Catetory: Sam/Dean (Slash), Chapter 2/3
Summary: Slightly AU. Sam’s dreams and an investigation coincide in Michigan, where new revelations await both brothers.
Author’s Notes: This could be considered to take place in the near future, as Sam’s powers are developing beyond what we’ve seen thus far.
x-x-x-x-x Chapter 2: Sought x-x-x-x-x
Morning brings another cryptic phone call from their father, pointing them toward a town two hours to the east. Mysterious disappearances have begun in the last two months, and he thinks it’s worth looking into.
After a breakfast of Pop-Tarts and bad coffee, they find the place within hours. Coming up on the outskirts of town, Sam can see a black lake in the distance, surrounded by trees. Something tugs at the edge of his memory, and he is suddenly uneasy.
“Are you sure this is it?” he asks, and Dean gives him a funny look.
“You read the map-- you know it is. What’s your problem?”
“Nothing,” Sam says, and he glares out the window. When his feelings are justified by research or by specific visions it’s one thing, but when he just has a vague sense of wrongness… there’s no explaining that. It makes him feel like a nervous little kid again, and he’s not admitting that to Dean anytime soon.
They pull into a beat-up gas station, and look around the property for someone to talk to. No-one seems to be on the premises, which is a little odd for a weekday morning. They try the corner grocery store next, which falls silent within seconds of them coming through the door. Not even Sam’s easy charm coaxes much out of anyone other than the names they already know and the dates of the disappearances.
Dean moves the car farther down the road, and they double back on foot to look through the forest. It could be someone in town, or someone passing through, but when evil finds a nexus like this it’s usually because something that slept has woken up. The forest is right on the town’s edge, creeping up on its houses, and if they had to place bets they would guess that whatever the agent of evil is, that’s where it lives.
There is a cave, which registers absolutely nothing on Dean’s Creature Meter. It might be safe, or maybe it isn’t, but they keep looking for more promising results. They pass a creek, sparkling in the sunlight. Sam watches the light dance on the ripples even as the smell of turning leaves nags at him. It’s like he’s missing something that’s right in front of him, but for the life of him he just can’t see it.
The trees become thicker as they move on in, less than half a mile from the roadway now. Pushing through underbrush and past tree trunks, they find themselves at the edge of a lake—most likely the one they saw driving into town. Sam looks left, right, peers into the darkness at the far side. It’s just a lake, as far as he can tell, and there are no more clues here than anywhere else they’ve searched. The view is peaceful despite the overcast sky, and Sam thinks that if you have to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, there might as well be good scenery to go with it.
They wander the periphery of the lake, scoping out a large area on each side. Still nothing. There aren’t even any bits of clothing or other signs of people being taken against their will. Sam lets his feeling run in wide arcs around the forest, but he’s either ‘off’ today or there’s nothing there to find.
They head back to the car using a slightly different path, looking, combing, probing. The car is suddenly there in front of them, and the only thing they know is what they didn’t find.
“Want to try going door to door?” Sam asks, leaning back against the passenger side.
“Not unless you want to get shot. This is a really friendly town, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
Sam sighs. “We’ve worked with less. Just not the way I like to do things.”
“I hear you.”
They drive the short distance back to town, stopping in at the café for lunch. Dean works on the waitress, and he gets a family to contact and a very large piece of pie out of the deal.
“Want a bite?” he asks, holding a forkful out to Sam. It’s chocolate with whipped cream, and Sam reaches out and pulls Dean’s hand in, claiming the offering in one swift movement.
“Mmm.” His eyes close for a moment in enjoyment before releasing Dean and the fork. It is very hard to go wrong with chocolate cream pie, and he’s never had a bad one yet. When his eyes open, Dean is just looking at him.
“Man, we have got to get you laid,” Dean says in awe. Sam’s blush goes right up to the tips of his ears.
“What’s next?” he says hoarsely, as much to change the subject as anything.
Dean snaps out of the moment, and gets down to business. “We’re going to talk to the Brodys this afternoon. Might get some of the details out of them we’re missing.”
What they have, when it’s over, is the beginning of a pattern. Nightime disappearances, all one person at a time and all young adults.
They also have an offer of a place to stay, but Sam declines for them with irrefutable sincerity. It isn’t that they always say no, but there are ground conditions that are hard to meet. They don’t sleep in separate rooms when they’re hunting something. They don’t stay anyplace where the house environment or the inhabitants (living or dead) might be part of what they’re hunting. And if they’re in a position to clean up their salt circles and barriers without drawing attention to them, so much the better.
It’s hard to explain to good people that the scary motel down the street is really where they want to be, but Sam manages the way he always does. Everyone is happy and convinced when they leave, and Dean never quite knows how Sam does it. It’s a gift.
