That Which Abides: Communion
by Maygra

for the Fourth Vine
(7,378 words)
Supernatural, AU, Dean/Sam, Mature Audiences. Blasphemy.

The characters and situations portrayed here are not mine, they belong to the WB. This is a fan authored work and no profit is being made. Please do not link to this story without appropriate warnings. Please do not archive this story without my permission.


§ For we see now through a dim window obscurely, but then face to face; now I know partially, but then I shall know according as I also have been known.§ 1 Corinthians 13:12
Dean knows what it is now. He didn't before, but it still twists his insides to see it, to watch it happen, shames him somehow, not only because it's only through Sam, with Sam, that these creatures of will and light and little form actually show themselves. And half of him wants to know what it is that Sam feels in this, with this…only it's this, this merging that ripped most of Sam's humanness away and gave back a kind of immortality that Dean isn't sure actually lasts forever, but is likely the closest thing he'll ever see from his side of the grave.

But it's disturbing as hell, and when he sees it he has to breathe through his nose so he doesn't just hurl breakfast and probably last night's supper onto the grass. Good and evil are as ambiguous as breakfast sandwiches: oh so good to consume, if you don't think too hard about them clogging your arteries and making your heart work too hard.

He tries to limit this as much as possible because he knows that only his own changed state lets him look at all -- and he knows that no matter what Sam says, or is, or does, some part of Sam is changed by this, taken away and replaced, and Dean's suspicious of anything that could do that and think it's a good thing. Sam is, was, a man, an infant compared to all these others in terms of years and months and hours and minutes and seconds. For close to a trillion of the seconds Sam's already lived, he was all mortal -- human, flesh and blood -- and the time since he's changed can't even touch that. But the rest of these…

Dean's not sure numbers even go up high enough to measure how long these others have been around; he's not sure arithmetic can be used to reckon that, or if it has to get all twisted around until it's like using a light year to measure distance instead of time.

He's not so sure his own judgment's not a little faulty, but in his gut he knows that these things -- including Sam, now -- that are unlike anything he's ever known are also as far from what he's known as evil, pure and unadulterated or just your garden variety not very nice, as anything could be, which puts them on the far end of the spectrum, if there is such a thing. And God help him if he can't trust his own gut any longer, because if that's true they're already so screwed they might never get out of this -- not while they're alive and not when -- if -- they die.

But if this is some embodiment of all that's good and right then why the fuck did it take so long to show up, and what gave it the right to sacrifice Sam? Sam, of all people; he'd never even wanted to fight this war.

Sam says he did, that this was his choice. Dean's not sure if he can believe that; they've learned a lot lately about the ways men can be beguiled and enchanted and bewitched and just plain overcome.

Revulsion and envy make strange bedfellows, that's for damn sure.

Almost as if he's reading Dean's thoughts (which Sam swears he can't), Sam looks at him, at him, despite the distraction of, well, communing with that thing.

Dean snorts. Communing. He doesn't have a better word for it, even though that word makes him feel like he's channeling Jodie Foster or Whitley Strieber. There just isn't any other way to describe it.

His eyes never leave Sam or the -- thing. The visitor. He won't call them angels or demons, though he knows they very well might be. But his mind just rebels when he tries to apply those words to these things, because the renaissance and baroque painters had gotten it very, very wrong. This is no white-robed, pale-skinned, androgynous, human thing. Dean doesn't even know how to describe it, like his brain can only barely deal with the concept and is completely unable to find words to describe the form.

He tries, though: light that illuminates nothing, solid as fog or mist, solid like flexible ice, shining and pulsing and extending itself in any way and for whatever reason it needs at the moment. That it can take a definable form is maybe the most disturbing thing about it, because those, those manifestations Dean can't look at at all, can't bear to see it/them look back at him. He wants to pretend they can't see him; he knows it's a false comfort, but he holds onto the illusion with both hands.

Even though he sometimes so desperately wants it, them, to see him that it makes his chest hurt. He wants Sam to know he's there, which he isn't sure Sam does, right then, right now, that he knows or remembers anything but what's being pressed into him, through him. He's afraid Sam will forget.

