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Title: The Troubles that We Used to Know
Fandom: Supernatural
Author: erda
Rating: R
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Word Count: ~2000
Written for [profile] salt_burn_porn
Summary: Episode tag for 5.16, so spoilers. Dean doesn't get it back.

You're scouring everybody's face
For some small flicker of the truth
To what it is that you are going through, my boy

When Sam gets into the car, he's wearing the amulet. Dean figured he would pick it up, maybe put it in his pocket or tuck it under his shirt, but it's swinging freely in plain sight. Which doesn't matter in the least. Dean can't think of a single thing that would matter to him right now. They drive, silent and not looking at each other at all, until Dean realizes he doesn't have any destination in mind.

It's after lunch and they're getting low on gas when Dean pulls into a hotel which is indistinguishable from the one they walked out of just hours ago. He gets a room, because they can't sit in the car forever. At least now he can take a piss, something he's had to do for a while.

"I could run for food," Sam says hesitantly. He picks up the keys from where Dean has tossed them. "Burgers?"

Dean doesn't answer him. He's never been less hungry, although maybe he's been feeling that way for a while, now that he thinks about it. Not that it matters. Sam sighs. "Dean," he says but Dean closes the bathroom door between them before he can say anything else.

When he comes out Sam is gone. He lies down on the bed, pressing the heel of his hand against the slow, steady ache above his eyes. It's not new that he doesn't want to feel anything. The ceiling looks like every other crapped out ceiling of every other crapped out place they've ever stayed in. It's got some old brown water stains that he could amuse himself finding pictures in, if he wanted to be amused. He doesn't. Every time he thinks he's reached rock bottom, the ground gives out from under him again, and he finds a new low. He just wants it to be over, and he doesn't even have the option of eating his gun anymore to find some peace.

After a while Sam comes back, making a racket as he approaches like he's been doing ever since Dean came back topside, apparently so as not to take Dean by surprise. Dean can smell the burgers and fries as Sam pulls them out of a bag, but he doesn't get up.

"Come on, Dean," Sam says. "You gotta eat something." He can hear the guilt in Sam's voice. He'd thought Sam would try to explain somehow, claim that his heaven isn't really about getting away from Dean, but he hasn't even tried. He could make something up to placate Dean. Dean would definitely make something up if he was Sam. He's made stuff up to bolster Sam for years now, told him a million lies to smooth things over and spare him pain. Sam can't even be bothered thinking up a fucking lie, and it's not like he has some compunction about lying to Dean. It's one of his greatest strengths, lying to his family, but now when Dean wants a lie, he says nothing.

"When I was in hell," Dean says. He clears his throat. He hadn't intended to say that, or to say anything, but now that he has started, he finds there is something he wants after all. He wants to tell the truth. The whole ugly, sickening truth. He wants to see the truth on Sam's face, the horror and disgust of who Dean is. And then it will really be all over and nothing will matter anymore. He still won't say yes to Michael, Zachariah miscalculated when he started them down this path. He won't say yes, or no, or anything, because there will be nothing left to say when he finishes telling Sam the truth.

"I didn't tell you about the good part. If I was good, if I did a good job, Alastair would reward me. Know what the reward was, Sam?" He finds he can't look at Sam after all, but he's on a roll now, rolling down to an all time low, taking out everything in his path, everything in his life, and he isn't going to stop until it's all out there.

"It was you," he says. He laughs, or, well, he tries to laugh It comes out as something else, something ugly and choked. "You, little brother." Out of the corner of his eye he can see Sam lower the burger he's been holding, putting it down carefully on the paper wrapper for later. Dean doesn't think he'll feel like finishing it after he hears the rest of this. "Oh, it wasn't really you, of course. I knew that. But Alistair would dress up in your meat suit. Some demons can do that in hell. Make themselves look like anyone they want. First couple of times he" -and Dean can't help the tiny hesitation before he spits it out- "he did me," and Dean makes himself say it, "he fucked me, it hurt. But after a while I started looking forward to it."

"Dean," Sam says, all set to absolve him as always, and Dean isn't going to let him this time, because it's bullshit.

"Know where he got the idea that I'd like my little brother to fuck me, Sam?" He puts his hand over his face for a moment, but makes himself put it back down on the bed. There's no point in trying to cover up anymore. "He read my mind, Sam." It comes out soft, a whisper, and he forces himself to speak up. "Plucked that little fantasy right out of my head and gave it to me all wrapped up in your skin."

