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Ashes

Title: Ashes
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating/Pairing: NC-17, Dean/Sam
Summary: Whenever Sam disappears, Dean's usually there to find him. Remix of nu_breed's Into Dust, written as a pinch-hit for spn_remix. As in the original, there is explicit Wincesty stuff; you have been warned. (S)




This is how it starts: when Sam is six months old, he gets carried out of a fire in his brother's arms. Doesn't matter that he doesn't remember that moment very clearly when he's older; it's just that ever since then, Dean is always there. Doesn't matter where Sam goes, if he runs or hides or gets lost, Dean finds him. Always.

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Sam doesn't mean to skip school that afternoon, but there are more important things to take care of. Things like a kitten, lost and scared and crying out to him.

He sneaks a look around at the other kids, but they are playing and laughing like always, and Sam can hear the kitten and wonders why they don't stop to help. (He doesn't realize that other people can't hear it, not the same way he does; doesn't realize that for anyone else it's just a quiet helpless mewl lost in the general playground noise. To him it's louder than the bell signalling the end of lunch, and he scurries off before anyone can see him leave.)

The kitten's cries lead him to her: up in a tree, clinging desperately to one of the high branches, eyes wild and fur puffed up. She sees him but the cries in his head intensify, getting more scared instead of less. Sam bites his lip. He knows he should ask for help, but he's six and that's old enough to climb trees, isn't it?

He starts talking to the kitten, both aloud and in his thoughts. /I'm here, I'm coming to get you, it's okay, you're safe, shhh, don't be afraid, it's okay, everything's okay./ There's fear hammering behind the thoughts, but he keeps that to himself as he climbs, up and up and up until it seems like he's miles off the ground.

The kitten backs up as far as she can go, watching Sam with wide eyes as he approaches. The branches are small and flimsy, and Sam braces himself as best he can before reaching out. He manages to reach her, and he spens a moment still braced in the tree, holding her close to his chest, feeling her pulse race even faster than his. She's thin and still scared, but she's safe.

Sam feels a rush of relief.

It isn't until he's halfway down that things go wrong. He's climbing down one-handed, the other curled protectively around the kitten, and his foot slips and he dangles for a moment before falling the rest of the way down.

/Dean,/ he cries out, even though it's in his mind rather than his voice, and his last thought before hitting the ground is that Dean will find him.

He doesn't, quite -- Sam opens his eyes to find himself alone, except for the kitten licking his chin, and he stumbles home, dazed -- but then Dean does show up, on the heels of their dad. Their dad's furious, thunder in his eyes and voice, shouting at him without even listening to Sam's explanation, and when he goes into the house his anger remains in the air like the vibration from a gong. Dean's the one that stays behind, that has sympathy for Sam, that puts his arm around Sam and says (without speaking) that things are okay.

(Things aren't okay -- for one thing, Sam wants to keep the kitten, even though he can't -- but knowing that Dean's there makes it a little easier.)

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Going to soccer practice shouldn't feel so much like sneaking off, but Sam knows their dad would never allow it. He claims, instead, that he's studying. For some reason it's okay to spend time on schoolwork but not okay to spend time being a normal twelve-year-old kid, so, yeah, soccer is his secret for a while.

The day Dean follows him, Sam isn't really surprised. He'd been wondering how long it would take. Knowing, also, that it would be Dean to find out, not their dad. Dean's always the one to come after him.

Dean's always there.

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Sam doesn't really want to go to the winter formal, not really, but their dad can't say no -- (He's out of town. Again.) -- and Dean doesn't say no, and Penny Simpson says please, and so he goes.

The stupid thing is, when Penny (almost as drunk as he is, and just as horny) is squirming on his lap and biting at his neck and moaning into his skin, and he's got his hands on her hips and is nearly out of his mind with pleasure -- the stupid thing is, all he can think of is Dean.

Somehow, Dean manages to follow him without even being there.

(Maybe, the thought sneaks in, a part of him is following Dean too.)

So when he goes home, it isn't much of a surprise that Dean's still awake. Waiting for him. Sam's swaying on his feet, and Dean (in his somewhat unsteady vision) is wavering all over the place and being annoyingly out of focus, and it seems perfectly natural to kiss Dean. He knows Dean wants it, knows he wants it, and knows he wouldn't have the courage if he weren't drunk.

Isn't more than a kiss, and some talking that Sam doesn't remember later, but it feels like home.

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The first time Sam goes away and Dean doesn't find him, it's kind of a cold shock. He's a month into his classes at Stanford before he realizes that Dean isn't coming for him, won't come for him, isn't even wanting to (because Sam would know, even this far away).

Sam clenches his hands into fists and stares at his organic chemistry midterm without seeing it, and thinks about Dean not being there. Tries to tell himself that it's what he wants, really it is; tries to ignore the flash-memories of Dean's smile and his eyes (and his hands and his skin and oh God not now).

Tries to forget.

At one point he has sex with a random freshman girl who's nothing at all like Dean. It feels wrong. He misses the strength, the roughness, misses the taste of Dean's mouth, misses the flavor and weight of Dean's cock in his mouth -- misses everything.

He doesn't bother trying to find any guys to fuck. It would only make things worse.

It isn't until he finds Jess, until she's become his angel and his savior and his everything, that he admits just a bit of what he's missing. Doesn't mention it's his brother. Does mention it's a guy, but then stammers a quick explanation that he's not gay, he doesn't like guys, he just--

"--like that one guy in particular," Jess finishes for him. She's smiling. "No, I get it."

And she does, Sam knows, so he nods, and says, "It wasn't about liking guys, it was about liking Dean." He makes a face; he'd told Jess about his family, and she knows their names. "My brother gave me so much shit about dating someone with the same name," he says, as an explanation. "He even threatened to go find some Samantha or something, just to get back at me."