His fists clench and he makes himself breathe steadily, deeply, watching the light move across Sam's skin, over and around him, obscuring him at times in a brightness that makes Dean's eyes water, but casts no light or shadows on the ground surrounding them. He keeps his eyes on it and not on Sam, as horrified as he is embarrassed at the expression he can glimpse on Sam's face; lips parted and head back while he takes in whatever it is that needs to be communicated. It isn't just words or instruction -- Dean knows that much. It's as much knowledge as conversation, sent deep into Sam's body, to the blood and bone and cells, things he needs to know, they need to know, but imprinted on and into Sam like the mechanisms of the human body that let lungs work and hearts beat and muscles react without any conscious thought at all. And Sam has tried to explain it: he isn't fully or even mostly one of them, or there would be no need for this at all.

And that, their dual state, is as much Dean's fault as anyone's, and even now that he knows what he's done, he can't regret it. Won't. There'd always been the possibility, even the likelihood that eventually they'd be separated -- time or distance, too much feeling or not enough. Death, taxes, whatever. And Dean might not believe in the big-G god or any god (most of the time), but he still believes that somehow, he and Sam belong together, will end up together. There has to be something past death -- they've seen it, fought it, kicked its ass often enough to know that something remains.

It never occurred to him that he could be separated from Sam in a way that could make him forget Sam ever existed. He'd felt it start, felt himself losing all of those parts of himself Sam had shaped. It had left jagged holes and tears in Dean that he'd have spent the rest of his life trying to understand and fill, and it hadn't been acceptable, possible, survivable. So he'd done what he was good at: he dug in his heels and held on. Dean would be damned before he'd let his brother's very existence be wiped away like someone sweeping salt off a counter. And Sam must have felt something similar because he'd dug in his heels, too, and the only person in the whole fucking universe more stubborn than Dean was Sam.

Together, they were a lot of stubborn. He took a little pride in the fact that the brothers Winchester had managed a unified "fuck off" as easily to the divine as to the demonic.

But it hasn't been a clean win. There were parts of Sam already missing or replaced or substituted. Maybe because Dean hadn't been fast enough, or they hadn't been strong enough, or faithful or trusting, or just something that Dean is still grappling with, because he'd always believed he and Sam together could face down anything, win out over everything, and they had, but the price -- God, the price. It felt like there was still a balance due on one side or the other, only Dean wasn't sure which.

Which is why Dean refuses to let Sam do this alone. He has to watch, because- he doesn't trust them, and if the price he has to pay to keep the rest of Sam safe is having his heart pulled out through his balls, then so be it. He'll pay.

It's as obscene to watch as it is beautiful; obscene because no merely human body could withstand the way these things of light and intelligence speak to one another. Someone fully human, only human, would be on the ground, screaming from fear and pain as well as ecstasy. But Sam, who is both and neither any longer, isn't screaming at all, though he looks like he wants to, if only to show what this feels like to that part of him that is still human, still mortal, still Dean's brother.

The light moves over and in Sam, through him and around him: a cat weaving and curling around his legs, water pouring over his hands, a warm breeze ruffling his hair. Dean can see it shining through Sam's skin and in his eyes, twisting the muscles under his flesh, caressing his skin and scars and touching Sam in a way that makes Dean's groin tighten, his blood race to his heart, and his mouth go dry with fear.

It's beautiful because Sam can't be anything else, but this beauty goes so far beyond physical appearance and brotherly affection that Dean doesn't have any words for it any longer. Before, he didn't use words like that about Sam -- maybe an off-the-cuff comment that Sam had been a beautiful child (as much as a big brother would ever admit that), or, later, It's a good thing you're good looking, Sam, or no one would ever believe we were brothers. But now, yes, he can think it and mean it: Sam is beautiful. Everything he loves about his brother is laid painfully, amazingly bare under this: the faith that survived decades of seeing the worst of heaven and hell, the stubbornness that Dean hadn't even realized Sam had until Sam pulled him back from the brink of death, the trust that Dean had known was there without understanding how deep it ran, as deep as his own trust in Sam.

The beauty had been there even the first time. Dean remembers that as clearly as he remembers the dark whispers in his ears, his mind -- "It's raping your brother, consuming your brother, possessing your brother. Kill it, Dean. Kill it before he's gone for good." The truly frightening thing was that she -- it -- hadn't been entirely wrong. Sam is possessed, and he was nearly consumed.

