|Make known to me the path of life
Tenth in the Second Sight Series
Supernatural, Mature audiences, (slash), schmoop, future-fic.
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.
Author's notes at end.
§Thou wilt make known to me the path of life: thy countenance is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.§
"Hah. No. If I wanted to off you, I could find less expensive way to do it. Think of it man, a week. Water, sun, nature. You love nature."
Sam has to fight not to laugh in his face. "And suddenly you're all enthusiastic. You hate camping."
"I hate camping like we used to. Necessity. Cheap-ass sleeping bags and roadside gravel pits pretending to be campgrounds. No food. This…this, Sam, my man, is like a resort weekend compared to that."
Dean's voice has taken on the same tone he uses when admiring a classic car or a pretty woman. Sam grins. "It's still sleeping on the ground."
"Mattress pads, Sam. Memory foam. Roll them up, spread them out."
"We'll pack extra toilet paper. They cook for us, Sam. Little, tanned, well-muscled guides in shorts and hiking boots."
"Most of the guides are men."
"Fine. Big, tanned, muscled guides in shorts and hiking boots. What? I refuse to discriminate against people who will cook for me. Come on."
Dean never whines and it's been a long time since he's tried to persuade Sam to do something risky. "Come on, Sam," he says and he leans close in, lips right next to Sam's ear. "We'll have a tent to ourselves, it's five days with nothing but us and water, wilderness, sky, and rock."
Sam ducks his head but he swears he can feel Dean grinning at him. "And twenty other people. I've always wanted to…when is it?"
Dean crouches in front of him, hand resting lightly on Sam's thighs. "Not until September, plenty of time to plan. Get in shape," he still smiling but the whining is gone but not the laughter; his voice is gentle. "Vacation, Sam. Something the rest of the world does. I'll describe it, every inch of the way…"
Sam's not really that worried that he won't be able to see it. He's just surprised, is all. "What brought this on?"
Dean took a moment, one hand kneading a light rhythm against Sam's muscles. "We traveled…We've been all over this country. We’ve just never seen it. I've never…"
Dean stops. "I didn't mean it that way."
Sam knows that. He curves his fingers around Dean's hand. "It'll be fun," Sam says.
Actually it will probably be tiring and definitely dirty and wet and none of it matters. Dean asks little for himself, never has. Sam doesn’t really know what's driving this but eventually he will.
The kiss he gets is sweet enough to make him not care.
"So, rafting, huh?"
"The Grand Canyon, Sam. It will be awesome."
It takes time to plan a trip like this. Months. There are supplies to get and medical forms to submit, waivers to sign. They've both kept in shape but they push it a little, running further and more often, practicing climbing stairs and the local high school stadium with loaded back packs.
It's oddly reminiscent of their younger years, even though then their training was geared more toward defending themselves. Sam's still not sure what put this particular bee in Dean's bonnet but he notices a difference. Dean with a purpose and goal is like a man reborn.
Sam never had any doubt that Dean missed their old life. Maybe not the constant brushes with death, or maybe it is. Dean misses the freedom to go, though, to just pick up and move on. Not enough to make him regret his choices, but enough to make him look back at their adventures with maybe more nostalgia than clear memory.
That he's excited about it would be an understatement. It's in nearly every word, every touch, every whispered conversation in the dark.
Their father agrees to come stay at the house for the week or so they'll be gone. John doesn’t hesitate to point out the risks involved in taking a blind man on a rafting excursion through the Grand Canyon, but he also isn't exactly in a position to make that point stick. And maybe there's a little admiration there for Sam's willingness to do this.
John doesn’t hunt as much as he used to. Truth is, Sam's not sure there's as much to hunt as there used to be, but his father's a good man to go to for information, contacts, still. He's getting older. Anymore he does it because it's something he can do, that he knows how to do, that he's good at. Not so very different from Dean. John just hasn't found anything else to focus on.