It's done now. There's nothing else. It's funny the way he's spent years worrying that Sam would find out how he felt, that some demon or lately some angel, would spill his secret, and now he's told Sam himself. There's a kind of freedom in it. He could look at Sam now, but he doesn't need to. He's been looking at people his whole life, trying to figure out from other people who he is, when all along he's known that what he saw in their faces was a con, a fake, and that under all the bullshit, he's the freak. Sam will go now, and he can stop trying.

Sam gets up. He wipes his hands fastidiously with the little McDonald's napkin, folds it in half and puts it down next to his half eaten burger. "All the time I was growing up," he says, and Dean sighs, because Sam has to blah, blah, blah before he leaves. "I was mad as far back as I can remember."

He sits on the bed next to Dean. "You and Dad were so happy before I came along," he says. "Everything revolved around how perfect it was before me, and all you wanted to do was get out and hunt, get revenge for Mom. I was just in the way. All I wanted was to get away from you, Dean," he says. Dean keeps looking at the ceiling, because it doesn't matter a damn anymore.

"I was so happy those first couple of days after I ran away," Sam says. "I was so busy, getting things set up, making myself a place to sleep, taking care of Bones. I hardly thought of you at all. I thought that I was free of you." Dean has no idea why Sam doesn't just go, why he has to keep talking and talking when there is nothing left of him to hurt.

Sam laughs, and Dean rolls and looks at him now, because it's a real laugh, not bitter or disgusted or shaming, and then he puts his hand on Dean's calf, and smiles at him, like Dean hasn't just confessed the sickest thing ever. "But I was 14, Dean, and by the third day, all the bad dirty wrong thoughts came back. All the pictures in my head of the things I wanted to do with you, and to you. I couldn't get away from them. Even when I ran all the way to Stanford, got myself a sweet, beautiful girlfriend, I still never stopped wanting you. So if you thought your little confession was going to scare me off for good, uh, not a chance, Dean."

The amulet is swinging slowly from Sam's neck, and Dean reaches out and touches it, but Sam pushes his hand away. "No, Dean," he says. "It's mine now." And, yeah, that's fair, because Dean swore to himself after Ruby that he wouldn't let anything or anyone get between them again, and he let that bastard Zachariah twist him up inside until he forgot to hold on to the most important person in his world.

He lies back on the bed again, but Sam comes with him, knees pressed to the outside of his hips, big goofy face looking awkward and full of hope, so Dean kisses him. It's been so long since he's felt anything, that the gentle touch of their mouths together is a shock, the good kind that runs straight down to his dick, and he makes a little grunt of surprise that Sam catches in his throat and echoes back to him. Sam takes the kiss and gives it back rough, and dirty, and perfect. Sam grabs his head, his nails scratching with intent, bites and licks and oh god, Dean has to pull away to catch his breath.

Sam gets up on his hands, panting, his mouth open and hair hanging down all disheveled, and it's the most gorgeous thing Dean has ever seen. Sam doesn't have the patience for buttons, apparently, because he grabs hold of Dean's shirt and tries to rip it off him, which is pretty fucking funny, especially when it doesn't work and he strangles Dean a little bit. Dean takes the hint and slides up the bed so he can get sitting up and take his clothes off. He keeps thinking about what Sam said, how he has such bad dirty wrong pictures in his head of things he wants to do, and it makes him feel, makes him feel a lot of stuff he never thought he'd feel again. But mostly he just feels a desperate need to get his clothing off, and then he has to help Sam get his off, too, because Sam is so wrecked with lust he can't undo his own pants.

Dean has been empty for so long, and now he's drunk with feelings, wants, needs, and yeah, love. Sam is a fucking genius at fitting Tab A into Slot B and Dean has nothing to hide anymore, so he lets it all out, squirms and moans and whimpers and rocks up to push Sam in as deep as he can. He wraps his legs up around Sam so he slides in even more, and Sam goes for it, pounding into him hard and fast.

Not demons nor angels nor anything else can get between them now, Dean thinks a bit hysterically when they hit a rhythm together, when Sam wraps his big old fist around Dean's dick and and jerks him off, when he's coming all over them, making a gorgeous mess of them both. Sam leans down and kisses him, practically breaking him in half, and then fucks him resolutely into the mattress, his face open and ecstatic and full of wonder. After, Sam collapses onto him, and Dean has to shove him off so he can breathe. Sam tries to give him the amulet then, but Dean won't take it. "I want to see it on you," he says. That makes Sam smile again. Dean hasn't seen that smile for years, and he's missed it. When this crisis is over, and they've saved the world again, and stuffed Lucifer back into his cage where he belongs, Dean intends to spend all of his free time looking at that smile. He wraps his hand around the amulet and tugs Sam close for another one of those sloppy kisses they're both so good at.
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