watching. And your niece and nephew." That didn't stop Dean from sliding his hand along Sam's side, fingers pressing into the sensitive spot right under his ribs, where he knew Sam liked to be kissed and licked.
Sam gasped out a breath, arching against Dean, hips swaying, rubbing, nearly making himself rut against Dean. "Let them watch," Sam whispered thickly, "they've seen mating before."

Despite being surrounded by water, Dean's mouth went dry. "Here... dinner table. Ah... Sam..." he was trying to fight the attraction between them and only sheer panic at public sex saved him from succumbing completely. "I can't... need privacy," he whispered against Sam's ear, seeing very clearly just how many eyes were feasting on them. "People are staring." When Sam's mother turned towards them, Dean finally peeled Sam off him and patted the chair next to him. "Be a good merman and I'll take you to bed soon. Promise."

Sam couldn't help chuckling as he retook his seat beside Dean, reaching over to grab his hand. "You're shy," Sam nodded, lips pressed together, "that's cute." He nodded, reaching with his free hand for more fish. "Need to get over that though for the public sexing we have to do in order to be made official," Sam told him, voice serious as he winked and quickly looked away to hide the fact that he was biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing.

"What?! Sam?" Dean gave a fake grin to the people staring at him, then leaned over toward Sam. "What are you talking about, public sexing? And we sort of did that already earlier today. Are you kidding?" He was half worried. "Sam?" Now, he was really worried. Sure he'd had lap dances in public, but not in the nude, which was what seemed to happen when merfolk got horny and their tails shifted in a way that showed off their privates.

Sam couldn't hold it in any longer and threw back his head laughing, gaining both his Mother's and Father's attention. "Did we miss something?" His mother asked, her hazel gaze darting between Sam and Dean.

"Oh yes, brother, do share," Sarah coaxed, a teasing light in her eyes.

"No! Don't share... oh." Dean sat back, using his hand on the table to force himself to sit straight. "It was... private," he said eventually. "Private joke. It wouldn't be funny to anyone else," he added, trying to kick Sam under the table and then being reminded he didn't have legs.

Sam snickered, shaking his head. "It was nothing," he waved a dismissive hand at his sister and mother. "Sorry." He fought to stifle his laughter at Dean's expense.

A little girl swam over to the royal table, a necklace of shells she had pieced together herself in her hands. Shyly she handed it to Sam, a soft blush staining her cheeks.

Smiling, Sam took the present and placed it round his neck before reaching for her and pulling her up onto his lap. Taking his crown from his head he placed it on her's only to watch the thing fall over her head to sit around her neck like a necklace drawing laughter from all the merfolk nearby.

Kissing her cheek as he removed his crown, Sam helped her up from his lap and thanked her for her necklace.

Returning his attention to Dean, Sam smiled. "They're a lot easier to deal with when they're only seahorses," he told him matter-of-factly. Seeing the confused look on his lovers face, Sam went on, "It's what we start out as.... sea horses." He gave a soft whiney and waited for Dean's reaction, then burst out laughing again.

"Like tadpoles." Dean gave Sam a long look, not getting whether the merman was laughing at his lack of knowledge or was joking. Clearly he was going to have to do his own research about merfolk life, or his lover was going to make his life miserable. When there was no answer, he decided not to ask, but the light in Sam's sister's eyes hinted that Sam must be kidding... well, so he thought but was still unsure.

Now that she'd caught his eyes, Sarah started to talk to Dean. It was a little like an interview, but in a short time, he had her laughing, which he hoped was a good sign. Sam's dad still hadn't warmed up much, and his mom did keep watching him, but she at least smiled when he said something amusing to Sarah. Sarah's mate was watching him too, and since Dean had no designs on her, he hoped what he was getting wasn't some sort of territorial look.

Leaning toward Dean, Sam nuzzled the back of his neck as Dean spoke to his sister, slowly making his way around to Dean's ear, tongue darting out to lick around the shell, a soft moan tearing from Sam's throat. "Sam like Dean wet," Sam murmured softly, using broken sentences like he use to when he was first on land.

Dean's breath caught, his gills stopping until he realized what he was doing and made them start up again. "I'm always wet now," he answered. "What are you..."

"So are you two going to stay here, at the Citadel?" Sarah asked.

"Ah... we haven't..." Dean trailed off as Sam's nuzzling was getting to him. He put his hand up between them, trying to stop him, afraid Sam was about to take them too far in company. Unless he came up with some sort of loin cloth, Dean didn't know how he would ever get used to being touched in public with the possibility of his groin and ass suddenly becoming visible to all.

"No," Sam answered as he lifted his head, his hand sliding down Dean's side under the table, thumb playing over the area where his cock would emerge. "Dean wants us to get a little house of our own.... he's shy and public mating embarrasses him."

Sarah nodded sagely, "Oh, I see..."

Sarah's mate, Chris looked over frowning. "How can that be? Sarah just 'Saaammed' me just yesterday." He grinned hugging her to his side. "Whales talk." He told Dean with a wink. "They're horrible gossips."

"She 'Saaammed' you?" Confused, Dean turned to Sam to ask the question, then remembered. He'd been on the other end of a blow job in the water, when the whales had seen and heard him call out Sam's name. "Sam does he mean... oh my God, I think I'm losing my mind." This time, his hand slapped over Sam's under the table, trying not to lift his hips and get some pressure going.

Sam chuckled, leaning in so that his mouth was near Dean's ear. "It means every merfolk in Atlantis will be calling getting a blow job from atop a whale's belly, being 'Saaammed', yes... and they will all look to you as the one who invented it," He told him, grinning wide, dimples showing. His hand under the table only stopping it's teasing movements for a moment before starting again with more force, pressing and stroking the area.

Seeing Sam's mom nodding toward them, Dean raised one hand over his mouth, "I think I'm gonna throw up." Then Sam was touching him again, coaxing his cock to make an appearance. "Sam!" He said in a strained voice, pleading with his lover. "We'll be stuck at the table all night if you do that. I am not kidding you... I will stay here."

Sam smirked and leaned closed to Dean, "No you won't... not knowing I am in our room waiting for you..." Sam rasped, his lips sliding slowly along the side of Dean's throat before sucking at the sensitive skin, a low soft moan sounding deep in his throat.
"Sam... Sam! Space," he hissed, leaning away and giving the Queen his best innocent smile though he wouldn't be surprised if anyone said it was more of a pained smile.

Sam chuckled as he lifted his head and looked at Dean, "Now you know how I felt with the dog," he said with a nod, "I didn't do anything then either," he pointed out with a nod before leaning back in and scraping his teeth against Dean's throat.

"Mmmm, Dean fuck Sam," he murmured huskily, using the same inflections he used back when he had first met Dean.

Chapter Text

The suggestion lanced right through Dean's thoughts, making him stammer as he tried to answer someone else's question. Absolute need spiraled through him, pooling low in his belly. His hand was still over Sam's, but he shifted it, pulling Sam's hand upwards, over his now present and painfully erect cock. Suddenly, there was no one else at the table, only Sam. Dean put his other hand behind Sam's head and pulled him close, giving him a heated kiss, putting all of his desire into it. By the time he pulled his tongue out of Sam's mouth, his heart was beating hard against his chest and his entire body was demanding exactly what Sam had asked him for. "Want it. I want it too, but what about all these people?" On dry land, he wouldn't have thought twice, he'd have dragged Sam away and fucked him somewhere... in the car, in an alley, anywhere. But now, he was trying to make a good impression on Sam's parents for Chrissakes, and he didn't want to flash either his ass or his cock at them.

Sam smirked wickedly as his hand encircled Dean's erect cock, slowly stroking him under the table, "Be... nonchalant," Sam suggested with a twinkle in his eyes as he pulled from his chair, half sitting in Dean's lap as he stroked him. He dipped his head, trailing nip-kisses along Dean's collarbone.

"Your parents," Dean managed through gritted teeth, a low moan erupting when Sam stroked him just right. "Your sister. They're gonna find some other name for this... God." He wanted to stop Sam, he should stop him, but instead he found himself lifting his hips and fucking Sam's fist. "I thought it was eels that go in heat, dammit."

Sam slid his body down under the table over Dean's, his tail curling around Dean's body, fins up, shielding what he was doing from prying eyes. He ran his mouth, lips parted, breaths panting out hotly, up the side of Dean's neck to his face, slanting his mouth over Dean with a low deep groan. His tongue darted into his merman's, no human's mouth, sliding alongside Dean's, flicking at the roof of Dean's mouth with the tip. His hand continuing to pump his mate's dick mercilessly.

The dancers cleared out of the dance area, but the music remained, slowing down and sounding similar to love songs heard on dryland. The King and Queen rose first and swam to the dancing area and began to move together in regal motions that bespoke of their lofty position, yet amused smiles graced their lips as they twirled and floated around one another.

Sarah pulled her gaze from her parents and looked over at Sam and Dean, "Sam, get off the poor merman," she chastised.

Sam slowly tore his lips from Dean's and turned his head toward his sister questioningly.

Sarah ignored her brother and looked at Dean, "Would you care to dance with me?" She asked, nodding toward her parents on the dance floor.

"What? No!" Dean gripped Sam's wrist and forced him to stay on top of him while he was trying to hold a conversation, except he had no idea what he was gonna say. I'd try, but it just wouldn't be right dancing with you with my dick waving around? "I mean... I suck. No, I suck at dancing. And with this..." Feeling Sam's hand touch his cock again, Dean's voice rose, "... tail... I'm not in full control and, you know, things could get out of hand. I could... Sam, space!" Turning, he gave Sam a desperately pleading look.

Sam stared into his mate's face, he had half a mind to simply tell his sister that Dean was aroused and too shy to dance with her, but he refrained not wanting to upset Dean further. Instead he pulled his hand away from Dean's cock and draped his arms around his mate's neck with a sigh as he looked over at his sister.
"Dean would rather dance with me before he does anyone else," he explained. "But the next dance," he offered with a wink before looking back at Dean with a nod, "Right?"

"So dance with him, I want to watch," she answered excitedly before sitting back in her chair, waiting patiently.

Sam's brows rose as he looked at Dean, sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, "Hold onto me," he whispered. "Trust me," he added as he leaned in and brushed his lips across Dean's.

"I don't know how to... Goddamit." He hated feeling helpless. Maybe it was the reassuring kiss, or he was feeling like he had no good options, but Dean put his arms around Sam's waist and hung on as Sam flicked his tail and pushed them away from the table and bench. The further they got from the table, the more he plastered himself to Sam, trying not to wonder if his ass was showing or what. "Fuck... I'm getting harder not softer," he complained, sensations pulsing through him with each powerful beat of Sam's tail pushing them through the water toward the dance area.

Sam smiled wide, a small chuckle working out of him as his hands slid down to Dean's ass, "Kiss me," he whispered as they swam closer to where Sam's mother and father twirled and floated around one another.

Sam's gaze darted toward his parents, catching his mother's eye, a mischievous light within his own. Shifting his attention back to Dean, he leaned in, slanting his mouth over Dean's unceremoniously, cutting off Dean's protests. As he moved them closer, he changed direction and with a hard flick of his tail sent them rocketing upward away from everyone else. He continued to kiss Dean as he swam, his body moving like the waves as he pushed them faster through the water.

He broke the kiss a second before their heads broke the surface of the water, a wide smile on Sam's face as he gazed lovingly at Dean.

"Told ya to trust me," he murmured sliding his hands up his mate's back, holding him close. "Now where were we?" Sam mumbled softly as his lashes fluttered, leaning back in for another kiss.

It had seemed like seconds, maybe minutes, but it had to be much longer than that. Dean's protest had been caught in his throat, his senses overwhelmed by Sam's movements against him, stimulating him until his cock was so hard, he could pound nails with it. Seeing they were completely alone, that there was no one and nothing for miles around them, Dean relaxed into the kiss. Slowly, his grip became less about maintaining a death grip and more about groping, touching Sam, his back, his sides, his hips and that firm ass of his. "I think you were saying something about Dean fuck Sam. Are there any whales around? Or, you know, something hard... no I don't mean this," he said, nudging his cock against Sam's.

Sam snickered against Dean's lips, "Um, out here, other than me," he shook his head, "not really," he said as he slowly pulled his head back, looking into Dean's green eyes.

"Did you want me to call whales over?" Sam asked, "Remember, they love to gossip," he warned, "they might tell the whole kingdom about those noises you make..."

"Shit... no," Dean answered quickly, rubbing more desperately against Sam. "I do want to Saaam you, but we'll do that another time. I want you," he moved his mouth over Sam's, pushing his tongue inside and tangling it with his lovers before weaving it in and out to the same rhythm he was grinding his hips against Sam's. As Sam's cock, thick and hard, pressed back into him, all Dean could think about was how bad he wanted him, needed to be inside his tight body and just the thought of fucking him had him moaning. His mind was clamoring with ideas on how to get what he wanted, what he needed, in this foreign world where gravity didn't mean much and there was nothing to use for leverage. "I... I think you should turn around," he said finally, allowing a few inches between them.

Sam's arms slowly slid down Dean's body as his brows shot upward, "Turn around?" Sam asked him hesitantly. He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth as he frowned in uncertainty.

"Mmmm, okay," he agreed allowing his arms to slip free of Dean before he turned around then looked back over his shoulder at his mate, "um, now what?"

"Do I look like an expert at this?" Realizing his words had been a little harsh, he pulled Sam close, putting one arm around his waist and pressing his hand against Sam's chest and wrapping his other arm around Sam's shoulders like a loose headlock, he experimented with how firmly he could press up against Sam's body. "Sorry. It's hard being a fish," he muttered, kissing the side of Sam's neck and closing his eyes as his cock rubbed up and down against the cleft of Sam's ass cheeks. He still didn't have that much leverage, and they started to sink down. Shit.

He flicked his tail a few times, and managed to take them back to the surface. "Hmm..." Seeing they were sinking again, he shoved Sam over, lifting his own tail, so they were suddenly horizontal with him on top of Sam. Though they were slowly sinking, now he had leverage. "Okay, I'm pretty sure I got it," he said, letting Sam's shoulder go and moving his hand down to Sam's cock. He stroked him a few times, felt him hardening in his hand again, then moved his hand between their bodies to adjust his own cock. "Push back on the count of three. One... two..."