In another life, maybe by now he'd be spoiling his grandchildren --- or scaring them. Sam isn't sure which. The Winchester line will have to be carried out by their Aunt's children. The name will end with Sam or Dean or both, as things stand.
He knows his father wonders sometimes. Has spoken to Dean about it. If he suspects it's anything more or less than connected to Sam's blindness he doesn’t say -- not to Sam anyway.
And sometimes, in less selfish moments, Sam still wants that for his brother; it's a carefully nurtured hope of a wife and children, maybe children especially. For himself, fear will always supplant desire. Normal is like a crush Sam once had, intense and wonderful and missed, but never lasting. Although he supposes, in certain light, their lives are more normal than they ever been -- although compared to the rest of the population, that's not saying much.
They rarely talk about it. The choices have been made, the path laid out.
That some of those choices aren't legal on any level, anywhere, doesn't escape either of them.
"I've got sixteen kids every spring," Dean says only a few weeks before their trip. "I'm not missing anything."
He helps coach a little league team, girls and boys. He flirts with the mothers and sisters in front of their husbands and fathers, goes out for a beer with the dads and the other coaches. The kids adore him like the big brother some of them don't have and other would like to trade for the ones they do have.
Sam completely understands the feeling.
He's heard it said at games. Knows some of them look at him and think what a shame, what a waste. He can't be angry about it, it's true enough. Dean though, never falters.
"Oh, God. I can barely keep up with them for a few hours a week. How you guys do this, day in and day out? Better man (or woman) than me."
He doesn’t get mad when Sam brings it up, which admittedly, isn't often. "I did my stint," he says, fingers tracing patterns on Sam's back. "Helped raise you, didn't I ? I think I paid my parental dues."
"You know, given where your dick's been for the past ten minutes, that is seriously twisted," Sam says but doesn't move. They've hashed this out in bits and pieces too.
Dean's lips are warm on the back of his neck. "You aren't the kid you were. You aren't even the man you were. Neither am I. Of all the things in our lives we are guilty of and feel guilty for, this," his hand skates along Sam's ribs to his hip, "is the fuck-all least of it, Sam."
Sam doesn't disagree but every now and then he knows a reality check is a good thing. He rolls over and his hand finds Dean's face, his throat and chest. It's true enough. They aren't the men they were. They aren't even the men they'd once dreamed or maybe hoped they would be. Dean's still his brother, but he's always been more, and Sam's been the focus of Dean's life for so long, it was always a stretch to think anyone could get ahead of him in line.
Sam can feel guilty about that a little bit, because he had been able to put someone in front of Dean. In front of everything. Briefly.
Sometimes he dreams of fair-haired children and offices and white fences and three bedroom starter homes. Sometimes he still dreams of fire.
He may be blind but when he wakes it's still Dean's face he sees.
"So, maybe we should find a nice lesbian couple who want to have babies," he says.
"Oh, please, help me Jesus," Dean says patiently. "You got a biological clock there you aren't telling me about, Sam? Because I think it's off by a bit…"
Sam grins up at him. "I'm in my prime, grampa."
Dean tugs at him and pushes a little and touches, and leans down and whispers soft and warm in Sam's ear. "Yeah, well, your clocks still off, sweetheart. That ten minutes? More like thirty."
So, maybe Sam's internal timer is off by a bit…but only by about ten minutes.
Not that anyone's counting.
They drive to the Canyon, which is an extravagance in itself. Dean would like to take the Impala out for nostalgia's sake, but even he knows it's kind of pointless to use that much gas and then leave it sitting for a week. He picked up something with better fuel efficiency and not as much style a year or so ago; a light truck because the idea of Dean in an imported coupe or sedan is still just so wrong, Sam can't even put words to it.
The group they are with is only twelve people and four guides. Two of them have EMT training. They've dealt with disabled clients before, but Greg, the lead guy, admits, he's never taken out anyone who is blind before.
"Just pretend I'm really clumsy," Sam suggests.
