The next period was like centuries for Sam. The mysterious hand came back another eight times already with clean water; he was woken by it twice, too. After it came the very first time, it hadn't drawn a question, just let him know of the water.
Sam tried to ask for help in the beginning, but when the third time the duct tape was pressed onto his mouth in the middle of his sentence, he understood that the owner of the hand won't help him – no one will help him. After that he accepted the water without a sound.
Sam knew he was in a terrible state. The heat in the room stuck his clothes and his tresses onto his skin. The tape was slick on his arms, but it still held firmly. The waistband of his sweatpants hung towards the ground; he felt the pause just above his hipbone, where the elastic band arched out, indicating that he lost weight. The worst though was the constant, bitter smell of urine that strengthened after every second drinking and was surrounding him: it got regular from the fourth round of water. The hand then gave him another message: "SO SORRY" Since then he remained motionless not just during the drinking: his humiliation threw him across the line on the land of submission.
His body now started voiding his bladder more often, as his body accepted less and less: after the last, the ninth time the smell strengthened again, wetting his pants completely. The growls of his stomach weren't uncomfortable anymore, they had just become a part of his punishment: he had gotten used to it.
From another slumber long fingers woken him up, as they combed his free locks. He embraced the long-ago-experienced, almost foreign gentleness, but suddenly he felt something strange: the hand was bigger. Sam's body began wildly shaking, but the fingers caressed him relentlessly, to what his instincts were whispering to him to calm down, he won't get hurt.
One finger then carefully wrote its message: "OVER"
Sam started gasping for air. What does this mean? What's over? He was behaving well! Or was it the punishment? Then a new message made him sure about the answer:
He felt the duct tape slowly come off his head. But the floor is in the way, isn't it? Then he noticed he was sitting. Soon his ears freed from their captivity: it was like the birds were singing and chirping right beside him, they were so loud.
"Now your hands" whispered a soft voice. Sam recognized it right away: Dean came back to him! The tape came off of his arms with a quiet ripping sound, then the man gently pried his fingers away each other and unrolled his arms.
"Legs" and with the same gentleness his ankles were free.
"Mouth" the tape came off his lips bit by bit and they parted instantly to fill his abused lungs with precious oxygen. At the rattling intake of breath Dean stroked the boy's face tenderly with the back of his fingers.
"And your eyes" the man whispered and slowly took off the last of the tape, mindful about the eyebrows and the lashes.
"Can you open your eyes?" Dean asked, the worry could be heard in his whisper. Sam's eyelids fluttered, but didn't move. "Let me see those hazel green crystals!"
Sam's face grew a little hot at that then with painstaking slowness he opened his eyes: great veil of blurriness swallowed the world before him. His breathing sped up from fright and started blinking rapidly, but the sight didn't improve. Dean carefully embraced the boy, who broke down into sobs, and comforted him with quiet encouragements.
As Sam calmed down, the man shifted him so the boy's head lay sideways on the strong shoulder then a straw ran along the thin lips to what Sam obediently opened his mouth. With a pleasing sigh the boy closed his eyes, as the water cooled the heat raging inside him. Small, soft kisses landed on his forehead and a hand stroked his back gently; Dean was participating like this to the boy's serenity.
The straw soon started letting out slurping sounds, as the water drained from the glass. Sam startled fearfully from the sound and clumsily fisted the man's shirt and shut his eyes tightly, whimpering pitifully. Dean immediately pulled the shaking boy into his chest and put the glass aside with a small knock.
"What do you say to a nice little shower?" the man stroked the chestnut brown locks. Sam nodded and tightened his hold on the soft shirt, readying himself for the lift. It came before long: he tried to put his trembling legs under his body, while Dean held him up with no problem. As soon as the boy was done, they started moving with slow, careful steps. Sam looked up, but he whimpered scared from the blur in front of his vision and closed his eyes firmly.