They check into the motel mid-afternoon, and prepare for bed after a good-sized snack. The alarm is set for 11 p.m.—they’ll doze now and hunt later, a fairly typical tactic for this kind of job.
Five rooms—three fire-damaged, and the other one is booked (in the off-season no less). This one has a fairly large bed at least, pictures framed in twigs, and a beat-up pair of rabbit-ears to go with the pliers standing in for the television’s channel knob.
The TV is on low for the white noise and distraction, and the blinds are pulled and the covers drawn up. Dean is leaning on one elbow and absently rubbing the back of Sam’s neck while Sam tries to relax and stop thinking. Sam has trouble sleeping in the middle of the day, and this usually works-- though half the time Dean is asleep before Sam’s even close to drifting off. The soap opera dialogue buzzes indistinctly in the background as the slow effects of too much late-night driving start to take effect for them both.
There is moonlight on black water, and the sound of wind up in treetops out of reach. The edges of the lake are too dark to be seen across the way, but something white gleams hazily along the shore. It moves toward him fluidly, gathering substance until Sam can see that it’s a face suspended in the air. Closer, closer it comes, gliding over the water until something glistens. A hand breaks the surface, grabbing hold of blackness below the face that has solidified as being Dean’s, and Sam hears his brother’s voice yell out it in angry denial as Dean goes from visible to vanished in half a second.
Sam lurches awake in the bed, breathless and choking, and his hands find Dean in the dark. He traces the sides of Dean’s face in rapid, lung-filling relief, mouth finding Dean’s for a single, sharp moment, and then his brother’s neck. Dean struggles out of sleep as confusion and arousal battle each other, only to strain against Sam’s arms hugging him much too tight.
He pats Sam’s shoulder awkwardly, waiting for his brother’s panic to back away.
“What was it?” he finally asks.
Sam huffs against Dean’s neck, which is just a little too much sensation right there, but Dean shakes it off and focuses on the job at hand.
“Sammy…” He turns toward Sam, just waiting, as he lets that hang in the air.
“Nothing?” Sam tries.
“Nuh-uh,” and Dean’s all business now. “Something’s been bothering you for days, and you’re getting weirder every night. Spill it.”
Sam sighs again, and that tingling on his skin makes Dean’s leg squirm for a second before he gets it under control.
“I’m dreaming about something in the water. Something dangerous. It wants… me, I guess. Or you. Or maybe that’s just part of the dream—could be that it’s waiting for me, or that it has nothing to do with me. I can’t tell.”
Dean is already stroking slow calmness into Sam’s back. “What happened tonight?”
“It took you,” Sam whispers hoarsely, and his body is tense again already.
“No, Sammy, it’s okay. I’m right here.” That doesn’t mean as much as it used to, before the visions started, but Sam knows it’s the best Dean’s got. “We’ll figure it out,” Dean whispers, and Sam relaxes into him in response.
His arm tightens around Dean’s waist as Sam kisses his neck like he could never leave him. Dean is bowstring tight in half a second. He turns, eyes seeking Sam’s in the dark, and Sam moves into him, around him, with him and his mouth is covering Dean’s with such deep-seated longing that Dean is kissing him back before he can find a reason not to.
Sam’s fingers smooth away the doubts as he offers Dean every hidden depth of his love. His hands and lips say the things that Dean would never hear, if they were spoken, because Sam alone is responsible for Dean’s mistrustful heart.
When Dean’s arm steals up his back and into his hair, it is the answer Sam’s been waiting for.
Sam kisses deeply, languidly, giving back everything he so carelessly threw away. Dean had invested so much of himself in his brother that Sam carried pieces of him everywhere he went. After all that, whatever made Sam think anyone but him could fill the hole he left when he took so much of Dean away?
Each kiss drives his apology home deeper, each sweep of his hands over Dean’s forehead, cheeks, shoulders, neck says it louder: I see how selflessly you loved me. I’m sorry I didn’t know it sooner.
He rolls the two of them on their sides, one arm pulling Dean to rock against him as the other hand moves down to the heat between them. He pulls, strokes, and kisses until Dean whimpers against his mouth and they are soaked in wetness and warmth. Dean’s shaking and his breath is shuddering now, and Sam realizes that he was not the one actually starving for love. This thing he lost when Jess died, that has marked him with its absence, is something Dean had long ago given up any hope of ever having.
“It’s okay, I’m here,” he whispers, echoing Dean’s own words back to him. But this time they mean everything, because Sam was who needed to say it.
When Dean finds him, loves him so tenderly until he is quaking with emotion and need, his last fleeting thought before the light blinds him inside of his head is that he broke Dean by leaving those four years ago, and that staying is the only healing that matters.