kerfuffling (kerfuffling) wrote,

Consequentiality: Part Three

Part Two

When they wake up the next day, buoyed by the accomplishments made the day prior, Dean expects things to get better again, but they don’t. They seem to hit another roadblock, trying again and again to surpass what they’d done the day before but ultimately failing again. By the time dusk breaks, Dean is feeling the beginnings of the exhaustion that had plagued him earlier in the month, and he’s thoroughly sick of the effort they’re using to go absolutely nowhere.

“This is stupid,” Dean snarls, massaging his temples to try and ward off the headache he can feel building behind his eyes. “We’re getting nowhere.” Sam hasn’t been doing anything for the past quarter hour except staring vacantly out of the window, and Dean can’t tell if he’s frustrated or if he’s finally checked out of the whole damn situation.

“We should just leave,” Dean says when Sam doesn’t give any indication that he’s heard what’s being said to him. “We can do a lot more hunting than we can holed up in the middle of nowhere like this.”

“No,” says Sam sharply, coming out of his reverie with a suddenness that almost startles Dean. “We’ve almost got it.”

“We don’t almost have anything,” Dean says hotly.

“It’ll be better tomorrow,” Sam says.

“No it won’t,” Dean says. He turns to look at the wall, presenting Sam with his back, and he can feel Sam’s presence behind him. He can feel Sam’s hands press tentatively to Dean’s shoulders, massaging away some of the tension there, and even though Dean feels like he should shrug it off, it feels so good that he doesn’t want to. His headache is ebbing away already, soothed by the way Sam is working the kinks out of his muscles.

“Let’s just go to bed,” Sam says, his hands stilling.

“That’s your answer for everything,” Dean grumbles, but he can’t deny that he really, really wants to go to sleep right now. This stupid soul bind is turning him into a geriatric; soon, they’re going to have to start staking out diners for early-bird specials. The thought is quite depressing, and Dean sighs loudly as he follows Sam up to their bedroom.

As always, they change with their backs to one another. Privacy was one thing that Dean wished hadn’t been so completely obliterated with the soul bind. It’s his turn to take the mattress on the floor, but as soon as he crawls under the worn sheets, he feels the pressure on his bed shift as Sam sits down next to him.

“Dude, what are you doing?” Dean says, but it’s a feeble protest. He can feel Sam, closer than he’s been practically all day, and his body is singing for the heat of his brother pressed close next to him.

“Trying something,” Sam says, which isn’t even a worthwhile explanation. He’s worming his gigantor feet under the sheets too, and even though he doesn’t want to, Dean sits up and shifts to the far side of the mattress.

“You have your own bed, man,” Dean says. “Get out of mine.”

“Stop being so stubborn,” Sam says. “We did better with this whole working out our soul bind after we slept together last time. Maybe it’ll work again.”

“First off,” Dean says, holding up his index finger, “we didn’t sleep together last time. You fell into my bed and somehow didn’t move. Second off, I’m not sharing with you, Sam. We’re not little kids anymore.”

“Just one night,” Sam says, lying down and rolling over until he’s firmly in Dean’s territory and practically forcing Dean to roll off of the bed onto the dirty floor.

“Sam, no,” Dean says, but it’s a weak protest, because something in him really, really thinks that it’s a good idea, and that part of him is winning out over the denial.

“Stop being a pussy,” Sam says. “It’s just one night. If it doesn’t work, I promise I’ll never do it again. You were the one who was so gung-ho to do this soul bind in the first place. I’m just trying to live with it.”

“I’m taking you up on that promise,” Dean yawns. “When we wake up and it hasn’t helped--and it won’t--you better keep to your own bed.” Dean can already feel himself moving minutely towards Sam even though he’s still awake to keep control of his own actions. It just feels like he’s fighting something he shouldn’t by keeping away, and he can feel his eyelids slipping closed.

“Scout’s honor,” Sam says from somewhere very far away, but Dean’s too far gone to even comprehend the words.

They wake up in quite the same predicament as they found themselves the last time this happened, wound around each other like some freaky pantomime of post-coital cuddling. Dean thinks he should cringe at the thought of even putting together the words sex and Sam in his head, but he’s incredibly content with his head pillowed on Sam’s shoulder and Sam’s arms around his waist. For several minutes, he lies there, half awake and languid in the morning sun, lulled into a calm by the heat of Sam’s body all around his. He can feel something waking up in his bones, something insistent and hot, but he just shifts his face further into Sam’s skin and ignores it, not quite ready to face the day.

Sam is moving minutely beneath him, stretching as he comes awake in steady increments, just as Dean is. Dean wants to tell him to stop twitching, but the early morning is already seeping into his skin and making him restless just lying in bed. He can smell something on Sam’s skin, something that makes heat pool in his belly, and for one oblivious moment, he closes his eyes and lets it fill his senses. Sam’s hand ghosts down Dean’s side, and it makes him shiver pleasantly from the almost-touch of it. He wants to arch into Sam’s fingers, let him run his hands all over Dean, and Sam does it again, almost as if he can sense Dean’s thoughts. Which, come to think of it, he probably can.

Sam moves again, more deliberate, and Dean makes a noise at the interruption. He’s been trying to elude the sun for a solid five minutes, and the thought of leaving bed to spend another endless day pacing the yard makes him want to throw things in disgust.

“Um, Dean,” Sam says, and his voice is almost a squeak, something that only happens when Sam is on the verge of major embarrassment. The big brother in Dean wakes up instantly with malevolent intention, ready to gauge the situation and how to best exploit it to its fullest advantage when Dean suddenly understands what’s going on. With difficulty, he rolls away from Sam onto the cooler edge of the untouched part of the mattress, breathing heavily than perhaps is necessary. Sam sits up, hunched over himself, and Dean pulls the sheet up so it’s pooled around his belly and hiding things that he’s sure he doesn’t want Sam to see. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty unnecessary gesture given that he’s pretty sure Sam’s already noticed.

“We’ve gotta stop waking up like this, dude,” Dean says weakly, ignoring the elephant in the room, because that’s what they do when things get to be like this.

“Yeah,” Sam agrees, and Dean can tell that he’s trying to be calm even though panic is radiating off of him pretty obviously.

They spend the rest of the morning as far away from each other as possible, nursing the remnants of humiliation of waking up like they had, but eventually even Dean can’t find another excuse to not do what they came here for, so they end up back outside.

“I feel better today,” Sam says, squinting against the sun.

“I don’t,” Dean says, but it’s a lie. “Let’s just get this over with.” Sam doesn’t call him out on it, only turns around, and it’s just like the last time they woke up around each other--easier to get away, easier to stay away. By the fifth time they try it and manage further than they’ve gone before, Sam is beaming in this self-satisfied way that puts Dean’s teeth on edge.

