Title: HEART (Thicker, chapter 5)
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archive: by author permission only
Category: Story, angsty almost-Wincest, h/c, Sam POV
Spoilers: Missing scenes from "Faith"
Rating: M for adults only due to language and sexual situations
Pairing: Sam/Dean pending
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke, and is the property of Kripke Enterprises Scrap Metal and Entertainment (Eric Kripke and Robert Singer, executive producers), Wonderland Sound and Vision, Warner Brothers, and the CW Network. This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The rest of my Supernatural stories, also known as the "Thicker" series, appear elsewhere on this archive.
DEDICATION: For Tiff, who is in here somewhere.
COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, September 28, 2006, email@example.com
Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.
There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
-- George Bernard Shaw
When Dean was dying in the hospital, I didn't cry. (Okay--not more than once. Maybe.) I couldn't show him anything but strength, because that's how the game is played with us. Besides, I couldn't let him think that I'd given up on him. We were both showing each other our brave faces, no matter what quivering masses hid behind them.
Normal people depend a lot upon honesty. We're definitely not normal in that regard, or nearly any other, come to think of it. It takes a lot of pretending and outright lying to outsiders for us to be able to do our jobs. What hurts is how much I have to lie to myself or to Dean sometimes, just to keep everything at a place we can handle. Too much honesty is a dangerous thing.
Our masks almost got a little too thin for comfort when Dean came back, for example. Damned fool checked himself out of the hospital and took a cab back to the motel, even though he looked like he was about to collapse into a pile of matchsticks. I wanted to hug him or something, but he shuffled past me and into the nearest chair without so much as a handshake. There was so much I wanted to tell him or ask him, but he looked like he just wanted to sleep until he didn't hurt anymore, so I chickened out.
He insisted on a shower before he went to bed, of course, griping about "fucking sponge baths" every step of the way. I helped him take off his boots and stuck him under the spray, leaving the bathroom door standing open so I could hear if he needed help. While he splashed around, I looked up home cardiac patient care tips on the laptop, since he hadn't bothered to swipe any information from the hospital, though he had a good supply of painkillers and narcotics in his pockets.
Soon the water was turned off, so I logged off and dug some sweatpants, socks, and a t-shirt out of his duffel before going in to supervise his transit out of the bathtub. Grabbing up an extra towel, I helped him dry off and conveyed him over to the john if he needed it. Once I was convinced he could take care of things himself, I left to scan the phone book for dinner options.
Dean's face was about as grey as his sweatpants when he scuffed his way out of the bathroom. At once, I was on my feet and hovering around him like a protective daddy following a toddler's first steps.
"Where do you wanna go?" I asked, ready to move furniture or turn down the other bed at his command.
"Isn't the running of the bulls at Pamplona this weekend?" he retorted, a gruff chuckle failing to cover the wheeze in his voice.
Without argument, I was able to steer him into an armchair near the window. "Do you want something to eat?"
"I'm not very hungry, but if you want something, go ahead. I'll just rest here."
"You sure?" I pursued, slipping my hand around the back of his neck surreptitiously to check if he was running a fever.
"Get outta here," he whined weakly, brushing away my touch. "I'll be fine until you get back."
Fortunately, there was a Chinese joint in the strip mall across from the motel, so I ran over for some provisions. Fifteen dollars later, I returned with some fried rice, egg rolls, a pail of egg drop soup, and two bottles of Tsing Tao. Upon my return, I opened the door as quietly as possible, because, sure enough, Dean's head was tipped back against the chair and he was snoring softly.
I scooted the nearby table into position in front of him and set the food out on it before I touched his shoulder gently to wake him up. It broke my heart a little to note that he didn't startle at all, just blinked his eyes and begrudgingly gave me half a grin as he reached for the plastic spoon and the soup.
In short order, I polished off the fried rice and one of the egg rolls while Dean fished around in the soup for egg flowers and nibbled on the other egg roll. He didn't even finish his beer before he started to nod off in his chair again.
"You can have my leftovers. I don't need 'em," he encouraged me.
"Do you need a pain pill?" I offered as I moved the table out of his way.
"No... yeah," he waffled with a resigned swallow.
I hurried to get a glass of water from the bathroom and a tablet from his stash, then stayed out of Dean's way as he crawled into bed. Fetching another glass of water to leave on the nightstand gave me something to do other than touch him, which I was sure would annoy him and give me unfulfillable ideas.
