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smalltrolven

The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time


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Finish Lines
smalltrolven

Fic: Finish Lines (Sam/Dean, NC-17) Part 1 of 3

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~~**~~

He tried saying the words silently at first, lips moving over the syllables to see if they’d cut or burn. His heart beat faster and his stomach gave a gurgle of discontent, maybe it was the microwaved breakfast burrito from the gas station. Once more he asked himself the question, feeling the breath puff past his lips as he still managed to keep the words silent.

For inspiration or maybe encouragement he replayed the look on his brother’s face as they’d listened to Jesse and Cesar talk about their relationship. Had it been hope or resignation he’d seen there? He still couldn’t figure it out so that meant he had to ask the question burning a hole in his pocket. Fuck it.

“What’s our finish line look like?” Dean blurted out, hands clenched on the steering wheel so tightly it actually hurt. He realized he was bracing himself for his brother’s answer and released each finger a little in turn.

“What?” Sam asked, side-eyeing his brother but not quite putting down his paperback all the way.

Dean swallowed, suddenly nervous to actually follow through and have this conversation, but then he’d been worrying over the subject on his own for close to a thousand miles. “You were saying earlier, about Jesse and Cesar, that they were two hunters who got to the finish line. Just wondering if you ever think about what ours will be?”

“Sure I do,” Sam said, closing his paperback over a bookmark and turning his whole body to face Dean. “All the time.”

“And?” Dean prompted, gesturing with one hand for Sam to get on with it when he didn’t say anything more.

“And I don’t ever talk about it, because I know you won’t like it,” Sam said, looking down at his hands clenched together in his lap.

“Try me,” Dean said, placing one of his hands over Sam’s clenched ones, his brother’s fingers felt so strong but still so elegant and delicate. But right now Sam was using that strength to hold back from saying whatever it was he thought Dean wouldn’t want to hear.

“No, no way, man, I’m not interested in starting that conversation. It’ll just end up in the usual fight,” Sam said, unclenching his own hands and trapping Dean’s hand in-between them.

“Old married couple fighting, it’s what we do, Sammy,” Dean said with a laugh, twining his fingers through Sam’s, relishing the connection of their bodies while they both struggled to get the words out that needed to be said. Sam wasn’t smiling at that, and he should have been, maybe this was something he didn’t want to hear?

Sam rolled his eyes but was unable to keep his smile hidden which immediately soothed Dean’s worry. If Sam was smiling, then he was still in the clear—probably.

“Fine, but remember, you were warned,” Sam said with a sharply pointing finger.

“I’m all ears,” Dean said, grabbing for that pointy finger so he could wrap Sam’s hand up in his, trying to keep one eye on the road since he was still driving.

“No, you’re really just all mouth,” Sam corrected.

“But you love me anyway,” Dean teased, heart swooping with the casual way he’d just thrown the ‘l’ word out there for anyone to mock. Not that Sam would of course, but it wasn’t a word Dean was in the habit of tossing around so casually. What had gotten into him anyway? Probably a little bit of jealousy at seeing Jesse and Cesar with their future laid out ahead of them.

“Yeah, yeah I do,” Sam said in a serious tone that made Dean’s heart skip several beats in what felt like a good way, but one he was pretty much unaccustomed to experiencing. This was why he didn’t ask questions like this in the first place.

Dean sputtered and felt himself flush red as usual which he hated. Because it meant his defenses would go up automatically, and Sam would know that. But he wanted what Sam was about to drop in his lap in answer to his question. He could practically see Sam telling himself: Well, he asked for it.

Sam took a deep breath and seemed to settle himself. “I see our finish line as you and me, alive, together, retired, no more hunting, no injuries, in a place somewhere out in the country, maybe near a small town, hopefully by some water. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with the details.”

“So, no law school and two point five kids for you then?” Dean asked.

“What? No!” Sam exclaimed.

“Isn’t that where you were heading with Amelia?” Dean asked.

“Don’t bring all that up again, that’s pretty much got nothing to do with what I want or where I am now.”

“Which is where exactly?” Dean asked.

“In case you hadn't noticed, sitting right here next to you, as usual. Thought that was how you wanted it to be, unless I’ve misunderstood you the times when you’ve said that,” Sam untangled their hands and turned away to look out his window.

Dean blushed again, remembering those few times he’d laid his heart open to Sam. He hated that he still got embarrassed about this stuff. He realized that he needed to be looking at Sam to say what he needed to say, so he pulled over on the side of the two-lane highway. The tall grasses and wildflowers waved in the wind of the passing cars. He shut the engine off, un-clicked his seatbelt and turned to face Sam.

“It is, Sammy. It is absolutely what I want,” Dean said, eyes tracing the face of the one person in the world who knew what that meant. Sam smiled at him then and Dean’s heart did that little hiccup at seeing the love on his brother’s face.

“But you don’t think I should want that too, do you?” Sam asked with a sadness he couldn’t hide.