“I was right,” Sam says. “I mean, we’re better today, just like the last time...” He trails off, maybe reluctant to say what he means, and Dean scowls.

“Lucky coincidence,” he says.

“No it’s not, Dean,” Sam says staunchly. “Three times is not a lucky coincidence.”

“Think about what you’re saying, Sam,” Dean says hotly. “So, what, in order for this thing to be livable, I gotta start sharing a bed with my brother every night? That’s kind of fucked up, even for us.”

“We used to share beds all of the time,” Sam scoffed. “Stop being so dramatic.”

“Yeah, when we were little,” Dean says loudly. “I don’t know if you noticed, Sam, but you aren’t six anymore.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a little weird,” Sam retorted, even though Dean could feel how uncomfortable Sam was getting from thinking about what he was actually implying. “It’s the only thing we’ve found so far that actually helps.”

“I’d rather feel like crap,” Dean mutters, scuffing his foot in the dirt.

“Well, I wouldn’t,” Sam says. “I’m sure it’ll get better with practice and we won’t need to be so...close...all of the time.”

“Easy for you to say,” Dean says. “I’m not a girl.”

“Oh, fuck you,” Sam says. “Here, come inside. I want to try something.”

“Not more of the psychic shit, Sam,” Dean protests. “I’ve already dealt with enough crap this morning.

“No, it’s just something I thought about this morning,” Sam says over his shoulder, leading Dean into the kitchen.

“What, you aren’t going to let me into the picture?” Dean asks as Sam starts rifling through the kitchen drawers for something. Dean tries to figure out what Sam is going for, but his mind is drawing a complete blank, and the mind-link is stubbornly unhelpful.

“Here we go,” Sam mutters, unearthing a large, serrated knife that looks like it hasn’t been used in at least twenty years.

“What are you going to do with that?” Dean asks suspiciously, taking an unconscious step back from Sam.

“Don’t be such a baby,” Sam says. “I won’t touch you with it. I just want to see something.”

“See what?” Dean asks, but Sam doesn’t answer, turning his hand over so his palm is facing up, and then, with only the slightest bit of hesitation, draws the blade over his skin.

“Jesus, Sam,” Dean sputters and the blood begins to well up, fast and thick--Sam cut deep. Dean starts throwing the cupboards open, looking for a towel or something to staunch the blood flow, and he can hear Sam hissing through his teeth at the sting. Dean finally finds and old scrap of fabric, yellow with age, but it’s the best he has, so he grabs Sam’s hand and presses down on the wound, keeping a firm hold on Sam’s wrist as Sam tries to pull his hand away from the pressure.

“It’s fine,” Sam says.

“What the fuck, Sam?” Dean demands. “What are you trying to do--give us both tetanus? Come on, we gotta find the fucking first aid kit. I swear to God, if I have to stitch you up because you cut yourself too deep with that thing, I’m gonna kill you myself.” Dean can feel a phantom pain starting in his own hand; looking down, he’s sure that he’ll find an identical cut across his palm, but there’s nothing there.

“I’m not stupid, Dean,” Sam says.

“Could’ve fooled me,” Dean snaps.

“I just wanted to see if this soul bind affected wounds, you know? I mean, your shoulder healed a lot quicker than it should’ve.”

“So you decide to slice your hand open?” says Dean angrily. “Yeah, real smart Sam.”

“It doesn’t even hurt that much anymore,” Sam says. “I think it stopped bleeding.” He pulls his hand from Dean’s, leaving Dean free to go rifling for the first aid kit, and when Dean unearths the bandages and the suturing thread (just in case), he sees that’s Sam’s right. The towel is scarlet, but Dean can’t see any more new blood seeping from the cut.

“Doesn’t prove anything,” Dean says gruffly, pulling an adhesive bandage away from its covering and sticking it on the edge of the table so he can get it as soon as he douses Sam’s hand in hydrogen peroxide. He soaks a cotton ball liberally in the stuff and grabs Sam’s wrist maybe harder than he would’ve otherwise, rubbing the cotton firmly across Sam’s palm. He feels the sting of it on his own hands, as though he’s grinding peroxide into a cut that he’s sustained, but it’s barely there, barely noticeable. The cut doesn’t look as deep as Dean first thought it was, so he covers it with a bandage and gives Sam a fierce glare.

“Don’t do something like that again,” he says. “There’s stupid, and then there’s stupid and I don’t want to have to deal with it when you’re acting like a retard.”

“Stop being so dramatic,” Sam scoffs. “It was a good experiment.”

“You would,” Dean mutters.

“It doesn’t even hurt that much anymore,” Sam placates. “And it’ll come in handy, don’t you think? If we ever get hurt on a hunt? We won’t be waylaid as long as we usually are when one of us gets hurt.”

“If we’re ever good enough to go hunting again,” Dean points out, still holding Sam’s hand, unwilling to give up the connection. Sam hasn’t even seemed to have noticed that Dean isn’t letting go.

“We will be,” Sam says confidently. “We’re getting there.” Which may or may not be the truth, but Dean doesn’t want to give Sam the satisfaction, so he just rolls his eyes.

“Whatever, bitch,” he says, finally letting Sam’s hand fall from his. “Let’s just do some more of this shit so I can eat sometime this century.”

Sam won’t let Dean sleep alone anymore, no matter how much Dean protests that it’s fucking gay and stupid besides.

“I’m not going to feel like shit because you’re too much of a baby to acknowledge that this actually helps,” Sam says every time that Dean tries to kick him out of his bed. Dean can tell that Sam’s not entirely comfortable with it, and once or twice, Dean thinks he’ll be able to convince Sam that sleeping alone every once in a while is a great idea, but Sam’s nothing if not stubborn.

It’s extremely weird, getting used to the fact that he’s essentially sharing his bed on a regular basis for the first time in, well, forever. Every morning, it gets just a little bit harder to get up, because even though he knows that it’s freaky as shit to like waking up spooned next to your brother every morning, it feels good. Him and Sam have made this unspoken pact to not mention anything about it past the arguments that occur every time they decide to go to bed, but Dean still can’t escape the fact that he feels a little thrill in his stomach every time Sam’s skin touches his, and that’s fucking Not Okay.

Despite Sam’s protests of how gross it is, Dean tries to remind himself that he fucking likes girls and tits and all of that shit, looking at his skin mags unabashedly before he takes his shower, with Sam grumbling outside disgustedly.

“A man’s gotta keep some of the simple pleasures,” Dean says, but it’s not the same as it used to be, and that’s really freaking Dean out, because he should be thinking of fucking that hot chick he met in Tampa a couple of months ago when he’s jerking off and definitely not flashing to how he felt lying next to his brother in the morning. This whole thing is starting to really drive Dean crazy, and on top of everything else, it’s something that he definitely doesn’t want to live with anymore.