Jess laughs, and kisses him on the cheek, and doesn't at all realize it's two-thirds lie.

She's perfect.

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Sam's life at Stanford -- his normal life, classes and friends and especially Jess -- is kind of like being in freefall. Dean showing up out of nowhere is like the sight of ground coming closer and closer, and the apartment fire afterwards -- the second time Dean's carried Sam out of flames -- is like hitting the ground. Hard.

He's lost in a dizzying whirlwind of /Jess is dead/ and /my fault/ and /Dad is missing/ and a cold anger settling deep inside him; everything's falling apart, and the worst bit is that even though Dean's there, he isn't there.

Dean keeps his distance, like they're nothing more than just brothers, and Sam lets him and resents it.

It isn't until Gordon almost kills Sam that the barrier between them breaks, and they're back to their own fucked-up version of home, complete with the sex they never really talk about (because if they did they'd have to admit that it's wrong, and neither of them wants to). There are times that Sam's got his mouth on Dean, sucking on his lower lip or the scattering of freckles along his collarbone or the almost-invisible scar on his hip or his cock, and he wants to never stop doing that.

"Maybe I should get killed more often," Sam suggests, once, and even though he's joking, Dean flinches away from him.

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Except that getting killed isn't really the best idea either.

Sam never really doubts his brother will find him, especially once Andy sends a psychic telegram in his direction, and so the demon siege in Cold Oak is just a matter of staying alive until Dean gets there. And he does, almost: when Dean shows up, Sam, bruised and bleeding and aching in a thousand places, wants nothing more than to fall into his arms and stay there.

He doesn't make it. A few staggered steps later, Dean gives a warning shout and starts running, and there's pain so much sharper and hotter than the other aches that Sam whites out.

When he opens his eyes, he's alone.

It scares the fuck out of him until Dean walks through the door. Dean's there; he always was there, always will be. And it doesn't matter that Sam's a bit unsteady on his feet still, or that things aren't quite making sense, because Dean's there.

Things are a little different when Sam finds out that his brother's "you almost died" is not quite true, that Dean's soul was the price for getting him back. Sam wants to hate him for it, but then once they're alone Dean kisses him, and pours all of his worry and fear and need into that kiss, and anger isn't really the right response.

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It's been three hundred and sixty-two days -- not that Sam's counting -- since Dean made the deal for his soul. It may be their last chance to fuck, even though neither of them admits it. Really they should be looking for a way to save him, but they're running out of options, and if Sam's going to have to be without Dean for the rest of his life, he wants to have something to remember.

Which is why he abruptly closes the book he'd been searching through and pushes Dean to the bed. Doesn't even bother with getting either of them undressed yet, just unzips Dean's jeans enough to ease his cock free, and it's half-hard already and getting harder as Sam takes it in his mouth. Dean starts to say something but it gets choked off; Sam looks up, and Dean's propped up on his elbows, staring at Sam like he can't get enough, and for a moment Sam can't breathe.

"Need you," Sam says desperately, and both of them pretend he's just talking about the sex thing. "Dean--"

"God, Sam, I," and Dean buries the rest of his words by grabbing Sam's shirt and hauling him up for a sloppy kiss that says everything words can't. Sam scrabbles at his clothes, gets them off somehow, then gets Dean's off, and then he goes back to the point of the matter, lying skin-to-skin with Dean's cock in his mouth. He wraps one hand around the base and lets his tongue play with the tip, teasing and tasting and licking, until Dean comes with something close to a sob.

"Sam," Dean says, and Sam puts one hand to Dean's face, thumb stroking his mouth closed, as his other hand fumbles for the lube.

"Want to fuck you," Sam whispers, and feels the shiver that runs through Dean's whole body. He kisses Dean hard, whispers it again into his mouth in case he forgot, and then slides down, mapping every freckle and every scar with his tongue, until he's settled down between Dean's legs. Lube on his hand (and on the bed, and he doesn't fucking care) and he slides one long finger inside, then another, and a third, watching Dean's reactions closely. Dean arches against him, hands scrabbling for purchase on the sheets as he groans things that aren't words except for the liberal scattering of "fuck" and something that might be "Sam".

"Please," Dean gasps, "Jesus, Sam, please, fuck," and so he does, easing his lube-slicked cock into Dean. Just being there is almost enough to make him come, just from that, but he wants it to last, needs it to last, so he holds as still as he can, shaking, feeling like he's flying apart.

"Sam." Dean's face is flushed and he's worrying at his lower lip with his teeth. He says, "please," and "I'm sorry," and he's not talking about the sex any more; it's not even connected. It's about the whole deal thing (three days oh God don't think about it), and Sam snarls and channels his fury -- at his brother, for making the fucking deal in the first place, and at himself, for failing to find a way to get him out of it -- into fucking him, because he can't forgive, but he doesn't want to forget either.

Sam captures Dean's wrists and holds them against the mattress over his head, trapping them with one hand, and leans in, using his weight to press down. Dean doesn't fight it at all, just bites his lip and gives a low desperate groan. It's beyond incredible, being this close to Dean, being inside him, and he wants it to last forever but it doesn't, can't. His orgasm washes over him, burning like fire, and he practically stops breathing when he comes, his entire body vibrating from the strength of it. And then he lets himself collapse on top of Dean, both of them sticky and sweaty and not wanting to move, and Sam closes his eyes and tries to hold on to the moment for as long as possible.

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This is how it ends: The hellhounds come and drag Dean into the fire. Sam is left alone; Dean's not rescuing him this time, Dean's fucking dead, and Sam is, for perhaps the first time in his life, falling with no one to catch him.

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