Sam turned his head, looking back over his shoulder at Dean, trying to figure out what it was that he was doing. When Dean told him to push back Sam's brow furrowed in concentration as he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. On three he arched his hips and pushed back against his human's cock, a gasp of air leaving him.

With one hard kick of his tale, Dean penetrated deep inside Sam, echoing his groan as Sam clenched around his hard cock, sending heat pulsing through Dean's body.

"Uugh," Sam groaned and tried to reach back, blindly searching for Dean, wanting to hold onto him.

Lowering his head, Dean let Sam curl his arm around his neck and pull him down closer. Kissing the side of Sam's throat, he closed his arms around Sam once again, same as he had before, this time his hips were snug against Sam's ass. Every movement of his tail made both of them undulate, made him shift inside Sam. The sensations were incredible, even from the smallest motions, and he couldn't even imagine how it would feel to fuck, really fuck Sam. "So tight, so good, Sammy," he whispered, moving his hips, letting Sam get used to having him inside. When Sam's tale flicked up, sliding against his own, a deep groan tore from Dean's throat. "Fuck..."

"Heh," Sam moaned, "just like the Orcas," he mumbled softly, lowering his tail into the water and giving it a hard flick, sending them swimming forward through the water, both their hips undulating together.

"Mmm," Dean's grip on Sam tightened. He squeezed his eyes shut as his cock ached and pulsed in response to Sam's movements. He started to copy Sam, lifting and pushing his hips down at the same time as he used his tail to push through the water. It was like something ignited between them, an ancient, feral rhythm. All Dean knew was that suddenly he was in its grip and nothing would break him free even if he'd wanted to be released from it. He started to move harder, pushing into Sam and pulling halfway out, figuring out how to hit his prostate each time he slammed his hips into Sam's. "Orcas. If you knew... why didn't you... say something," Dean barely managed to ask.

Having pulled his hand away from Dean’s neck as they swam, fucking against one another as they moved through the ocean waters, Sam reached back with one hand as an intense wave of pleasure slammed through his body, his fingers digging into the flesh of his lover’s side as pleasured sounds and high pitched squawks tore from his throat.

“Orcas… I didn’t think…” Sam paused in his words, a deep guttural groan tearing from his throat as he grit his teeth. “… Think you wanted… to do it… that way…” he panted between pleasured grunts, straining back against Dean’s body.

As electric waves of pleasure moved through him, Dean slid one hand over Sam's cock and started to jack him off. "Oh fuck yes, much better than on a freaking bed. Ungh..." Fucking harder and harder, a part of him realized the way he was slamming into Sam was almost brutal, that lust was clouding his mind. "Sam... Sammy, I don't know..." He wasn't sure if this was okay, but he was getting the idea that he wouldn't be able to stop if it wasn't, and that caused a part of him to panic even as he thrust again and again, a slave to the sensations coursing through him.

Pleasured loud cries tore from Sam's throat as his body arched back against Dean's, straining even as he continued to swim. The fingers of his hand at Dean's side dug brutally into his lovers side, clinging tightly. He squeezed his eyes closed and gritted his teeth together, then arched his body like a diver jumping into the water, plunging them far beneath the surface and sending them rocketing toward the ocean floor.

Sam's gills moved rapidly with his harshly panted breaths, his body on fire for Dean, his lovers touch and the sensations he was igniting inside his body. His cock throbbed and pulsed as white hot pleasure coursed through Sam's body with each thrust of Dean's dick and each brush of his tip over his prostate.

High pitched sounds tore from Sam's throat, the oceanic equivalent to moans and groans as his body strained and undulated, bucking back against his lover. Each nip and bite inflamed his desire, pushing him closer to the edge. He watched the ocean floor rapidly grow closer though his brain couldn't seem to order his body to pull up as his balls drew up tight to his body, his fingertips digging into his lover's flesh hard enough to leave bruises behind.

Sam's shouts echoed through Dean, making him vibrate with white hot lust. They swam with such speed, the world became a blur. Dean's world narrowed as he gave in and allowed himself to be more aggressive, his fingers biting into Sam's flesh, his kisses turning into nips and bites as he fucked Sam down toward the bottom of the ocean, practically growling out his need to find release. Heat erupted inside his belly, his balls painfully tightening against his body. "Now... now Goddamit, now Sam," he ordered, squeezing Sam's cock and biting his shoulder hard, fucking into him even as he instinctively pulled Sam back.

Dean's growled command coupled with the bite to his shoulder had Sam's body reacting, his cock pulsed, nipples pebbling as his head lulled back, mouth going slack. He felt his body shift course, jackknifing away from the ground as his muscles locked and the first ribbon of cum shot from his cock, clouding the water.

Dean came with blinding force deep inside Sam, shouting out his own release in high pitched cries that carried through water. Dean wasn't thinking, couldn't, but some sort of instinct had him holding Sam to him in a way that they were almost vertical and swimming hard towards the surface as they rode the waves of their orgasm. His possessive grip on Sam never loosened and always, always telegraphed that Sam belonged to him. It was only when the his body started to relax that he realized Sam was gripping him just as tightly, claiming him right back. A smile spread across his face as they broke the surface, still connected, still holding onto each other.

"Changed my mind. This is as good as human sex." He slowly pulled out of Sam and turned him around, only to pull him back into his arms. "No, it's better than human sex." Course when he wasn't swimming, he had trouble floating, so they both started to sink down. He didn't fight it. "I love you Sammy." Leaning in, he kissed Sam, knowing for sure he'd found his family in Sam, and he'd never regret leaving his lonely life behind.

Sam nodded at Dean's words about it being as good as when they had been on dryland, his lips parting unnecessarily as he panted his breaths, a left over habit from being on land. He stifled a small whimper of loss as Dean pulled out of him only to smile warmly as Dean turned him around, wrapping his arms back around his body. Sam embraced his lover back, clinging possessively to him as he gazed into his human's bright green eyes. They started to sink, but Sam barely registered the movement, his lover's kiss and his handsome face was the center of Sam's universe.

"I love you too," he murmured before a loud high pitched cry tore from his throat, the Mer word for Dean's name. A smile split Sam's face making his dimples show, "Name is a little shorter on land, huh?" He joked with a soft chuckle.

Laughing with him, Dean rested his forehead against Sam's. "Different, but right."

* * *

One night had somehow turned into three, and they were still in Atlantis. Sure, during the days they swam away and did their own thing. It was the reverse of being on dry land. Sam was now teaching Dean how things worked down here, how to spot and avoid danger, or taunt it and swim away like the devil... or as the Merfolk preferred to put it... 'swim like Marina is after you'. There were a lot of other things Dean had to adjust to. One big cultural difference was that Merfolk said what they thought. They didn't keep secrets, or stab you in the back, or give you pretend smiles while thinking you were a bastard. They were generally kinder and gentler than humans, and they told you what was on their mind. Sometimes Dean had to remind himself that the people he was dealing with now were not the same as on dryland, had to make himself believe the acceptance he found was for real.

He'd made a few friends, especially once he'd discovered the many taverns in Atlantis, and fermented seaweed ale. There wasn't a whole lot of technology. No TV. to watch at night, no radios to listen to, no internet to surf. He'd thought he'd really miss all that, but he'd been wrong. They did so much during the day, most of it requiring lots of physical activity, that when they'd finished eating, and gone to watch the various forms of entertainment that were available, like singers at bars, or concerts or plays, he found he was ready for sleep or to make love then sleep. Making love was high on the list of popular activities down here too. He still hadn't gotten used to openly having sex or letting others get a good look at his dick when Sam was being bad and arousing him in public, but there were times that seeing other couples having sex sent him straight for Sam.

Right now, he was swimming through the town looking for Sam for other reasons. Finding Sam wasn't difficult, he could ask Merfolk if they'd seen the dude with the crown or he could follow Sam's sonic signature in the water. It was hard to process or figure out how it worked, but if he listened with his body rather than with his ears and mind, tracking Sam was possible.

He saw Sam outside one of the sushi joints. Okay, they were 'restaurants' but to Dean, if you had to eat raw fish, it was sushi. The fact that they wrapped things in different seaweed for flavor made him think that the Japanese, or whoever really invented sushi, might have had a visit to Atlantis or something. "Sam!" He waved him over, grinning at the fact that for someone who considered themselves a nomad and not good with people, Sam was really the complete opposite. He was surrounded by friends and had them laughing, whether he realized it or not.

Sam nodded at the others that stood around him having heard and caught sight of his love and hurriedly swam over to Dean's side. "I was going to eat," he murmured as he wrapped his arms around Dean and dipped his head, dragging his teeth over the tender flesh of his lover's neck. "But I guess I can eat you first," he offered, lips curling into a mischievous smirk against Dean's skin.

"And who can resist an offer like that? Not me," Dean answered, cupping Sam's head and pulling him closer. "If you're not starving, I got something to tell you. Or maybe show you." He was bursting with excitement but Sam's mouth slipping back and forth against his throat was a big distraction.

Sam chuckled softly against the skin of his lover's neck, "There's more to show me?" He asked incredulously. "I thought we'd done it all..." he murmured huskily, nipping at Dean's throat.

"Speaking of that," Dean pulled back and gave Sam a mock severe look. "What's this about people installing 'Dean handles' to their ceilings?" He'd created handles on their bedroom ceiling, which he could hold and use for leverage as he fucked up against Sam. He'd also gotten a bar and put it a short distance down so he could curl his tail around it and also use it for leverage when they were making love against the ceiling. "Who told?!"

Sam snickered, "It's amazing what you can get out of a guppy when they're about to be eaten...." he teased with a wink as he slid one hand down Dean's arm, lacing their fingers together. "What did you want to show me?" He asked, his brows lifting.

Sam's answers never failed to make him grin. "Okay, you know the old section of the Citadel? The run down part?" He didn't add that it was the section he'd been told was off limits because it was in disrepair and too dangerous. There were lots of fallen pillars and broken statues, that much was true. But his gut had told him there was more and he'd found himself exploring. "It's really beautiful down there Sam, and there's this passage, you gotta swim through some cracks in a boulder--"

Sam eyed his love, his face set in grim disapproving lines, "You know you aren't supposed to be in there, it's dangerous," he chastised. "Something could have happened to you in there," he muttered worriedly, pulling Dean in closer. "Why would you go there?" He asked, searching Dean's face.

"Because it's there. It's not in that bad a state Sam, I was careful. Don't look at me like that, I was careful." He ran his hand up Sam's arm. "Listen. Beyond the barrier of marble and boulders, there's an incredible world. You have to see it for yourself. There are fish, not like I've seen here or up there," he pointed over head. "And sponges and big ... huge shells and pears and apples... Sam, there's dryland in there. There's a place where you can swim up to this marble shore. It hurt like fuck, but I got out there and waited for my legs to show, and then looked around. There's plants and some sort of white light, like I guess it's an energy source. Close your eyes," he demanded, reaching down to the makeshift belt he'd taken to sometimes wearing. It had a small pouch where he could put stuff, like the dagger he liked to have on him at all times.

Sam's eyes widened as Dean rambled on, his mouth moved like a fish out of water. Dean had gone onto dryland? He'd went through the change for the first time alone? Something in Sam's chest tumbled and burned, had his heart feeling as though an eel were wrapped tightly around it, squeezing. He dropped his gaze and slowly closed his eyes as Dean had asked him to do without a word.

"Bite Sam," Dean said holding his treasure to Sam's mouth and cocking his head at his love's strange expression. "I wasn't in danger, I swear. Just bite."

Sam sighed softly and slowly opened his eyes, lifting his head, his gaze focused on Dean's eyes and not whatever it was that he held.

"I don't really want to," he mumbled softly, dropping his gaze as he turned his head away, "maybe later," he added before turning and swimming off.

"Sam. Sam!" Perplexed, Dean swam after him, catching up and staying shoulder to shoulder with him. "What's wrong? Thought you were, you know, hungry for me." The silence and sudden shift in the direction Sam was swimming had Dean even more confused as he caught up again. "Are you mad that I went there, to the closed off area? Really? Sam." Frustrated when Sam tried to slip away again, he reached out and clamped his hand around Sam's forearm, stopping him cold. "Is it the apple? Because I like something from dryland?" Dean tossed it, a little anger warming his eyes as he challenged Sam.

Sam's gaze snapped down to Dean's hand on his arm as he abruptly halted his retreat. Lifting his eyes to Dean's face, Sam's brow furrowed as he asked about the apple. Jerking his arm away from Dean, Sam's gaze slid to the apple slowly floating away from them, before darting back to Dean's angry gaze.

"I don't care about your apple any more than you cared about my being with you," Sam spat before turning and quickly swimming away, dodging through the buildings and sea weed heading out into the deep and away from Dean.

"Goddamit. Stop swimming away," he shouted, following Sam again. If Sam was serious about getting away from him, Dean was sure he'd be able to do it. "Sam!" Sea weed slapped his face and had him cursing as he swam with his arms out, opening a path ahead of him. "Sam?" This was ridiculous, he couldn't see Sam. He could try to follow his sonic signature, but that would take a lot of effort and he'd need to be more calm to be able to listen to his body. By then, Sam could be miles away. "Help. Help me! Saaam... help!" he shouted, curling his tail around some seaweed and making it look like he was stuck. "Help me."

Sam looked back over his shoulder at the sound of Dean's voice echoing through the ocean. He had made it out into the darker deeper waters already and couldn't see Dean anywhere. He paused and listened hearing Dean cry for help once again and quickly turned tail, swimming back the way he had come at full speed.

"Dean!" Sam shouted as he swam, "Dean!" A loud high pitched squawk sounded from Sam's throat, one that would carry for miles through the ocean waters.

Seaweed parted as he neared Atlantis, just outside the city, a few miles out from where he had last seen Dean. Continuing a bit father into the thick cluster of seaweed, Sam spotted his human, his tail tangled amongst the tall swaying grasses.

"Dean," Sam called as he hurriedly made his way over to his love, pulling and tearing at the weeds, freeing Dean from their hold. He reached out and wrapped his arms around Dean as soon as he was freed, pulling him into his arms. "I told you to be careful out here," Sam muttered gently as he ran his hands over his love's back.

