It is odd how one good thing can make all the bad things fade to the background. Sam still hasn’t tried to rationalize it to himself. He hasn’t tried to make sense of this new found contentment because if he does, he might destroy it. After weeks of numbness and anxiety and general unhappiness, Sam suddenly feels light and happy.
He has tunnel vision, and his sight is aimed at Dean. All the things from before. The wolves, the Stanford letter, all of it, fades. He has Dean. What could he possibly be worried about?
After their conversation, Dean had kissed him again and with each kiss, Sam’s resolute cynicism dissipated more and more (it’s wrong. so the fuck what? it’s sick. says who? incest. yeah, get the fuck over it). He’s in a bliss bubble and Dean is there with him and he doesn’t ever want to leave.
And the transition from brothers to…more isn’t nearly as awkward as it should be. The first few kisses are strange, sure. But it gets easier, more natural and Sam feels like he’s won the lottery. A voice in his head tells him that it can’t last, it’s all temporary but he ignores it. He finally has the one thing he thought he would never get and he’s happy.
Dean’s happy too. Dean’s fucking ecstatic. He’s constantly smiling at Sam and touching him and saying things to him that make him blush and it should be weird, should be a huge paradigm shift but it’s what Sam’s imagined since he can remember. It’s like playing a role that he’s been preparing for since the first time he looked at Dean and realized he had a problem, and it’s not a problem anymore. If it is, it’s not his alone anymore. Dean shares it with him.
“Whattya wanna do today, Sammy?” Dean asks, coming into his room which has become a habit of his these last few days. Sam can’t say he minds.
It’s a whirlwind is what it is. Things have changed fast, almost impossibly fast. Dean has taken Sam’s world and shaken it apart. He’s changed the rules. No, he’s changed the game completely. A part of Sam wants to panic about it, to stop it, to freak out about it. But a bigger part of him is just enjoying the moment. Sure, it happened fast, almost too fast to comprehend, but he’s a liar if he says he’s not glad for it.
“Beach?” Sam says, standing up from his bed. “We haven’t been swimming since we got here.”
“Yeah, but how about that private beach? We could have some alone time.” Dean smirks and winks. Sam rolls his eyes on principle but his heart rate picks up.
They’ve only kissed. Sam’s imagined everything else, of course, but thinking and doing are two very different things. Kisses, he feels, are nice and he likes them but they can be forgotten. They can be brushed under the rug. If (when) they come to regret their decision, they can at least appease their guilt by reminding themselves they only ever kissed.
Sam knows it’s an unrealistic idea. Of course Dean will want more. He wants more too. He’s just nervous and uncertain. There’s this unshakable feeling that this will all somehow go wrong. If they take their relationship further, if it gets to be naked and sweaty, there’s no coming back from it. It’s a line they can’t uncross.
“Sure,” Sam says despite himself, “I’ll just go and put my trunks on.”
He walks down the hall, away from Dean. He feels dizzy. He’s been trying his hardest to just let himself enjoy this but every time he thinks too hard about what he and Dean are doing, he gets overwhelmed. It just happened so fast. And it’s amazing. It’s a fucking dream come true. But Sam still doesn’t know what to do with all of it. A few weeks ago, it didn’t matter because it was all just in his head. Now, it’s a reality.
When he walks into his room, he quickly changes into his board shorts, shoving his thoughts aside because he is determined to enjoy today.
He’s walking back toward the living room when he suddenly becomes very conscious of his own body. Dean’s seen him shirtless hundreds of times but now things are different. There are implications here that weren’t there before.
As expected, Dean’s eyes fixate on Sam’s bare chest when the younger boy walks into the room. It’s strange because he’s seen Dean do the same thing to women before, staring at their breasts unashamedly. Sam doesn’t have breasts but he does have a muscled chest which, for Dean, might be just as appealing. The truly weird thing, though, is that there must’ve been a time before now that Dean has looked at him like this. There was a time, somewhere in their recent history, where Dean had looked at him with this raw and guilty lust and Sam had been completely oblivious to it.
It all seems obvious, now. But hindsight is 20/20 so he tries not to overanalyze the fact too much.
Dean peels off his own shirt. He’s had his board shorts on since early this morning because he had washed Bobby’s car. Sam takes him in, briefly. He’s always liked his brother shirtless, not because of his lust for him (even though that’s there too) but because Dean has always been unabashedly confident. Sam doubts his brother even knows what the word “bashful” means. He’s beautiful and he knows it and it’s always impressive but it gets amped up when his clothes come off.