And he can’t even think up a good excuse to himself half of the time, because Sam’s right. Their continued contact at night has made for their weird training to go much smoothly than it has before. They’ve been able to spend extended periods of time away from each other, at opposite sides of the house, and Dean can’t exactly say that he’s not a fan of the privacy. The psychic thing is still hard, but Sam’s figured out how to block a lot of what he’s feeling from Dean, and Dean’s almost getting the hang of sending things down their link if he’s concentrating hard enough. What’s more, Dean realizes with a pang that Sam’s memories from Hell are fading, not affecting them as strongly as they had been before, slowly ebbing from their dreams until nothing’s left. It should be reassuring, but Dean’s suspicious of it.

The shack is getting claustrophobic, confining, and although Sam thinks that they’re not ready to leave yet, Dean is looking for anything to get them out of it. He keeps trying to tell Sam that the only way they can get better hunting with this thing is if they actually go on hunts, but Sam has the idea that they need to master the basics before they can actually do anything else, which is frustrating in a way Dean can’t even begin to put into words. He’s never been one for sitting around and doing nothing, and with each passing day, he feels more and more like he’s going to go stir-crazy if he doesn’t get some action in soon.

Well, he does get action, but maybe not in the way he was hoping.

One morning, Dean wakes up and Sam’s face is there, right fuckin’ there, and that heat that’s been smoldering low in his belly, the want that Dean has been trying so desperately to ignore is their, insistent. He’s barely aware of himself, still half-asleep, and Sam’s eyes flutter open, so close to Dean that his eyelashes almost brush Dean’s skin.

Dean opens his eyes, whether to complain about their proximity to one another or to issue a comment about Sam’s atrocious morning breath he’s not sure, but something stops his voice from working, lodging in his throat. And Sam’s just looking at him, not moving back, still right there in Dean’s space, and before Dean knows it, before Dean can even comprehend what’s going on or who moved first, Sam’s lips are brushing dryly against Dean’s open mouth.

It sends a jolt of something straight down Dean’s spine, the contact between them, and the fire in his stomach intensifies to a full-blown blaze. He lets it go on for one second, two, three, kissing back, breathing in Sam’s air, before reality comes crashing down again, and he pushes Sam away from him.

“What just happened?” Dean says shakily.

“I don’t know,” Sam blurts, just as unhinged.

“Fuck,” Dean says, struggling to sit up. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

“Seriously, Dean, what was that?” Sam demands, falling back against his pillow and running his hand through his hair.

“I don’t know,” Dean snaps. “I don’t fucking know, all right?” Before Sam can say anything else, before Dean has even had the time to comprehend what just happened, he’s out of bed and in the hall. He can feel the tug of his connection to Sam beginning to make itself known, but they’ve gotten good enough that he’s able to make it all the way downstairs before he feels like he’s going to trigger something.

He half-expects Sam to come down to talk about it, maybe to ask why Dean decided that today would be a fine and dandy day to engage in some heretofore unmentioned incest, but Dean’s paced the room at least a hundred times before Sam makes his appearance, dressed and trying his best to look like nothing happened.

“I’m hungry,” he says bracingly. “Please tell me you didn’t eat all the cereal.”

Dean can feel his mouth open and close like a fish as Sam’s words penetrate. “No-o,” he says slowly. “There’s still some left.”

“Good,” Sam says, and he disappears into the kitchen. Dean almost wants to follow him but instead sits himself down in one of the sagging armchairs. Unless he’s much mistaken, it’s going to be a long-ass day.

The next few days pass in a haze of uncomfortable silences and unsaid things. Much to Dean’s surprise, Sam doesn’t avoid him like Dean was expecting him to, just continues pulling the task-master routine that Dean’s been so used to. Sam gets back to the feverish point he’d been sporting when they first got to the cabin.

But no matter the trouble it got them in before, Sam still insists that they share a bed. Dean tries to scrunch himself to the edge of the mattress every night, but he inevitably wakes up the next morning just as wrapped around Sam as he always is. They manage to not have another incestuous episode, but it’s a close call almost every morning.

Dean spends an inordinate amount of time in the shower, trying to clear his head, but the only thing it’s good for is annoying Sam, who seems to think that the best way to deal with things is to ignore it. Which is actually refreshing, considering that it’s Sam, but Dean sometimes feels like he’s going to explode from the pressure of so desperately wanting something he can’t have.

Dean’s nerves are so shot that he almost jumps a mile when his phone rings mid-afternoon. They’ve been checking in with Bobby every so often, but no one’s bothered to actually call them, so Dean had almost forgotten what his cell phone ringtone had even sounded like.

“Hello?” he says. “Bobby, is that you?”

“Who else would it be?” Bobby asks gruffly, the crackling connection timing in and out.

“I dunno,” Dean says. “What do you want?” Across the room, Sam is looking at Dean curiously, and Dean turns in his seat so that he can’t see him.

“I gotta problem here,” Bobby says, and Dean’s heart leaps in excitement.

“Yeah?” he says.

“Think I might need your help. You guys got your heads outta your asses yet?”

“Pretty much,” Dean says, even though he’s not perhaps being entirely truthful.

“I’m outside Vegas, researching a string of demons,” Bobby says, and Dean groans, half in anticipation and half in sympathy. “They’re causing havoc every which way, and the one I talked to yesterday had something to say about the Mother.”

The Mother?” Dean says.

“Well, yeah,” Bobby responds, as though Dean’s about the stupidest person he’s ever talked to. “That’s why I think you two should get out here, unless you’re still actin’ like a bunch of idjits.”

“No, we’re good, we’re good,” Dean hastily assures him. “We’ll be out as soon as possible.” He can feel Sam’s eyes boring into the back of his skull and he could tell that Sam was employing his bitch face for about the tenth time that morning. Well, Sam could just deal, because Dean was sick and fucking tired of the stupid fucking cabin and the stupid fucking training, and he was ready for some bona fide demon hunting, goddammit. He wrote down the coordinates Bobby relayed him on a scrap of paper he found hanging on the refrigerator, and by the time he hung up, he was quite ready to get going.

“What did Bobby want?” Sam sighed, as if he didn’t already know.

“Hunt he needs us on,” Dean says promptly. “C’mon, Sam, let’s get a move on.” Sam kept up a steady litany of how they weren’t ready for any kind of hunt, let alone demonic possession, the entire time Dean was packing, but Dean could tell that it was mainly for show. He was pretty sure that Sam was just as sick of the cabin as Dean was and quite ready to get out of it.

They locked up behind them, Sam in a huffy silence after Dean had proven to him that he was going to Nevada whether Sam wanted to or not, and Dean gunned the Impala, driving about twenty miles too fast over the speed limit in his excitement to get out of Bumfuck, Mississippi.

