You wake up next to a beautiful boy whose body is as familiar as your own.
Tucked inside a nest of blankets, burrowed against each other because there’s only so much a cheap heater can do against northern Idaho winds. Burrowing deeper, you seek the heated space behind his neck, curbing an impulse to latch sharp teeth into the soft skin and make it your own. Because as much as this boy is yours, there are still lines that cannot be crossed.
The room is foreign. It had been dark when you’d arrived last night, tired enough to crash on the bed without even changing. Dad is probably two or three states away by now, chasing down more monsters in the shape of his dead wife.
Without your father around, the urge to fight every restriction in your life fades to a bearable hum. Everything feels more open, less claustrophobic.
At fifteen years old, your whole life has been spent on the road. More miles logged under your feet than most people travel in a lifetime. But your world is still so small. Fits inside the backseat of a ‘67 Chevrolet Impala. Fits inside the motel bed you’re sharing with your brother.
The patterns of his breathing change as he wakes up. He turns, feeling the weight of a cheek against his shoulder, and puts his hand on your head to sleepily pat it a few times. “Wake up, Sammy,” he slurs in a sleep-hoarse rattle. “Droolin’ on me.”
Eyes still closed, you wait a few seconds, savoring these moments when it’s just the two of you. Salt-circle around the room and a .45 under the pillow, but nothing feels as safe as lying under a faded coverlet with your brother.
Then Dean’s heat slips away, cold seeping in as he lifts the covers and slides himself out of bed. “Wakey-wakey,” he says in a soft sing-song, reaching out to drag his fingers through the mess of your bedhead. “It’s pancakes and target-shooting day.” Despite relentless teasing about braiding your hair and calling you Samantha, he can’t seem to keep his hands out of your hair, touches it with a fondness that belies just how upset he’d be if you buzzed it as short as his.
Whining, you turn and try to find the exact position where the outline of your body heat had bled into the mattress. But it’s too late anyway. You’re awake and Dean’s out of bed.
By the time you tumble out of the covers and make it into the tiny kitchenette, Dean’s already got a stack of pancakes waiting. Crisped to a perfect, golden brown with real butter and maple syrup drizzled on top. The same thing Dean makes on the first day of every school year. It’s obvious that he’s trying to make up for the fact that Dad insisted the both of you spend the day practicing with the .22s, even though it’s cold and icy and you just want to stay inside, curled up next to the heater with a book.
But it’s impossible for Dean to defy Dad’s orders, even when the man is not around to enforce them himself.
When the pancakes are nothing more than a pleasant belly-warmth, you sigh and get a coat. Put on the gloves Dean hands you. Double-layer the socks. It’s colder than a witch’s teat outside - or, that’s what Dean chuckles in his I-amuse-myself-way while walking out the door. It’s going to be a long day.
There’s an open shooting range just a mile down the switchback highway, targets placed against a set of foothills that keep the bullets from straying. No one else is crazy enough to be outside in this below-zero weather, so it’s just you and your brother. Stamping boot-clad feet and trying to keep blood circulating between shots.
Every breath in feels like inhaling ice water, crystals forming inside the lining of your pink throat. The longer you stay out here, fingers shaking and lips turning cyanotic, the worse every shot gets. After half a box of bullets is wasted on bad shots, Dean pauses the target practice. Puts down the guns. Zips your coat up tighter and adjusts the knit cap over your ears. Then he takes off your gloves so he can rub your frozen fingers in his palms, warming them through friction.
He smiles as he works, trying to lighten the mood. Lines form around his eyes, and you want to run your fingers over the paper-cut-thin wrinkles. He should be too young for those, but they suit him somehow.
He thinks you take him for granted sometimes, and it’s probably true. You can’t help it, little-brother privileges and all. But Dean’s got more than one blind spot when it comes to you. Refuses to believe you’ll be anything other than ten years old. Hasn’t acknowledged the recent growth spurt or how you give him a run for his money whenever you both spar.
Eventually, he slips your gloves back on. Then he grabs your shoulders and adjusts your stance, body just behind yours as he straightens your back, corrects your posture.
“Breathe into it,” he instructs, and his words form a small cloud of water vapor in the air. “Concentrate on the shot. Sometimes you might be bleedin’ or torn up, or freezing to death in a snowstorm when you come up against a creature. So you gotta stay alive when it counts. S’not always gonna be ideal conditions, Sammy. Concentrate on your target, even when it ain’t easy.”