The confidence becomes swagger and it’s as if he’s putting on a show, just pretty enough to be art but not so bawdy that it becomes something embarrassing to witness. It’s a sight to behold. There’s also the fact that Dean has a great body, strong and stocky and soft in all the right places. That Sam now has permission to touch all that skin is deeply unsettling in the best possible way.
“Gonna stare at my ass all day, sasquatch? Or are we gonna swim?”
“I can’t do both?” Sam asks and Dean grins, swaying his hips exaggeratedly as he leaves the house. Sam laughs and is, once again, shocked at how easy this is.
It’s like the flirting is just an extension of their regular banter. Sam’s nervousness from minutes ago dissipates. Whatever happens with Dean will be good, he decides. This is what he’s always wanted. He’s no longer going to question it.
They get in the car, hissing at the feeling of hot leather against their skin as they relax against the seats. Dean has a packed cooler in the back seat and there’s a small brown paper bag that Sam doesn’t have to guess too hard about.
It’s a nice day. The sun is out and the sky is blue and the waves are calm. There are hundreds of people milling around the main beach and the pier is filled with beach goers. The Ferris wheel looks bright and colorful even in the light of day. The air is thick with salt and sweetness from the vendors but they drive away from all that.
As they put distance between them and the main part of the beach, the sounds of people and music die down. They’re left with the quiet roll of the ocean and the low rumble of traffic. Seagulls call loudly overhead as they scavenge for food. When they reach the private beach, most of civilization is a few miles behind them.
Unlike the fourth of July, the small beach is completely empty. It makes sense, Sam thinks. It’s a small place, easy to miss if it isn’t being looked for.
“Looks like we got the place to ourselves, Sammy,” Dean observes, winking lasciviously at Sam. It makes the younger boy blush.
He doesn’t know how to feel about having a whole beach to themselves but he doesn’t get to consider what it might mean too much before Dean grabs his wrist and drags him toward the water.
The first touch of the ocean is bracing against Sam’s skin, but not unpleasant. He lets Dean drag him into the waves, wading in until the water covers their waists. Dean splashes Sam then, causing the younger boy to yelp in a much undignified manner.
“You dick!” Sam yells, laughing and retaliating with his own splash. It devolves into a splash fight which devolves into wrestling and Sam doesn’t notice the chill of the water at all, not with Dean’s hands on him.
Once they’re used to the temperature of the water, they’re unstoppable. They body surf and wrestle and splash until the skin on their fingers and toes is pruned. When they’re both exhausted, they wade back to the shore. The sun is high in the sky when they lay down on their towels, wet and tired but smiling stupidly at each other.
Dean reaches out, then, and his damp fingers brush Sam’s cheek (this is where things change). Dean gets closer and Sam closes his eyes (this is how things are different). When their lips meet, Sam sighs, melting against his brother (this is why things will never be the same). The kiss heats up and Sam feels Dean’s tongue scrape along his lower lip. Sam lets him in, happily reciprocating.
Sam’s only done this a few times with a girl and it’s worlds different with Dean. He feels like he’s flying, adrenaline pounding through his body and everywhere Dean’s hands go, a trail of fire is left behind. It’s overwhelming and Sam thinks he could get light headed from it. The way the air is stolen from his lungs, punched out of his gut, it’s like drowning. Dean pulls away just enough for Sam to breathe but he doesn’t want to breathe, he wants to drown. Dean smiles and Sam smiles back and it’s all surreal and dreamlike and Sam’s afraid that he might wake up from this and find himself in bed (or, worse, in the middle of the forest, pressing your fingers to the blood on your neck. where the wolves almost got you).
Dean kisses him again and, this time, he moves himself over Sam so that he’s blanketing the younger boy’s body with his own. Sam’s heart rate spikes. This is the furthest they’ve ever gone physically and it’s overwhelming, huge. It feels like the pieces being set in their places. It feels like a sealed fate.
It should be a bigger realization than it is but, like everything else, it just seems like something that Sam’s been preparing for all his life. Even as Dean inserts one his thighs between Sam’s legs and even as the kisses and the touches get hotter and more insistent, Sam never once thinks of stopping or pulling away (you were always going to end up here).
They start grinding against each other and the sudden stimulation to his cock makes Sam gasp. Their board shorts are the only things in the way of full skin on skin contact but they can’t stop long enough to change that. Dean knows what he’s doing with his hips as he thrusts against Sam, and the younger man couldn’t ask him to stop if he wanted to.
Sam’s nails drag down his brother’s back and he can’t breathe under all this, under all this heat and lust and affection. They thrust faster against each other, seeking more friction, seeking relief. Their rhythm is sloppy and unpracticed but enough that neither of them feels the need to change position. They’ll finish fine just like this.
