Title: Not Our Mother’s Kitchen
Pairing: Sam/Dean, established
Word count: 2,600
Warnings: Spoilers for season 12.
Author’s Note: Not my characters, only my words.
Summary: An episode coda from Dean’s POV for 12.02 that fills in some of the missing blanks.
Read it over on AO3 right here.
He sat on the cold kitchen floor, back against the counter, family pictures in his lap, third beer bottle in one hand. The other hand covered his eyes, trying to hold the tears back. And failing, like he’d failed at everything else.
Failed at being a protector, a brother, a son. Failed at all of it, over and over again, story of his life.
He let himself cry a little, stopping only when he thought he’d heard someone in the hall. Now there were two possibilities instead of just one. He wiped his face dry and drained the rest of his beer.
Footsteps approached, he didn’t require any time for evaluation, clearly hearing the scuff of Sam’s most worn-in pair of sneakers. Sam still refused to use the Men of Letters slippers or robes, claiming none of them fit right and they smelled funny.
He could hear Sam filling the electric tea-kettle at the sink, heard the click of it switching on and the clink clank of a teacup and spoon. Now he’d be discovered because Sam would need to get to where he stored his zillions of varieties of tea.
“Oh!” Sam said in surprise, foot hovering over Dean’s hand. “Sorry, didn’t see you there.”
Dean looked up and up and up at him. His brother, tall and strong, but most importantly put back into one piece, alive and here, right here. Maybe he hadn’t completely failed after all.
“What’re you doin’ down there, Dean?” Sam asked, reaching over his head to reach the tea boxes. Dean could tell he was trying to give him an out, a way to escape having to say or do anything to really explain the state he was in.
“She doesn’t cook, Sammy,” Dean said, realizing he sounded about five years old. But that was how he felt, like a kid who’d never gotten around to figuring out that his parent was also a person. Mary didn’t cook, had never cooked, and all this time he’d thought…well he was probably a better cook than his mother at this point. And that didn’t fit with his image of Mom. An image made of a kid’s memories built-up over all these years apart.
“I heard that, yeah,” Sam said, setting the box of tea on the counter and looking down at Dean.
“All this time, I thought of her cooking like a symbol of what you’d missed out on, having a mom,” Dean confessed to Sam’s knees. He couldn’t bring himself to meet his brother’s eyes, it was all too much.
Sam folded himself down into the space next to Dean and leaned up against the cabinet, fitting their shoulders and hips together in a warm line of contact. “I got to have yours though, Dean.” Sam took his hand and rubbed at the wetness the tears had left behind with his thumb, pressing it into the skin of Dean’s palm. “That’s what made me what I am today, right?”
Dean gulped noisily, hiding the sound of a near-sob. He stopped himself just in time, pulling some strength from the contact with Sam. “Yeah, ya Sasquatch, shouldn’t have fed you so damn much,” he grumbled, hiding it all in a smile/frown that he knew Sam would understand.
Sam picked up the family pictures from Dean’s lap and smiled back. “Let me guess, you’re in here, drinking alone because you think you failed all of us or something stupid like that?”
Dean made a scoffing noise and shoved his shoulder into Sam’s. Sam dropped the pictures to the side and pulled Dean to sit facing him between his legs before Dean could protest or stop him. He felt so small sprawled across Sam’s lap, encased in his arms and legs, protected and safe again.
“Dean, you know what kept me going in that damn cellar?” Sam asked, a hot intensity behind the words that caught Dean’s attention, so that he couldn’t possibly look away from Sam’s face. His brother’s eyes blazed with the remembered pain and strength that had somehow helped him survive it.
“No idea,” Dean said, trying to sound nonchalant, but he knew Sam was going to lay something big out here in the open. He tried to put his walls up but he was too tired, and Sam had almost died in that fucking cellar and now he was here and holding him like this. Like he was the most important precious thing in the whole bunker.
“Listen then, okay? She tried everything on me, you saw the physical part of it before Cas healed me, but a lot of it was in my mind too. She gave me these injections that made me see awful stuff. I saw my greatest failures, you dying a couple of times featured in there. Just seeing you, and hearing you speak, even though it was an illusion and I knew it was, it made me remember. You and me, we’re forever, Dean. And I knew if she killed me, I’d be seeing you that much sooner.”