Somehow - even with the distraction of Dean’s warm body - you manage to do as your brother says. Will your body to be still, take a steady breath, and aim for the bull’s eye.
The shots are much better this round. Three of the six bullets tear into the middle circle while the rest graze the edges. When Dean pats your shoulder, chuckling warmly, pride blossoms deep in your chest. It’s almost enough to shove away the misery of having to be out here in the first place.
After another round, Dean finally calls it quits. No doubt your dad would have preferred the target practice continue for most of the day, arctic-winter conditions notwithstanding, and approval swells up at Dean’s willingness to defy your father in this. When Dean mentions something about hot chocolate, you nearly fly into the car, more than ready to get full feeling back in all your frozen extremities.
Back at the motel, Dean grabs the blanket off the bed and wraps it around the both of you. Godzilla is on TV, and your brother still gets stupidly excited at all the cheesy, old-school special effects. Eyes rolling, you listen as he explains which weapons and traps he’d use to gank the giant lizard. He still cheers as the monster crushes Tokyo, and you don’t bother hiding your smile. His loyalties in this movie were always capricious.
He catches you watching him and grins fondly. “Can’t beat the classics,” he says, throwing an arm around your shoulders. “They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”
Snorting, you shake your head. Think about informing Dean exactly how far movie magic and digital editing have come since then. But the flash of Dean’s teeth as he grins and laughs are distracting, and you end up leaning closer, tucking a shoulder under his arm. It’s cold enough to excuse the need to press into his body heat.
As fake-explosive effects light up the screen, flashing across Dean’s freckled cheeks, he turns a smile down at you. It’s a smile made for motel rooms, between hunts and inside salt circles when the next danger is miles down another highway, and Dean’s got you tucked in safely next to him. It’s a smile that belongs to you, by all rights, since you’re the only one that’s seen it.
Something reaches between the slats of your rib cage, pinches your heart with ash-tipped fingers and squeezes. You’re usually good about pushing the pain down, telling yourself to wait - wait until you’re older, wait until Dean understands, wait forever, maybe, because this is the kind of fucked-up shit you don’t come back from. Even if you’re family.
But you’ve never felt more content than in this moment, curled up next to your brother, nightmares successfully barred behind iron and salt and hexes for another day. So you press your hummingbird beating heart against Dean’s shoulder, take a deep breath, and kiss him.
It’s probably not that great of a kiss. It’s your second, ever, if you count the Kitsune you’d helped orphan, and you want to count her because she might have been a monster, but she was still a girl, and she was still good.
Dean, however, means more than her, and you can feel your pulse beat between your lips, counting the seconds that your brother doesn’t tear himself away. There’s a hesitation against your mouth, where you think there could be a chance. But then Dean pushes you back, shaking his head.
“Stop, Sammy,” he insists with a heavy breath. A nervous laugh spills past his lips and he shakes his head, peeks at you. “Don’t pull those puppy-dog eyes on me,” he says, voice an accusation. “This ain’t the last of the Lucky Charms, kid. I’m not the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.”
“M’not a kid,” you insist defiantly, because of course Dean’s gonna be stubborn about this. Of course he’s gonna turn this into some twisted version of a sibling rivalry contest, that kind where he always accuses you of cheating. His hands are on your shoulders, keeping you firmly in place, and suddenly you’re done with everything. “Let go of me,” you demand.
“You gonna try and kiss me again?”
Twisting your shoulders futilely, you growl out, “Why? Do you want me to?”
Dean’s jaw is tight, his eyes hard, and suddenly he’s swinging himself away from you and walking away. You don’t know where he’s going, but you hear the engine of the Impala turn over and the sound of snow crunching underneath the tires as it rolls down the road.
You glare at the door and think about how much of a jerk your brother is. And you refuse to cry.
He doesn’t come back for a few hours, not until it’s 3 am and you’re in a belly-sprawl across the bed you’ve been sharing. You have a headache from being so angry and holding back tears, and you hear him crashing on the couch.
Kicking the covers off, you hop out and stride over to the couch. Dean’s just finished pulling off his boots and he eyes you warily. He’s been drinking, obviously, the sheen on his lips and in his eyes giving him away. But he’s not drunk, which surprises you.