And they do. Sam gasps as Dean ruts against him and the friction becomes too much. He clings to Dean and the world goes white behind his eyelids as he comes in his board shorts, spurt after spurt making the inside of his trunks sticky. Dean grunts and sighs and his whole body shudders and Sam knows that he’s come too.
They lay there for a moment, just getting their breaths back, rubbing their hands gently over each other’s skin.
Sam closes his eyes and breathes in, trying to avoid the reality of what just happened His emotions are fluctuating. He wants to just go with this, to be okay with it but every time he allows himself to think, he’s doubting it all again. It’s like an album stuck on repeat but he has no idea how to make it stop. Dean’s happy with this, wants this. By all rights, Sam should be happy too but he just can’t get over his insecurities.
“Was that good, Sammy?” Dean asks and Sam’s never heard this tone of voice before, nervous. But it’s not the nervousness of the last few weeks, it’s tremulous, a near plea: please be okay with this, Sammy.
“Yeah,” Sam says and he means it. It was more than good. It was incredible, mind blowing, beyond any word he can think of in the English language. “It’s just overwhelming.”
Dean snorts but nods in agreement, pulling Sam close to him again. Sam goes willingly, curling into his brother’s broader body. He breathes Dean in, the salty ocean smell mixed with the leather and aftershave. If he could have a candle made of any smell, it’d be this, this sex-ocean-Dean smell that he knows will be imprinted in his memory from this day forward.
“I’m sorry, Sam,” Dean whispers. It’s a sober moment, a moment of self-awareness that’s rare for either brother. Sam knows what he’s sorry for because he’s sorry for the same things.
“Me too, Dean,” he whispers back before closing his eyes and losing himself in the feel of his brother’s arms around him.
The must lay there for hours and when they finally get up, the sun is nearing its setting point. They stay long enough to watch it sink behind the horizon and Sam, in that moment, feels at peace. He leans into Dean who’s sitting next to him and he just wants to always have this. He never wants to be without it again.
“Ready to go, Sammy?” Dean asks once the sky begins to turn colors.
He nods and they stand up to go. Somehow, he realizes in that moment that they won’t ever come back here. He will probably never stand on this beach again. He glances back at the water, feeling nostalgic for it already (what if you let the waves carry you away?). He turns away and doesn’t glance back as they drive home.
When they get back, Sam showers the sticky and sandy mess off of himself. When he comes out of the bathroom, Dean’s laying on his bed, eyes closed, head tilted back. There’s fading sunlight coming through the window that highlights the curve of his brother’s jaw. He’s like some fallen angel, a work of art in the dreary backdrop of their lives. He’s the sun and Sam is suddenly overwhelmed by his love for Dean.
He walks closer and reaches out to trace his fingers over Dean’s ribcage, grazing the tanned skin with his fingertips. Hazy green eyes open and look up at him, filled with a simmering contentment that Sam would give anything and everything to keep there. Dean smiles, slowly, grabbing Sam’s arm and dragging him forward until he’s bent in half, over the bed, mouth hovering over Dean’s.
“Will it always be like this, now?” Sam asks before their lips can meet, because he needs to know. He needs to know this isn’t temporary. Dean’s slow, lazy smile evaporates and his eyes become serious.
“Yeah, if you want it to be,” he answers and Sam hears the question under it all: do you want it to be?”
“I do,” he says back hastily, almost too hastily, “I really do.”
“Good,” Dean chirps, lips curving back up as he takes Sam’s mouth in a kiss.
“You look different,” Kandice says a week later, when they’re standing on the beach before work. They’ve already finished their morning joint and are just killing time now.
“I do?” Sam asks, head tilted to the side. He feels different, lighter somehow, less encumbered by the issues of his life.
Kandice nods but she’s looking at him strangely. There’s a smile on her lips but there’s something in those translucent blue eyes that gives her away. She’s worried for him and he doesn’t know why. He finally has everything he wants (everything?), there’s no reason for her to worry about him at all. She doesn’t say anything else though, just turns her back on the horizon and begins walking toward the pier.
Sam follows her and when they get to the shop, Sam glances at the yellow shirt on display right in front of the shop, the yellow one that stands out among the rest:
“The sea will bring you home: Santa Monica Pier.”
He smiles slightly to himself as he walks into the shop to start his day.
His work day passes in another blur. People come and go and the pier has this calm familiarity to it that Sam can lose himself in. He can feel Kandice’s occasional glances, always curious and searching. He doesn’t know why she’s worried and tries to dodge her most of the day
Even so, when she offers him a joint at the end of the work day, he accepts and they end up smoking on the beach again as the sun sets.