"Don't!" Dean whispered and brushed the tip of his finger under Sam's eyes, urging him this way to open them up. "They have to remain open as much as possible, so your pupils dilate back to normal…"
The man's words were interrupted by Sam's loud, frightful whimpers. Dean held the deathly pale boy closer.
"I'm going to be with you and take care of you" Dean soothed him further. "No one and nothing can harm you, while I'm around. But you must have your eyes open as much as you can."
The whimpers slowly silenced then Sam looked up: Dean could clearly see the narrowed points in the middle of the hazel green irises. They got closer to the bathroom painstakingly slow, since Sam's legs were trembling like a newborn colt's.
Dean closed the door behind them then sat the boy down onto the toilet lid. He carefully pulled off the sweaty T-shirt; he was horrified by the sight in front of him. Deathlike white, damp skin stretched on the xylophone of ribs, though the weight loss wasn't that drastic. He got out a soft, fluffy, snow white towel and he wrapped it on the boy's waist, just above the pants.
"Can you take off your pants?" he asked worriedly and a little uncertain. Sam just shook his head embarrassed. After a brief hesitation, Dean stood the boy up, who, with a little trouble, wrapped his arms around the man's neck. Dean hurriedly took off Sam's clothes without moving or even touching the towel. He slowly helped the boy into the shower, but when he let him go, Sam cried out and grabbed at him with a whine.
"Shh, it's okay" Dean called out quietly and held the boy up, who swayed dangerously. "Would you like to shower alone?"
It seemed that Sam was attentively thinking through the suggestion then biting down on his lower lip he nodded. Dean kindly kissed his forehead, let him go and left him alone.
Sam started shaking, as the deep silence pressed down on his body with a ton of weight, giving a cruel evidence of his loneliness. He slowly untied the towel from his waist, which landed on the floor, then carefully felt around. His fingers found two taps; biting on his lip he randomly turned one of them and the shower started flowing. However, the pressure threw the jets of water on the boy's back like knives, causing him to scream and jump away from under the shower head. As a result, though, he hit the hard wall of the shower, which made him lose his footing and fall, bumping his head into the tiles. The haze covering his sight started swaying; he felt around himself frightfully to escape from it.
"Sam!" the deep voice reached him as a rescue party, then the water stopped, a towel was smoothed over his shoulders and two strong arms pulled him out of the shower cabin. Sam tried to grab his savior, kicking wildly from fear, but the man gently held his arms down, hugging him like this, and started rocking the boy comfortingly.
"Dean!" Sam sobbed breaking down.
"It's alright" the man whispered into his ear. A kiss landed softly on the slightly damp, chestnut brown locks; the gesture helped to calm the boy's frantic gasps. Dean carefully helped him up and wrapping an arm around the trembling shoulders, he started the shower. The rapping of the falling water startled Sam, so the man decreased the pressure then carefully guided the frightened boy into the cabin. At first he pulled just one shaking hand under the water, getting Sam used to the strength of the flow then helped him into the shower.
"I'm gonna wait outside" he said softly. He waited until Sam nodded and just then did he let the boy go and leave the room. Sam threw the towel onto the floor and started to freshen up. After a lot of long scrubbings, his skin breathed much easier, the weight of the days of dirt came down from his exhausted body and the bitter smell of urine got washed away, giving place to the pleasant aroma of the shower gel.
"Sam" called in Dean through the door, "can I bring your clothes in?"
"Yes" Sam didn't know if his hoarse, scared reply was heard, but Dean stepped into the bathroom.
"They're on the counter" Dean informed him then after a few steps the door closed. Sam carefully turned off the shower and stumbled out. He got the towel up from the towel and gently dried himself, being mindful of his sensitive skin that reddened from the hard scrubbing. He felt for his clothes: a soft shirt and cotton sweatpants. Putting them on, he searched for the doorknob then stepped out of the room.
Through the haze he immediately noticed Dean approaching with uncertainty, so he reached for him with a hand. Dean got a hold of it right away and slowly helped him to the bed. Sam cautiously sat down and felt it as Dean joined him. The man took the boy's hand in both of his own.