“Sorry,” he mumbles, not looking up at you. “Didn’t mean to leave you. You knew I was coming back, right?”
You glare at him, angry because you wanted a fight, wanted somewhere to direct all this anger and frustration, and Dean’s playing dirty. “Yeah, I knew,” you mumble. “Doesn’t mean you’re not a jerk.”
Sighing, you roll your eyes and climb on the couch next to Dean, making a grab for the blanket on his lap, spreading it so it covers the both of you. You turn towards him, waiting until he finally looks back, and you try not to whine (but probably don’t succeed) when you ask, “Why not?”
“Are you serious?” He shakes his head, quirks his eyebrow in that condescending way of his. “I mean, first of all, we’re brothers. And second, you’re completely underage. I’m pretty sure this is ten kinds of illegal, here.”
“Because we’re usually such law-abiding citizens,” is your scathing, sarcastic reply.
Running a hand through his hair, Dean sighs. “Fine. Not the point. But you should be hooking up with girls your own age, okay. Or guys, if that’s what you’re into.”
“I’m into you.”
It’s a stubborn issue, one that you’ve already argued all the points with yourself ages ago, tried to move on a hundred times, but you knew a long time ago that Dean was it, there is no one else. Even when you hate him, you still want him, and it’s infuriating and consuming, and you wish you could just turn it off but it’s impossible.
Throwing a leg over Dean, you slide into his lap, tightening your thighs and grabbing his arms when he tries to push you off. “You think I don’t want to have a normal life with a normal girl?” you ask, eyes narrowed. “You think this is some impulse, wanting to screw my brother? Normal is never gonna be in the cards for us, Dean. I’d settle for safe, honestly, if that’s even possible. And I just… I just want this.”
You kiss him again because you know if you give him any time to think about this, he’ll talk himself out of it, convinced that you’re too young to understand the consequences and repercussions. However, he doesn’t realize how deep this want and obsession goes, how, if you had to choose between Dean and revenge, Dean and your mom, Dean and the whole damn planet, it’s always gonna be your brother. Always.
Your brother’s a car crash, forehead into the glass, shattering everything else into spiderweb cracks until the rest of the world is distorted and broken, and the only way this ends is with pain and blood. But then you look at him and see fireworks in his eyes and that motel smile on his lips that belongs to you, and you know you could never walk away. The whole world could fade to black, and all you’d care about is riding shotgun next to your older brother, chasing horizons until the sun burns itself out.
Maybe you’re pushing harder than last time, but you try not to give Dean a chance to push you away. Fingers sliding under his shirt, you part your lips, intending to slip your tongue against Dean’s mouth, but he beats you to it. His thumb tugs at the corner of your mouth as he licks his way inside, runs his tongue over every soft, wet part of your mouth. His hands run across your skin, greedy and wanting, and when his hand slips down your sleeping shorts you gasp against his mouth.
Head buried in Dean’s neck, you whimper into his skin as he wraps a fist around your dick and starts twisting up and down. He pulls back for a second to spit into his hand before slipping his hand back down, jacking harder while you breathe against his shoulder, and you wish you could make this last longer, but you’re fifteen and staring at linoleum makes you hard, there’s no way you can last with your hot older brother giving you a handjob while muttering “Come on, Sammy, that’s good, almost there, so good.”
The pressure builds up hot and quick, and you feel yourself jerk still and clamp your mouth down on Dean’s neck, sucking hard while your dick spits out ropes of come into your brother’s hand.
“Beautiful,” he says in soft approval as he twists himself around, kisses your lips one more time. His lips twitch when he pulls away and wipes the come off on your t-shirt.
“Jerk,” you mutter, although you’re too drunk on dopamine to put any force in it. Looking down at the come-stained shirt, you smirk and add, “S’your shirt though.”
“Of course it is,” he says, rolling his eyes.
It’s not a magic fix-all, and you know there’s a good chance that, come morning, Dean will pretend this never happened. But for now, he’s all gentle and willing, helps you to bed and wraps himself around your back. Even presses his lips to your shoulder, slurring out a “Goodnight, Sammy,” before falling asleep.
It’s almost underwhelming, how little has changed. Although maybe that’s the point. Dean’s always been yours anyway.