He isn't of course. The trail is steep into the canyon and long. Sam's got a walking stick but mostly he makes the whole hike with one hand on Dean's shoulder as they descend. Dean's voice is soft and quiet amid the chatter of the other members of their group, pitched for Sam only, to warn of drops and roots, of rocks and outthrusts of bushes and stone.
The further they go, the less chatter. It's a rough hike, very steep.
Dean's soft voice never falters and Sam only stumbles once or twice.
On the frequent stops to rest and let the group catch up, let the guides check on everyone, Sam becomes aware of a different kind of silence. It's not complete; there's a distant echoey splash of water. Their voices bounce off the canyon walls.
And Dean tells him what he sees.
Sam had seen the Grand Canyon, years ago, from the rim. He remembered thinking that the world was infinitely huge, looking at it.
But down here, below the rim, walking into this channel cut deep into the earth, it all feels very small. The colors and striations in the rock are easy to picture. The grit of sand on his skin mingles with the sweat he can taste on his lips. The air is cooler here, even with sun casting shadows Dean can see stretched across miles.
Beneath his hand, Dean is as still and relaxed as Sam has ever felt him. Having seen so much, lived through so much, there're few things that can still either surprise or even awe Dean any longer, mostly because he's never taken the time or expended the energy to let them.
Sam squeezes his shoulder and Dean covers his hand.
There are few times when Sam really, truly regrets he can't see. He's too practical any longer to rail against what he can't change.
But standing on a trail half way down into the Grand Canyon, he does. Not because he'd like to see this marvel of nature and time, close up, but to see his brother's face and the shine in his eyes that Sam knows Dean isn't trying to hide from anyone.
They camp the first night, planning to push off in the big pontoon raft in the morning. As Dean promised, the food is wonderful. No beanies and weenies or freeze dried chipped beef or scavenged MRE's. There's fresh fish and roasted corn and biscuits so fluffy they are like eating air. There's strong coffee and skillet apple pie.
Dean spends a long time looking at the river and talking quietly to one of the guides. Her name is Marilyn, and Sam has no doubt at all that she's tanned and fit and looks good in shorts and hiking boots. She's got a laugh that rings against the rocks and a patience and humor that indicates getting hit on by her guests is not that unusual.
Except Dean isn't really hitting on her. Flirting yes. It comes as easily to him as breathing.
Sam hears the others murmur about the sunset and stretches out and lets the quiet wrap around him. Even on a short acquaintance and nothing but conversation, he's got most of their group sorted out by their voices. Even so, it's a relief of sorts, and kind of amazing how little background noise there is that he doesn't have to filter out. The river is a steady murmur. There are few insects.
They turn in early, everyone feeling sore muscles and fatigue born of physical exertion and a good meal. Dean crouches behind Sam where he sits and wraps an arm around his chest and shoulders, letting him lean back for just a moment. Sam doesn't tense and he's not worried, even when Dean's lips press to the back of his neck. It's either too dark to see or no one's looking.
The pontoon rafts require less passenger intervention than the standard heavy inflatable ones. On calm stretches, the small motor pushes them along but their helmsman, an older man named George, cuts the engine and lets them drift more often then he propels them forward. The guides have a spiel as they move through the canyon, facts and tidbit about the geology, the history. The way things change and how much they stay the same.
Dean's got his own narrative, whispered in Sam's ear, colors and verbal sketches with comparisons that make no sense to anyone but Sam, and yet Sam knows sometimes the others listen. He can hear the awe and wonder in Dean's voice, and something else that Sam can't put a finger on. It's not peace or even joy, not stillness or excitement. He doesn’t know what it is, and he can only wait for it to make itself known to him.
When they do paddle, Sam is more than capable of pulling his own weight. It's like being on a particularly unpredictable carnival ride, and the water splashes cold and clean on him, always a surprise. It makes him laugh and for a long stretch he forgets about not being able to see and only enjoys the ride, one of Dean's hands tucked snug in the back of his belt and his brother's startled shouts all the funnier when Dean tries, really tries, not to cuss.