By the time they rolled into Nevada, Sam had abandoned his mood to talk to Dean about how they were going to be able to fend off a group of demons that apparently worked for the all-encompassing Mother that they’d been looking for for the better part of the year. Dean could tell, behind all of his warnings and strategies, that Sam was itching for this hunt just as much as Dean was, so he went along as good-naturedly as he could.

Sam let Dean check-in to the motel that Bobby was staying at, but he spent a whole ten minutes bitching about the fact that Dean requested two queens instead of a king.

“Stop whining,” Dean said out of the corner of his mouth. “We don’t want Bobby to know about our new sleeping arrangements, do we?”

That shut Sam up for all of two seconds before he started telling Dean that if he fell out of bed, Dean better look out. Dean found the whole look-at-me-I-can-be-intimidating act to be rather funny, and even though Sam pinned him easily in the ensuing scuffle, Dean couldn’t pretend that he was too annoyed.

When they meet up with Bobby, he has nothing new to add. There are at least five demons in town, but they keep jumping from host to host without warning, and Bobby’s having trouble pinpointing them down.

“What have they been doing?” Sam asks, concentrated on the details as Dean’s getting used to the big picture.

“Raping, killing, havoc,” Bobby says. “You know, everything that demons do. As far as I can tell, the got a leader here, someone who’s close to power, but I haven’t found it yet.” He gives Sam and Dean a list of people who’ve been possessed and of victims of the demon and sends them off to the east side of town while he works the west. It would be easier if Sam and Dean split up, working on victims who were at least relatively close, but Sam was under the impression that they’d need to conserve their strength if they were going to come face-to-face with a demon bad-boy, and Dean did have to admit that their separation, even though it was coming easier and easier these days, did take something out of them.

The first couple of people they talked to couldn’t really provide any insight besides a bird’s eye view into what it felt like being trapped inside their mind as a demon played fast and loose with their body. One of them was in the local prison awaiting trial for the murder of his best friend, and it looked like his lawyer was going to have him plea for insanity.

“It’ll work though,” Dean says as they leave the prison gates. “The guy was bat-shit.”

“He’d just been possessed,” Sam protests.

“C’mon, he was totally out there,” Dean says, twirling his finger in the universal symbol for lost-his-marbles. “Who’s next?” Sam scoffs but pulls out the list of names he dutifully took down when they’d last seen Bobby.

“Lara Mueller,” he said, his brow furrowing as he scanned his list. “She lives about five minutes away. Says she was raped by her boyfriend but he had black eyes. She didn’t press charges.”

“Good thing,” Dean said. “I’m sick of this bounty hunter shit. It’s like half of this town’s getting themselves locked up for one thing or another.”

“Because half of the town has been possessed, Dean,” Sam says.

“Whatever, let’s just go,” Dean says. “Before they think we’re being suspicious and lock us up too.”

“You’d probably deserve it,” Sam mutters, but he’s smiling into the sun, and he doesn’t even complain when Dean blasts his music too loudly on their drive over to Lara’s apartment.

Lara proves to be a mousy, skinny twenty-year old who blinks at Dean owlishly through a crack in the door for three minutes before he convinces her to let him inside. She’s skittish and she keeps shifting looks up at Sam as she ushers them inside to sit on her ratty, second-hand sofa.

“I already told the police I don’t want to press charges,” she says into her lap.

“I know,” Sam says, ever sympathetic. “We were just sent here to make sure that you hadn’t changed your mind.”

“No-o,” Lara says, and then she starts to cry. “Brent--he--he didn’t know what he was doing. He didn’t mean to hurt me.”

“Of course he didn’t,” Sam says, reaching into the inner pocket of his suit jacket for a tissue. Dean tried to convey his disbelief that Sam actually carried those things around, but Sam stoutly ignored him, handing Lara the kleenex over the coffee table.

“His eyes were black,” Lara said dramatically, looking up wildly.

“Are you sure?” Sam asked gently.

“I’m not crazy! Everyone thinks I am but I’m not!” Lara stands up suddenly, her shoulders trembling.

“We believe you,” Sam says quietly, standing up to place a hand on Lara’s shoulder. She sniffs and then breaks into a fresh round of sobs, burying her face in Sam’s shoulder. Sam’s arms go around her awkwardly, cautiously, but she clings to him steadfastly, clenching his shirt like it’s the only thing tethering her to sanity. Dean feels a flash of anger at her closeness to his brother but he dismisses it as annoyance, and giving that her sobs are reaching banshee-like decibels, that isn’t far off.

With difficulty, Sam manages to extract himself from her embrace, keeping her at arm’s length while she wipes her face on her sleeve. “I’m sorry,” she says “It’s just so hard sometimes.”

“Where is Brent now?” Sam asks, still using his sympathetic tone of voice that he saves for civvies.

“I don’t know,” Lara hiccups. “After it--happened--there was all of this black smoke, and I was really out of it, you know. And when I woke up, he wasn’t there anymore and his parents haven’t heard from him. I just want to talk to him. Is there any way you can find him?”

“We’re doing our best,” Dean says brusquely. “Where did this happen, exactly?”

Lara points a shaking finger down the hall. “In my bedroom. I haven’t been able to go in there since...since it happened.”

“I’ll check it out,” Dean says. “Sam, stay here.” Sam glares at him out, but Lara is crying again, moaning about Brent and how she just wants to talk, that’s it, so Sam has to turn on the caring-and-sharing attitude that he employs so well, leaving Dean with an escape route.

Lara’s room is predictably girlish--lace curtains and knickknacks all over the dressers with a number of picture frames on the walls. Dean wrinkles his nose at the garishly pink blanket on her bed, which is rumpled and half on the floor. He begins a preliminary search for sulfur, even though this is pretty cut-and-dry, considering her firsthand account of black eyes and all. He tries all of the normal places first--windowsills and the baseboards, runs his fingers along the surface of her nightstand, but he doesn’t find anything that looks remotely like it was left by a demon.

He can still hear the girl wailing down the hall, so he figures it’s okay to do a little snooping while she’s sufficiently preoccupied. He pulls the blanket off of her bed, still looking for a clue or a sign, but other than the wrinkled pull of the sheets, there’s nothing off. He checks under the bed, paws through a couple of her drawers, and even looks in the grain of her hardwood floors for a sign. Nothing.

Dean sighs and tries to think of a reason why a demon wouldn’t leave any sulfuric residue behind when something twinges hard behind his eyes and he nearly blacks out. Still kneeling on the floor, he throws a hand out to keep himself from falling over, and his vision dances with colored spots.

“Sometimes I wonder how you and your brother even survived to be this old,” someone says amusedly from behind him, and then he’s being pulled up by the collar of his shirt and manhandling him onto the bed. There’s a hand wrapped almost lovingly around his throat, squeezing just hard enough to cut off Dean’s air supply just a little bit, and as Dean’s vision focuses, he realizes that Lara--pathetic, weepy, tiny Lara is kneeling on top of him and her eyes are black as pitch.