"Yeah, you did. And then you left my ass out here." Taking advantage, Dean wrapped his arms around Sam in a hug that Sam would have difficulty breaking away from. "I'll be careful. I will," he promised. "Now you do something for me. Tell me why you're upset. Whatever I said... I swear I thought you'd be happy."

Sam's brow knitted, a pained expression written upon his face. "Happy that you went through all that without me?" He asked. "I know how frightening it can be... how painful, and you were there with me the first time... and the third, but I - you left me out of yours... I just feel like..." he sighed and shook his head as he lowered his gaze. "Nothing... it's nothing... I just need to be alone for a little while..." he mumbled sadly, wiggling in Dean's arms in an attempt to free himself.

"Through what? The change?" There was no way Dean was letting go, even as they sank down toward the floor of the ocean. "I didn't leave you out Sam, I didn't know you'd want to be there. Look, you know what my life was before? I had lots of pain, lots of fights. I got my nose broken, I don't know how many times. So pain, it's not... it's not unusual in my life, you get that?" He ran his knuckles down the side of Sam's face, even though his love was still trying to pull away. "I'll tell you what though, I got out, I saw the tree and grabbed an apple for proof and then I got right back in the water and came to find you. I didn't go exploring, I didn't follow the sounds of the birds. I wanted you there with me when we did that, and when I asked if you wanted to... you know..." He released Sam and flicked his tail to swim up a little. As usual, in that position, his tail merely wrapped around Sam's. "If you wanted maybe to make that part of the Citadel our home. Both the water part and the dryland part." Biting his lip, he braced for his words to have no effect.

Sam stared incredulously into Dean's brilliant green eyes, his own turning slightly red with tears that you couldn't see under the water. He slowly shook his head, "How could you not know that I would want to be there with you?" He asked softly, the pain he felt obvious in his sound of his voice.

He listened to Dean talk about other hurts he had suffered in his life and Sam scoffed softly shaking his head, "And I would have been there for every last one had I known you," he interjected pointedly. He flinched away from his love's touch, not much in the mood for such gestures at the moment. Hurt and anger churned within his belly and had his chest aching. He just wanted to be alone, go hang out with the dolphins and whales who had never thought to not include him in everything they did. He had even been there when one of them gave birth not long ago. Not that he had been able to do much but watch, he had still been present.

His gaze swung back to Dean with the last of his words and he slowly shook his head, "I - fine, if that's what you want, sure," he agreed though there was no enthusiasm in his tone. He bowed his head a moment before looking back up with a sigh, "Why don't you go do... whatever it is that you were going to..." he turned his head, looking out over his shoulder, "I'm gonna..." he shook his head as he returned his attention to Dean. "Doesn't really matter does it," he mumbled softly offering a small fake smile, "it's what I'm used to... you wouldn't be interested... I'll be back sometime later..." he said, slipping from Dean's grip.

"What it is that I was going to? I was coming to tell you!" He was getting a little frustrated but the real hurt in Sam's eyes kept him from reaming Sam. "I'm sorry. I didn't know Sam. I didn't get you'd want to be there for me for the change, because no one's actually ever been there for me. We'll not for a long time. My friends," he used air quotes, "I share the good times with them. So I was trying to share the exploring part... the good times, with you. But really, there's no part of my life that I don't want to share with you." He gave a shrug as the awkward apology left his lips, then slowly started to turn back toward Atlantis. "I'll give you space, it's what you want," he added.

Sam had looked back as Dean started to speak but hadn't turned fully around until his love reached the end of his words.

"Dean," he called, quickly swimming after him and catching up to him. He reached for Dean, stopping him from going further. His eyes searched Dean's face lovingly. "Wanna share everything with you," he murmured before leaning in, his hands rising to cup each side of his lovers face before slanting his mouth gently over his lover's, kissing him slowly, lovingly.
Relief flooded Dean as he kissed Sam back, holding onto his upper arms as they faced each other in the water, their bodies rotating slowly like the opposite arms of a clock. His tongue tangled with Sam's, twisting around it as before he sucked Sam's into his own mouth. When they'd been together on dryland, he'd had to watch his words and actions because he sometimes inadvertently hurt the feelings of the one man he never wanted to hurt. Time and being together would teach him Sam's hot buttons, he knew this would work, that they could make it work.

They broke the kiss a few times, but always, their mouths welded together again. Dean didn't know how much time passed but when he pulled back a little, he was feeling dazed and was surprised by the presence of a nearby sea creature. "Ah... Sam, how gossipy are octopus?" At the rate rumors and gossip spread around here, a lot of it centering on his apparently 'odd' love making techniques, he wouldn't be surprised to hear how they'd kissed be called the Sam and Dean circle kiss or some other weird thing!

Sam's passion heavy lidded eyes slid to the side toward the octopus only to widen as he grabbed Dean's arm pulling him along behind him as he darted off in the opposite direction, swimming away from the creature as quickly as he could.

"What?!" He was half dragged half trying to swim as fast as Sam as he listened to tales of unfriendly octopus and how rough they played, how ruthless they could be. Then Dean remembered the marks on the back of Sam's neck and decided not to argue at all.

They were just entering Atlantis when he cleared his throat, "So? You had a chance to think about it? What I said about making our home here?"

Sam glanced over at Dean before returning his gaze forward, taking in the hustle and bustle of the city. He looked back at Dean, swimming around him, coming around in front of Dean, blocking his path.

"Are you certain this is what you want?" He asked, glancing way, his eyes traveling over the crowds of people once more before returning again to his lover's face. "All these people? We'd never be alone, not really... are you going to be alright with that?" He asked.

"We'd have a door. Close them out when we want. Our own little world down there." He reached out and grabbed Sam's hand, weaving their fingers together. "Best of both worlds. Besides, I think I like these people. Your family, your friends. I know you'd said you were never really happy here, but Sam, watching you with them... I swear you look happy, like you belong."

Sam glanced down briefly as Dean took his hand, weaving their fingers together. His eyes locked once more with his lover's, Sam smiled softly and shook his head, "You make me happy, not this place or these people... just you," he answered thickly. He nodded, "and if you want to live here, then that's what I want. Anything that makes you half as happy as you've made me," he said gently reaching up and cupping the side of his human's face, thumb slowly running along the freckles that dotted his lover's cheekbone.

A warm smile split Sam's face as his gaze roamed over Dean's features, "You're speckled like the sea trout," he mused with a soft chuckle.

"A what now? Speckled sea trout?" He almost choked over the phrase but the admiration in Sam's eyes when he said them made it impossible for him to be mad. "Fine, you can call me that until I find something else that's speck... freckled, but but not a trout. Yeah, yeah I do wanna stay here with you, my long, hard, slippery sea eel," he added for good measure, flicking his tail a little too hard and bumping into Sam.

Sam snickered, swimming slightly sideways when Dean bumped into him. "Eel, eh?" Sam asked, "You realize that eel don't have sex, right? They lay eggs that the male fertilizes... and if they were hard... they'd be dead," he said with a shrug, "Just sayin'..." Sam grabbed Dean's hand tugging him along as they swam further into Atlantis, "Come on, we'd better break the news to my parents that I'm not only in love but staying and getting married too."

"And getting married," Eyes wide, but not fighting it, Dean swam along. "Married like in a ceremony. Married like... like you've watched a lot of Disney movies, that kind of married?" Not that he didn't understand the concept, but as applied to himself? "Sam!" All he knew is he was being dragged, forced to swim faster until they were at the official entrance to the large Citadel. Stunned, Dean watched as Sam asked that they be officially announced.
A moment later, their names echoed through the water and they were waved inside.

The King and Queen sat at their thrones and had been resolving the small issues that arose among people. It was both a formal and informal process.

As Sam waited patiently for his parents to look up, his eyes slid over to Dean next to him. "Is there a problem with getting married?" He whispered, eyeing Dean from the corner of his eyes, "If we stay, we'll be next in line for the throne, marriage will be expected... demanded. Otherwise you won't be looked upon as royalty," he explained.
"No, no problem," Dean answered quietly. "I just... it was a surprise. I mean, who in their right mind would want to marry me?" Warming up to the idea, he grinned. "But seriously, I don't have to have the royalty thing." The thought of people bowing or bringing him sea trinkets like they did to Sam kind of scared him because it always made him want to laugh out loud. He was pretty sure that would hurt their feelings and not be taken well at all.

A smile pulled at Sam's lips as his hand tightened around Dean's reassuringly just as Sam's father spoke his name, gaining their attention. The King waved them over, looking from one to the other, "Was there something you wished to speak to us about, son?"

Sam nodded, a bright smile splitting his face as he withdrew his hand from Dean's, wrapping his arm around him instead. "Dean and I would like to stay... remain in Atlantis... and we are ready to be wed," he said, his gaze darting to his mother as he paused, smiling wider at her grin. "Any time you and mother would like," he finished as he returned his attention to his father.

The Queen looked from her son, to Dean, then put a hand over her heart and smiled broadly, her cheeks dimpling. "I dreamed you'd come back to us, and now we have two... three sons," she said, giving Sarah's loyal husband, Christian, a nod.
Sarah started to shoot across the room but was stopped by the hand that clamped around her tail and tugged her back. Eyes wide, she looked at her husband. "Come, let's congratulate my brother." Once again, she tried to swim away, but Christian pulled her back, this time by catching her hand, and then speaking in her ear.

Dean's gaze traveled around the room. The Queen and Sarah looked ecstatic. The King appeared worried, but was smiling toward them. Christian seemed extremely unhappy and there were soft, worried murmurs coming from the crowd.

Clearing his throat, Christian finally spoke. "Congratulations on your decisions. How long do you really think you'll stay this time?"

Unsure of the reason this felt like an attack, even if it was soft spoken, a very annoyed Dean answered. "You must not have heard Sam. He said we're staying here, making our home here. As in, for good."

Another murmur went through the crowd.

"We'd like to believe that. No offence, but we've known Sam a lot longer than you have. He's already relinquished the crown. So long as he doesn't change his mind, I welcome him with open arms."

Sarah pulled her hand away from her husband's and swam to the two men, giving them hugs and congratulating them. She was doing her best to cover up the awkwardness but it was now the big pink whale in the room.

"I think there is plenty of time for my son to think things over and make his decision," the Queen said. "The King is in good health, after all," her hand went to her mate's.

The King squeezed her hand but spoke the words he knew his wife did not want to hear. "Christian is right. Matters of succession have to always be clear. Samuel decided he did not want the crown and Christian and Sarah are next in the line of succession. If Sam has changed his mind, we need to know now and resolve the issue." His gaze locked with his son's. "What do you have in mind?"

Sam turned his head and looked over at Dean briefly before returning his attention to his father, "I - whatever Dean..." he looked back at his love, "Did you want to... I mean, would you be alright with being King one day?" He asked gently.

"It's your call." Locking gazes with Sam, he put his hand on Sam's shoulder. "I'm sharing your life. Whichever is your decision, I'll back you up. Do you want this responsibility?"

Christian swam over. "Look, Sam I love you like a brother, you know that. This isn't about me wanting to be King. It's about who will be a good King. Your mate is human. He may have a pretty tail, but it doesn't change what he is. And right now, just as in the past, humans are our enemies." He glanced at Dean, then looked back at Sam. "He may be different, a good guy, but if he sits up there with you... it'll be about the human perspective, not the Merfolk. If I'm wrong, then you two support the cause that is next on the agenda. Some of us... many of us," he waved his hand toward other Merfolk in the room, "we're tired of being afraid of humans. Of seeing our people injured, maimed, killed and kidnapped. We're going to create a zone of fear. A place where humans won't dare to come because their boats, and ships and people will disappear in that zone. The Bermuda Triangle was conceived by the Marisirens and it worked. People stopped going to the area for a long time, until the Marisirens became extinct and could no longer put fear into the hearts of man."
Dean shook his head and pulled away from Sam, "You have got to be fucking kidding me."

Sam glanced over at his mate before returning his attention to Christian as he shook his head, "You can't do this," he argued softly, turning his attention to his father. "We cannot become as heartless as the humans simply from fear... that makes us no better than they are," he reasoned before his gaze slid to Dean and giving an apologetic shrug before lowering his gaze.

"We do what we have to in order to survive. They captured you and took you from your home. They put you in a cage..." Christian snapped.

Dean's gaze narrowed and he put his hand on Christian's shoulder in warning, not to go too far.

Christian shook him off. "You don't have to help, but stand down. Live among us, but don't try to lead us. You're not the right one, Sam. You've always known this, it's why you kept leaving." Having had his say, Christian swam away, looking over his shoulder at Sam and Dean.

Sam narrowed his eyes and tilted his chin upward stubbornly before nodding. "Yes, they put me in a cage... and they beat me... hurt me... and did things to me that I never want to think about again," Sam confessed as he glared at his brother-in-law. He turned his gaze to his father, "Will we be no better?" He asked softly. "Maybe we can steal one of them.... give them to Marina to play with... let her put them on her shelf of creatures," he sneered, "is that the kind of people we've become, father?" He asked, his eyes darting to Chris with distain before returning to his father, "Because I have been there and if that is who we are, then no... I want no part of it," he said with a weary sigh before turning and swimming for the door.

"That isn't fair. I said nothing about doing that. I said we need to protect ourselves by scaring them. And yes, if it takes Marina to help us create this zone of fear, then we'll deal with Marina. But you go ahead and leave, leave the important decisions to those ready to make them."

"Dude, listen, people out there, they don't believe in the Bermuda Triangle anymore. Hell, plenty of them don't believe in God or superstition. You can bring down as many ships as you want, but there'll be more. Because people are morbid and curious, and they'll want to know where thousands died, and why. This'll be like a freaking tourist attraction. There are too many humans. Too many. Sam knows this, he knows you can't fight that tide."
"And they can't fight Marina." Christian lifted his head higher, as if in triumph.

Sam turned his attention to his brother-in-law, "If you bring her into this then you are a fool," he spat.

The Queen leaned in and spoke in the King's ear, then the King spoke. "Samuel, you are the rightful heir, but you gave up the throne. Think about what you want and give me your decision tomorrow morning. If you decide to be next in line..."