Even now, he has a hard time separating what he sees from what he knows is happening. The first time, he hadn't known anything -- how could he have doubted her? He could see that she was right. It still looks like a rape of the body and soul; it's just now he knows that Sam consents.

It scares him to use those words -- rape, consent -- but he just can't find another way to think about what he sees. It's like the most intimate sex and the most total violation -- the ecstasy, the abandon, the way no part of Sam goes untouched.

Watching it makes him hard and hungry and sick to the point where his fingers ache, and he doesn't know whether he wants to pull Sam back from this or to join in and somehow share it all, whatever it is that draws such a strong physical reaction from his brother.

And none of these mixed up, twisted feelings go away when that shining thing finally releases Sam.

It leaves Sam on his hands and knees, with light spilling off his hair and skin, bleeding from his pores, dripping from his mouth and hands, running down his back and legs while Sam sobs quietly in the grass, naked and shaken. Dean nearly bites through his lip, forcing himself not to move, not yet. It's better to let Sam be, because he's sobbing from the loss, from the pain of once more being so close to rapture, or divine ecstasy, or completion of self, whatever it is. Whatever it could have been, it's now and forever denied him and Dean can only barely get his mind wrapped around what that is, let alone how it can be that way.

Sam is no angel, and Dean even less so, but he can almost feel it, can almost taste what that kind of transformation, that transfiguration could be like: to be without doubt or fear, to be filled with purpose and reason, to know neither sorrow nor anger.

Sam has lost that, sacrificed it to stay with Dean.

Dean sometimes used to wonder if Sam even liked him, much less loved him.

Now, watching Sam bleed out divine light on the rough, weedy patch of grass and dirt, Dean thinks that maybe Sam loves him too much.

Sam takes a deep, shuddering breath and eases back on his haunches, and Dean unclenches his fists long enough to pick up Sam's clothes -- a minor detail that Dean is starting to think is part of some divine practical joke, because only God knows what happens to Sam's clothes every time he does this. Eight shirts, four pairs of jeans and four pairs of sneakers disappeared into the great unknown before Dean had laid down a rule: if Sam's going to talk to fucking angels, he's going to do it naked. There are only so many trips to Goodwill Dean's willing to make in a year.

The light Sam shed pulls back in on itself and Dean catches it out of the corner of his eye. And, damn it, he doesn't look away fast enough, so once more he's found himself cursing in the face of something that probably doesn't appreciate it. And then it draws in even more, takes on form and ---

God. He hates it when they do this, because he isn't one to bow to anything, human or divine, and yet he can't not drop his head when that gaze is cast his way. He feels a sob choke at his throat, and this all would be easier if the thing would show disdain or anger or hate. But they never do, and it terrifies Dean that if he looks too long maybe he'll take what it can offer.

Dean isn't sure he has it in him to refuse as Sam did because everything is in that offer: Mom and peace and no pain and no doubtnofearonlyloveandunderstandingand…

Don't. Dean's silent plea is unspoken, unvoiced, and understood just the same.

When he can pull his shit together it's gone, not even a lingering trace of it, except that Sam is still on his knees, curled over now like he's cold or hurting. Dean moves forward, careful as much from the stiffness of his own long wait as because just after he can never be sure what kind of mood Sam will be in, and God help them both if regret or loss drives Sam to the skies and out of Dean's reach until memory brings him back.

Dean is three steps from him when Sam looks up, and Dean's fuck, is just as silent as his earlier protest. Sam's eyes are not the odd, light-pierced, blue that's normal for them these days; they've gone black, no whites at all, and his skin ripples and shimmers with that oil-slick reflected color prism even before those great shadowy wings unfurl out of nowhere and cast a shadow that only Dean can see.

His response is as instinctive as it is unintentional. Dean is never sure, even with practice, what causes his own manifestation to shudder and rise under his skin, but he recognizes the weight and the feel and the sudden rustling of grasses between them, and he knows that he's winged, too, in Sam's eyes.

But he goes no closer. He's not afraid; he's pretty damn sure Sam wouldn't hurt him, intentionally or otherwise.

It's just - there is light and there is dark and sometimes they are on the same side. It's easier to think of them as chaos and order; order has its darkness in its mercilessness, its iron need to maintain itself, just as chaos has its light in its freedom and ease.