“I…I always think you could do a lot better than me. And I worry you’re sticking around out of guilt or something useless like that.”

Sam’s mouth opened and stayed open. He sat there gaping like a fish, breathing heavily through his nose. His mouth finally snapped shut and his expression was as dark as the gathering thunderstorm darkening the sky behind them.

“How in any universe could you possibly think either of those things? I swear to all the gods and goddesses, Dean, your blind spot on this is the most frustrating thing about you, and that’s really saying something.”

“What blind spot?” Dean joked at him in reflexive self-defense.

Sam sighed, one of those put-upon, oh-poor-me sighs that made Dean grit his teeth because he knew it meant Sam was disappointed in him.

“I’m sorry,” Dean said, staring straight ahead through the windshield at the cars passing by them on the highway.

“For what?” Sam asked.

“You were right, I shouldn’t have brought the whole thing up in the first place,” Dean said.

“No, I was wrong. All wrong, like usual. I’ve obviously failed to get this across to you well enough. I’ll admit that it was true at some point that I wanted something else, but that was a long time ago. And what we’ve been through and survived together, it’s changed me. You know that, right? You’ve seen it up close and personal when you’ve had to glue me back together.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Dean grudgingly admitted.

“So, because of all that, I treasure what we have even more than I can just say. It means so much to me that you want to be with me even after all the ways I’ve failed you.”

“You’ve never ever failed me, Sammy, not once, not ever. Guess that’s your blind spot.”

“But…” Sam said, gearing up for some no-doubt overblown explanation.

Dean interrupted, “No—no buts allowed here, it’s true. I’ve been disappointed sometimes, or hurt at some of your decisions, sure. But that’s not failing me, that’s being your own person.”

“But all those times you’ve thrown my ‘decisions’ back in my face, what was that about?” Sam asked.

“Uh…I guess that was just me lashing out when I was hurt, because I’m an immature asshole that can’t express myself,” Dean said with a shrug.

“What do you call this conversation then? I think you’re doing pretty damn well.”

“Yeah?” Dean asked.

“Uh huh,” Sam said with a nod that made his hair fall across his face, covering his eyes in that effortlessly pretty way that always twisted the edges of Dean’s heart.

Dean reached out and tucked Sam’s hair behind his ear, waiting for him to meet his eyes. “So, our finish line, sounds pretty good, just needs one more thing if you ask me.”

“Let me guess, more bacon?” Sam asked with a one-sided grin.

“Duh, obviously, we always need more bacon. But we’re gonna need something to do, to make a living, right?” Dean asked, hand still on Sam’s neck, rubbing his fingers along the edge of his shirt collar.

Sam pressed back into Dean’s hand like he was soaking up that feeling from the minor connection of their skin. “You’re right, we don’t have anything saved up to live on, and if we’re staying in one place, credit card scams aren’t going to cut it.”

“I’m thinking something online, maybe selling antique weapons, or books,” Dean said.

“Selling off the stuff in the bunker, you mean?” Sam asked, eyebrows raising.

“I was thinking we’d start out with the stuff in Sinclair’s place first. After we get through with selling all that off, I bet there’s at least some stuff in the bunker that we wouldn’t miss too much.”

Sam’s eyebrows raised even higher.

Dean nodded to himself, encouraged at the plan coming together, imagining how it would go. "Yeah, we don’t need to keep everything hidden away to ourselves, right? We shouldn’t keep it all stashed like it is now. We could even sell a few of those vintage cars to get ourselves started, it’s not like those are worth anything to us beyond making the garage look full.”

“Can I at least keep the motorcycle?” Sam asked.

“Of course, as long as you wear your helmet every time you take her out, even though it messes with your hair,” Dean said.

“Will you come for rides with me?” Sam asked.

“Yeah, of course,” Dean says. “I’ll ride bitch sometimes, why not?”

***

Looking back on things, Dean thought that his suggestion of selling off some of the treasures in Cuthbert Sinclair’s place was the first mistake he’d made. Because that meant having to go back inside the place. The one where he’d almost been trapped as the newest resident in the dude’s fucked-up zoo. He hadn’t ever told Sam what the guy had said to him, how he’d touched him in that possessive way that had made his skin crawl. Or about the spell he’d put him under that had drained his will, along with all his independent thoughts. It had been almost worse than bearing the Mark.

Remembering all Magnus (that stupid-ass name Cuthbert had so grandly bestowed upon himself, marginally better than Cuthbert) had done to him, helped Dean rationalize how easy it had been to chop the guy’s head off with the First Blade. He recalled how that strange red haze had come over him, the world going indistinct and wavering, the only thing that was still real in the whole damn world had been Sam’s voice. The only thing that had stopped him was Sam and his rock-solid belief in his power to overcome the Mark.