“Sammy, I—“ Dean choked on his next words, he couldn’t say them, couldn’t even think them all the way through.
“Dean, she didn’t know it, but she gave you back to me, just when I needed you most. You saved me, right there in my hallucinations and memories. And then again, this time with mom, and I can’t…I can’t thank you enough for getting me out of there.”
“But we took too—“ Dean started.
“No!” Sam interrupted, “You stop that, I won’t let you do that to yourself again. I’m sitting here, alive and breathing because of you, Dean. Did you not hear what I just said? Just hallucinating about you saved me in that cellar. I would be dead right now if it wasn’t for you.”
“Okay, but we still should have gotten there sooner,” Dean grumbled even though he knew Sam was right as usual.
“Sure, there were some things I wish she hadn’t done to me, but you were busy saving the freaking Sun by talking God and his sister into reconciling. And I know you and mom used every means necessary to rescue me, Cas told me, okay?” Sam asked, holding Dean’s hands, one of those things that Sam did to make him feel safe and warm.
Dean let Sam’s words sink in for a moment, deep into his heart, where they began to dislodge the ice still filling his veins at the thought of Sam wanting to die at that goon’s hands, trying not to picture what Sam meant by ‘some things.’ “She did more than just torture you, didn’t she? And I’m guessing you didn’t want to talk about whatever it was, you know, in front of mom,” Dean said, glad that they were still holding hands so that he could squeeze Sam’s tight, let him know it was okay to say whatever it was now.
“Yeah, but I don’t even want to tell you,” Sam said in a hoarse whisper, Dean’s stomach dropped at the sound of the emotion in his brother’s voice. Whatever it was that Sam was holding back, it was bad.
“I know you don’t, but if you want me to accept all this, you gotta spill too, dude, fair’s fair,” Dean said, feeling bad about pushing Sam, but knowing somehow that Sam needed to get it out in this safe space between them.
Sam leaned forward and laid his head on Dean’s shoulder, and wound his arms around Dean’s waist, and held on tightly for a long moment. Dean was struck with memories of all the times he’d held Sam like this over the years, holding space for him until he was ready. He felt Sam’s ribs expand as he took a deep breath, no doubt psyching himself up to speak. Dean tried to steady himself, so that he could take whatever it was Sam was going to say.
“She made me hallucinate that she was my lover, that I was happy with her, and she tried to get me to talk while we were in bed together,” Sam mumbled into Dean’s shoulder.
The awful puzzle pieces clicked together and his heart broke for his brother all over again. “That why you were in the shower for so long?” Dean asked, trying to keep his voice soft and non-judgey.
Sam nodded and pressed his face harder into Dean’s shoulder. Dean could feel his shirts soaking through as Sam cried silently. He rubbed his hands over Sam’s wide back in a slow soothing pattern that usually worked to calm his little brother down. “You’re okay, Sammy, I got you. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t real, you’re safe.”
Dean held Sam close until Sam leaned back, resting against the cabinet again. Dean reached over and wiped a line of tears from under the wet fan of his brother’s lower eyelashes. “You know when we said goodbye a couple days ago, I thought I’d never get to see you again. I mean, I hoped I would, somehow. But damn if it didn’t work out. It is so good to see you, Sammy.”
Sam didn’t say anything, he answered Dean by gathering him back up into his lap and bringing their lips together in the kind of passionate embrace that Dean had been dreaming of for several days. Their hands roamed as they reconnected, and Dean couldn’t help pressing down into Sam’s hardness. “Sammy, let’s go, my room, c’mon,” he murmured between nips along the column of Sam’s neck.
“No, here, now, need it now, Dean, need to forget,” Sam growled, holding Dean so tightly he thought his ribs might actually crack.
“But…what if she comes in here?” Dean asked, knowing the instant he said the words that it was exactly the wrong thing to say.
Dean felt his butt hit the floor, and he flailed out, knocking over the empty beer bottles. He couldn’t find anything to say while he watched as Sam practically ran out of the kitchen. He picked up the photos and left them and the bottles on the counter and shuffled back down the hall to his room.
On the way there his thoughts drifted back to being shackled in the cellar. “Do you know it’s possible to die from pain?” that British bitch had asked. His hands clenched at empty air, picturing snapping her neck for what she’d done to Sam. So he wasn’t prepared for what hit him from behind when he entered his dark room. Sam was on him like a mountain lion, taking him down and pinning him to the bed.