Sam's darkness is controlled, but only just barely -- leashed and bound and, again, changed into something it was never meant to be. Sam's better side manages to keep that much in check, but the rest… as far as Dean has been able to figure out, is pretty much up to him.

It's kind of like having a half-trained attack dog on a very long lead most of the time.

"Sam…" Sometimes Sam's name alone is enough to pull him back. Sometimes it takes more. "Sam…come on, dude. Whatever it is it can wait until morning."

Sam stares at him, head cocked in a way that is so un-Sam it almost makes Dean more uneasy than the weird, inhuman cast to his eyes. Those heavy wings, more shadow than form, lift and Sam uncoils --

"Oh, hell no…" Dean says, because sometimes it takes something a little more direct, and he launches himself forward, clipping Sam at waist and chest, with a tackle that would make any offensive line proud.

Of course, football players don't have to deal with fucking wings. Sam had already been launching and for a dizzying moment they are both airborne -- actually a long couple of moments, because instinct gives some power to those great dark shadows and to Dean's own, far less indistinct version.

It's more instinct that makes Sam grab, push, but there is less force behind it than he is capable of and Dean keeps his eyes closed and holds on. If he doesn't look, he doesn't have to worry about falling.

"Sam. Come on, man. I don't just hate airplanes," Dean manages, while not looking and trying really hard not to think about the fact that there is nothing under his feet.

He isn't even sure Sam can hear him, even when he feels the familiar, nauseating drop of his stomach. They hit ground with enough force to jar Dean's spine.

Sam stumbles, hitting his knees and almost dragging Dean down with him, but he lets go at that final second and clutches the grass instead. With a last rush of air that smells of oceans and ice, the wings are gone, and he's back to being as human as he ever is.

Sam is shaking, from reaction or cold -- his skin's like ice -- and Dean strips off his jacket and wraps it around Sam to warm him up until he's got sense or coordination enough to get dressed.

It takes too long, though. Sam's not moving, only shaking; still caught between the light and the dark, the sky and the ground. He's trying to wrap his head around what he learned during the communion, Dean knows, and that never works. The communion isn't like studying, it's like being force fed, and it will take time for Sam to make even the slightest sense of it. Right now, Sam needs to get warm, get moving.

The grass is cold and damp and rough but Dean sits in it anyway, pulling Sam against him and shivering himself because Sam's skin is like ice. Sam's body hums, just vibrates in a way that's different from Sam just shivering from cold. Like all that Sam's learned but can't use yet is being driven into him with a billion tiny jackhammers.

There isn't much Dean can do other than hold Sam together until it eases off some. He can curse a little and he does, and then he spends some time counting the different birdcalls that are just now starting to sound in the predawn grey. He's hit fifty when he realizes Sam's gone still. He's just breathing in time with Dean now, his breath forming clouds of condensation the same way Dean's is, but Sam's showing no urge to move even though he's still cold, and Dean isn't all that eager to make him, despite the goose bumps on his skin and Sam's.

Sam's eyes are half closed. He'd sleep right here like this, and while they aren't likely to be disturbed this far out, they're still vulnerable, even out here in a field next to a road that leads nowhere very interesting.

It takes coaxing and more than a little help to get Sam on his feet, to get him to put on sweats and a flannel shirt that he finally shrugs into but leaves open. His shoes are in the car and Dean leaves his jacket on Sam's shoulders when they walk back to it.

Sam's quiet all the way back to the room they've rented, paler than usual when the sun finally creeps up just as they hit the parking lot. They stumble into the room, probably looking like a couple of drunks, though really they're just drained and exhausted and somewhere beyond hungry. Dean finds himself wishing they could get a little notice now and then before one of them decides it needs to talk to Sam -- let them fortify with some coffee and maybe a little food, or just…

A little warning would be nice.

Sam's feet are dirty; blackened soles from the dirt of the field, all the way up to his ankles underneath the sweat pants, but he doesn't try for the shower or the bath, only collapses on the bed, face down and halfway asleep before Dean can even tug the blankets over him.