Third day and half way through their trip, they carry their dinner out to a rock that hangs over the water. It laps hollowly underneath, muffles the conversations behind them. This far into the trip, any lingering soreness has settled, there's a camaraderie among them all, that Sam sometimes feels a part of and sometimes doesn't. The awkwardness of the first couple of days has passed for most of their companions and they no longer try to get him to look but take their cue from Dean and describe what they see.
Greg is curious though, and offers them both the last of the evening coffee. Sam can lean against Dean without anyone commenting because Dean nearly always has a hand on Sam somewhere and the rock they are sitting on drops off sharply, Sam's legs dangling over the edge.
"I've never really thought of what this would be like if you couldn't see it," Greg says, almost apologetically and Sam grins at him.
He doesn't tell Greg anything so trite as to close his eyes. "I can hear the distances, the way the sound bounces. The wind before it settles low. I know it's big. Deep, but I feel like I could touch the top of the canyon if I can stretch far enough. Everything sinks to the water."
Greg is silent for awhile before excusing himself. They sit for a while longer before heading back, a little bit of chatter, listen to George sing old camp songs to the accompaniment of a guitar that's made this trip a lot of times.
Once they are bedded down, Dean says what Greg couldn't. "I wish you could see it, Sam," he says even though Sam's pretty sure by now it's dark enough that Dean can't see much either.
They are quiet by necessity, and Dean's mouth offers apologies that aren't his to give as well as affirmations that are. Sam's pretty sure no one is listening or could hear anything if they are. Dean's magic memory foam pads don't rustle or squeak and they've pushed their sleeping bags and clothes off to the side. The only sound is wind against spare foliage and the distant rumble of rapids. He doesn't question Dean's choice of here and now; he welcomes it as something more memorable about this trip than what he can't see.
What he feels has always been more important to Sam anyway, and the deep press of Dean's body against his, into his, seems more right here than possibly anywhere. The canyon and the river don’t care what they are to each other, how they are with each other. Neither they nor the people with them will make any impression on this place at all.
Dean takes his time, moves slowly, offers and takes every bit of pleasure he can manage. The amulet he still wears rocks against Sam's chest and throat with a caress of its own, like whatever protection it's offered Dean for all these years can be extended and shared. Dean's mouth puts a different blessing on Sam's shoulder and throat.
Dean will be forever as he was in Sam's eyes. He'll never hit thirty, his hair will never gray, his body will forever be familiar. From the tone of his voice Sam knows almost every expression, but he doesn't know how Dean looks when his breath hitches just there. His fingers and his ears can't tell him what's in Dean's eyes when he whispers, "Sam…" just as he comes.
Sam doesn't know what expression is on his own face when he follows.
But if he reaches up high enough, he can touch the top of the canyon.
It's the last day of their trip before any reminders hit, and it happens at the worst possible time and so fast Sam doesn't have any time at all to warn Dean or even really think about it. Somewhere in the back of his mind is a half-baked theory, twisted and turned and stretched to the point where Sam's not sure if it's theory or just desperate hope.
"Watch the rocks on the left!" is what George calls out, calm and steady but even before he finishes speaking, it flashes across Sam's eyes and his hands reach for Dean without even thinking about the consequences to any of them, without considering that he's putting the lives of fourteen other people at risk.
If Dean is knocked out of the raft, he'll die. It's that simple and that clear.
The rock that would have cracked Dean's skull only sends a vicious painful stab of pain first through Sam's jaw, then his shoulder and collar bone. When the water closes over his head for the second time, all Sam can think of is that he's not alone and therefore, he won't die.
No one else has that conviction, of course.
He half expects it to be Dean that pulls him out but it's not. It's Marilyn who is either stronger and bigger than she sounds, or who really knows how to use an adrenaline rush to her best advantage.
Even so, the risk is low. They all wear lifejackets for a reason. Marilyn's arm wraps around his chest, her fingers tightening in the straps of the jacket. "Keep your feet up," she says into his ear, through a mouthful of water.