"Then I will challenge his human mate," Christian said. "A ruler has to be strong. A ruler has to be Merfolk. Has to think like Merfolk. It's not his fault, but that human can't."

Another rumble went through the crowd.

Sam's eyes widened as he gasped in a breath at Christian's words before his eyes narrowed into angry slits, "No!" He growled through clenched teeth. "You will leave him alone!" Sam demanded.

 

"When there are several with good claims to the throne, a challenge is appropriate. Samuel, if you decide you want the crown, the challenge will be deemed accepted. The challenge will take place tomorrow afternoon. Matters like this cannot remain unresolved. Go. Think on your future, and the future of your people. The decision on the human solution won't be made until after this is resolved," the King announced.

 

Sam continued to scowl at Christian before his attention turned to his father, "As you wish, father," he muttered softly before continuing out of the room. He didn't speak until he and Dean were far enough from the throne room that their voices would not carry back. "We leave in the morning," he mumbled as he shook his head distractedly. "We can go somewhere else, anywhere... find an underwater cavern where you can get to dry land, or a tiny island, somewhere, something, we have the entire ocean to look for the place we want, where you'll be happy..."

Dean was silent for a long while, simply following Sam's lead and letting him vent. When they were near a tavern, he put an arm around Sam's waist and started to swim toward it. "Let's have a little ale, calm down, and we'll talk about it." When Sam didn't fight him on that, he let Sam go and swam up to the bar. A moment later, he returned with two sealed shells with straws sticking out of them. Passing one to Sam, he put the straw of his drink inside his mouth and used his tongue to flick the covering open and suck in pure alcohol. Sealing it again before he pulled it out of his mouth and headed for the booth in the corner.
Eventually, after he saw Sam take a little bit of the liquor, he spoke again. "This isn't about me Sam. It's about you. You're the son of a King. I guess you could say it's your fate to rule, but me, I'm of the 'fuck fate and go with 'free will every time' team. But that doesn't mean you can't choose for or against what fate had in store for you. So think. What do you want?"

Sam shook his head with a sigh, "I've never wanted to be King, I never wanted to be stuck here... alone when all the others had mates, someone to care, to love them... it just wasn't for me and as for finding someone of my own, sure there were mermaids pushed on me all the time, but..." he shook his head. "What Christian has my father believing... my father isn't like this.... it's Chris.... he's driven and he has... well, he doesn't hide the fact that he has no use for humans. He isn't cruel or a bad merman, he just..." he shook his head and lowered his eyes.

"Christian's baby sister was killed... there was a human ship... no one was paying attention... she swam too close and got caught in the blades... the humans didn't even stop dancing and drinking when she screamed..." he whispered sadly. Lifting his gaze to Dean's Sam shook his head, "He is going to lead all of Merdom down with him. What he wants to do... it makes us no better than the humans!" He insisted before his gaze lowered once more. "Sorry," he muttered with a sigh. "You - you know what I mean... right?" He asked, glancing up at Dean as he toyed with the shell of liquor. "If it is between his being King and mine... I want my crown back," Sam stated firmly.

"Yes, it comes down to that," Dean agreed, then grinned. "Then we'll get your crown back. Some people will buy the 'just because they're evil, we shouldn't be' argument, and you can make it to them. For those with harder heads, who think they can beat humans? I'll give them a dose of reality. We'll make them understand it's wrong and impossible. Killing when we're under attack is one thing, but as a warning?" He shook his head, "No, even if it would be effective, which it won't. Just fucking no." He lifted his shell. "Now drink up, then we'll go and tell them your decision, and then I have to show you our new quarters."

Sam started to drink only to pause with the straw half in his mouth. Lowering it, his brow furrowed as he reached over, grasping Dean's hand, holding it within his own. "What - what are you going to do to 'give them a dose of reality'?" He asked worriedly. He shook his head, "You - you can't hit them," he warned.

"Hit em'? Now you know I'm as non-violent as the next merman," he grinned and squeezed Sam's hand. "Trust me. I just meant I'd tell them how it works out there. What a gun can do. How many people we're talking about."

A smile slowly curled Sam's lips at Dean's words, thumb of his hand caressing the back of his mate's as he relaxed and nodded.

"Good," he sighed. "I thought of the guy who came into our cabin and..." Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth and shook his head. "This is a much better plan," he agreed, lifting the shell and taking a long drink through the straw.

"Sam, that's different. That's when someone or something comes after you. Then it's no holds barred. But I know the difference." Smiling, Dean touched his shell to Sam's. "So, what's this challenge thing I gotta do."

As Sam coughed up a storm, Dean thumped his back and gave him a curious look. "Something I said?"

* * *
They'd slipped through the crack in the boulders and were exploring the waters that surrounded dryland. Dean kept checking Sam's expression. It was clear he'd been right, the sea life in here was different from out there. Sam seemed to really be interested by it, and of course he found some fish he taunted and got chased by. After watching for a while, Dean swam to the marble shore, pulled himself out of the water, and then remembered Sam wanted to be right there with him. Dropping back down, he called out. "Come on Sam, come check out the dryland."

Sam turned his head away from teasing a school of what looked a lot like barracuda only their eyes were buggier and seemed to glow unnaturally bright in the mint blue waters, looking over at Dean instead, an amused smile on his face. Turning away from the creatures he swam over to his mate and reached out, taking Dean's hand and pulled him close, wrapping his arms around him.

"Dryland, huh? Anything special you had planned to do on this dry land?" He asked suggestively as he leaned in and dipped his head, nip-kissing a trail along Dean's neck.

"Mmm? Yeah. You." He waited patiently until Sam brought his mouth all the way up to his own, and kissed him. "Yeah... definitely on my to do list." Releasing each other, they put their hands on the marble edging the water, and pulled out. Laying next to each other, facing each other, they held hands.
It didn't take long for their gills to go into overdrive, desperately working harder, pulsing in vain. The pain came next. Dean rolled toward Sam, holding him in his arms now as he heard his love's moans of pain. "Hang in there. It'll... pass," he forced out, grunting and gripping Sam a little tighter.
Sam's fingertips dug into Dean's shoulders as he gripped him tightly under his arms, his hands grasping his shoulders. He dipped his head, pressing his face against Dean's neck as he squeezed his eyes tightly together, breaths panting out from between parted lips as gills closed over and his tail slowly ripped in half forming legs.

When it was over, Sam slowly pulled his head back and gazed wearily into Dean's eyes, one hand slowly releasing its grip and sliding up to cup his human's face as his eyes took in the worn out expression in his lover's features. "This is why I wanted to be here," he murmured softly before leaning in and messily kissing along Dean's cheekbone, until Sam rested his head against his mate's shoulder.

After a moment or two, Sam slowly pulled his head up, brow knitted thoughtfully, "Did you fall?" He asked. "When you first changed," he clarified, "Did you fall?"

"No, I was steady." He didn't allow Sam to move too far away. "It was like riding a bike." He kissed him again and then helped him sit up. Dean was the first to stand, and he gave Sam his hand and pulled him up. Standing ready to catch him, he walked close by. "You know we could get you flip flops... you know how you love shoes," he grinned, looking around at the trees on either side of the wide marble path. There was even grass and flowers. "So watcha think, is this place 'our secret' or do we have to share?"

Sam looked around them with wide eyes and distractedly shook his head to Dean's words, not that he had totally heard most of them, not until the last bit about sharing. His attention snapped to Dean then and he shook his head adamantly, "No," he answered firmly, "no other Mer should know about this place," he stated before slowly tearing his gaze away from his mate to look around once more.

"I didn't know we could have legs until..." he sighed and shook his head, "others shouldn't know about it either, it's not who we are, who we're brought up to be," Sam explained. "If they find out by accident then they find out," he shook his head again, frowning, "but I am not going to lead them to dryland only for them each to suffer through.... and then the fear that they'll go to the human world and.... no..."

He looked back at Dean and frowned softly, "Probably sounds odd to you with your world of advancements and trying new things but..." he sighed and hung his head, "there is a reason we are how we are... peaceful and happy... and it has nothing to do with T.V. or racing in cars or going to places where they put others on display..."

"No, I agree with you. They learn they get legs on dryland, some of them will go out there out of curiosity. I probably would do that if I'd been born to the sea and wondered what else was out there. And they're not equipped to deal with what's out there. Sooner or later, someone would lead others back to Atlantis. Okay, this place is ours, off-limits. We'll have to have some doors secured to block that entrance through the crack." Taking Sam's hand he pointed up at a bird in a tree. "Wonder if there are other animals here. Guess we have plenty of time to find out. Look, there's where I'm putting my barbeque pit. For cooked food," he said firmly. It would make a nice change, even though he'd gotten used to eating raw fish and shrimp. "We can put furniture here, on dryland, and some in the water. Best of both worlds," he said, searching Sam's face.

Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth as he listened to Dean and looked at each area that he pointed out. It was on the tip of his tongue to point out that he wasn't human anymore and that all this, these plans, they were for humans and not what a Mer would want, but he swallowed the words back. It wasn't as though Dean had been born a Mer and Sam could understand his missing the world that he knew. Had it been he that had stayed on dryland to be with Dean he knew that he would have wanted to live near the ocean where he could swim as much as possible when time allowed.

"If you're going to cook your food, maybe you can brush with sea plankton so the others won't smell it on your breath," Sam suggested, wrinkling his nose. "It's kind of... barbaric to cook those whom you are related to," he pointed out. Stepping away from Dean, Sam walked over to the edge where the water lapped at the dry land and sat down, dangling his feet in the water. It wasn't long before gills reappeared on his sides as he leisurely kicked his feet in the water.

"Where are you going to get furniture? We can't tell anyone where this is... and the furniture we have here in Atlantis is very old, some of it still standing from before the city fell. There are a few carpenters, but we can't build things the way they do on land," Sam commented, glancing up and back at Dean.

Dean watched Sam closely, then dropped down next to him, also putting his feet in the water. "You're worried I'm homesick." He knew how he'd felt when he'd known Sam wanted, needed to go home to the ocean. "That I dream of being home. But I'm not. This is my home. You are my home, Sam." He took the merman's hand and held it between two of his own. "I'm not going to cook food every day, but it'll be nice to have variety. And by furniture, I just meant... Like we have in our bedroom now. A bed. Places to put things. I'll take care of it, no one has to help us, no one has to come in here. I like the water," he looked intently into Sam's eyes. "I know you like seeing me wet. I'm gonna be wet most of the time."

Sam looked over at Dean as he started to speak and tilted his head to the side as he gazed into his lover's eyes, "How can you not be homesick? I would be," Sam said softly. He looked down at the hand Dean took and held between his own, a soft smile pulling at his lips as he shook his head. "I don't care if you cook your food," he confessed softly before lifting his eyes, gazing into his mate's emerald green ones. "I hated dryland, hated everything about it... except you. But at least I got to see it, was able to chose what I wanted. You never got to do that... not even with those strange tank things I've seen humans wear... and I pushed this on you without giving you a chance to even see if you wanted it," he sighed and lowered his gaze. "I'm sorry for that, if I could give you back your legs, I would," he mumbled softly. He forced a smile to the last of Dean's words and slowly slid his hand out from between Dean's before leaning in, kissing Dean's lips softly. Pulling back he searched his mate's face, "Whatever you want, whatever would make you happy, it's fine," he agreed before sliding off the side on which they sat and plummeting into the deep water below.

"I have my legs, when I want them," Dean pointed out, diving in after Sam. As the agony of change hit him, he felt Sam's strong hand take his. They both waited until it was over and they had their tails back. "And my tail. Like I said, best of both worlds. Alright, stop brooding. Time to tell me what I need to know for the challenge. I think we have less than two hours, and I don't want to be late. Wouldn't want Christian to win, would we?"

Sam frowned at his lover, "I'm not brooding, I just don't want you to regret this... to resent me for what I did... talked you into doing..." he sighed.
"As for the challenge... there are feats of strength, swimming, calling sea creatures for aid... and getting them to listen and not just bat you around like a giant ball. Um, and then usually strategic things... plotting and planning defenses for Atlantis, questions about that. To see if you are putting Atlantis first in your thoughts... it's not really very hard," Sam explained. "The last four times I beat Christian at it," he confided, "and he wasn't very happy."

"Wait... ALL of that? And I have two hours? Great." He swam away and came back. "Any chance we could include some sort of shooting contest? You know like... an arrow through the water? Something like that?"

Chapter Text

Easy Sam had said. Easy if you'd been born a Merperson!

Dean swam in circles in the large valley surrounded by underwater cliffs where the Merfolk sat watching the challenges. They'd all been so friendly to him before, but now it was clear, Christian or some others had turned this into a human versus Merfolk event and no one wanted him to win. Well, no one other than Sam, and maybe one or both of his parents. Before Dean had even swum up for the first challenge, comments had been tossed at him implying he was trying to prove humans were better than Merfolk. Answering them, pointing out that the challenge had not been issued by him, it was as effective as talking to walls. Useless.

Ordinarily, it wasn't easy to put him off his game, but he usually played his game on feet and not a damned uncontrollable tail! And it only got worse when he was worried or nervous.

He'd already lost two challenges to Christian who'd asked if he was ready to admit defeat. He'd given the guy the middle finger which wasn't as satisfying when the person you directed it to gave you a blank look.

As they began dragging some things into the arena, he wondered what came next. If it was any more fru fru dance moves, he was going to shout. He hadn't been into dancing as a human, and they'd had him trying to do some synchronized swimming, delicate freaking wrist movements and all. He could have told them it would be like having an elephant try to emulate a dolphin, but he'd grit his teeth and gone through the motions, despite all the laughter and mocking.

His gaze was drawn to the two huge human-sized abalone that were dragged into the middle of the arena. A nasal voice announced that clams had been planted into the sand at two locations. The competitors would have to dig, get the clams, and toss them into the abalone shell which was constantly opening and closing. The one who got more clams inside the abalone when the timer went off would win. Dean was feeling pretty damned confident now, this wasn't different than human games. He could do this.

Then came the final rule.

The competitors must do all the digging and the clam tossing using only their tails.

Sam swam back and forth, pacing where he hovered near the rocks, a few feet away from his parents and sister at the undersea cliffs. He sucked nervously at his bottom lip as he swam, hoping and praying that Dean would win the last remaining challenges or else they would lose the challenge altogether and his chance of regaining the crown would be gone.

