Pairing: Sam/Dean (one-sided Wincest
Spoilers and/or Warnings: None
Summary: Traps are laid, but who are they for?
Author’s Notes: Written for 60_minute_fics, for the prompts of “Taboo” and “Mousetrap.”
“If you were a color, what color would you be?” Sam looks at Dean over the top of a magazine.
“Seriously, dude, who comes up with that crap?”
“They say it can be very revealing.” Sam keeps watching Dean from his side of the car.
“Black,” Dean says.
Sam sighs. “Oddly enough, I already knew that about you.”
“So what color would you be?” Dean counters. “Pastel pink? It’s perfect for that girly magazine you’re looking at, and by the way, where did you turn up that thing? It’s lame.”
“Café. On a table near the door. It’s an old one—nobody’s going to miss it.”
“Whatever, dude.” Dean drums on the steering wheel idly. “Anything since last night?”
“I found some news archives on the Internet while you were in the bathroom. There was a rash of killings like these about 40 years ago, in pretty much the same area of town. Not as many details reported in the older stories, though. ”
“Yeah, I can’t imagine 'bruised dicks' being mentioned in a family newspaper back then.”
“Though they did say the bodies were bloodless,” Sam notes. “Of course, they thought that was because the victims had been killed somewhere else and then moved later.”
Dean smiles ironically. “It’s a lot more reasonable than saying it’s because the killer was hungry.”
“Whoa—slow down here,” Sam says. “It’s right around here. There—under those trees.”
Dean parks the car, and they get out to take a look. The EMF meter doesn’t show anything, and all the trees in that grove are perfectly ordinary.
Dean scratches his head. “Even this bench is just a regular old bench.”
“There must be something about this place that attracts it,” Sam says.
“Ready supply of victims, maybe. A secluded bench at the edge of a park... Could be a Lovers’ Lane thing, or just a place where people cruise.”
Images form in Sam’s head, men looking for anonymous encounters with strangers and why Dean brought that up to begin with. “Probably the latter,” he says irritably, “since the victims were all men. All young and all good-looking.”
“So maybe they taste better.” Dean ducks away in surprise then as Sam tries to swat his head.
“Hope that attitude helps you when you’re the one sitting out here as bait,” says Sam.
“Me! Why me? You’re much more of a victim than I am.”
Sam’s just pissed off now, both at the ‘victim’ comment and at Dean wise-cracking around what he’s denying. “Oh, you’re much better suited to this than I am,” Sam says cuttingly. “Because this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve let some random guy suck your dick when you’ve got nothing better going on.”
“Hey!” Dean is absolutely scandalized, his face blushing and his mouth open in shock.
“Oh, I know about it,” Sam continues. “Even saw you once in an alley in downtown Topeka.”
Dean looks like he’s been sucker-punched. He drops his eyes after a long moment, then turns his back and walks away rapidly.
“Dean…” Sam calls after him. But it’s no good. He let his resentment get the better of him, and took Dean’s privacy and dignity in a few short seconds. When Dean comes back, there’ll be very little talking for awhile. And none of it is going to be about this.
He sighs, a little angry at himself for being so careless. But it’s hell to watch Dean throw himself away on practically anyone, like it all means nothing. Sam is the one person who really knows and wants Dean, and also the one person who can’t have him. Some days he lives with it, and other days he hates it. He’s Dean’s brother and what he wants is never going to happen, but he’s stuck right where he can not only see what he’s missing but also who’s getting it all instead.
Sam pokes around his surroundings a little more while he waits for Dean to come to terms with his embarrassment. The dirt looks clear—no symbols, nothing planted in it. Sam picks up the old bench and turns it over, examining it carefully piece by piece.
There. On the bottom of one of the iron slats, carved into the metal. It’s a symbol, a circle in a star bisected by triangle, with a Roman symbol for men in the very middle.
This is a portal, drawing young men near on the one side and letting something come to get them on the other. Sam runs his fingers over it, thinking. They could destroy it, but he’d like to kill the thing that comes through it first.
He pulls out his notebook, scribbles down notes and supplies. Dean’s footsteps approach, and Sam speaks without looking at him. “We need to go shopping before we come back.”
The ride through town is uncomfortable, shrouded in the silence of apologies that should be made and the knowledge that saying them would just make it worse. Sam goes into the herbalist’s shop on his own for the sage and yarrow, then asks Dean to drop him off at the hotel. While Dean fetches the holy water, Sam makes a mandrake-root poultice and tips the crossbow arrows with it while he waits, his thoughts invaded by visions of his brother melting under the touch of strangers and letting his head tip back in the moonlight…
The door sticks when Dean finally comes back, waking Sam up from his catnap on the bed. He blinks at Dean sleepily, and Dean’s face looks vulnerable before it closes down and Dean shuts the door.
“I’m sorry,” Sam says after a moment.
“It has to be one of us. Just make sure you’re ready when it comes.”
“I meant about before.” Sam’s voice is soft as the light in the darkening room. “I was jealous. I shouldn’t have said it.”
Dean sits down on the other bed, looking at his hands. “You don’t have to give up that whole part of your life, Sam. Just be careful not to stay with anyone too long.”
“It’s not you I’m jealous of,” Sam says levelly. “And staying with one person is pretty much how I’m made.”
"Then—" Dean stops. Sam’s words still hang in the air. “You want me to stop sleeping around.”
Dean thinks hard, turns it over. “I don’t get it,” he finally says.
“You will,” Sam promises, unable to tear his eyes away from Dean’s face, from those eyes that love, aggravate and bewilder him in turns in the course of every day they’ve spent together. He can’t say anymore, can’t risk being any more obvious. He’s opened the door. Dean can choose to step through it now, or to run.
Instead Dean does neither, as if he doesn’t see it yet. “We’re still going back to the park tonight, though, right?”
Sam sits up and swings his legs over the edge of the bed. “We’re going to lure it through and kill it. And shut the portal so nothing follows it ever again.”
“And you really just want me to sit there on that bench,” Dean says.
“I’ll give you an arrow in case you need it, but yes—I’ll be hiding and waiting to take it down.”
“You think it’ll come?” Dean asks uncertainly.
“It won’t be able to resist you,” Sam whispers. Someday Dean will know how far that feeling spreads.
“Let’s go then.” Dean gathers their supplies, and Sam puts his shoes on and meets him at the door.
“Watch my back.” Dean instructs him, as they step out into the night.
“I always do,” Sam says automatically. That doesn’t make his saying it any less true.
He follows Dean to the car, seeing the uneasiness left over from before. His eyes fall on the set of Dean’s shoulders, drift over the unloved softness of his brother’s hair.
I’ve never stopped watching, Sam thinks. And he never will.
He doesn’t know how.
The engine roars to life in the stillness of early evening, its raucous sound enveloping the inside of the car. It drowns out the silence that looms between the brothers, dividing the unthinkable into secret, tangible parts.
There is Dean… there is Sam…and there is the taboo that keeps them from being more than brothers.
But now on the one side is the beginning of a question. And on the other is an answer waiting to be found.
------ fin ------