He'll sleep for an hour or a day; Dean's never sure only this one feels short for reasons Dean can't even fully articulate, so he won't shower, which will wake Sam, and he won't sleep just yet because Sam might wake with information spilling off his tongue that he won't be able to keep track of…

But he does have time to walk over to the quickmart and grab coffee, grab a small paper sack of other stuff for when Sam does wake.

Sam hasn't moved but already his breathing has gone from shallow and even to deeper and not quite so steady.

Dean's finished his coffee and had two sips of the one he bought for Sam when the uneven breathing becomes a snuffle and sudden inrush of air like a gasp before Sam's eyes blink open.

Hazel and a little bloodshot and a lot confused. Dean offers him the Styrofoam cup, then has to take it back when Sam sits up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed to lean forward with his head in his hands like he's going to be sick.

He isn't but it takes a few seconds for him to be sure of that. When he finally lifts his head he looks less lost but still confused and he takes the coffee back.

There isn't anything Dean can do, which he hates, so he waits, which he also hates, using his left hand to twist the heavy silver ring around his finger until Sam reaches out and stops him, but then twists the ring himself.

"It's loose," he says.

"Yeah. I should probably get it resized," Dean says, not sure where this or going or if it's anything at all. Sam's still fascinated by the ring though, the heavy silver moving under a fingertip and then the skin surrounding it, Sam stroking the small patch of skin between the ring and Dean's knuckle and then further back three fingers spread lightly over the back of Dean's hand, barely touching him, so light it almost tickles until Sam's exploring fingers reach Dean's wrist and curve around it.

"You open the door and there's another behind it and another," Sam says softly and his eyes are focused but only on where he grips Dean's wrist. "And there's another beyond that. Just doors and doors…"

Oh, crap. One of those. Something complex in concept and it always makes Sam sound like an idiot child when his brain tries to process knowledge not given to him in fucking English, which is also annoying, because it's not like the damn things can't speak in plain English when they want to get a point across, or Latin or even the cribbed Spanish Sam picked up while at school.

He flips his hand around and grips Sam's wrist in return; Sam blinking at him like he can't quite see. A hand to his neck and a stroke of Dean's thumb across Sam's cheek and Sam's looking at him now, blinking owlishly. "So we get through all the doors and what do we find, Sam?" Dean prompts without actually knowing if the doors are a metaphor for something or something really, really literal, like they are going to be pounding the pavement and knocking on door for the next two week.

"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto," Sam says, and drops his forehead into his other hand like it hurts. "Coleta."

The first part Dean can translate in his head, but the other…"Col…collis…colo..."

"Coleta," Sam says again and his hand tightens on Dean's wrist. "I think it's in Illinois. Ow." He lets go but only so he can use both hands to cradle his head.

Dean gives his neck another rub and then passes him the coffee. "Here, try this," he says and Sam takes it while Dean pops open the laptop to see what he can find. "Whoa. Small town. Population one hundred and fifty-five. 'I am human, therefore nothing human is strange to me'. And doors opening into doors?"

Sam nods then shakes his head. Winces. "I got nada…not yet anyway."

"It's a fourteen hour drive. Do we need to book or--"

Apparently not.

When Dean's honest, and he tries to be about all of this, as much as he hates what these meetings do to Sam, he really can't complain about this part of it.

He closes the laptop, sets it on the floor and waits. Sam sets the coffee aside and reaches for him.

It's not surprising or unwelcome. If just watching Sam talk to the freaky light show leaves Dean dizzyingly hard for hours afterward, he can only imagine what it does to Sam being caught up in it. And Sam's body is human now, no matter what he was then. And as with whatever it is he learns or gets told during that exchange, all the physical parts slam back into him without warning as well.

It does Sam absolutely no good to try and explain it. He doesn't have the words. And taking advantage is a point Dean sincerely hopes they long since moved past by now.

His own arousal has tapered off a bit but Sam's mouth on his brings it back up quickly and only the absolute need to get rid of clothes lets him slow it down at all.

Sam's got fewer clothes to get rid of in a totally unfair turnabout, but it’s not like Sam lets that stop him even a little bit, and Dean almost completely loses his ability to coordinate in trying to make sure they don't get burned by hot coffee or smash the laptop while he's trying to pull his shirt off over his head. None of which Sam give two thoughts or two shits about because his big hand is already pushing under Dean's jeans without worrying about snaps or zippers or belts or the fact that right this very second Dean's jeans are even tighter than usual.