Today as he went back into the magical passageway with Sam, back down into Magnus’ place, it brought all of this back up in an instant that took his breath away, it hit him with such force and intensity. And as a result, he went quiet, as he struggled to keep it inside, keep it all to himself, becoming so unusually silent that—of course, Sam noticed.

As they riffled through the storage rooms and libraries, Dean could tell Sam was watching him closely. He tried to joke a little more, tried to be upbeat and annoying like he usually would be in a situation like this. He hoped that his antics would put Sam off the scent of his internal dysfunction, but his little brother knew him too well. When they stopped to eat lunch in the beautifully appointed dining room, he counted down the seconds until Sam would finally ask about what was bothering him.

He’d just put the last big chunk of his roast beef sandwich into his mouth when Sam finally spoke.

“It’s weird being back in this place, isn’t it?” Sam asked, fiddling with his paper napkin but obviously searching Dean’s face to gauge his reaction to the question.

Dean pretended he needed to keep chewing and nodded, not quite meeting Sam’s eyes. He squirmed in the fancy carved oak chair, ashamed at knowing that he was behaving like the preschooler he probably looked like at the moment.

“It’s a lot bigger in here than I remembered it being, I really like how much light most of the rooms get. He certainly planned it out well, to be livable in here I mean,” Sam said into the prolonged silence.

Dean shrugged, trying not to remember how well he knew this place. “You weren’t in here very long the first time, it gets to you pretty quickly.” Instead of looking at Sam he shredded the sandwich wrap paper into a pile of bits in front of him.

“You know how we were talking about finding a place to live? The whole finish line discussion from earlier?” Sam asked, voice a little hesitant, but his eyes so hopeful. Dean couldn’t stop himself from soaking up how Sam looked when he was hopeful, so damn beautiful it almost—almost made him feel the same way.

“Yeah,” Dean answered, dreading what was coming next, hopeful or not, this was going to be tough.

“How about settling down in this place? It’s already ours, so that’s a big plus as far as the money situation goes. It’d probably be even safer in here than the bunker,” Sam suggested. “Not as many demons and angels know about the place, and we know how good with warding and spells Magnus was."

“Oh hell no, no way, that is not happening, we are never living here,” Dean said, standing up so abruptly that the solid oak chair fell over with a crash. He stalked out of the room knowing he was just going to have apologize and explain himself later to Sam but not caring past the initial burst of No in the moment. He couldn’t think about living here. Not here in this place where he was going to be trapped forever with the memories of that creep. He crashed through several doorways and locked the last one behind him, wanting to be alone with this for a bit before he’d have to explain himself to Sam.

Magnus was dead, he’d chopped the guy’s head off himself, Dean reminded himself as he paced the small room, memories and feelings whirling through his head at a sickening speed. The dude was burned to ashes and gone forever. Anything Magnus had wanted to do to Dean was over with, done, gone, it wasn’t ever happening…

except for how it was always happening in his mind

…nothing had ever happened between them except in Magnus’ sick imagination and in the ugly words he’d spewed in Dean’s face. But what he’d threatened had seemed so possible, so real at the time.

Dean kept pacing the room, and reminded himself, he was here today with Sam, not with Magnus or even Crowley for that matter. He was here with Sam, who was his finish line, his reason for even still being here living this life, or any life for that matter.

Dean shivered as he remembered the touch of Magnus’ hand on his face, how he’d caressed him, cooing about how they’d have plenty of time to get to know each other much more intimately. The dark red rage of the Mark had helped to erase all of these memories back then, but that was gone now, thanks to Sam. Now that he was here, the memories were too, they were right there in his head now, spooling through one after the other, unstoppable.

All the sick pictures Magnus had painted with his words, all those gory details about how Dean would be displayed, contained and controlled, used for as long as Magnus wanted him. How he’d try him out with the rest of his menagerie, film everything (for research purposes of course) and how the films might be worth something. The hunter and the vampire, wouldn’t that be a top seller in the niche porn markets that were out there. There were always collectors, consumers for that sort of thing. Dean was going to make Magnus happy here finally, there would be a purpose to having done all of this. Magnus had escaped the debacle of the collapse of the Men of Letters and having Dean all to himself was going to be his reward.

Even though the red rage of the Mark was gone, the silky purr of the attraction and pull that Amara had over him was still accessible. It was something else to concentrate on, to help forget Magnus, even in here. He imagined Amara gliding into this very room, her hair moving in sensual swirls as if she had her own personal wind. He could see her power arcing through Magnus, ripping his hands away from Dean, pinning him against the wall instead. Amara’s power was choking Magnus…his stupid round face turning red then purple, fading to white and grey as he died in agony.

"I'll always save you, Dean. I’ll never let anyone hurt you again,” he could hear someone say. It had to be Amara, her words worming their way through his body, invading him in all the vulnerable places he only ever allowed Sam in to touch him.

Sam…no that was who he was hearing, not Amara…oh thank god, Sam.

Part Two


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