“So what’s got you so happy, Sam?” Kandice asks once she’s lit the joint. She presses it between her plump lips and closes her eyes as she inhales. She opens them again on the exhale and raises an inquisitive eyebrow at Sam.
“Things have…” he wants to say ‘changed’ but that doesn’t quite feel right, “gotten better.”
It’s not a perfect or, even, accurate description of what’s happened but he shrugs and smiles. He’s happy. Why does he need to question it?
“Really?” Kandice responds, sounding dubious.
“Yeah. I mean, some good things have happened. I didn’t think it’d ever be like this but it is and I’m happy.”
“So you’re going to Stanford?”
Sam pauses and closes his eyes, breathing deeply through the sharp pang that goes through his chest.
He’d been trying to forget. He’s tried so hard not to think about it. But why would he give up Dean for Stanford? In what world is that a good trade? He can’t give up Dean, not now. There’s no way he can leave.
“No,” Sam finally says, “I’m staying with my family…i-it’s where I belong.”
Kandice doesn’t say anything for a long time, eyes fixed on the horizon. Sam’s looking out there too (what would it be like to simply float away? how far would you get before you drowned?) and he can’t make sense of the aching pressure that squeezes his heart just then but his stomach drops and he swallows loudly.
“You deserve to be happy, Sam,” Kandice says quietly, almost too quietly for him to hear. The wind almost carries the words away but he hears them. He can’t think of a good response to that because he is happy (liar) and he doesn’t know what she expects. So he shrugs, hands the joint back to her and says goodnight.
He doesn’t look back as he walks away but he can feel her eyes on him the entire time.
He gets home kind of late, having walked slowly most of the way back, but Dean is up waiting for him as is the routine these days. They’ve only been doing this thing for four weeks but Sam feels as if he’s been doing it for years. So when he gets home and Dean drags him to his bedroom, he goes willingly and doesn’t hesitate.
“Eager, are we?” Sam jokes as Dean tackles him down to the bed. They’ve been relentless these last few weeks. Every opportunity they get, they take it. It’s a bit ridiculous but Sam is thankful for it.
The weight of Dean on top of him or beneath him or, really, anywhere within reach makes the weight of his other burdens feel non-existent (he’s the perfect distraction). When Dean’s hands are on him, Sam can’t think of anything but the need for more skin on skin contact. He can’t think of anything but Dean and it’s intoxicating, like a high that he can’t come down from and why would he want to? Things are easier with Dean. He doesn’t have to think.
“You know it,” Dean breathes in response, his lips forming a small smile against Sam’s neck.
They’ve been getting progressively more risqué with their touches and their boundaries. They’ve made it as far as full frontal hand jobs and with each progression, it gets harder to imagine ever stopping this. He feels like they’ll just keep going down this road, that there will be no end in sight and he can’t say he minds the idea of being with Dean forever.
Dean’s kissing him and all his higher brain function cease. They’re tearing at each other’s clothes and Sam is wildly seeking out his brother’s skin. Every minute that he gets to have his hands on Dean’s bare flesh is precious and he doesn’t ever want to let go. Dean is beautiful, all muscle and strength and Sam has no idea how someone as gorgeous as his older brother could ever want him but he’s long since stopped questioning it.
Dean pulls down his boxers and Sam moans quietly before he looks down to take it in. It’s just an erect dick, Sam tells himself. It’s long and thick and pinkish with a purple-y head, and it’s veiny in a “just enough” sort of way. He can’t explain why the sight is so electrifying. He especially can’t explain the sudden, almost knee-jerk, desire to have it in his mouth. He doesn’t even really think of doubting the impulse, just falls to his knees in front of his brother.
“Sammy,” Dean gasps in a shocked whisper. But Sam’s not listening, ears filled with white noise as he slowly licks Dean’s cock, tasting it for the first time.
In the way of blow jobs, Sam’s sure it isn’t anywhere near the best Dean’s ever had. It’s Sam’s first time and all he really knows is to keep his teeth out of the way which is more instinct than anything else. But he loves it. He loves the sloppiness, loves learning his own boundaries and he loves the way Dean falls apart above him. He feels powerful, accomplished in a way he’s not sure he has words for.
He just sucks Dean down further and harder, trying to use his tongue to drive Dean wild. It seems to be working. His brother is a mess, head thrown back, hands braced against the wall behind him. He keeps chanting Sam’s name and growling and moaning. Sam almost wishes he had a recorder, just so that he could keep those sounds forever.
