Category: Sam/Dean (slash)
Spoilers: Skin (but mostly AU)
Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were.
Archive: Ask first
Author’s Note: Months ago, I wrote a standalone fic that was an AU version of one of the scenes from Skin. I had meant for it to be much slashier than the completed version, but it was clearly better just as it stood. After a few more weeks, I thought instead about adding additional chapters to it, to expand it rather than change it. And finally, finally, I have finally completed this follow-on. Hope you like it :-)
Here is Chapter 1, for re-reading.
x-x-x-x-x Chapter 2: In Limbo x-x-x-x-x
They must have dozed off, because when Dean came back to himself Sam was breathing slowly and steadily, and submerged into his shoulder. Dean’s arm was slightly numb, but this was so nice—Sam asleep for once, safe and close and unresisting. He pressed his head against Sam’s, the silky feel and clean smell of his hair bringing back memories of so long ago, when they were young and they were everything to each other. How could it have gotten so bad that Sam left them—left Dean—to move clear across the country and start over, like they had no past, like they meant nothing? Why wasn’t Dean able to stop it?
He breathed in those lost memories, wound through with the scent of Sam’s hair, and it came back to him, what it had been like before the loneliness started choking the life out of him and he stopped wondering when the hunt would end and started wondering when it would finish him instead. Being a family, no matter where they were and what they were doing, had stopped being enough for Sam. He became sullen, then angry, until it seemed that when Sam and Dad weren’t fighting they were clouding the air with tension. Dean had been adrift in indecision all that time, putting on a good front—all swaggering confidence and quick sarcasm—but there had been nothing and no-one to cling to. Whether it was with his distant father, his sad and angry brother, or the nameless women he charmed, Dean was always alone, by himself or in a crowded room. He had missed Sam so much in those last four years, and after Sam came back… he missed him still. They remembered everything about teasing and squabbling, but closeness had to be weathered and won all over again. Dean had never been good at that, had never had any reason to try before Sam left. Their closeness just was. Now, he had no idea where to even begin.
He stroked Sam’s hair gently, enjoying the feeling of Sam pillowed against him, the comfort of knowing that, at this moment, he made Sam feel safe.
What would happen when Sam awoke was another story. The Shapeshifter had tortured Sam—violated him, Dean was sure. Would his face, his touch, just bring all of that back? And if it did… would he be forced to let Sam go again just to keep him in one piece? Dean pushed that thought down, back to the darkness it had come from. He could not lose Sam again. Too much of himself would go with him.
Sam stirred slightly against him, and Dean looked over. The towel had slipped off of Sam’s hip long ago, and at the sight of that naked flank, legs entwined with his own, Dean had to bite his lip and turn away. That visual suggestion of intimacy had already made an impression, and he squirmed a little against the uncomfortable hardness. Suddenly Sam’s hair felt too soft, his skin too warm, his scent too heady, and Dean was overtaken by a massive pheromone rush. He tried to pull out from under Sam as smoothly as possible, but Sam roused enough to burrow into him and groan a little in protest.
Dean stilled, and stared up at the ceiling. He was trapped. If he woke Sam up it could trigger off a really awkward conversation… or things could head in a completely different direction. There was no way to predict which way it would go. And he had to admit, he had some significant emotional investment in the outcome. So he was stuck. Waiting for Sam to wake up, waiting to see what evolved. He was so afraid of making the wrong move that all he could do was lie back and see how things played out.
In spite of all he had seen in his years, Dean generally thought of himself as a guarded optimist. Things had mostly turned out all right so far, over the long haul. Sometimes it was a really, really long haul until they did. But remembering Sam kissing him just hours ago, and how everything had finally felt so right for once—as if his soul was lifting out of his body… for this possibility that he wanted so badly, Dean was not brave enough to let hope begin to rise.
So there he was. Not hoping, not really. Just waiting and watching for Sam to make the first move.