Dean’s thumb tapped to the walkman, wishing he could have Sam’s hand back in his, tracing the lines, the old scars.
“Good idea,” Sam said. “You know… it kind of helps me, too. I mean, I don’t know if that’s a good thing---I think I need to try to remember all I can before we get there---but while it’s playing, the words in my head are kind of… muted.”
But then the music had ended, and the language was back even stronger than before, a constant stream of alien syllables in the back of his mind. He shivered, more cold creeping in, and wished not for the first time that he’d put on an extra pair of socks.
“I think anything that’ll let us kill less innocent people is worth it,” he said. He shivered again, rubbing his feet together under the blankets. “Jesus, it’s cold. I’ll probably get used to it---I mean, in those memories I had, I wasn’t freezing like this---but damn, it sucks right now. Can the heat go any higher?”
On the TV, the Joker slipped on his own banana peel and sailed headlong into a brick wall. It was a Batman marathon that weekend as it turned out. Just like old times, the two of them up all night in their pillow fortress mining the Lucky Charms for marshmallows. Dean pulled back the blankets. "C'mere," he said, patting his chest, "No point in you getting sick."
Sam hesitated for only a second, then he slid over the hard ridge between their mattresses and let Dean pull him in close.
A shocking sense memory hit him then. His palms tingled as he remembered the feel of Dean’s bare, muscular thighs under his hands. He shook with it, wanting Dean badly. This wasn’t a new thing; he’d become used to it over the years, used to pushing it down and burying it, but this time it was with a ferocity that scared him.
He’d had Dean. In that history-that-was, he’d had Dean, they’d been together, and that meant that Dean had allowed it. Might allow it again. Might even… might even want it. Heat pooled inside him just as Dean’s body-heat penetrated his oversized hoodie and sank into his side.
With difficulty, he buried those feelings again, compartmentalized them and locked them away, because Dean was offering him comfort when he needed it, and Sam felt sick that this comforting touch and warmth set off such a wrong, such a twisted reaction.
Taking a deep breath, we’re brothers, he’s my brother, Sam relaxed and settled into Dean’s side, burrowing his cold nose into the crook of Dean’s neck where it instantly warmed. He wrapped an arm around Dean’s waist, greedy for his heat, and he felt some of the chill seep out of his bones.
“Thanks,” he said, barely audible over the TV. “You’re warm.”
Dean smiled at this, taking another sip of his beer. Content to be Sam's teddy bear.
And then something caught his eye. The framed art behind the TV was vibrating, followed by a loud smack on the other side of the wall that nearly made it jump off the nail. Dread coiled in Dean's gut.
"Holy heartbreak, Batman!" yelled Robin in the TV, as another smack sounded, "We're trapped!"
Whoever was in the next room was trying to be discreet, but their headboard was too close to the wall and bounced every time they moved. The noise came faster, harder, the picture frame clapping in time, while Batman searched the corners of the TV screen for a way out. The beer was gone. A flush had crept up Dean's face, and he prayed Sam's knee wouldn't collide with the crime scene in his boxers.
The noise was a familiar one to Sam, having heard it in countless cheap motels since he was a kid, and he tuned it out just like he tuned out the noise from the television. Just background noise, nothing to concern him. He found himself drowsing against Dean, the blankets and Dean’s body finally beginning to warm him. He draped a leg over one of Dean’s, pressing closer.
This is how Dean had gotten him through colds and flus when he was young; he remembered being seven years old and snuggled up next to his brother, leeching the warmth from him to combat the chills from his fever. He felt familiar and safe, half in dream, half in memory, and he sighed against the side of Dean’s neck.
The Joker frowned comically. "Ooo Bats. I go to all this trouble, and you didn't make me laugh once." It cut to a commercial, and, mercifully, the couple next door stopped.
Dean stabbed the air with the remote. The room went black, the street lamp casting a ribbon of light across the bed. "Get some rest Sammy," he whispered, resting his hand on the back of Sam's head, idly twisting a lock of hair until he fell asleep, "You got a big day tomorrow."