He watched as Dean and Christian began digging for clams with their tails, Dean started out doing pretty good, even uncovered the first clam well before Christian, but then Dean's tail suddenly sprang up and curled around his body as though it were afraid of the clam he had uncovered.

Sam stared in wide-eyed befuddlement. What was he doing?

He watched Dean try to push his tail away from his upper body only to wind up with it tangling further, the flippers smacking him in the face.

Sam sighed in exasperation. "Fuck," he muttered under his breath as he raised a hand and covered his face. When he finally dared to peek out from between his fingers, he saw Dean had untangled his tail and was angrily gripping it his hands and forcing it to work properly, tossing clams up and over his head; one of which smacked Christian in the head, before bouncing off his noggin and rolling away.

At least that elicited a snicker out of Sam as he watched Christian turn narrowed eyes on Dean as he lifted a hand to rub the back of his head.

"Sorry, that clam had a mind of its own," Dean muttered, forcing his tail to sweep the sand for signs of more clams. Just as he saw a bunch get revealed, his tail went haywire on him again. He was reduced to using his hands to grip his tail and use it much like a shovel. Sure he was an expert at shovels, but he wasn't half as graceful when the Goddamned shovel-grip was attached to his body.

Shouts of "Fuck! Damn! Sonovabitch!" and countless other oaths and curses flew from his mouth, especially when he allowed himself to look at Christian who looked almost relaxed as he dug, flicked his tail, and watched the clams float toward the giant abalone.

Very few of Christian's tosses actually made it inside the abalone. That gave Dean an idea. He kept digging and creating a pile, digging some more and adding to his pile of clams.

There were catcalls and shouts that he should be tossing the clams and not hording them. Ignoring the advice, he kept it up until he had a nice big pile.

Glancing at Sam, he gave a shrug, then went back to work. This time he forced the air out of his body so he'd sink completely down, and used his hands to shove the end of his tail under the pile of clams, but was careful not to touch them. When he had a large pile, he started crawling backwards toward the abalone, dragging his haul with him. His body started to scream for air but he controlled his needs, got to the abalone, waited for it to open and then flicked his tail from close up, dumping his entire haul into the shell.

"Fucking A," he shouted, giving a fist pump as he swam back. The timer went off and there was a lot of confused chatter. He refused all accusations of cheating and pointed out he'd kept to the literal rules and the rules didn't say you had to toss from a distance. "If the game is stacked against you, then you change the game. Captain Kirk, a famous human philosopher, taught me that," he told a livid Christian. He'd never seen a Merperson go red with anger before.

He swam as close to Sam as he was allowed, which wasn't very close.

Sam smiled proudly down at Dean. It wasn't the way the game was usually handled, but then no one had ever thought to do it that way. He winked at his mate and nodded at him encouragingly before Christian's voice boomed above the chatter, asking for everyone's attention.

Lifting his gaze from Dean, Sam looked over at the smug look on his brother-in-law's face.

"I think that it is clear with the way the challenges have gone thus far that Dean is not one of us. My dear brother-in-law may have somehow managed to get the human a tail, but fins and gills do not a Mer make. Being a Mer comes from the heart. This one here before you is human and always will be. Do you wish him to sit beside your Prince and rule one day? A human?" He shook his head, scowling at Dean with disdain. "I think not," he concluded.

"At the end of these challenges, I suggest that we use this human to ensure the safety of Merkind. We shall cast him to the sea witch, Marina, as payment for her services in constructing the zone around Atlantis," he announced.

Mutterings and chatter sounded immediately. Sam's eyes widened as fear for his love gripped his heart. He turned his attention to his father as he shook his head adamantly, "No!" He yelled, "No! There was no talk of this!"

The King held up a hand toward his son, "Silence, Samuel," he replied calmly.

Sam clamped his mouth closed with a huff, turning his enraged scowl toward Christian who gazed back at Sam with a pleased smirk upon his face.

"The next challenge," the King announced with a nod.

"Your 'safe zone' is gonna destroy you, you dumb fuck." Dean's mutterings were for Christian's ears only. He gave the Merman his back and listened for the next game. He'd won this round and maybe if he thought outside the box, he could do it again.

The announcer's voice drowned out the crowd's noise. "In our next challenge, each competitor will call for the aid of other sea creatures. Points will be given for successfully calling them, and additional points will be gained for coaxing them to move one of the items being brought into the arena, from one side, to the other. We will go with the standard points, one point for small fish, shrimp and seahorses, five for crustaceans, etc... Christian will go first and have two minutes, then Dean. Each will have three turns."

"What the fuck? I'm not Goddamned Tarzan," he complained, imagining himself calling out Tarzan style. Which hey, brought him to the point that he had absolutely no clue on how to call anything but Merfolk!

Sam groaned and hung his head. If Christian could suddenly change things in the middle of the game, he could give Dean advice.

"Dean," he called, leaning over the side of the rocks in front of him, "remember how I called the Orcas the day we came out in the boat? Do it just like that," he explained. "It's not hard... and they know you," he added, eliciting snickers from everyone due to the Orcas' having told of the day Sam had blown Dean while the human had ridden on the killer whale's belly. Sam rolled his eyes at the laughter around them, "Just like that, Dean, do it just like that!"

Pulling back from the edge of the rocks, Sam's narrowed gaze sought out Christian's daring the Merman to say a single thing about what he had said.

Christian only gave an uncaring shrug and turned, letting out a high pitched cry that carried through the waters.

Within moments lobsters crawled across the sea floor toward him. Black dolphins swam his way directly afterward. Each group of sea creatures deftly moved the items that Christian directed them to, just as the rules stated.

The announcer's voice boomed over the applause, "And now his competitor..."

Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth as his gaze caught Dean's. He gave his love an encouraging nod, crossing his fingers that Dean was able to past this task.

Dean made a face. Like he was supposed to remember how Sam sounded that day? "You don't wanna sorta show me..." Right, that would probably be outright cheating.

Clearing his throat, Dean started to hum and then turned that into a shrill sound that sounded like fingernails scratching on a blackboard. It was nothing like the sounds from Sam. Nothing. He didn't even have to see the horrified faces or people putting their hands over their ears to know that. He was about to try again when the octopus he and Sam had seen earlier showed up and sailed toward him. Giving a shout, he moved out of its way as it floated at hip level next to him. Never had he been so glad to have a retractable penis!

"Go boy, take those rocks!" He pointed. "Get the rocks, come on boy!"

Sam's eyes widened as the octopus swam into the arena. 'Oh Neptune, no...'

Gasps from those around him didn't help to calm Sam's nerves any as Dean actually tried to get the aggressive beast to work for him. Not that he was doing it right anyway. Talking to the thing wasn't going to work and they seemed to ignore the sonar that the Mer used to communicate with other animals.

When one of the tentacles reached out and wrapped around Dean, Sam panicked, swimming out from behind the rocks of the cliff toward his mate, no longer caring whether his action would forfeit the game.

"Dean," he shouted, "get away from that thing!" Sam let out a loud shrill cry that echoed through the waters around them as he charged the octopus.

"Sam!" Sarah cried, lifting a hand to cover her mouth.

Before Sam could reach the octopus, a large Orca appeared in the ring, bumping aggressively into the octopus causing the creature to drop Dean just before it turned on the whale.

"Whoa!" Dean was sent spiraling backwards. Really, he'd been much less afraid of the octopus which he could take care of with his knife than that huge whale bearing down at them. The octopus made a quick getaway but the orca stayed and circled him and Sam, who'd just reached his side. "Dude, it was just groping me because I'm freakin' irresistible. Now it's gone and I can't get points for calling the orca, cause you did it." Dean made a face. "Okay, what other sound can I make?"

Sam quickly clamped his hand over Dean's mouth, "I'm afraid to know," he mumbled. "Dean, that thing could have killed you," Sam insisted.

"He still needs to call something or he forfeits," Christian cut in. "And he's right, your pal here doesn't count," he added with a nod toward the Orca.

Slowly lowering his hand from Dean's mouth, Sam leaned in and brushed his lips across his lover's lips instead. "Just think... safe," he suggested as he slowly swam backward away from Dean, signaling the Orca to follow him.

Great, even Sam didn't want to hear the sound that came from him, not that he could blame the guy. And he still wasn't sure why it was safer to taunt sharks than octopus. When he scanned the crowd, he saw that not only were all eyes on him, but many people had their ears covered as a peremptory defensive measure. Okay, he'd just heard Sam's call for the orca, maybe he could copy that now that he had a refresher course. Steeling himself, he opened his mouth and let out a booming sound that was more 'raspy batman' than 'high pitched dolphin,' but there was nothing he could do about it.

Swimming back a little, he looked around. "Come on... anyone? Anyone? Someone... get your scaly ass down here. Please?"

Dejected, he was about to try another call when a huge shadow fell over him. Looking up, he saw a huge flying saucer over him, or maybe it was a swimming saucer. "Sting ray. Woo! Yes, I'm the man!" he shouted, looking at Christian with triumph. "Come on, that has to be worth, what, twenty points. You," he pointed at the creature, "get the rock and move it over there." He gestured wildly and repeated over and over, then tried to make the same call he'd given. The stupid thing just circled over him. "Come on man..."

Sam watched Dean, grimacing at the sound he'd made. When the shadow loomed over them all, Sam looked up and stared in wide eyed stupefaction. 'A Ray?' He thought before returning his attention to Dean, shaking his head sadly. The thing wouldn't be able to do very much at all. Not with the items that they wanted moved. If it were something small, maybe; something light weight, sure; but the rocks that they wanted moved, no way. Dean would be lucky to get the thing to just lay down on them and try to blend in with the ocean floor.

Turning his attention to the Orca that swam nearby, Sam caught the beast's eye and jerked his head toward Dean, hoping like hell no one had seen him do it.

"Come on big guy... push something. Anything, anything at ... no! No , no, no," Dean shouted as the sting ray swooped toward the King and Queen. "I'm fucked."

The only reason he wasn't was that the royals were perfectly capable of asking the sting ray to leave, which it did.

Christian was the one whooping it up now as Dean swam over to Sam. They'd been told that objective and subjective factors would count toward the final score but Dean was pretty sure Chris had it in the bag. So was Chris, and from the way Sam's head was hanging down, so was Sam. Dean reached out and put his arms around Sam's waist, touching his forehead to Sam's. "I'm sorry baby, I tried. I really fucking tried."

Sam sighed as he nodded and slowly lifted his head, "I know," he murmured, "it's okay," he whispered, leaning in the remainder of the distance, kissing Dean softly.

"Of course your sending your whale over here disqualifies the entire event, so I guess we should call Marina," Chris sneered.

Sam tore his lips away from Dean's as his head jerked up, lips parted in shock. His gaze slid to his father as he shook his head, "You can't be serious!"

Chris laughed, "Maybe you should just go swim off with your whales, Sam. You were never cut out to be a Prince to begin with, misplaced so to speak," he smirked. "Leave royalty to those who know what to do with it and who won't swim off with their tails under their bodies when they get bored."

"Aw fuck off." Dean's face hardened. "Atlantis has a King and he's sitting right there. Sam exploring his world, the worlds around Atlantis has not affected Atlantis, alright? And maybe he learned shit out there that you have no clue about since you've lived in one place with your head in the sand. He called an orca, not you. And why's that? Because he's been around. And he knows what humans are like, how many there are, and how they don't give up, so your little..." he waved his hand around, "scare tactic which sounds real cool when you're sitting on your ass and imagining it, won't work. But keep blowing air outta your ass." He took Sam's hand. "We're staying here, whether he's next in line or not, and we'll be in your face every time you come up with a stupid plan that'll blow up and destroy this place. You got that?"

He started to drag Sam away, but then turned suddenly. "And one more thing. You want to deal with this Marina chick, you're an idiot. I know you're going to yell hypocrite or whatever, but just cause this turned out okay," he pointed at his tail, "doesn't mean future deals will work out. Her cave is full of people stuck there because their deals got them nothing but life on the wrong side of prison bars. I may not know a lot about the sea, and calling sea creatures or... using my tail, but I know witchcraft, and I know deals... and they're bad news."

"That's a nice speech, but we had this talk while you two were out having fun. The King and Queen, and their advisors are convinced that the creation of a safe zone is workable and that we will deal with Marina. Her price will be one of us. I've already suggested you be the sacrifice. It makes sense... you'd be the first human to disappear."

"No!" Sam interjected angrily before turning his attention to his father.

"I give up the crown if that is what it takes, fine, I don't care. What I care about is you," his gaze scanned the crowd, "all of you," he said returning his attention to his father. "This plan will not save you, father, it will destroy you. I've been up there and I know how humans think, how they work.... well, at least a little bit," he explained, glancing at Dean and reaching over, catching his mate's hand in his own, lacing their fingers together before returning his gaze to his father.

"I hated dry land, if it weren't for Dean, I'd still be there, locked in a cage. And if you go ahead with this zone, it will only call more attention to us. Believe me, I know how much they like to look and poke and prod at what they do not understand... and when that isn't enough, they beat you into submission. Do you wish to see your grandchildren treated like this?"

He nodded to both his father and his sister, having heard her gasp, "They would be. Making the zone is like waving a flag that says 'look here we are, come and get us', it isn't going to keep them away. It will bring humans. Thousands of them. I don't know what you want me to do or say to make you believe me. I only want what is best for all of you and this..." he shook his head, "this is not it."

Raising his hand, the King leaned in toward the Queen. They spoke in hushed whispers as if barely aware of the tension that filled the arena. After quite a lot of time, the King nodded and took the Queen's hand, lacing his fingers with hers, much as Sam had done to Dean. "After hearing your impassioned speeches regarding the zone, we feel... we agree that creating the zone might have negative consequences that we'd never considered.

"Your Majest..."

The King went on, ignoring Christian's outburst. "That said, it is unfortunately too late to change course. The sea witch is difficult to summon, she may not appear for days or weeks or years, so when she appeared last night in response to an earlier summons, we discussed terms. Unbeknownst to Christian and most of you, the deal has already been struck. Marina accepted a volunteer as her price to create disasters within the zone for the next three years, and then she will demand a new sacrifice. What is done, cannot be undone." Turning, he looked at the group of Merfolk serving as judges. "Tally the scores and then we will weigh in with our own scores."