“If you wanted me this way, all you had to do was ask, sweetheart,” Dean rasps, kicking out without finding any purchase.

“Feisty, Dean,” she purrs. “Just how I like it.”

Dean starts clawing at her hand as she tightens it, trying to pull it away from the vulnerable expanse of his neck. “What did you do to Sam?” he growls, digging his nails into her skin when he finds he can’t get purchase on our fingers.

“Don’t worry,” she says, bending down to lick at his ear. “Sammy’s okay. He might have a little headache later on, but such is life.”

“Bitch,” Dean snarls, and he gets one of his knees under her and gets her pretty hard in the stomach. It’s enough to get her off balance, giving Dean the leverage to flip her over. She’s laughing, though, even when he’s switched their positions, this full-throated cackle that sets Dean’s teeth on edge.

“Aren’t you wondering, Dean?” she asks. “Why you’re still awake when Sam’s unconscious?”

“Shut the fuck up,” Dean snaps, trying to crush her windpipe, but she uses the same trick Dean had employed and kicks him off of her and straight into the wall hard enough that the plaster cracks. Dean doesn’t allow himself any time to savor the pain running through his back, just rolls off to one side, getting his feet under him before she can advance on him again. Sam has the knife, of course, but Dean has a gun tucked in the back of his jeans, because he’s not stupid enough to go anywhere without packing, thank you very much.

He pulls out his gun and levels it at her, even though it will do little more than slow her down if he shoots--normal bullets in here, no rock salt.

“Oh, come on,” she scoffs, dusting off her shirt as she advances on him, only giving the gun the most cursory of glances. “You didn’t think we wouldn’t know about your little trick, did you?”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” Dean lies, keeping the gun trained on her head. Even the best demons would have difficulty if their meat-suit was missing half of its skull.

“Don’t lie, Dean,” she says, tsking like an irritated schoolteacher. “I don’t like it. Especially since we both know I’m talking about that little soul-bind you did to make Sam come back to his senses.”

Dean laughs harshly. “Man, you’ve been getting some wrong information from somewhere,” he says. “You shouldn’t drink the kool-aid, you know?”

The demon’s eyes narrow, but she stays put, maybe a little more concerned about the gun than Dean thinks she is.

“Mother has been watching you,” she says instead. “And so have I. And we’re not too happy about what you’re doing, Dean. So stay away.”

Dean wants to laugh at her, mock her for being so cheesy, but suddenly the girl’s mouth opens wide and expels a plume of purple smoke that lingers in the air for only a moments before evaporating through the ceiling. Lara crumples to the ground, and Dean follows her fall with his gun before he assesses that she’s not a threat any longer.

Dean’s vision is dancing harder than ever, and he stumbles into the wall at least three times before he reaches his brother. He can’t wrap his head around why the demon hadn’t tried to kill him, because demons weren’t usually used as glorified messengers unless they had something bigger on their agenda. Whatever--he’d talk to Sam about it, if he could even get Sam to wake up.

Sam was sprawled on the floor, a goose egg forming on his forehead. Dean was going to give him shit about it when he woke up, but for now, it took all of Dean’s concentration just to get over to Sam.

“Fucking pathetic, dude,” he muttered and then began to slap Sam’s cheek lightly in an attempt to wake him up.

It took a minute or two, but Sam eventually stirred, making a number of sleepy, confused noises before he finally slapped Dean’s hand away. When Sam managed to open his eyes, Dean felt a little bit of the haze that had slipped over him fall away, but his body felt heavy and exhausted all the same.

“Wha’ happened?” Sam slurred. “Fuck, my head hurts.”

“The crybaby was possessed, and you let her get the drop on you,” Dean said. “C’mon, we gotta go before she wakes up and raises holy hell.” It takes a couple of attempts to get both of them on their feet, but they stagger out of Lara’s apartment and down the stairs without any incidents.

Sam lets Dean call Bobby as he sits on one of the beds in their motel room, holding a washcloth full of ice to his forehead, wincing. Dean gets an earful from Bobby about being reckless and not paying attention, but Dean hardly hears a word Bobby’s saying. He’s freakin’ tired as all hell, and Bobby’s voice is grating on his nerves. Finally, he manages to get Bobby off the line by promising to be better after they get some sleep, and he collapses backwards onto his own bed, chucking his phone somewhere in the vicinity of the bathroom.

It doesn’t surprise him when Sam gets up and join him, and it takes a couple minutes of maneuvering to get under the covers. Sam immediately twines himself around Dean, and Dean can’t get the energy up to complain, just lets his hand fall into Sam’s hair and falls asleep himself.

When they wake up, Dean still feels like shit, even after he separates from Sam to take a shower. His shoulders hurt more than they should from the impact he took with the wall back at the girl’s apartment, and there’s a ring of bruises around his neck that are beginning to turn a mottled purple. Sam’s hardly better off, and Dean can feel the echo of his headache the entire morning, even after they meet Bobby and Sam swallows three tylenol dry.

Bobby tails them that day, even though Dean tries to protest that their failure the day before was only a fluke from being off the job for so long. Bobby only pretends to hear what Dean has to say, but he’s in his pick-up following them anyway, and they scour the town together, pretending to be the subordinates to Bobby’s FBI boss.

Sam’s headache gets increasingly worse as the day wanes, and Dean can’t stop rotating his shoulders to alleviate some of the tension that’s settled there. Bobby keeps giving them sidelong glances, but Dean refuses to admit that the demon did any lasting damage, and Sam is unnervingly quiet the entire day.

They catch a demon almost by accident: she’s their waitress in the diner they’re eating at, and when Sam accidentally spills a glass of water and Dean spits a “Jesus Christ” into the air when his jeans are soaked through, her eyes flash black for the briefest of seconds. Bobby helps them corner her behind the restaurant where she’s trying to make a run for it, but the demon explodes from the waitress’s mouth before they can even do anything about it.

The girl who was being possessed immediately breaks down sobbing, and Dean leaves Bobby and Sam to interrogate her because he’s had enough tears to last him forever by this point. It doesn’t take long before they can assess that she doesn’t know anything past the point of possession, but Dean can’t quite dredge up the energy to care.

Bobby mutters about how they’re getting useless without him, which is a depressing thought in and of itself, and Dean has to deal with Sam’s tired smugness filtering through their bind at being right that it had been too soon to leave the stupid cabin. Well, Dean’s not giving Sam the satisfaction of knowing that Dean thinks maybe Sam’s not wrong about this, so he doesn’t say anything as he drives them back to the motel. Dean collapses into bed just like he did the night before, with Sam on top of him, but it takes them a long time to fall asleep, even though they’re exhausted.