Sam mused about the storm awakened inside him by the gesture. Is it possible that after everything, after all this, the punishment and the kidnapping, he could still fall in love with this man? Although he's not in love, but his feelings for the man are extremely deep, because most of the time Dean had given him only kindness, even when the boy had been nothing but trouble. He felt the man watching him a little anxiously, but with devotion; the rough skin of the thumb was tenderly sliding up and down on Sam's hand.
"What are you thinking about?" the quiet question came.
"Just this whole thing" Sam answered with the same softness.
"I'm so sorry…" Dean started, but Sam interrupted:
"Don't be! It was my fault that everything came down to this. When that day you left for breakfast, I was thinking. I tried to find out what could possibly be going on here and I knew that you wanted to protect me; that you didn't want to tame me like an animal. We can say it happened in the heat of the moment."
Sam could feel the guilt radiating from the man, so with a surprising amount of accuracy he put his free hand onto Dean's. His face heated up by the deeper meaning for him in this tiny motion and Dean stroked the tip of his index finger down the side of the boy's face.
"Goodness, how beautiful you are" the man breathed disbelievingly, which brought a shy smile out of the boy. "I can't even imagine how someone can be so…" Dean was thinking hard for the perfect word then as soon as he found it, he finished in an awed whisper:
Sam's face was covered completely in a blush of embarrassment: he hadn't gotten this huge of a compliment in his whole life. He shyly turned his head away, but Dean caught his chin tenderly and held him back.
"I'm not…" the boy started, but Dean interrupted him:
"Your friends have an enormous luck that Fate brought them an innocent, kind-hearted, willing person like you. And that's why I feel so horrible for how I treated you."
Sam shivered slightly, when Dean's soft, but rough hand cupped one of his cheek, then a small kiss landed on the other one. The man pressed his forehead to the boy's temple, finally enjoying the closeness.
"What's happening to me?" Sam sighed barely audible.
"What do you mean by that?" Dean's whisper told him that he caught the question.
"Instead of being afraid of you" Sam answered "I'm starting to…" the boy silenced himself hesitantly; he didn't dare to admit his feelings, even to himself.
"Just so you know you're really special to me" Dean whispered into the boy's ear. "Your safety and happiness are more important than everything else, but sometimes… it's so hard to do the right thing…"
Sam was surprised to hear all this, his heart started beating faster; maybe this is that great and strong affection, which with time leads you to love? Carefully, guiding himself with his skin he turned his head upwards to the man's forehead – who froze to help his movement – and pressed a kind, long kiss exactly above the other's eye.
"I like you, too" the boy breathed and Dean nuzzled into his face. As the man's lips brushed Sam's skin, the boy felt the tugging of the edges, indicating a smile that Dean happily accepted his confession. Sam carefully tilted his head down onto the hard shoulder and leaned his body into Dean's side. A deep, pleasing sigh broke out of his lungs, when the man's arm slid around his waist and his other hand intertwined with Sam's: peace enveloped his whole body like a warm blanket. He knew, from now on everything will be alright.
"Your hair has grown out" Dean commented when they were sitting at the table. He was gently feeding the boy with the fresh lunch. The hazel eyes lost in blurriness slowly focused on him, but the man knew that Sam was just gazing in his way by guess: he can see only shapes. The shame muted the young one: before Dean went out for food, they found out that Sam doesn't have any control over his bladder. While the man helped him clean himself, Sam cried his heart out because of the cruel stab of humiliation.
"Yeah, I felt it" the boy answered quietly. His voice was still shaking from the previous incidents, his tears didn't even dry up yet. Dean slowly caressed the grown out, silky locks that hadn't grown out the same length. The hairs reached down to his shoulders, but the upper tresses were twice as longer then the others under them, equaling the ends out. Dean happily noticed that he can stroke the free tresses behind Sam's ear, which he did immediately.
"It suits you" he noted with a smile. His heart and soul filled with great joy, when he saw Sam's lips lift up barely noticeably. It seemed that he was walking on the right road and he was doing just fine.