"They... the hell they did," Dean whispered hotly. "Sam, they can't do this."

Sam's eyes widened in alarm, "What? No," he blurted, shaking his head. "You can't allow this to happen, someone has to stop her!" He insisted. He turned his head toward Dean, a look of apology on his face as he slowly slipped his hand free of his loves. Leaning in, Sam brushed his lips across, Dean's softly.

"I'll always love you," he murmured, gazing lovingly into his human's eyes, "It'll be alright," he promised before turning and swimming away from him to stop before his father.

"Let her take me," he suggested. "I'm the one she really wants, the one she has always wanted. Allow her to take me as payment to stop this madness now before it is too late and all Merkind has to suffer for it," he said, lifting his chin stubbornly. "Better that only one Mer should die than all of you..."

"No! No Goddammit," Dean furiously swam after Sam and reaching him, grabbed his arm. His tail curled around Sam's but he kept afloat by holding onto Sam. "We'll find a different way, we can reverse your deal, but not at the cost of Sam."

Sam looked over at Dean with a sigh, "I am the one she has always wanted, Dean. I told you how she tried to murder me when I was a baby... I'm the only one that she'll accept in order to stop this," he slowly looked back at his father. "Especially if she knows that father wants it to end... Right, father?"

The Queen was shaking her head 'no,' but the King's face was grave. "That is true."

"Sam... Sam, Goddamit." He could tell from the way Sam's jaw hardened and the way he barely looked at him, that Sam's mind was made up. Goddamit. "Then I'm going with him. Shut up Sam," he added before his love spoke. "Who else will keep you company for however long she keeps you, huh? Look, either we both stay or we both go." Not that Dean planned on staying in any cage. Where there was a will, there was a way. It was the human way. Marina might be powerful, but she had no idea how motivated Dean could be, and he would damned well find a way to kill her and to free her prisoners too. It wasn't like he'd forgotten them, they'd always been on his radar, on his 'to do' list.

Sam clamped his mouth closed at Dean's command though he hung his head at his lover’s question. He wasn't at all sure that she would keep him at all, but likely finish what she had tried unsuccessfully to do the evening of his birth. Lifting his head, his eyes roamed over the pillars of the lost city sunken so many centuries ago, his home. He looked from his father to his mother, his sister and niece and nephew next to her. He thought of all the others in town, the ones he had grown up with and he had his decision.

Turning his head, his gaze slowly went to Dean, "I have to go," he murmured softly before shaking his head. "I don't have a choice. These are my people and this is my home... and I would die for them..."

"These are our people now, and you're my mate. If it's going down this way, then we're going together. Now let's go have one helluva wedding night, and we'll go to see the witch tomorrow." Dean ignored the king, and the people. Sam was his sole focus now. "Let's get outta here." He couldn't see it, but he knew Sam was crying or was a little teary. Closing his arm around Sam's waist, he nudged him to move, to leave everyone behind and not waste another moment of their last free hours together.

Sam's lips curved in a broken smile at his beloved's words. He didn't bother to tell him that they weren't officially married yet. Something that trivial didn't really matter when you were walking into oblivion the next day. Instead he nodded as he gazed at Dean with red rimmed eyes. Tears would have been making salty tracks down his cheeks if it weren't for the fact that they disappeared as soon as they left his eyes, blending in with the ocean water.

Wrapping his arm around Dean, he started to swim back to the city, intending to go to the back of the Citadel where Dean's beloved dry land met the sea. Tonight they could beach themselves and be together like they had been on land, pretending that tomorrow wouldn't be their last.

Sarah swam to her father and gripped his arm. Her head was bowed and it was clear she too was crying.

The crowd watched the Prince and his human, but their eyes were no longer dispassionate. Many were sorrowful. They'd been entertained by the challenges, and maybe they'd been swayed by their emotions when they'd shouted some anti-human sentiments, but now they were ashamed or touched by the fact that these two were giving their lives for them.

"Stop!"

The King's voice thundered from behind them. Dean had half a mind to tell the guy to cram it with crabclaws, but Sam had turned them around already.

"A decision has been reached on the competition. First ... there was no competition. There was no game within the competition that would have won or lost your crown, Sam. We are a just people. A fair people. Putting a human, a newly made merman in games involving expertise in techniques our people learn over many years would be nothing more than a goal oriented competition designed to unfairly result in a merman winning against a human."

The king paused as the crowd took that in and a slight chattering took place. "Thank you Christian, for agreeing to play along," he gave his son-in-law a nod. "The real test was a test of character. Yours and Dean's. Dean showed courage and the willingness to try to succeed even against the odds. He showed his cunning but he kept within the bounds of decency and could not be said to have cheated... too much. You offer your life for your people. He offers his for his mate. All of these qualities and characteristics are what we hold as important, they're what make us Merfolk. You both have knowledge that most of us do not, about the outside world, the oceans and dryland. You bring wisdom and courage and sacrifice to the table. Accordingly, both of you pass the challenge. Samuel is reinstated as the crown prince. There was no deal with Marina, I would never contemplate dealing with that..."

"Bitch?"

The King's gaze glanced off Dean. "... witch."

The Queen broke in. "We will hold the wedding ceremony for Dean and Sam this evening. Everyone is invited."

Shrill sounds of approval sounded, echoing around a shell shocked Dean.

Sam looked around them eyes wide with shock. Slowly his lips curved upward until a full blown smile lit his features, making his dimples show.

Merfolk swam down from the cliffs to congratulate them, shaking hands and giving hugs all of them chattering non-stop. Some praised Dean for how well he did with the challenges for being newly made, to which Sam cut in with a, "Not bad for a seahorse, huh?" Which lead to laughter all around. Others bowed before the Prince, humbled at his resolve to die for them.

Slowly, Sam began to swim backward from the group, his hand catching Dean's as he moved, the claustrophobic feel of all the people slowly pushing in on him, though he continued to smile and nod politely to each well wisher. "Uh, Dean and I need to... to get ready for - for tonight," he rambled nervously, before turning and swimming quickly from amongst them all, pulling Dean along behind him.

"Hey, what's the rush. At least here in Atlantis you get a 'thank you.' Do you know how many people I've saved without even getting one?" His complaints fell on deaf ears and he was pulled through the water at increasing speeds until it felt like they were racing. Eventually, he lunged and closed his arms around Sam's upper body, tightening his grip and entwining his tail with Sam's to prevent him from moving. They started to sink down toward the sandy bottom. "This wedding, it giving you the jitters? It doesn't have to happen," he offered, not caring one way or the other. They belonged to each other with or without a big party.

Sam frowned and shook his head, "No, why?" He glanced anxiously back the way they'd come as though they might be being followed before returning his attention to Dean. "Are you?" He asked, once again peering past Dean before returning his attention to his love as he awaited his answer.

"NO! But I'm not the one hot footing...um hot tailing it away from them. So what's going on?"

Sam licked his lips nervously then frowned at the habit before shaking his head, "Nothing.... just... well, I told you before... or I guess I tried to... I wasn't very far past 'Sam fuck Dean' then I don't think, but uh, I kind of hate crowds..."

"Sam, you were in the crowd all this time. You mean you don't like being the center of attention?" He gave a shrug. "You can tell them you want 'space.'"

"Well, yeah, I guess so... yeah... before it was fine, they were just all there and no one was staring or expecting me to do something extraordinary, I was just there, but then after my father... they all just... I mean, I just..." he sighed, "suddenly the ocean got very very small."

He snickered at Dean reminding him of 'space'. "That sounds well and good, but they'd listen about as well as the dog did that day," Sam explained dejectedly.

“Well then, we’ll have to get you a pet octopus. You can put it on a leash and everyone will keep their distance.” He drew Sam close. “You’ll get used to it, and you and I, we’ll take a lot of trips away from here, okay?”

Sam chuckled and nodded, "Yeah, okay..." he agreed. Not that he really thought Dean was serious about an octopus. He smiled sheepishly, "Sorry," he offered with a shrug, "another reason I never wanted to be prince before..." he paused, gazing into Dean's eyes warmly, "before you."

"Think of it less as being a prince and more of it as being a... rebel ruler. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it." As they turned and started swimming back, Dean sighed. "My tail is tired..." Yeah, he was gonna have to invent the shovel.

* * *

As they swam from their new quarters to the main ballroom which was open on one side with only pillars separating the ballroom from the ocean, Dean nervously practiced the words he had to speak. If he called a creature by mistake, it could be bad. If he used the sounds for 'walrus breath,' which was too damned close to the wedding vows, it would be bad. If his tail kept curling around Sam's, like it was doing every time he failed to concentrate, it could be bad. Seriously, he didn't need to draw anymore laughter than he had during the challenges.

They hovered at the entry way, looking into the ballroom. Special glowing stones lit the place up, though with Merfolk vision, night or darkness didn't mean much as he could see just fine. The female Mer wore ornate shell and pearl trinkets, around their necks, waists and in their hair. Many of the men had gold of silver bands around their upper arms and some carried tridents. Dean whispered the words again, then exclaimed, "Fuck!" His tail had tangled with Sam's again, dammit.

Sam's eyes widened as everyone's attention seemed to go to he and Dean. Slowly he turned his head to look at his mate, brow lifting in a silent question as if to ask if everything was alright.

Returning his attention to the others, Sam offered a nervous tight smile, "It's... um... he's teasing me... first word I learned on dry land..." he lamely explained. He began to relax as everyone's attention slowly turned away from them once more and resumed talking amongst themselves.

Turning toward Dean, Sam lifted his brows again, "You, uh, wanna tell me about that?" He asked.

"Words aren't coming out right, my tail isn't behaving. What's to tell," Dean asked running his hand over his face in frustration.

Sam swam closer and wrapped his arms around Dean, pulling him closer, "I think your words are coming out fine... and I like your saucy tail," he smirked. "Relax," he said before leaning in and brushing his lips across his lover's. "It's only our wedding... it's not like we're feeding you to a whale," he teased with a wide grin, winking at Dean as he slowly released him.

Dean gave a half hearted grunt. "At least the ceremony isn't long, there's that." He couldn't stay grumpy though, not with Sam flashing his dimples at him like that. Reaching out, he took Sam's hand and threaded their fingers together. "We'll get through it, and then there's the honeymoon to look forward to. What's that?" he asked, trying not to pull a face as a huge tray of something gelatinousness was taken into the ballroom.

Sam frowned thoughtfully as he watched the item get pushed past them on a cart, "Fish egg and raw clam molds. It's believed to bring good luck to the newly married couple," Sam answered simply with a shrug before returning his attention to Dean. A smile curled his lips as he looked at his mate, "It is supposed to induce the birthing of many... uh, seahorses. Why?"

"You know how you felt about hot dogs?" Dean gave an empty swallow at the thought of having to down some of that stuff. "I hope they have salmon or tuna. And those weirdly shaped seaweed. Did I just say that?" Then the other shoe dropped and he gave Sam a double take. "Ah... seahorses. How? I mean, you or me or... what? How are we gonna make little seahorses?" He was freaking out at the thought, but trying not to look like it.

Sam bit his cheek in an attempt to stifle his laughter, he couldn't believe Dean really thought that they could reproduce. Sure, he'd been telling the truth about the purpose of the dish, but that was for male with female marriages and wouldn't do a thing for them. "Oh, they'll just swim right out of your tail..." Sam replied as he nodded sagely. "Litters of them..."

"My tail. Why mine, and what do you mean they? How many... fuck... You're kidding, right? Sam?" As Sam drifted away, Dean followed him. "Sam!"

Sarah swam over to her brother and gave him a small hug, "I'm so happy for..." her words trailed off as she looked over at Dean who seemed as though he were on the verge of hysteria.

She looked back at her brother, "Um, what's wrong with Dean?"

Sam waited for Dean to swim up to him and wrapped an arm around his mate, "Oh I was just telling Dean about seahorses and how they're born in litters..."

Sarah smiled and nodded, "Oh yes, it's true, millions of them," she agreed, "and they just seem to come out of nowhere. One minute they aren't there and the next you're over run with them... though I guess that's due to the fact that so many of them are eaten when they are still small," she confided as she looked over at Dean and nodded. "They're actually quite delicious... you wouldn't think so, but they are," she said with a smile before excusing herself and swimming over to their mother.

Dean's mouth dropped open. "Eat them. We eat our young? Oh my God, it's the first thing we're going to outlaw when we can." He pulled out of Sam's arm and swam away, then came back, looked at him and swam away again. When he came back, he didn't look too happy. "I’m not doing it. I'm not having hundred... millions of seahorses. And I'm not eating them either. You still want me?"

Sam looked over at Dean, "It's alright, I'll have them... and I'll eat them," he nodded, his face turning red as he held back his laughter, "it's alright, I don't mind."

"No, you're not gonna eat our--" Dean's gaze narrowed. He lightly punched Sam in the arm. "Wait till I feed you some human delicacies that I'll be cooking in our fire pit. You'll be wishing I was feeding you only hot dogs!" He shook his head and turned away, but started to chuckle. That story had been so outlandish, he had only himself to blame for believing it.

Sam swam after Dean. Coming up behind his mate, he wrapped his arms around Dean, hugging him close as he laid his head on Dean's shoulder, chuckling.

"I'm sorry... but it kept you from worrying about your tail and about your words... and you have to admit, it was pretty funny. I didn't plan for Sarah's help, but it came out good," he snickered. "And we aren't seahorses when we're born. The next birth, I'll take you and you can see what it is that our young look like... how tiny and beautiful they are," he promised before kissing Dean's cheek.

Putting his hands over Sam's arms around him, Dean nodded. "Yeah, it pretty much worked. And I'd like that." His tail had behaved, that much was true. "Uh oh, your mom's waving at us. It's show time. Okay we swim to the Temple of Aphrodite, enter from two different entrances, and meet at the center of the temple. Nervous again and practicing his lines, Dean shot out of the ballroom, not even thinking they could go together at least until they reached the building.