They only wake up the next morning because Bobby calls Sam’s phone sometime around noon, irate that they haven’t been around doing anything useful. Sam yawns six times as Dean rifles through his duffel for a clean shirt, and Dean’s too tired to even think about showering, his fantasies about a strong cup of coffee reaching almost disturbing heights.

They’re more off than they’d been the day before, stumbling over things and missing signs, and by the time lunch rolls around and they’ve proven to be more of a hindrance than a couple of freshly-minted hunters, Bobby stands outside of the driver’s side door of the Impala and fixes them both with a harsh stare.

“I thought you said you were up for this hunt, Dean,” he accuses. Beside him, Sam shifts uncomfortably, and Dean resists the urge to rub the back of his neck.

“We are,” Dean says, but the protest is weak, even to his own ears.

“Not from where I’m standing,” Bobby says gruffly. “Never seen so many screw-ups from a pair of experienced hunters in my life.”

“We’re still trying to work things out here, Bobby,” Sam says when Dean is unable to come up with a suitable response.

“Well, you gotta do better than this,” Bobby says resignedly. “Go back to the motel. I’ll finish up today, but if you guys aren’t better tomorrow, I’m sending you back to that infernal cabin so you can get a hold of yourselves.”

“I don’t want to go back to the room,” Dean complains loudly. “I want to do something, dammit.”

“From the looks of things, the only thing you’re good for right now is getting yourself killed by a demon,” Bobby says dryly. “I’m serious. Go back and figure out what the hell’s going on with you too.”

“You know what’s going on, Bobby,” Dean says sharply. “It’s a lot to deal with, okay.”

“It’s your own fault,” Bobby points out, stepping away from the Impala so that Dean can finally unlock it. “Wasn’t no one’s decision but your own.”

“We’ll go back, Bobby,” Sam says, uncharacteristically meek as he lays a hand on Dean’s shoulder in a placating sort of way.

“You’d better,” Bobby says darkly. “If I catch you following me, I’ll knock you out myself. And don’t give me that look, Dean. You know I’m good for it.” Much as Dean is loathe to admit it, Bobby usually does good on his threats, and he scowls at the keys in his hand for a good thirty seconds before Sam shuffles around to the opposite side of the car.

“C’mon, Dean,” he says. “You know Bobby was right.”

“Traitor,” Dean mutters, but he unlocks the car and drives them to the motel anyways.

It’s only midday, so Dean is damned if he’s going to take a nap even though he’s longing for one and Sam keeps looking at the bed as if he wants to molest it. Dean systematically attacks some takeout they picked up before returning to the room, but he finds that he really isn’t that hungry, and the food he thought he wanted doesn’t taste as good as he’d hoped it would. Sam barely touches his own burger, instead ripping pieces off of it that he leaves in the wrapper rather than eating.

“Something’s wrong here, Dean,” he says when Dean gives up on his own lunch and goes searching for the remote for the television.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Dean says, locating it under one of the beds and switching the TV on.

“Well don’t you think we should talk about it?” Sam asks, sounding irritated.

“Nope,” Dean says, flicking through the channels until he comes upon what looks to be a trashy documentary about plastic surgery and fake boobs, which makes up for its educational aspects by displaying a bunch of truly glorious plastic tits.

“Dean, I’m serious,” Sam says in his don’t-ignore-me voice, which, true to form, Dean ignores. “That demon could have done something to us. This isn’t normal, even for the soul bind.”

“Don’t care,” Dean says, not taking his eyes from the glow of the television screen. “We’re not dying, as far as I can tell.” Even as he says it, he has to suppress a yawn, and he can tell that Sam isn’t fooled.

“Stop being so fucking blase,” Sam snaps, standing up so abruptly that he knocks his chair over. “This is a big fucking deal.”

“To you, maybe,” Dean says. “I just can’t bring myself to give a fuck.”

“Goddammit, Dean,” Sam swears, sweeping across the room so he can snap the television off manually. Dean tries to use the remote to turn it on again, but Sam is standing in the way, his arms spread, blocking the signal.

“Fucking move,” Dean says, standing up.

“Not until we talk about this,” Sam retorts, planting his feet and not twitching a muscle.

“So we’re a little fucking tired?” Dean snorts. “Big fucking deal. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, you know.”

“I thought we’d figured out how to stop it,” Sam says, agitated. “But, in case you didn’t notice, we slept in the same bed last night, and the night before, and I still feel like shit.”

“I don’t fucking know, Sam,” Dean says. “You’re the one who didn’t want to go with Bobby to find the demon to ask her what the fuck she did to us.”

“Because Bobby was right,” Sam shouts. “The way we’re going, we’d have gotten ourselves killed if we tried to go for a demon without figuring out how to make this fucking right again.”

“Oh, bite me, Sam,” Dean says. “I’m not an answer guide here.”

“And that’s another thing,” Sam continues, pacing.

“What’s another thing?” Dean asks cautiously, because he’s not quite sure where Sam got anything from “bite me” or “answer guide”.

“The kiss,” Sam says throwing his hands up in the air, and Dean takes a convulsive step backwards, the back of his knees hitting the edge of the bed.

“I though we weren’t talking about it,” Dean says, glaring at a point somewhere to the left of Sam’s arm.

“I’m sick of not talking about anything that you think is too uncomfortable,” Sam says, stepping closer to Dean so that’s he’s almost intolerably in Dean’s space.

“You haven’t been talking about it either, oh righteous one,” Dean shoots back. “What about your stint in hell? I keep dreaming about it but you’ve never once mentioned it.” He’s trying wildly to change the subject, but he doesn’t quite think that Sam’s going to take the bait.

“I’m talking about it now,” Sam says, taking another step closer so Dean’s forced to sit on the bed to get away from Sam. “Maybe it’s something we should discuss, Dean, seeing as ever since you did this stupid soul bind you’ve wanted to do things to me that brothers shouldn’t necessarily do.”

“I--you’re lying,” Dean says automatically, because if anything, that’s not true. Sure, he’s woken up a couple of times and wanted to kiss his brother, or do...other things, but it certainly hasn’t been around since he did the soul bind in the first place, and he hasn’t exactly been spending too much time thinking about.

“I can feel it, Dean,” Sam says. “Every time you think about it. You really haven’t gotten too good at hiding things you know.”

“Bullshit,” Dean says, propelling himself backwards until he reaches the headboard. Sam’s still getting closer, and he’s kneeling on the bed now. Dean feels distinctly like prey, but there’s something in him that makes him want to stay still because that’s what Sam wants.

“Isn’t,” Sam says. “And guess what, Dean. I feel it too, sometimes. Kind of fucked up, isn’t it? I mean, Castiel never warned us about this, did he?”

“I don’t know,” Dean says dumbly, because Sam’s crawling up the bed like a fucking lion, and he’s much too close, and Dean can’t make himself move, for Christ’s sake.