“Fuck,” Dean mutters. He reaches down and grabs Sam gently by the hair, slowly pulling him off. Sam makes a sound of dissent but looks up at his brother. What a picture he must make, swollen lips and flushed cheeks, eyes bright with arousal. “Jesus, Sammy, look at you.”
Sam just wants to get to back to sucking Dean’s cock and finds himself on this wonderfully narrow train of thought where his only prerogative and only concern is to please Dean in any way that he can. It should be jarring to feel this way but Sam’s starting to get that there’s no rules here. There’s no should, only will and Sam will do whatever he needs to keep Dean happy. There is no time limit, no amount of waiting will make what they’re doing any less odious in the eyes of society.
So why wait? (this may be the only chance you get).
There aren’t words for the decision Sam’s just made so he stands up and walks to the bed. He pulls off his boxers then climbs on top of the sheets, laying down on his back and barring himself to Dean. He feels Dean’s gaze on him and can’t fathom what the thoughts behind it might be (does he think you’re beautiful? are you not, still, just his naked little brother?). Dean steps forward slowly and then stops again, eyes flicking around nervously.
“Do you know what you’re asking for, Sam?” Dean asks, voice quiet and timid. It’s only been four weeks, a whirlwind of four weeks that still makes Sam feel breathless when he thinks about it. Maybe he should be more hesitant.
But Dean is standing there, and the room is getting darker, and the air is warm and muggy. He’s still kind of stoned from earlier, and he feels good and lazy and relaxed and they might never get another chance (will he love you, anyway?). And it all feels so temporary.
So fleeting, like he might wake up and find that the wolves have got him and he doesn’t want that. He just wants to feel, for as long as he can, that this is something he can have indefinitely. He can’t explain why it isn’t, but he knows he needs to feel like it is (will it always be like this?). He needs to feel like this can last (no).
“Yes,” Sam answers, trying to sound sure. To his own surprise, his voice is steady and he holds Dean’s gaze.
“Okay,” Dean says, letting out a shaky exhale on the word, “then let me just…grab some things.”
He walks out of the room and Sam waits, feeling odd and exposed laying naked on his own bed. But he doesn’t attempt to cover up. He doesn’t want some under-the-covers rumble that they can forget. He wants to see it, wants to see every inch of Dean’s skin as it comes into contact with his own (you may never get another chance).
Dean comes back, holding a condom and a small bottle that Sam can only assume is lube. He’s never had sex but he knows the logistics of it. Dean comes forward again, tossing the lube and condom on the bed beside Sam. Sam ignores them, ignores the clinical side of what they’re about to do. He doesn’t want to remember the brand of lube they used or the size of the condom. He wants to remember skin and touch and sweat and all the messy things they’ll turn out to be.
And when Dean puts his hands on him, they’re clammy (he is not magnificent). He runs them up and down Sam’s sides, tracing patterns into the skin (he is not a god). His eyes are wide and scared, but still nearly black with arousal (he is human). He gives Sam a tremulous smile, one that wavers when his fingers graze Sam’s erect cock (he is just as broken as you are).
Suddenly, this is real in a way it wasn’t before and Sam becomes desperate. He arches into Dean’s touch which seems to give the older hunter confidence. His hands wander further and further, rubbing against all the private places that Sam has. There is no going back. Dean will never be able to pretend this didn’t happen and Sam will never forget these touches, given as the room slowly gets darker and darker.
They could spend hours on foreplay for all that Sam’s aware. He only feels the burn and stretch and pleasure as Dean’s shaky hands prepare him for the inevitable. He only feels Dean’s body against his, their sweaty skin siding against each other. And when he feels Dean, inside, he closes his eyes and breathes, listening to his brother’s heartbeat mix with the rush of blood in his ears (this is the sound of being put back together).
Together, they move like the ocean. Push and pull, rhythmically until the tide comes to disrupt the flow. Then, they are a hurricane, a mess, a rush, a force of nature that tears down everything in its sight. Sam could spend forever here, resting on the crest of pleasure with Dean above him, saying sweet things.
“So good, Sammy.”
“I love you, Sammy.”
“I’m sorry, Sam.”
The last one, whispered and then the world goes white and the storm abruptly clears and they lose themselves to each other. It could be hours. Sam rides wave after wave and feels Dean shaking apart above him.
In the afterglow, they are destroyed beyond repair. Sam feels raw and open, on display and Dean holds him so tightly, he can hardly breathe. It feels good…and sad…like a goodbye. And he’s not sure why it feels that way.
“I love you, Dean,” he whispers.But Dean is asleep, breathing evenly against Sam’s neck. Sam closes his eyes and turns into his brother’s embrace, holding on for dear life.