At the side entrance of the temple, a couple of Merfolk stopped him and said he should wait until the guests were inside the temple. He kept swim-pacing and looking for Sam, and practicing, then tried to think of baby seahorses to get his mind off his worrying. When it was time, the mermaid at the door told him his pronunciation was fine, and so long as he lengthened the second consonant, he wouldn't calling Sam a son of a bitch, which would be insulting to the Queen. "Thanks. Seriously, just what I needed to know," Dean grumbled, pasting a smile on his face and giving her only a few seconds to place necklaces of flowers and shells around his neck and gold bands on his arms, before swimming inside.

The crowd was split into three sections, so there were two aisles, one for him and one for Sam to swim up. Across the sea of people, their eyes met and Dean's smile became much more genuine.

Sam swam up the side aisle, turned at the same time as Dean and then met him in the center aisle. Reaching for Dean's hand, Sam held it within his own, lacing his fingers with Dean's before slowly pulling his gaze away from his mate and turning toward the alter and swimming up close to it.

Dean's mind was a riot of thoughts. What was he doing here? Was he about to insult his mother-in-law? How had he gotten talked into wearing flowery things around his neck? Maybe they should have just eloped. But then, Sam took his hand and a sense of peace settled around Dean. Yes in a matter of just days, there had been huge changes in his life. There might be things he'd still need to get used to. But the important thing was that he was no longer the miserable husk of a human being he'd been without Sam.

This was right. They were right together. He was gonna go through with this and he wouldn't mess up.

When two Merfolk swam up with balloon-like things in their hands, Dean watched with interest until they squeezed the balloons and a whitish liquid squirted out, creating a white cloud around them. He didn't know what it was, and it would have been a helluvalot better if he hadn't heard someone whisper an explanation to him.

"Whale sperm. For luck and abundance in your union."

It took every last bit of Dean's control to keep his face neutral. "Should I be expecting any other bodily fluids?" he asked Sam in a low whisper.

Sam fought to hide his smirk and stifle his laughter, bringing a fisted hand up to his lips as he cleared his throat before lowering it and giving a small curt shake of his head before whispering back, "Only mine."

Choking, Dean in turn pretended to clear his throat. "Anytime, anyplace. I mean out of sight," he had to add, recalling how no one commented on sex out in the open. Damn, he'd miss having sex in places like the car or alleys where the fear of getting caught took the excitement up a couple notches. If anyone who saw you wouldn't think anything of it, there was no added sense of excitement. Only mortification since they were just as likely to swim up and start a conversation with you as they were to swim away.

Sam smirked and squeezed Dean's hand as the priestess began the ceremony, "Shy," Sam muttered too softly for anyone to hear but Dean.

Giving a snort, Dean bumped into Sam but managed to keep his tail under control. He'd been prepared for boredom or nervousness but fifteen minutes passed in the blink of an eye as she mixed old tales of love and mating with requests for Aphrodite's blessing of this union. Then she motioned for them to face each other and put their foreheads together and to clasp both hands together. "Do you each promise to uphold this union until your last breath. To hold each others' lives above your own. To lavish your love upon each other and to give each other the fruits of your labor? Do you promise to share your triumphs and aid each other through tragedy?

Strangely calm, his voice steady and loud, Dean proclaimed "yes," his gaze locked with Sam's.

Sam smiled broadly, eyes rimmed in red as he nodded, his forehead moving against Dean's, "Yes," he said loud enough for all to hear, then added in a whisper for only Dean to hear, "Anytime, anywhere..."

Hearing his own very human words echoed by his love, Dean fingers tightened around Sam's. 'I love you,' he mouthed silently, then started to say the words he'd been practicing. " I claim thee before all the gods and goddesses of old. I claim thee before all Atlantis. I claim thee before your parents. You, and only you, are my mate." Though his voice sounded more gravelly than high pitched, Dean searched Sam's eyes and saw from the depth of emotion reflected at him, he'd gotten it right.

Sam smile seemed to widen if that were possible before he replied back in kind, "I claim thee before all the gods and goddesses of old. I claim thee before all of Atlantis. I claim thee before my parents. You and only you, are my mate... I love you..."

Pulling Sam close, Dean welded their mouths together in a kiss that turned out more heated than he'd intended. Maybe it was the emotions storming inside him, maybe it was the realization Sam was trying to give him a little 'dryland' by using the phrase he'd heard among humans and maybe it was just that whenever they touched, whenever they kissed, something undeniable ignited between them. Mate. He was coming to realize exactly what this meant. His tongue was still tangling with Sam's, his hands molding him close, when someone pulled him roughly away and planted their own mouth over his.

What the hell? Dean pushed the unknown merman away and was grabbed by a mermaid. He saw that Sam was being passed around the same way and was about to protest when he was squeezed within an inch of his life.

Sam smiled at each guest as they kissed him chastely on the lips in congratulations, hugging him and patting his back. Hearing Dean grunt abruptly, Sam turned and stifled a laugh seeing Christian giving Dean a tight hug, one that would rival any octopus hold.

"Alright, Chris, let him go," Sam mumbled, amusement clear in his voice.

"Yeah Chris, before I set my tail on you. Did you eat something with iodine in it?" He swam backwards, away from the brother-in-law he'd been cursing ten ways from Sunday at only a few hours ago.

If he'd thought it would stop already, he'd been dead-wrong. By the time the last kisser kissed him and then deposited him next to Sam... literally by shoving him toward Sam... Dean swore his mouth was raw. He'd side-eyed Sam kissing Sarah too. "So... no such thing as incest in Merculture huh?" He didn't expect an answer, but he was damned if he was going to be swept into anyone else's arms. He grabbed Sam and was about to kiss him when the King tapped him on the shoulder.

As Dean turned toward the king, he waited for Sam to release his mate before holding out the crown for first his son, which he placed upon Sam's head with a fond smile. Next he reached for a second crown and held it above Dean's head, "I give you, Prince Dean," he announced as he lowered the crown onto Dean's head.

Sam's father swam forward hugging both Sam and Dean at once before pulling his head back and kissing them both on the mouth.

"And now I have three sons," he said with a wide smile as he released the newlyweds.

Sam turned to face Dean with a wide grin, "How about kissing your husband, Prince Dean?" He suggested.

Wrapping his arms around Dean, Sam leaned in and slanted his mouth over Dean's, kissing him slowly. Although unlike the millions of kisses they had received, Sam kissed him as they kissed on land, his tongue sweeping into his lover's mouth, tangling with Dean's own.

"Mmm, yeah," Dean muttered between kisses, vaguely aware that they were being pushed and ushered out of the temple, but for once not giving a damn. They were outside the temple by the time he drew his mouth away from Sam's. "You look happy, and beautiful. Free. Like you're always going to be. Always," Dean said, banishing from his mind those days when a glass wall had separated him from the merman and he'd been forced to watch Sam get zapped by electricity to force him to perform.

Sam sucked his bottom lip into his mouth, his cheeks growing warm with a soft blush at his mate's words.

"You're free now too," Sam replied softly, smiling back at Dean. "You don't look sad like you use to... when we first met... you look good like this... happy," his smile widened, "and wet," he added with a delighted snicker.

"Sad?" Dean cocked his head, then nodded. "I guess I was sad, and lonely. And then I met this... this crazy sexy fishtailed guy with a great smile and eyes that let me see clear to his soul, who asked me to fuck, and bite, and lick, and made the dirtiest words sound so damned innocent that even a hardened old hunter like me got all twisted up on the inside and started to see things in a different way. You're right, I'm free now. Sam freed Dean," he said, taking his mate's hand. This time, when his tail curled around Sam's, it wasn't accidental. "Swim me to the buffet... let's see if there's anything there that won't have either of us demanding the other brush his teeth."

Sam chuckled and leaned in, kissing his mate's lips softly, "I love you... have since the first night when I saw you through the glass at that bad place..."

Pulling his head back, Sam licked his lips and gently tugged at Dean's hand, leading him over to the buffet table only to laugh at him as Dean made a face at most everything there.

"It's not that bad, here, try some sand crab," Sam suggested, cramming a raw piece into Dean's mouth before he could argue.

Half the very large piece of crab was hanging out of Dean's mouth. He glared as he chewed but found that the crab meat actually tasted sweet and pretty damned good. Then again his stomach was growling, or would have been had he been on dryland, so maybe almost anything would be good. Swallowing it down, he gave a nod, "Yeah, I'll have more of that, and Sam... do not eat that," he said, pointing at something that looked like a tarantula.

Sam grinned and looked over at Dean, shaking his head, "You don't want to try that?" He asked then shrugged and began to pick through the food, popping round red fish eggs into his mouth the way one would peanuts.

"You should try these," Sam suggested. "It's like the sushi place," he explained before turning and trying to shove one past Dean's tightly pressed lips, the bubble-like egg bursting against Dean's lips eliciting laughter from Sam.

"I just ate a... a baby fish and..." Once again, the realization hit that it hadn't been bad. "It tasted good." Seeing the triumph in Sam's eyes, he pointed sternly at him. "I still didn't like how it felt, popping and squirting in my mouth."
Sam pressed his lips together tightly to stifle further laughter at his mate's words, "I thought you liked squirting in your mouth..." he said with a soft snicker.

Taking Dean's opposite hand with his free one, the one that wasn't already linked with one of Dean's, Sam jerked his head to the side, "Dance with me?" He asked softly.

"Shouldn't that be 'splash with me?'" So long as Dean thought of this as 'swimming,' it would be fine. "Yeah, nothing I'd like better." He snagged a seaweed off the table as he was pulled in the direction of the dancing Merfolk, and was just polishing if off when they reached the dancers. Dean took Sam into his arms and pulled him close, resting his cheek against Sam's and moving in circles to the soft musical sounds from the orchestra. Who knew shells, and conchs and other sea gifts could be used to make music under water, that the sounds would carry and be heard? He was just getting into the nice, slow beat, taking advantage by groping his love when the music suddenly changed.

"What... what's going on?"

The only explanation he got was that they'd been spotted and someone had thought it would be funny to make them dance apart. Not only apart, it was an elaborate 'synchronized swimming act' that Dean had no idea how to execute. Not that this stopped any of them. He was manhandled and woman handled, shoved, pushed, turned, dragged by his tale, and patted on the head for having at least 'tried.' But the happy look in Sam's eyes, when he'd been deposited in front of him, made it all worth it.

The rest of the festivities were a blur. They drank and ate. He managed to keep off the dance floor, but he did join into some of the games of luck they had. He'd always liked gambling so he really got into it, especially the part where Sam would kiss him for luck.

When the party wound down, he noticed that a lot of people were swimming in circles around them. "What's going on?" He looked over at Sam.

"We are to wrestle," Sam explained with a smile and a nod. "See who is stronger," he added just before gripping Dean's shoulders and swimming him backward as fast as Sam could go until they collided with a table, causing Dean to bend half over backward onto it. Sam grinned as he gazed down into his mate's face, "Give up?"

"Ah... is that for the best?" Dean asked, detecting Sam was trying to tell him something without saying it.

Sam's smile widened as he nodded, "For me it is," he answered before releasing Dean's shoulders and allowing his hands to slowly slide down his mate's chest. His gaze remained steadily focused on Dean's as he slowly slid his hands along his lover's body, thumbs rubbing purposefully over his nipples.

Lowering his hands further, Sam gripped Dean's waist and ducked his head and shoulders down as he lifted, hefting Dean's body up and over his shoulder. Straightening, he turned toward the now cheering crowd and began to swim through them all, heading toward his and Dean's new home within the Citadel.

Completely disarmed by the unexpected pleasure that coursed through his body at Sam's sexual touches, by the time Dean realized he was being carried like a trophy, it was too damned late for him to do anything about it, other than rant about cheaters, curse, and stare wide eyed at all the Merfolk who were swimming after them, clanging various instruments in their hands as they followed. "Sam, when we get home, I am so..."

"Are you going to Saaam him? It'll be hard to get a whale in there with you, do you want any other volunteers?"

"No, we're not kinky that way, but thanks." And now, Dean was actually talking about his sex life to strangers...

Sam snickered and shook his head, "They aren't kinky... they would only be there to help... offer their stomachs instead of the whales," Sam explained before turning around to face the crowd.

"I was thinking of having him hold onto something on the roof as I do the same as when one is Saaamed," Sam announced causing the others to cheer louder.

"Oh God..." Dean groaned and slapped his tail against Sam's face, snickering and happy that he'd been able to exert that much control over it.

He'd thought Sam would put him down at the entrance to his quarters, but no, he swam through. Dean put his arms out to his sides, blocking himself from being pulled all the way through. "It's been a pleasure having you, now if you'll... you know, cut out all the noise, I think I'm gonna go get a bit of tail, know what I mean?" He let go, and quickly slammed the door shut, before being whisked farther into their large quarters, and slipping down, swimming chest to chest with Sam.

"What was that about Saaaming me? Hmm?" He grabbed Sam's hands, held them to Sam's sides and leaning in, kissed the hell out of him. "Last one to the roof has to do the Saaaming first," he declared, kicking his tail and shooting up through the water toward the ceiling and leaving his bemused mate to come to his senses.

* * *

A few days had passed since the wedding. Dean was an instant hit with all of Atlantis though Sam had to keep reminding him to wear his crown and more often than not Sam was forced to chase after it as Dean put it on the head of some little Mer or another, which only proved to have Dean laughing at him as Sam chased a tadpole of a child around Atlantis trying to steal back Dean's crown.

They were now swimming along in an area of the sea where Sam had spent much of his time before being captured and taken to dryland. Orca's swam nearby along with bottle nosed dolphins, a blue whale swam a head of them, its giant tail lifting out of the water and splashing back down, sending them both tumbling backward a few feet.

Sam laughed as they righted themselves, "Rule number two, never get too close to a whale when they do that... you'll be crushed... or sent flying back," he said, merriment dancing in his eyes.

"There won't be any sharks here with him," he nodded toward the whale, "and the Orcas around, so you don't have to worry about that," he gave Dean a long look and shook his head, "you aren't quite ready for that adventure yet," he mused. "Soon maybe," he promised with a wink and a nod. "Like I was saying, for collecting the small fish here, all you need to do..." Sam's words trailed off as he turned his head toward a large sea sponge and he gave a small snort.