It was still early, so I went back to my seat by the table and poked around at the rest of the food, watching Dean sleep and trying not to think about his impending death. The names and addresses I had left on the laptop gave me a little wisp of hope, but all I could do was stare at them until Dean was awake enough to travel.
When there was literally nothing else I could think of to do, I shut down the computer and got ready for bed, picking up the papers that littered my mattress and stripping off my jeans and shoes. Positioning the bathroom door just so, I left the light on in there, shut off the lamp in the room, and got under my covers.
No more than ten minutes later, there was a slight stirring from the other bed. "Sam?" came Dean's voice, an almost frightened whisper that scared the shit out of me.
"Yeah, Dean? What's wrong?"
The heat in the room was on just fine, and I'd thought the blankets on the beds were adequate. However, that was the judgement of someone with normal circulation and in perfect health. "D'you want my blanket?" I suggested.
I got back up and peeled the covers from my bed, spreading them carefully on top of Dean and his matching blanket. "Is that better?"
He obviously was trying to keep his teeth from chattering when he answered, "Not really."
With one glance at my coverless mattress, I squared my shoulders, lifted the corner of the bundle of blankets, and climbed into bed with him.
Dean still had enough strength to quirk an eyebrow at me as I settled beside him. "This is different."
"Is this okay?" I asked warily.
My hand brushed his under the covers, and I noted that his fingers felt like ice. "Come here," I ordered, then gathered him into my grip, wrapping my arms and legs around his body.
He protested a lot less about my actions than he would have had he felt better. His head pillowed on my shoulder, and he curled in on himself, lying still in the cocoon of my limbs.
I felt like an orangutan when I noted how small my big brother seemed in my arms. It was almost as if he would slowly shrink and disappear by morning, and I quickly gulped down the sob that choked me for a moment at the thought. I would do anything to save Dean's life, but I wondered if any of my leads would help him at all.
Instinctively, I reached up with my free hand and stroked his head like he was a puppy. I wasn't sure if he was asleep or just resting with his eyes closed, but he was more still than I really found comfortable. At least he was somewhat warmer to the touch, so I tried to rest even if I wouldn't be able to sleep.
It surprised me when Dean gave a small, contented sigh and nuzzled into my neck. I assumed that the drugs had relaxed him so much that he wasn't quite sure where he was. This thought was supported by his next move, when he pulled back a little and looked up at me languidly through his eyelashes, then reached up and kissed me on the lips.
I was immediately wide awake and on red alert, though I didn't dare move a muscle. Possibilities flooded my mind--maybe he was just showing some grateful affection before he dozed off. Maybe he'd been dreaming about one of his easy women. Maybe I'd been wrong to offer him his pill right after he'd drunk a beer, and he was hallucinating.
Whatever the explanation, I didn't have time to resettle him or even to roll away before he kissed me again. This time it wasn't just a soft, dry pucker. Instead, his lips parted and his head tipped just enough to angle across my mouth, and I gasped in alarm.
No matter how groggy he might have been, he took advantage of my open lips suddenly and plunged his tongue inside to tease mine. Had I any real desire to do so, I could have easily pulled away and stopped him.
But I didn't want him to stop, so with a chorus of accusing voices in my head, I surrendered and kissed him back. I'm sure it was partly from the fear of losing him, or the need to connect with him on a very essential level. But mostly, I kissed him because I love him, and knew I couldn't tell him any other way.
Our mouths moved together desperately, and we murmured in our throats in the same key, afraid of separating even to breathe. I clutched my brother to me as if one or both of us were drowning, which describes the sensation in my heart perfectly.
Abruptly, I recognized the strain that our activities might be putting on Dean's heart, and I broke away from the kiss reluctantly. I lay there panting, hoping that the momentary insanity had passed.
Unfortunately, Dean's eye caught mine instantly, and he pointedly shifted his leg. Then his hand slipped down my body and cupped the erection I had been trying to ignore and had hoped he wouldn't notice. "Is this for me?" he practically purred, his smirk dimmed but not extinguished.
"Forget about that," I insisted, shaking my head against the pillow. "We've got a long drive tomorrow and you need your sleep." I pulled my hips away from his hand and rolled onto my stomach, flinging an arm over him and ending the conversation in one motion. He was soon fast asleep, and I watched him in the dark for a couple of hours, cursing myself for my unnatural urges and praying for forgiveness.
The next morning we got on the road to Nebraska, looking for a miracle. Nothing was said of our waking up in the same bed, or especially not the kiss. Once again, our masks and our lies were restored, and all was back to as normal as we could stand to get. I just hope that's good enough.
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