And how the hell Sam managed to get his sweats off when as far as Dean knows both his hands have been on him from the beginning, he'll never figure out. Maybe Sam can do the same thing with his pants he can do with his wings and wouldn't that be--

"Ah, fuck, Saaamm, shit…" Dean hisses out, and that's all he can get out because Sam's got his hand wrapped around his dick, further pulling the denim tight until belt and waistband cut into the small of Dean's back, and Sam's mouth is on his, tongue pressing hard and deep and wet, and Dean finds himself sucking on it in the same rhythm Sam's milking his dick, all the while clutching at Sam's hair and fumbling with his belt.

It's a race, because these are his last pair of clean jeans and as amazingly good as Sam's hand feels, he refuses to do laundry in shorts…and, "God, Sam…Sammy, please, shit…yes, there…fuck."

It doesn't even occur to him to tell Sam to stop or slow down.

The belt flops, the snap pops, the zipper almost tears as Dean pushes and wriggles and Sam helps. That's as far as Dean can track any of it because as soon as his jeans and his boxers are pushed just below his hips, Sam twists in an impossible contortion. He presses an arm against Dean's thighs and takes Dean's dick deeply and suddenly into his mouth, his chin scraping across Dean's belly until Sam finds an angle he's happy with..

He's not close enough for Dean to offer the same and too close for Dean to jack him off without bending his arm in ways it was never meant to be bent; Sam's half on his belly but stretched at an angle. Sam's own hard dick is rubbing along Dean's chest and side and his arm, until Dean can twist a little which makes Sam hum a displeased protest and lick and suck harder in warning, digging his nails into Dean's thigh.

Dean sucks two of his own fingers into his mouth, getting them wet and slick, and gives Sam about as much warning as Sam gave him -- which is none. Sam whimpers and squirms but spreads his legs a little when Dean presses his fingers in deep, no real stretching, just push, hard, until the tight muscle gives way and he hunts for what Sam wants. It's enough to pull Sam's head up, his mouth off Dean's dick for just a second, enough for both of them to breathe, no matter how unsteadily. Then Sam's just licking and nuzzling and Dean has to lie back, arm over his eyes, as his hips jerk and heat and tension wind tighter in his belly and groin under Sam's mouth and lips and tongue. His own fingers fall into a rhythm, wrist starting to cramp as he works Sam, sure and steady, twist and press and fucking him until he can't take it anymore and digs harder than Deans means to, jerking and shuddering, and letting loose a long moan as he comes, then another as Sam covers him again, swallowing and licking and humming over a dick so sensitive Dean thinks it might shatter or he might cry or something.

It's a brief moment of clarity, or realization when he feels himself torn between pleasure and pain, when he thinks he can't take another second of Sam's mouth on him, or his hands, and at the same time feeling like he might die if Sam moves away.

He doesn't. He twists some more, just a little, and lays his cheek low on Dean's stomach, eyes almost all pupil, face flushed, and stretches his arm out, brushing Dean's lips with his fingers. Dean can taste himself and as boneless as he feels, he twists his wrist again, less savagely, but watching Sam, watching him shiver and tremble, eyes slitting closed as he reaches for himself, stroking his dick in time to Dean finger fucking him, only to stop a moment later and let the shudders and tremors wash over him.

Dean wants to fuck him so badly when he's like this. But Christ, human or not, Dean's also not Superman and while his dick might be interested, neither he nor it has the energy. But he can twist and roll until Sam ends up tucked along his hip. He can curl himself and get his mouth on Sam's cock and taste the bitter-salt already tainting the skin. He can lick and suck up under Sam's tight balls and savor the musk and the sweat, nip at the soft skin where Sam's leg joins his pelvis.

He can't spill light into Sam's skin, or through his blood, but he can touch him everywhere he can reach, can nudge him until he's sprawled on his back. Can switch hands and spread him wide, watch every touch roll through Sam's muscles and skin, like there's more than Dean's hands moving over him.

Maybe he can't commune with Sam the same way the other things can, but they don't do it for their pleasure or Sam's. He's a tool to them, for them, a conduit, and Dean's much the same; only he's the translator, the grounding wire, the anchor, with Sam the one strung between this life and whatever else is out there.