“Neither do I,” Sam says, and his voice is low, controlled. He puts his hand on Dean’s belly and chuckles as Dean twitches at the contact, the warmth of Sam’s hand sinking into his skin like a brand.

“Stop it, Sam,” Dean says, almost gasps, but Sam just slides his hand down, wrinkling Dean’s shirt as he does so, deftly ignoring how close to the edge he’s coming.

“I don’t want to,” Sam says in an almost-whisper, and then his face is close, right there, in Dean’s headspace and physical space, and what the fuck else. Dean can’t help it, he just fucking can’t, Sam is too fucking close, and the heat that Dean’s been fighting for a month surges up within him, and Dean can’t do anything but close the distance between his mouth and Sam’s.

Sam inhales sharply, almost as if he wasn’t expecting Dean to do anything more than just lie there, but his lips part almost instantly, as if it was what he was aiming for the entire time. It’s so different than what Dean was expecting, not weird or fucked up, but good and right and everything he wants, wrapped up in the gentle press of Sam’s lips against his. He arches up, or maybe Sam lets his weight fall, and then Sam’s on top of him, and they’re kissing, fucking making out like the world is going to end if they let themselves come up for breath.

Dean’s too fucking out of it to even register the taste of Sam, the kiss desperate and wet and perfect. Sam’s let his hands frame Dean’s face, his fingers cupping Dean’s cheek almost reverently, and Dean just lets himself fall into it, his heart beating wildly in his chest. He’s barely aware of anything except the slide of Sam’s tongue against his, the way it feels to be so fucking wrung out just from kissing his brother.

Sam must have more control of his mental capabilities than Dean at the moment, because he pulls away for the briefest of seconds, and gasps, “God, Dean, so fucking good,” before Dean’s following the retreat of Sam’s mouth, taking control of the kiss. Sam lets his hands fall to either side of Dean’s shoulders, bracing himself, and Dean slides his fingers beneath the fabric of Sam’s shirt, mapping the contours of Sam’s back with every pass he takes.

Sam’s making little moaning pants that are sexy as all hell, pushing his tongue into Dean’s mouth and letting his mouth fall open so the kiss can get as deep as Dean can possibly manage. Detachedly, Dean realizes that he’s hard, fucking fit to burst, and he doesn’t have to think about how screwed up it is, or how wrong, before he pulls his hands out from under Sam’s shirt and moves them so he can put pressure on Sam’s ass so their hips are together, snug and right and perfect friction.

Sam’s hips jerk involuntarily, and it feels so good, the drag of fabric against Dean’s cock. Sam is hard too, Dean can feel it, thick just how it should be, and Dean bucks up against it, seeking the pressure, goading Sam into actually fucking moving instead of pulling this prissy bullshit that he’s got going on.

Sam gets the picture and starts thrusting downwards raggedly, without any sense of rhythm, and Dean gets it, he really fucking does, because it feels as though things are about to explode out from him in a million different pieces and he can’t even get a hold of his own mind, get a sense of what he’s actually doing with his brother. They’re still kissing, furiously now, and Dean can feel himself approaching the edge with alarming speed, and there’s something niggling and perfect and so turned on at the back of his mind, and he just fucking lets go, pulling away from Sam’s mouth and falling apart under Sam’s weight. And it’s like they’re connected more than Dean could ever have thought, because Sam’s coming too, and the pulse of his pleasure through their bind is almost overwhelmingly, catastrophically excellent.

Sam sort of collapses onto him, but Dean is too out of it to care, his chest heaving as he comes down from his orgasm. It feels like everything is tingling, and he can’t remember the last time he felt this good, this fucked out. Sam’s face is mashed against Dean’s neck, and he can feel the contact all the way down his toes, each inhale and exhale of Sam’s breath against his skin. It’s oddly comforting, and even though he feels like he should maybe be panicking, he can’t do anything but relax into the bed, his brother a heavy blanket on top of him.

“This is not fucking okay, Sam,” Dean says, red-faced, in some sort of stand-off with his brother the next morning. When they’d first woken, before Dean had been able to get a handle on the morning and why he felt so relaxed, it had taken just a moment to realize why he should be freaking the fuck out. Sam seemed to be taking it more in stride, and the reversal of roles in the after-effects of some very satisfying, very fucked up incest, was if anything, riling Dean up further.

“I never said it was okay,” Sam said calmly, still in the bed as though he wasn’t disgusted that he’d basically dry-humped his brother only twelve hours prior.

“I don’t see you spazzing out over here, Sam,” Dean shouts. “I mean, what the fuck?”

“If I freaked out over everything that’s been going on, I’d have had a mental breakdown by now,” Sam explains, but he looks as straight-faced as he has since Dean woke up.

“So this is all okay with you, then?” Dean demands. “Fucking your brother? Incest? That’s all fine and fucking dandy for you?”

“Of course it isn’t,” Sam shouts. “Nothing is okay anymore, all right, Dean? But as far as I’m concerned, we have to fucking live with this, and Castiel said there might be side effects that he didn’t know about.”

“So you automatically assumed that this is one of them?” Dean says, kicking viciously at one of the crappy chairs that adorned their motel room.

“Well, considering that I’d never felt like this before you had the need to fuck around with my soul, yes, Dean, I think it was kind of hard to not come to the conclusion that it’s part of the bind.”

“Fuck,” Dean swore, sweeping a hand through his hair. “This is not happening again, Sam, you hear me?”

“I’m not going to be fucking miserable for the rest of my life because you’re a stubborn jackass who doesn’t think things through before he does them,” Sam snaps.

“Oh, fuck you, Sam,” Dean says, kicking the chair again before he heads into the bathroom to take a long, life-affirming shower, during which he does not think of Sam or sex or incest or anything except the feel of the hot water raining down his back.

By the time they meet up with Bobby again, Dean definitely isn’t talking to Sam, and Sam is a big ball of tension, squaring his shoulders and clenching his jaw in a way that makes Bobby look back and forth between them a couple of times before he clears his throat.

“You sure you guys are ready for this?” he asks.

“Yes,” Dean grits out. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather do today than kick some demon ass.”

“Glad to hear it,” Bobby says, but he doesn’t let them go on their own again, insisting that they work as a team that day. Dean is hugely frustrated by this, especially since Sam is giving him the stink eye and Bobby is sticking too close for comfort, but if this is the only way he’s going to be allowed to shank some stupid son of a bitch demon, he’ll deal with it the best he knows how to.

Bobby fills them in as they drive to his newest lead, some girl that’s been missing from work for the past couple of days, but Dean lets Sam do all of the questioning. As far as he’s concerned, it’s wholly unfair that Bobby got to go after demons yesterday when he was busy doing...stuff with his brother, so by the time Bobby jumps in his truck and Dean climbs into the Impala, he’s not entirely sure about the details of what they’re about to do.