Sam growled in his ear as he covered his whole body with his own. “If she’s what you really wanted and needed then you don’t need this from me anymore. That what you’re saying, Dean?”
Dean couldn’t speak, his mouth still flooded with the taste of Sam from their kisses in the kitchen. He pushed his ass up as high as he could with Sam’s weight on him, hoping that would be enough of an answer. But of course it wasn’t, because this was Sam, and Sam needed words and deeds sometimes. He felt himself be flipped and pinned again, this time with his brother’s face hovering over his in the dark.
“Is that what you’re saying, Dean?” Sam hissed, anger coating every syllable. Dean lifted his hips up, seeking the heat and pressure Sam was denying him.
“Tell me, Dean,” Sam said,“because I was lying there, alone on my bed, thinking about everything, about how Lucifer had been in my fucking room just a couple days ago. And now mom is here all of a sudden, and I don’t know about you, but that feels like something we ought to get clear on.”
“Yeah, yeah you’re right, Sammy. I just…it’s not one of the things I told her. About you and me, not yet I mean. Because I will, I’m planning on it. But she was really overwhelmed at first and we just wanted to get you back and I didn’t….I couldn’t do that, not without you here.”
“Saving the breaking your mother’s heart speech for me, huh?” Sam said, voice dripping that familiar sarcasm that meant he was preparing to shut down.
“No, I wanted to ask you first, I wasn’t sure you’d want to keep…” Dean said, happy to be interrupted.
“What? You’re not serious right now,” Sam sputtered in surprise, rolling off and to Dean’s side.
Dean turned to face Sam, he could see his brother’s profile in the light from the hallway, Sam’s face was held tight and controlled like he was bracing himself for Dean’s answer. “Sammy, c’mon, please don’t take it like that. I just wanted to make sure before I said anything.”
“I am not going to be your dirty little secret, Dean. Not to anyone, not even her,” Sam said with an icy conviction that made Dean shiver. He inched closer to Sam on the bed and wrapped an arm around Sam’s middle and laid his head on Sam’s chest.
“No one is going to be a dirty little secret, it’s just going to change everything about how she sees us, permanently. She’s already disappointed that we’re hunters.”
“She is?” Sam asked, voice fragile and small, the opposite of the giant Dean held in his arms.
“Well, being hunters is not what she wanted for us. And we, well we probably wouldn’t be…you know, like this if we hadn’t led that life.”
“I’m glad we are though, Dean. I’m glad we led this life together, and that we’ve ended up loving each other through the whole thing. I hoped she’d be happy for us that we had someone.”
“Yeah, me too, I hope that’s how she’ll feel. Because I’m not changing this,” Dean said squeezing Sam tightly, “not changing this for anything or anyone,” Dean said, his insides fluttering after hearing Sam use the ‘l’ word.
“Really?” Sam asked, that infuriating pretend innocence in his voice. Dean held back a laugh that probably would have been misinterpreted.
“Yeah really, that enough of an answer for you, little brother?” Dean asked, rolling the rest of the way on top of his brother and taking his mouth in a deep kiss that hopefully communicated how much he loved Sam.
Sam responded by flipping them and god how Dean loved it, his brother being strong enough to change their position so smoothly had always been a huge turn-on. He wrapped his legs around Sam’s hips and pressed them together, groaning at the feeling of Sam’s hardness grinding into his own.
Sam got a hand in-between them and undid Dean’s jeans. His huge hand engulfed Dean and jacked him slow and perfect. Dean held on to Sam as he brought him to completion, he laid there enjoying a post-orgasm haze until he noticed Sam beginning to work himself. Dean gathered up his come from his belly in one hand and used it to help get Sam there too.
They lay entwined on Dean’s bed, trading lazy kisses and sleepy back-rubs, dozing for a while before Dean finally got up to clean off, he brought a warm washcloth back and gently wiped Sam clean and rolled him under the covers. He changed into his sleep clothes and slipped into bed only to be met with a very clingy Sam, instead of letting it irritate him, he let it remind him of how lucky he was to get to have Sam clinging to him at all.
Dean fell asleep vaguely hoping that their Mom would somehow see them sleeping together and no one would have to say anything and she’d just know. Mother’s intuition was really a thing, wasn’t it?