He doesn't even know how it happens or why, but he feels it when he's got Sam stretched out and spread wide, legs on either side of Dean's bent thighs. Dean leans up and in and rubs against Sam's still hard dick, mouthing skin, teasing Sam's small brown nipples to hard points. Sam's hands rest on his head and his shoulder, fingers looking for something to hold onto, making incoherent, needy noises in his throat, reaction rolling through him like Dean's touches are actually under his skin. The sounds coalesce into Dean's name, spoken over and over, with a mix and spattering of other words, curses, other languages.

It's the breeze and the sheen in the corner of his eyes that makes Dean realize he's manifesting again, that the wide spread mix of not-feathers and heat have opened wide, far edges almost brushing the walls. Sam's eyes go wide and shift color, go blue and light-pierced and without his even lifting his shoulders, his own wings blur into being, spread as wide and open as Sam is, a shifting pool of black and shimmering gradients of blue and peacock green, obscuring the bed and the sheets. They ripple and flutter when Sam shifts his hips, hitches them upward, grips Dean's arms and pulls him forward until their mouths meet and teeth and tongues clash.

It startles Dean and his wings beat; he can feel the blood pump through his chest and his back, through his arms, pulling strength or just adrenaline from somewhere.

Suddenly he's hard, like he didn't think he could be, like his body shouldn't be, and maybe he should question this sudden infusion of energy and desire, and most of all, will. But it's there, and Sam is shifting again, pushing up, tucking his knees, bracing his body on his hands, wings providing balance. It should be awkward and impossible but it's not. It takes only a touch and a small shift for Dean to find Sam's hole, to guide himself, to push in and pull Sam up slightly, fitting them together, sealing them together with nothing more than spit and the come already leaking from Dean's dick.

Sam arches back, dick riding high and hard on his belly, skin sheened and copper with sweat, Dean's paler skin like gold against it, until Dean pulls him up and groans when his dick slides deeper into Sam's ass and Sam's arms curl around him. Mingled light and shadows flutter and battle and find their own rhythm, papers on the dresser rustling, the heavy drapes swinging.

He thinks it's murmurs he hears first, voices in the corner, or just the blood rushing in his ears, as Sam moves slightly. His skin tastes like honey and salt, and Dean can swear he tastes wine in the back of this throat, or maybe it's blood. The murmurs settle and whisper along his skin, keeping time with whatever Sam is whispering against his mouth and jaw.

It takes him a moment to even realize what's Sam saying, a moment longer for him to recognize it and for what it is, something he's heard a thousand times, but it's out of context and neither he nor Sam are even believers in the true sense, not Christian or if they are they are lousy ones. Take, have, this is my body, given for you…

Sam's mouth moves over his, spit and blood on his lips, eyes shining and dark…a kiss murmured against his mouth, tasting of salt and wine again, of copper and bitterness, but still sweet. Drink, take, this is my blood, which I shed for you…, in English and Latin, in German or even Swahili for all Dean knows. He can't not take what's offered, feeling Sam clench and writhe against him, come spilling between them, leaving sticky wet trails on their skin.

Maybe it's the taste of Sam's blood on his tongue, or the sharp, musky scent of his spunk. Or the fact that Sam goes still as death when his body stops jerking, only Dean's body still pressing , still driving deep. He's not dead or unconscious, he's just still, breathing in time to Dean's thrusts, light shimmering over his skin like sweat only silvery and in the moment Dean realizes what's happening, he comes, filling the tight, hot clench of Sam's body with his come, breathing the same air Sam exhales.

All he recognizes is that it's Sam. The laughter Dean has listened for all his life, the depth and height of emotion, whether Sam's so depressed he's suicidal or so elated he's half drunk with it. It's every time he's reached out a hand to pull Sam to his feet and he's taken it, and every time he hasn't. It's every black, spit-polish smear of rage or anger Sam's felt, and every single moment of gratitude and heart-felt admiration he's worn like his own skin for all that Dean is to him. It's what Dean's always wanted to know and feel and the weight of it makes his bones crack, and his throat tighten so much he can't breathe. It's not him under Sam's skin, it's Sam under his, wrenching and shoving his way through every vein and muscle. It's seeing his own face, his own soul through Sam's eyes and knowing his own aren't light-pierced blue or even hazel like Sam's, but pupilless gold, with a hard edge of silver and steel.