Really, rapids are more fun in a raft, but they were almost through them when Sam's vision hit. It's not until the water calms that he starts to worry about what the price will be this time. If these people he's just spent the last five days with will pay for his need to keep his brother alive.
"Reach out to your right, Sam," Marilyn tells him and he feels the water-smoothed rock under his hand. His feet touch the sandy rocky bottom and he pushes when she tells him to.
In the lee of a boulder, the water calms to something they can manage and even stand in. "There's a current on either side. Just stay until they get a rope to us," she says and she sounds calm but she's shaking against Sam's back.
"Are you hurt?"
"Banged up...I'm fine. You?"
"Not my favorite thing," she says, but there's relieved laughter in her tone.
It takes the rest of the crew a few minutes to put the group on shore and come back for them. Sam isn't surprised that Dean's with them, and when Marilyn secures the rope and he's pulled back across the fast-moving water, he's not surprised that it's Dean's hand that grabs for him first.
He doesn’t even have a good story for them if they ask, but they don't, assuming that without the orientation of sight, when they hit that patch of churning water, Sam only lost his balance, reached for his brother and sent himself tumbling out of the boat.
Dean knows better but he waits, the tension radiating off him like he's suddenly grown spines. Sam's overly calm about it, not denying his own adrenaline surge and something else.
"It's just bruises," Sam assures him but it doesn't stop Dean from insisting he strip to the waist so Dean can check him over. His jaw is scraped and swollen, his shoulder only swollen and red but the bruising goes to the bone. Carrying his pack will be a bitch but there's nothing broken and both of them have done more with worse injuries even if it's been a few years.
They still need to make the portage point and after pretty much everyone is reassured that Sam's fine and Marilyn is thoroughly adulated for going in after him, they load back up.
The water's calmer the last few miles but Dean is still so wound up, he's too quiet.
"Tell me what you see."
"Just rest. We've got a hell of a hike--"
"It's the last day. Tell me what you see," Sam insists and leans back against Dean's knees.
"You're a brat, you know that?" Dean says sharply.
"That, we knew. Tell me something I don't."
At the last turn before the portage point, the canyon opens up wide, the top of the gorge peels back, and the river spreads out. It's a long, nearly straight stretch.
"Looks like it goes on forever," Dean says and some of the wonder is back in his voice.
Sam will take what he can get.
"You want to tell me what that was about?" Dean asks him quietly as they make the hike out. Sam's basically carrying the frame of his pack and not much else. Most of his gear and clothes are either repacked in Dean's pack and the heavier items, like his sleeping bag, Greg secures to the bottom of his own frame. The hike out is less grueling than the hike down and not as steep, but with even only a few pounds, the straps chafe and Sam is seriously looking forward to a hot shower and maybe a healthy dose of medicinal alcohol.
"Take a wild guess," Sam says and he doesn't mean to be flip about it. He's also severely underestimated either Dean's fear or his anger or both.
"And you couldn't say something rather than taking a header into a fucking river?"
Sam's been gripping Dean's shoulder to use as a guide, but he lets his hand slip and grips Dean's belt. "There wasn't time," he says quietly. "It hit me just as George warned about the rocks. You'd have died."
Dean twists back to face him and Sam doesn't know why because Dean doesn't say anything for a moment before his hands move over the straps and buckles on Sam's pack, adjusting and tightening them. "You could have."
"I don't think so."
"Can we discuss this later, please?" Sam asks.
Dean's hands drop away. "I nearly had a heart attack, Sam."
The only thing Sam can do is murmur an apology and wish he could do more, but for the moment he's forgiven and Dean guides his hand back to the strap of his own pack.
They are up and out of the canyon before Sam finds out if his intervention has consequences. Their tour-mates and guides only have a relatively normal array of bruises scrapes and sore muscles. Nobody falls down the cliff or drops dead on the hike.
