Title: Unconditional: Heart and Soul (Ten connected drabbles)
Notes: More speculations on destiny. Also a little schmoop.
Unconditional: Heart and Soul
Sam's stitches are small and neat, tight together. Months later they'll barely leave scars. Dean's aren't any bigger but his hands shake and it takes him twice as long. Sam never asks him to hurry.
Dean uses holy water on Sam's wounds regardless of cause. It's cheap, Dean says. Sam's wounds bubble like he's used peroxide, even for a splinter. Neither of them speculates on why that is.
Sam gets hurt more often but Dean gets hurt worse. Sam isn't sure if it's because Dean wants to protect him or if he just wants to makes sure he dies first.
Sam has headaches now more than he has nightmares. It hasn't actually improved his ratio of sleep to waking hours. Sometimes when they are driving, he has to ask Dean to pull over before he is sick. Usually, he's sick even if Dean pulls over.
The headaches won't ease off until whatever it is that wants to be known finally is. Sometimes Sam knows a few days ahead of time what's waiting. Sometimes it only breaks free seconds before something tries to eviscerate either or both of them.
Whatever it is, Dean is pretty sure it's leading them toward something.
There are days when Dean would really just like to have a haunting to solve, a house full of poltergeists to banish; he misses the days when the evil things out there would simply kill people.
The ghosts seem to have gone into hiding and the things crawling out of the darkness now are getting more vicious and cruel. They maim more than they kill. When they do kill they are likely to leave body parts -- human or animal -- where Dean and Sam can find them.
It's Dean who realizes they are leaving the entrails to be read.
They have to find new weapons. Cold iron and steel. Silver laces nearly every weapon they own and when they can manage it, they have the weapons blessed as well. But their arsenal is getting thin and even etching charms and wards onto their skin isn't helping. Dean's will linger for days until the ink washes off. Sam's fade almost immediately leaving perfectly pale white scripts on his flesh like scars.
They get matching tattoos to ward off evil. Dean's is rich and black. Sam's fades to white and leaves a scar that sometimes bleeds.
Dean licks the blood away.
The next time Dean tries to step between Sam and a demon, Sam shoves Dean out of the way and takes the full brunt of the attack. It opens a gash from Sam's left shoulder to his right hip. When he drops to his knees, Sam smiles and takes his own blood and paints a symbol on the demon's chest.
It screams and vanishes.
Sam passes out before Dean can ask him what he's done. When he cleans the wound with holy water it doesn’t bubble. Weeks later, when Dean changes the bandage, it's gone. There's not even a scar.
The next time they face off with a demon, Sam makes a slice across his palm and paints protective scripts on Dean's skin with his own blood. His blood burns Dean's skin and leaves behind perfect white scars that vanish as soon as the demon is sent back to hell.
Dean bandages Sam's hand carefully. It takes weeks to heal and leaves a scar.
When Sam's hand brushes across Dean's face, he turns his lips to kiss that scar. It burns his mouth but Sam's lips are moist and cool.
"Are you still my brother?"
Sam licks away his tears.
If Sam has become different than what he was, so has Dean. He still sees himself when he looks in the mirror, but more like himself. He doesn’t know what that means.
Sam is more himself too, only with fewer doubts in his eyes and more sadness. His smiles don't last as long.
Dean wants to ask but Sam only answers with his mouth and later, with his body.
The first time they make love, Sam's whispers are filled with affection and fear.
Months later, when his words ghost over Dean's skin, they are meant to protect and lay claim.
The entrails of a goat lead them to stretch of road in the middle of Oklahoma where a creek passes under the road. At dusk, a demon steps between the yellow lines and sketches out words on the asphalt with its own blood.
Dean spreads holy water on it so he can read it.
If the bloodline stops with you, the blood will stop with us.
"And if it doesn’t?" Dean asks.
The demon smiles and strikes and twin gashes appear across their stomachs before the demon bursts into flames.
"You'd think they'd have something new," Dean says.
Sometimes Sam wonders if they are still human. Sometimes Dean wonders if they ever were.
The only time they are sure is when they are tangled together, tighter than twisted thread.
They have matching scars across their bellies, thin pale lines just above their navels. The scars are cold when touched.
Promises, Sam says when he breathes warm air along Dean's scar.
"Do you know what they want?" Dean finally asks him.
"Yes," Sam says as he straddles Dean's hips and settles.
"What is it?" Dean pushes up and catches Sam when he falls forward.
Sam's kiss is the answer.
It was never Sam's soul they wanted, though Dean thought so.
Sam's soul might be the light that draws them but it's the heat and fire of everything else between them that is the real prize.
"They thought it was me," Sam tells him when the ghosts return and Sam's blood is just blood again.
Dean knows what it is now, and understands what it is Sam whispers against his skin when they make love. Sometimes he whispers it back.
The demons still wait for them to stumble.
There's only one unconditional thing in Dean's life and it's not surrender.
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