It's knowing that even at his worst, at the most distant and inhuman edge of what Sam is or could be, that he'll never be all that or worse, because everything that is or was Sam is tucked safely away inside Dean, belted down, riveted to the floor, encased in steel and stubbornness and a love so fierce it's no wonder Sam kept running away, always certain he could never meet that expectation or demand of him. And yet Sam leaves it there, makes to no effort to take back or demand back what he either fairly gave or Dean took without asking.

Faced with that unwavering faith and trust, Dean's the one who wants to run, to back away from it; it's too much and not enough all at once.

It happens in an instant, a moment, knowing and understanding all slopped into one another so hard and so fast, Dean knows why and how Sam feels when he's overwhelmed by bright shiny things that need him to know what will be demanded of them.

He knows why Sam wants to flee at the end of it, where fear and duty clash, when loyalty to what he is is in direct conflict with his loyalty to Dean.

He knows that Sam will never be able to escape either. That he doesn't want to escape the latter, so he surrenders to the first.

For that one brief moment they are as much one person, as the joining of the their bodies could never make them.

I'm sorry.

It's a whisper against his lips and his mind, regret so heavy in Sam's words and his body that Dean can't even fathom Sam holding that much regret and living through it.

Until it's ripped away from him and he understands all too well.


The curtains are drawn back when Dean opens his eyes again, the halogen of the parking lot lights casting a hard glare across the room. He feels stiff and so tired even his lungs protest at breathing. There's still the faint traces of sex in the air, and underling aroma of copper and the sharp scent of something Dean's always associated with winter and ice and snow and crisp, clear nights.

Sam's apology infuses him with sudden energy, but even more fear, and he's shoving back sheets and staggering to his feet, because Sam's not here.Not in the room or the bathroom.

Dean's hand is on the door before he realizes he's not dressed, a brief second's hesitation but enough to let him see the laundry folded neatly on the edge of the dresser; to realize he's clean, his skin washed and feeling smooth like he'd just dried off from a shower. That there are containers of food waiting for him on top of the room's small refrigerator, and there's still coffee in the small pot, only half of it gone, and the rest hot.

Confusion makes him go still for a moment, quiet his mind.

It’s not words. It's not even concrete enough to be called an impression.

It's just knowing.

Sam's approval and amusement is so very present he could be standing in front of Dean, laughing at him.

Jeans and shoes and a t-shirt later, he steps out and looks. Sees the car and more on the road running beside the hotel. Goes quiet.

"You fucker," he says and Sam grins down at him, two stories up, long-assed legs dangling over the side of the building. "Ladder? Stairs?"

Sam throws back his head and laughs.

Asshole. Dean looks around because there has to be a maintenance ladder at least, or stairs or even a second floor railing he can climb.

"I'm so not doing this. I don't even know…"

Except apparently he does, or his need to be with Sam, no matter how he tries to ignore it is just driving every sane thought out of his head.

"Oh, hell no..." he says when miniature dust devils stir themselves in the parking lot, and Sam's eyes gleam in fond mischief. "Just 'cause I've got wings does not mean I'm going to fly," Dean snaps up at him, but his fingers twitch and his shoulders tense. "Sam…"

Sam's eyes meet his, like he was two feet away instead of twenty, and Sam's smile shifts, goes soft and quiet, and he shoves forward and just drops.

It's not falling, nothing like it, for all that Sam is arrow straight and barely only bends his knees when his feet hit ground. The shadows stretch behind him, shading the front of the building.

"What if someone saw you?"

"No one around to see. I always know," Sam says and then he is two feet in front of Dean. "So will you, when it settles…when you..." he drops his head, looking uncomfortable and shy and so very Sam, in his inability to verbalize any of it.

Dean nods and closes the distance with a step. Sam's right. There's no one around to see. He cups Sam's neck and pulls his head down. There's no blood or wine or honey or salt. Just Sam.

"I saw you," he says and Sam nods, smiles against his mouth.

"You always have. Always will."

Light spills from Sam's skin. Not a lot, just a shimmer, a gleam. It falls over Dean's hand like water.

Dean knows what it is now.