Greg insists that Sam get checked out by the guide doctor as much for insurance purposes as honest concern. The doctor is efficient, recleans the scrape on his jaw and tests his shoulder and arm, advises alternating compresses of heat and cold and ibuprofen. Sam's to see his own doctor and there are forms to sign.
They have a cabin for the night and the shower Sam craved makes up for a lot of the soreness. There are two double beds and the walls are of hewn logs and even without seeing them Sam knows this room and this place like a persistent memory. Dean brings dinner back rather than joining the others in the dining hall.
Dean is still quiet: angry and afraid. Both of them are still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Nothing horrible has happened to the people the traveled with or the guides or any other excursions currently on the river. Nothing they've heard of anyway.
"You could have died. You said no."
Sam sets his plate aside. He's not really hungry anyway. "I said I don't think so. There's two conditions to this thing," he says and waves at his eyes. "That I watch everybody I care about die and I die alone. Neither of those conditions have been met."
"And if the whole raft had flipped?"
It's the weak point in Sam's theory and he knows it. "There would have been no one to save me."
"It would have only taken one, Sam."
"You…you made that choice--"
"Don't say it," Sam says. "I make that choice every damn time. Don't think I don't. Don't think I don't know it. Only this time…this time, I was the one that actually got to do something about it."
Dean doesn't say anything for a long time and Sam makes himself remain still. He can't see Dean's face and Dean knows it.
"I'm going to take a walk."
He doesn't ask Sam along and he doesn't slam the door when he leaves.
The room isn't familiar to Sam and it takes him longer than usual to find a bed. He doesn’t know where his bag is, and if he needed it he's sure he could find the bathroom again. There's a television, but he doesn't know where the remote is. He's got books in the truck but he isn't sure where it's parked or if Dean has the key on him or if they are somewhere in the room. He doesn't even know if the lights are on.
He just spent a week white water rafting, hiking canyons, doing things most people with sight never get to do.
Sam is not helpless. Not most of the time. Limited, yes.
It occurs to him as he sits on the bed, listening to nothing, that everything Dean sought out of this trip comes down to freedom. Their lives are very structured now. Not rigid, but there's a plan and a path, and a routine to it usually that Sam lives by because he has to and Dean adheres to because Sam needs it.
What freedom Sam has is dependent upon Dean's presence. He could find another way to live, in a group home or special apartment, with a hired in companion, or volunteers and a dog.
The edge of the canyon isn't far.
He wonders if he stepped off the edge of it, if some invisible hand would catch him. If the curse of both his blindness and his vision is strong enough to withstand that kind of choice.
He's never tested it. He's come close. He's thought about it.
Sam figures an hour or more has passed and Dean hasn't returned. It's too much effort to try and find his clothes so he strips down and carefully folds his clothes on the end of the bed and slips under the covers.
When Dean does return, he makes just enough noise to both reassure and wake Sam. He doesn’t say anything, only maneuvers around the room, to the bath and then moves gain, the click-click of lights being turned off breaking the quiet. He sits on the other bed -- Sam can hear the springs squeak.
"Do you know your eyes are open?"
Sam didn't, not consciously. He blinks them then closes them and hears Dean move off the other bed. A moment later he sits on the edge of Sam's. "Open them."
Sam does and feels Dean's thumb tracing light and gentle right under the lower lashes of his left eye, up to the corner and across his brow. "Do you know what the hardest part of this has always been?" he asks, voice low and rough and forced because no matter what else, Dean still finds it difficult to talk about things that hurt him. "You can't look at me. The only time you ever see me anymore is when…is when…you see me dying." His other thumb comes up and between his two thumbs, he gently coaxes Sam's eyes closed again.
Sam reaches up and covers Dean's wrists with his hands. "Right now, you're almost frowning. Not quite, just almost. You've probably got your lower lip caught in your teeth." He hears Dean breathe lightly and his hands flex on Sam's face. "When you laugh, really laugh, like when you were talking to George about that old Charger he's had sitting in his garage for the last ten years, your head goes back and everybody around you turns and grins because they can't help it. When you are working on the bills, or trying to write up the grocery list, you chew on the pencil or the pen and tap it on your mouth. I can taste the ink or the lead when I kiss you. Right now, your mouth is open and you're frowning so your forehead wrinkles." He hears the faint click of teeth when Dean closes his mouth. "The only thing I can't see is if the lines around your eyes are getting deeper or if there's gray starting to show in your hair."