“Were you even listening?” Sam asks irritatedly as Dean pulls the Impala out of the motel’s parking lot and immediately jams on the gas, bringing the car into a noisy acceleration.

“What’s the point?” he says, in his I-don’t-give-a-rat’s-ass voice that he knows Sam loathes. “You listened enough for both of us, princess.”

He can practically hear Sam gritting his teeth, even though he’s set the classic rock on extra-loud. “I’m not saving you when you get your ass in trouble,” Sam says, shifting his gaze to look out the window, and Dean takes momentary pleasure in how good he is at pissing his brother off.

They roll into a driveway that leads to a lonely house on the outskirts of town. Bobby motion that he’s gonna take the lead as soon as they’re all standing on the porch, and he raps the door professionally, taking time to straighten his tie as they hear the unmistakable sounds of someone approaching. Dean’s shifting from side to side impatiently, and Sam’s giving him an annoyed look, but as far as Dean’s concerned, Bobby’s pretty sure that the woman inside is possessed, and Dean’s not one for professionalism in the face of some ass-kicking.

Sure enough, when the middle-aged woman finally opens the door, she takes one look at Bobby and springs backwards into the house before he can even say a word. Sam draws the knife and Dean his gun as they take chase, but she’s quick, and it’s not long before she’s banged open the back door and disappeared out into the overgrowth of her yard.

By the time they explode onto the back patio, she’s all but gone, somewhere in the green shrubbery that’s covering the ground as far as Dean can see.

“I thought Nevada was supposed to be a fucking desert,” Dean grumbles as he strains to hear her footfalls in an attempt to see where she’s headed.

“I’ll go this way,” Bobby thunders, already taking off to the left. “You idgits stay together and don’t get yourselves killed.” Dean immediately takes off in the opposite direction of Bobby, reveling in the thrill of the chase as adrenaline rushes through his body. Sam is on his heels, crashing through the uneven brush, and Dean has to resist the urge to whoop. He’s missed this.

They’ve been running for all of three minutes before Dean catches a glimpse of her shoe as she darts off to the side, and he puts on an extra burst of speed so they won’t lose her again. He knows he should probably yell for Bobby, but he wants this kill to be on his own grounds, goddammit, so he stays stubbornly quiet.

When they catch up with her, Dean executes some kind of running tackle that has her rolling on the ground underneath him. He pins her down with two hands around her throat, not tight enough to strangle her, and he plants his weight so she has to struggle even to move an inch.

“Please don’t hurt me,” she gasps.

“Cut the bullshit,” Dean snarls. “Christo.”

Her eyes immediately go black, and the pitiful, scared expression she’s been wearing immediately morphs into something more sinister.

“So you got me,” she says, her voice smooth and sinister. “Now what are you gonna do with me?”

Sam’s moved so that he’s standing in front of Dean, but even though she’s caged in physically, Dean knows that there’s nothing stopping her from getting out of the meat the same way she got in.

“Sam, knife,” Dean grits out, pressing his hands tighter around her throat in an attempt to keep her from smoking out.

“Dean,” Sam starts, taking a step forward.

“Don’t be like that, sugar,” the demon purrs. “We can play nice, can’t we?”

“If we don’t do something now, she’s gonna get away,” Dean says, not taking his eyes from hers. “Give me the fucking knife.”

“That’s not what I was gonna say,” Sam says. “She could fucking know something, Dean! We can’t kill her yet.”

“I’m not saying shit to you,” she gasps. “You’re in real fucking trouble here, Winchester.” With a bang, Dean is propelled five feet away from her and into a bush, thanks to her fucking demon mojo.

“Sam,” he yells, already pulling himself out of the brush, and by the time he’s righted himself again, Sam has the demon in a strangle-hold, the knife pressed against the vulnerable expanse of her throat.

“What are you doing here?” Sam asks. “Who’s in charge? What do you know about the Mother.”

“Fuck you,” she says and then laughs. “Oh, wait, that’s Dean’s job nowadays, isn’t it?”

“I’ll kill you,” Sam warns, pressing the knife down further so a trickle of blood runs down the demon’s neck into the white of her blouse.

“You’ll kill me anyway,” she says. “And I’m not as afraid of you as you’d like.”

“Just do it, Sam,” Dean says, and Sam looks at him for the briefest of seconds before he angles the knife into the soft skin of the demon’s jugular. There’s the familiar lightning, and a spray of blood as Sam lets the body slump to the floor.

“Cold, even for you,” Dean comments as he brushes the dirt off of her pants.

“The host was already dead,” Sam says, stepping around the body and back through the uneven track they’d made through the underbrush. “If you’d been listening to Bobby, you would’ve heard him tell us that someone saw this woman take a nose-dive off of her roof a couple of days ago.”

“You shoulda just let me kill her then,” Dean complains. “Since when has a demon been forthcoming about their evil plans and shit.”

“Shut up,” Sam says. “Let’s go tell Bobby we need to get rid of the body before anyone comes to investigate.”

Bobby seems pleasantly surprised that they managed to take care of the demon all on their own, which Dean finds to be just a little bit galling, to say the least. Dean wishes that Bobby would let him torch her, but the smoke would be too much of a giveaway, so they dig a grave for her instead, far enough away from the beaten trail that it’ll likely take a while for anyone to find her.

Bobby’s annoyed that they couldn’t get any information out of her that was useful, but as far as he’s concerned, there are at least two more demons hiding out in the town, for some reason or another. Dean’s itching to have another go at the demon who was possessing that Lara chick, the one who fucked him up so royally, but Bobby has no more leads for them to follow, so it’s back to square fucking one, looking for anything unusual that may point to demonic possession.

“What fucking use are you?” Dean says, fixing Bobby with a heavy glare.

“I’d watch my tongue if I were you, boy,” Bobby says dangerously. “I’m not the one who let the leader get away, now am I?”

Sam sighs, a heavy sound, and shrugs his shoulders helplessly. “I guess we should start looking around then, Bobby,” he says. “Dean and I will take some of the other victims in the town proper, so I guess you can handle some of the people here on the outskirts?”

Bobby’s still glowering at Dean, not that Dean’s not giving just as good as he’s getting. “If you think you and your idiot brother can handle it,” he growls.

“We’ll be fine,” Sam says, pulling Dean’s arm so they’re heading back towards the car. “We figured out what was wrong.”

Bobby grunts and then fixes the rim of his hat to shield his eyes from the sun. “You’d better hope so,” he says before wrenching the driver’s side door of his truck open. “Keep your brother from doing anything dumb.”

“No promises,” Sam says dryly, and Dean socks him hard in the arm before climbing into the Impala. It’s not as fucking good as it used to be, though, because Dean’s own arm hurts the entire way back into town.

Part Four
Tags: fic!, pairing: sam/dean, spn big bang 2011
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