"That used to be my favorite place to get off at," Sam mumbled, jerking his head to the side toward the sponge. "Anyway... to catch fish you--"

"Whoa-- Hold on there, wadda ya mean your favorite place to get off. You mean off like... you know... yeah that's what you mean. So where's the strip club? I didn't think Merfolk had that kind of entertainment," he said, swimming deeper into the ocean and looking around but only seeing sponge, which was probably great for sleeping in but had nothing to do with what Sam had said. "Didn't you say you'd never...?" Cocking a brow, he turned and looked at Sam. "Did you maybe ... exaggerate your virginity just a little?"

Sam frowned, "Virginity?"

There was that word again that he really didn't know very well. He remembered when they were on land and Dean had first said the word that he had said that it meant never having had sex before. He was actually surprised Dean was able to form it in Mer language to begin with since the word was not in their vocabulary. He shook his head and swam over to the sponge. He gyrated his hips a little and pointed at the sponge, "I got off here."

"You ah..." Dean emulated Sam's hip motion, then scratched his head. "Nope, I still don't get it." He looked over at the cream colored sponge, then back at Sam.

Sam groaned in aggravation. "You know... like in the tank, remember?"

"In the tank what? Oh, you mean... you and some other guy used to jerk off to each other here?" Okay, that dull, heavy feeling in his heart was really very idiotic and damned hypo critic when for years he'd bedded anything that moved. He shook his head. "It's okay, I don't need to hear about it, or know who." He especially didn't want to know that. "Let's go catch some more fish." He turned around and put the place behind him as he started to swim.

Sam turned toward Dean and watched him start to swim away, "I was alone," he called after his mate. He'd thought he made that perfectly clear before. Merfolk mated for life and didn't have sex with anyone other than the one they felt were their mates. They also didn't jerk off anyone else either.

Dean stopped so suddenly, he started to sink like lead. Flipping over, he swam back, his eyes seeking out Sam's. He looked at the sponge, then back at Sam. "You sat on it and... oh." Then he remembered Sam said Merfolk didn't jerk off the same way as humans did. He remembered how Sam had thrown himself against the glass of the tank at the club, pushing his cock up against it. He'd never seen anything so strange and sexy and just the thought of it made his entire body vibrate. "Show me?" His voice thickened, his body tensing with anticipation. "I want to see you do it. Do it for me."

Sam's lips quirked upward slightly as his face flushed softly with embarrassment, "No," he answered bashfully lowering his gaze. He looked back up at his mate and sucked his bottom lip into his mouth for a moment. "Really?" He asked tentatively.

"Really, yeah. Now who's being shy?" Dean asked, swimming closer and crowding Sam, "You weren't so shy the first time you saw me."

Sam smiled, his blush deepening a shade, "Well, that was different..." he said lamely before chuckling awkwardly. "Uh, alright, but... don't stare... I mean, don't look like you're staring... or whatever..." He wrapped his arms around Dean and dipped his head, trailing kisses along his lover's throat. "You could do it with me... you your way and me... like this," he suggested huskily.

"I'm game," Dean arched his neck, his lips burning for a kiss. "Maybe I'll end up trying it your way."

His hands slid down Sam's sides to his hips, he pulled him close and using his tail, pushed himself repeatedly against Sam, rubbing against him in a way that he was sure would have both of them go hard soon. The sooner they were at the right level of excitement, the sooner there would be something for him to reach for since he hadn't figured out a way to make his cock appear on command. "Sammy, give me your mouth," he demanded suddenly as lust shot through him. Slanting his mouth over his mate's, he tangled their tongues and started to slowly tongue fuck Sam, rubbing against him to the same rhythm.

Sam moaned into the kiss, his arms wrapped securely around Dean, hands sliding up and down his lover's back. As lust shot through him, Sam's hands slid down, cupping his mate's ass, hauling him up harder against his body the way Dean had done to him many times on their wedding night. He moved his hips against Dean's, undulating and gyrating in the same way he would against the sponge soon enough.

Tearing his lips from Dean's, his gills moving harder with his panted breaths, Sam gazed into his lover's eyes a moment before leaning in and sucking Dean's bottom lip into his mouth briefly.

"I love you," he whispered against his mate's lips before releasing his hold on his lover's ass, his hands slowly sliding down as he pulled away and swam backward toward the sponge.

Before he could answer, Sam had taken off, giving Dean a view he wouldn't forget anytime soon. Open mouthed, he focused on Sam's erection waving at him proudly, and the graceful up and down motions of his hips, crowding Dean's mind with thoughts of sex, sex, sex. Licking his lips, he stayed where he was, arms away from his body as he kept himself afloat, his heart banging against his chest in anticipation when Sam reached the large oddly shaped sponge with its slopes, grooves and saddle-like planes.

Sam stopped at the sponge and allowed himself to sink down into one of the valleys between one high slope and the next. His eyes focused on his mate, Sam began to move, his hips undulating and gyrating as he thrust up against the arched area of the sponge before him, his cock rubbing against the soft fibrous skeleton of the sponge.

Dean's gaze moved back and forth between Sam's hips and his eyes. He swam a little to the side, to get a better view and felt the heat creeping up his neck as he got a look at how Sam's cock pushed into the sponge, forcing it to move with his motions. His hand wandered over his own body, his chest, his nipple, he imagined it was Sam touching him, that Sam was pushing up against him the same way he was doing against the sponge. It was so damned hot, it made him so damned hard, he had to be masochistic to resist touching himself already.

Soft moans tumbled from Sam's lips though underwater they were like dolphin calls, high pitched and clickity. His lips parted as his eyes slowly slid closed as he continued to move, pressing his body harder up against the sponge and grinding his hips.

As Sam fucked against the sponge more frantically and made the sounds that he couldn't control, Dean's own hunger for sex sharpened. His low moan turned into a shrill call to his mate as his hand drifted lower on his body, and closed around his now rock hard dick. Watching Sam, Dean wanted to be that sponge, wanted so badly to be taking the brunt of each collision of Sam's body, wanted to push back against him, to pull him closer. "Ngh... Sam..." Dean swam closer, unaware of how quick his gills were moving at his increased need for air.

Sam's eyes slowly opened to the sound of his mate's desirous call. "Dean," Sam panted, his own gills moving rapidly with his heavy breaths, his hard cock pulsing as he continued to thrust up against the sponge. His head lolled back, eyes slowly slipping closed as he gyrated his hips and moved in slow undulating motions against the soft fibrous side of the sponge. He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth imagining Dean's lips on his own, his mate kissing him and suckling at his lips.

Tentatively he lifted a hand and slid his palm down over his body slowly, something he had never done before meeting his mate.

Groaning, Dean went horizontal and flicked his tail to swim closer, reaching out to grab at the sponge when he was on the other side of it, in front of Sam. "Yeah... oh God yeah Sam, fuck you're gorgeous, just..." He started humping the sponge, the way he'd seen Sam. It took a few tries, but the drag of the soft sponge against his cock gave him enough pressure to make him thrust harder, his eyes never leaving Sam's, telling him silently how completely Dean was affected by Sam. "Fuck... fuck Sam, fuck with me," he demanded, his gaze flicking down to the sponge.

Sam shifted over a tad so that he was directly in front of Dean and continued to rut against the sponge, his hips undulating and thrusting as he lifted his hands, reaching out to run them over his mate's torso, thumbs sliding purposefully over his lover's nipples. Sharp shrill cries tore from Sam's throat, pleasured sounds as he ground harder against the sponge.
Gripping the edge of the sponge separating them up to their waists, Dean arched back, his nipples tightening under his love's touch, his body rippling with pleasure. He watched Sam through heavy lidded eyes, noticed how graceful his movements were even when he was desperate and pushed to the edge. "So beautiful, you're so beautiful... so fucking sexy," he rasped, grinding harder against the sponge, feeling it give and then get pressed back against him by Sam's movements. This was so much better than with glass separating them, so much better.

Sam's gills moved faster with his panted breaths, his back arching as a high pitched shrill cry tore from his throat, muscles tensing. His own nipples pebbled as waves of pleasure crashed through him, his cock pulsing, heat pooling low in his belly.

His hands moved in slow jerky motions across his mate's flesh, "So beautiful," Sam rasped, "my human... my mate..." Sam's eyes squeezed tightly closed as he grit his teeth, balls drawing up close to his body. His mate's name tore from his throat in a high pitched shrill squawk as the first ribbon of cum shot from his dick to mix with the ocean water and slowly dissipate.

Dean's entire body reacted to Sam's cry, tensing and straining, spiraling out of control until he gave his own shout, throwing his head back and barely hanging onto the sponge under the force of his release. His hips undulated, faster and harder, completely out of his control, the way he'd learned it would be until he was milked dry. Pushing down on the sponge, he catapulted forward and pulled Sam into his arms, thrusting against him as he brought his mouth over Sam's and kissed him with the same intensity as the orgasm that ripped through him. His love. His mate. His prince. His forever, it was all that Dean needed, all that he could want. Nothing else, nothing in his world had filled the hole that was his heart. Sam could do it for him with a smile... or a damned sea sponge.

He curled his tail around Sam's, this time intentionally making them sink down over the flatter area of the sponge. "Mer sex... I'm learning to love it," he announced, rolling Sam, and letting his lover roll over him in turn.

Sam smiled brightly at his mate, though his eyes were droopy, his body sated and content. His heart content now that he had Dean by his side forever and always.

"Mmmmmmm," he hummed, "and Dean looks good wet," he added as his gaze roamed over his lover's features before dipping his head and slanting his mouth back over Dean's, kissing him slowly, just the way Dean had taught him in what seemed like a lifetime ago.

That thought had him ending the kiss and lifting his head marginally, "I think maybe I knew you before... when we both lived in Atlantis, before she sank into the ocean," he mused, a warm smile curling his lips and making his dimples show. He gave a small shrug, "Feels like it maybe..."

"Maybe." Dean kissed Sam without tongue, in the Mer way. "I'd like to think so." Pulling him close, he looked up at the miles of water separating them from the sun and air, the fish that swam by, and all the things a human eye could never see, all the colors, all the little details that made this world look like art, and he knew he was gonna be alright here. He was home.

* * *

They'd fallen asleep. As Dean swam off the sponge they'd been laying on, he liked to think that he'd worn Sam out. Well, he'd claim it anyhow. With long, easy flicks of his tail, he practiced some moves Sam had shown him and just started to try to sound out some of the harder Mer tones he'd been learning when he saw an Orca and snapped his mouth shut. Yeah, hopefully he hadn't called it because he didn't know Orca yet, and wasn't sure how he'd tell a big football field sized thing to buzz off.

He'd never admit it, but he was also swimming backwards toward Sam, when the whale took off. Good, now he wouldn't have to fight it. Or worse, call Sam for help.

Exploring a little more around the sponge, he started to make his way back from another angle. A wall of the sponge covered his view of Sam, but he saw Sam's arm stretch up over it, like he was just waking up. He started to swim faster when he noticed something that put a big grin on his face. Sam had to be pressed up against that wall cause what Dean saw peeping through one of the holes in the sponge, well he'd know that dick anywhere.

Instead of calling out, he swam to that spot, put both hands on the wall of the sponge, dipped his head down and sucked on the tip of Sam's cock, giving a loud humm so he'd know it wasn't a crab or anything that had him in its grips.

Sam stretched, a content smile curling his lips as he smiled sleepily and rolled over against the side of the sponge. He heard what sounded like Dean in Mer and was about to lift his head when his eyes snapped open feeling a warm mouth envelope the tip of his dick and suckle gently. His hand moved to grip the side of the sponge as his breaths quickened, lips parting a moment before he sucked the bottom one into his mouth on a high pitched groan, eyes slipping closed once more.

Releasing his lip, Sam murmured his mate's name softly and slowly moved his hips, thrusting his hips against the sponge wall, pushing his cock deeper into his lover's mouth.

Pleased that Sam was a quick learner, Dean let him fuck his mouth for a few heart beats, then pulled off and licked his way around Sam's dick. Being teased still irked Sam, and Dean loved that too, so he teased him mercilessly, only sometimes allowing him to penetrate his mouth. God, he loved how hard he could get Sam in such a short time, loved how they both reacted to each other.

Sam's eyes opened as his brow furrowed in frustration. "Fuck," Sam swore in English instead of mer even though he knew that Dean was likely laughing at him. "What," he swallowed hard and arched his back, pushing his dick further through the hole toward his mate. "What are you doing?"

"Exploring sponge, and look what I found sticking out of it." Chuckling, Dean sucked along the Sam's shaft, then ran his tongue over his tip. "Hey you're the one who stuck your dick through this natural glory hole, I'm just taking up your invitation. Innocent, my ass."

"Glor," Sam panted then gave a high pitched moan. "Glory hole?" He asked not knowing what Dean was talking about.

He felt Dean suck his cock back into his mouth and nearly broke off a piece of the sponge as he gripped it tightly in his hand a guttural groan tearing from his throat before a loud high pitched cry echoed through the waters.

* * *

They'd hunted some food, the types of things that Dean had started to like. When they entered town, they each lugged part of their haul inside sack-like under water plants and were laughing and arguing about who the better hunter was down here, in the wet. "It was nice getting away," Dean started to say, then turned his head to see what the new display of things for sale was outside one of the stores. "Are those..." His eyes narrowed and he veered toward the store, to get a closer look.

Sam's attention swung toward the shop that Dean was swimming toward and his eyes widened to near saucer proportions as he read the large bright yellow banner with it's equally bright red writing.

He swam after his mate and quickly grabbed Dean, wrapping an arm around his waist as he tore his gaze off the sign and pulled at his mate to head away from the place before Dean flipped out seeing the sign.

"They're just sponges," Sam managed to say and not bust out laughing. "Come on, let's go home," he suggested, giving his lover a gentle tug away from the place.

"But..." Dean felt himself getting dragged, but his eyes were still on the sponges lined up outside the store. Before Sam managed to force him to turn around, he looked up at the large sign and started to read out loud, "50 % off Prince Dean's Glory HOLES!" His shout could be heard all the way down the street and many Mer started to swim out.

"Sam! Sam..." Dean's blood shot up to this temples and he cursed out all gossipy Orcas in both human and Mer tongue. "Are you laughing?" he demanded, seeing Sam swim away from him, his shoulders shaking. "Sam!"

 

... AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.... and after a few months, Dean even forgave the Orcas.

THE END