Dean's thumb strokes across his cheek. "There's some gray," he admits. "You've got it too. Just a little, here," he says, finger tracing along Sam's temple. "Looks good on you."
Sam turns and lifts his head, mouth pressed to Dean's palm. "I know what you look like afraid and angry. When you're worried. Surprised. Grieving -- all of them combined. What I don't know," Sam says and he knows there is color in his cheeks, he can feel the heat but he doesn’t know if all the lights are off, "is if you look ridiculous when you come."
He knows Dean's face when the puff of laughter escapes him. "Probably," Dean says. "We could get a mirror installed over the bed and I could tell you." He moves his hands, smoothing them down Sam's throat and chest. He pulls the blankets back and Sam can feel bare skin against his own. A hand along the outside of Dean's thigh tells him that's true all over.
"I wish I could have seen your face when you were describing the canyon to me," he says, quietly.
Dean's fingers trace over his lips before he kisses him, easy and slow then with more passion, regret, and desire.
"I don't know if you look ridiculous either," Dean says stretching out against and over him. "I don't think I've ever managed to pay attention, or it's been dark."
"So, turn the lights on and find out," Sam offers.
Dean's mouth hovers over his while a hand eases between Sam's thighs to tease and coax. "They are on. You were in the dark when I came in."
True, in more ways than one.
Sam feels like he might break or shatter, or just come apart. He may be blind but there is a white light edging the corner of his vision anyway, and he can feel the tension in Dean's body, in his back and his thighs, and in his arms where he grips Sam's hands at his waist. Dean's thigh rubs against his chest and shoulder, a solid and muscular resistance Sam can press against without adding to his injuries as he rocks his hips against Dean's splayed thighs.
His brother's skin is hot and slick with sweat, and he gasps and swears and sometimes moans Sam's name. He hasn't touched his own dick and won't let Sam do it either.
"Come on, Sam…there, there…yeah…" he encourages, coaxes, lifting his hips and clenching muscles until it's too much for Sam… "Don't close your eyes…" Dean says gruffly, voice strained. Orgasm ripples through Sam, stretching along his spine and through his chest, and rocketing back into his groin and balls. Dean jerks a hand free to cup and lift Sam's chin and face.
He doesn’t know what's on his face, only that he's gasping for air, that holding his eyes open requires conscious effort; that when he's coming if feels like going blind all over again and sounds like Dean's name on his lips.
When Dean finally lets him close his eyes and drop his head, it's all Sam can do to pull free of him. He doesn't resist when Dean eases from under him, stretching before he settles against Sam's back. Sam shudders when slick fingers prepare and open him and Dean grunts when he pushes easily inside, already hard and more than ready. One hand slides under Sam's hair and Dean blows a cool breath across that nape of his neck before settling into a steady, deep rhythm that has Sam gasping again.
It's like riding the rapids all over again, right down to the rushing sound in his ears.
Dean doesn't last long and he's gasping as hard as Sam when he comes, hissing out Sam's name and gripping Sam's hips hard enough to bruise.
It's almost too warm when he sprawls across Sam's back, but Sam doesn't move, feeling drowsy and content but his body still thrumming, blood heavy and slow in his veins.
Dean's lips press to his shoulder and he rubs light circles on the bruising there. "Hey, Sam?"
"The look on my face when we hit the canyon?"
"I think it’s the same look you have on your face when you come."
Notes: I have never been to the Grand Canyon. I have, of course, seen pictures. I do have friends who have taken a similar rafting trip and the trip itineraries are available online with pictures. I have taken liberties with the details I could find and the scarcity of detail regarding the canyon is deliberate.