Word Count: 2,937
Rating: Hard R
Summary: Pre-series AU. Sam comes out to Dean.
Notes: I really meant to write the next installment in the "ruined for all that follow verse," but that didn't happen. Instead, this was my interpretation of balefully's prompt: Sam/Dean, h/c. I had no idea what I was going to do, although I played with a post-apocolyptic AU where Sam was a monk with a healing pool, and that sort of translated into the bathtub scene. I was also inspired because pocketfullof said she wanted coming-out fic. I don't really think the result is what either of them meant, BUT...
It happened when Dean was barely twenty-two, already hiding a glasses case in his black denim back pocket, and popular around town with the returning college kids and stoner “never-thought-past-their-GED” bums alike. They found his cavalier James Dean attitude, the trick he could do with his lighter that looked like a silvery fish flashing over his knuckles, and his job working at a garage that did custom mods intoxicating. And when it happened, his world rocked.
Sam never bothered to enlighten anyone in their little household. Not that anyone other than Dean would’ve been there to listen. Their mom was six feet under in a pine box with a cheap headstone inscribed with the generic beloved mother and wife—although whether or not this was a true statement and not in fact a fallacy, one could never know. She hadn’t been around long enough to prove it. And their dad was a battered envelope full of ratty bills once a month and no return address. But Sam might have sat him down first, let Dean light up a cigarette and everything so he could just sit and digest.
Instead Sam started Western Summit’s first Gay Straight Alliance, so Dean found out when he arrived home and found the PTA camped out on their lawn, leaning against the rusty and sagging chain link fence like it was invented for the purpose. They said things like, “We respect Sam’s right to express himself, but—” and “it’s only high school, how can he know yet?” or “don’t want him giving anybody any ideas!” And Dean wondered if Sam had started another walk out for Measure 17B or a hunger strike for starving orphans in Darfur.
He was inside their shitty two-bedroom—plastic carpet and peeling linoleum—before he finally realized what GSA stood for. And that was the bitch of it. The surprise was that it wasn’t a surprise at all. But he wasn’t sure what Dad was going to say when he got back from wherever it was he got off to, smelling like wood smoke, slate, and a good heavy dose of dive bar floor. That was going to be a pretty conversation that would surely end in Sam pouring the entire contents of their well-stocked liquor cabinet in the toilet and unrolling all the Marlboro Reds, including Dean’s pack of American Spirits, so that he couldn’t offer Dad one.
When Sam got home that evening, messenger bag slung over one shoulder, and vicious fingerprint-shaped bruises on both his forearms, Dean didn’t have much of an idea of what to say. “So you’re gay then,” was what stupidly rolled out of his mouth over the dinner that Sam prepared of Kraft Mac N Cheese and broccoli.
Sam colored, high cheekbones lighting up like a beacon, and then sighed. “Yup.”
“Let me tell Sarge, okay?” Dean said spearing overcooked broccoli on the tines of his fork.
“Better yet, don’t tell him at all,” Sam replied, shaking his head. Dean looked at Sam, his sharp brows and "long for a Winchester" curls, and shrugged. Perhaps for the best, he would hardly notice anyway.
“So like, you’re still gay even though you know where they have to stick it?” Dean asked, cigarette lisping out of his mouth. He’d sprawled out over the couch, watching Law and Order reruns, while Sam did his physics homework.
“Dean, you fucked girls up the ass, and you have Anal Hell 1 through 5 on the computer,” Sam pointed out, voice meticulously modulated just like the diagrams and strands of math on his paper.
“I dunno man, it’s different.”
“What, that men have a prostate gland so they can actually enjoy it?” He looked up. “It’s a—”
“I know what a prostate is, assface!”
And Sam shrugged. Dean was lucky, he was sure he was going to get a lecture on power dynamics and penetrative sex. He’d already gotten the one about misogyny and feminine pronouns.
He was out at a bar on Friday when Joe College walked up and breathed beer fumes all over him, asking, “Hey Winchester, whatrya gonna do about yr fag of a brother?” And Dean wasn’t sure how he’d gone from idling at zero to a fully charged sixty, because he’d been laughingly calling Sam that all week, but something about it had him burying his fist into the asshole’s face, so enraged that when he finally realized what exactly was happening to him, he was standing over the writhing idiot, bar stool clenched in one hand. The rickety old place had veritably exploded and his friends were gladly using it as an excuse to break some teeth in.
Dean’s collarbone burned, and he had the vague memory of taking a pool cue across it before kicking some jerk’s kneecap out. He threw the chair aside, scrambled through the melee, and didn’t even realize until he tried to light up that his fingertips weren’t quite responding to his command.
By the time he got home—concentrating so hard on the road and not crashing the beautiful blue firebird he’d built from the ground up that when he got to the contested exit at Farm Hill Boulevard he nearly plowed right into the topiary at the side of the street—he’d sort of realized he was a little worse off than he’d originally ascertained.
Blood was running freely down the side of his face and dripping to the floor right all over the stains their Dad had left after he’d returned all busted up from Washington state, insisting they couldn’t go to the hospital—not safe, too many dead, too many demons—and making Sam stitch him in the flickering neon lighting of the bathroom while Dean hovered ready to hand over the bottle of spiced rum.
Their dad’s brain was cooked on liquor and his delusions—a late presentation of PTSd and acute paranoia their Auntie had said when John had still trusted his sister enough to watch his kids. There’d been a time when he’d tried to get help, gone to see a therapist, had a few stays at a clinic. But soon even the doctors were possessed, trying to tamp down Sarge’s light. It was a ghoul and ghostie beneath everybody’s thin skin and salt on all the window sills. It was waking his kids up at the ass crack of dawn to run PT and entire arsenal of illegally purchased shotguns. And all that was preferable to his nostalgic moods, when he could go on about how good Mary was, the real mother of god, blonde and sweet, and the rages that followed.
“Jesus, Dean.” Sam slid off the couch, box of wheat thins and a peach Snapple nearly upended in his haste. “What’d you do to yourself?”
He wasn’t sure what he told Sam, the words were a little hard to string together. But somehow he got Dean’s pants and jacket off of him, and then manhandled him into the tub, not even bothering to remove his shirt or boxers. The black fabric emanated a cloud of red in the water, and Dean was pretty sure most of it wasn’t even his.
“We should get you to the emergency room, I think either your scaphoid or your trapezium is broken.” Sam leaned up against the side of the tub, scrubbing gently at his face with a warm wash cloth.
“You got x-ray vision?” Dean leaned into the touch.
Sam snorted. “No, Dean, it’s the same set of bones you broke in that dirt bike accident, swelling looks the same.”
Sam dug up the black brace he’d worn after the cast had come off after Dean yelped so hard he nearly broke the windows in the place when he tried to use his right hand to push himself out of the tub.
“You’re such a loser,” Sam said, but his hands were gentle and he helped Dean get out of his wet clothes into dry ones.
Dean blinked, he felt like a bit of the alcohol-and-pain haze was wearing off. “Not really, did it to protect your good name.”
“That just makes you more of a loser.” Sam shoved him on the bed and returned with a chipped tea-cup full of water. His cheeks were flamed up again. “We haven’t got a good name.”
Dean sighed and lay back on his bed. He still had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheet set from when he was eight. Couldn’t be bothered to change it, didn’t bring girls back here anyway.
There was a lot to be bitter about. Missed parent teacher conferences, not enough in the fridge but spoiled milk, shoes that didn’t quite fit, and no money for field trips. And yet, Dean didn’t store the bile up half as well as Sam could. “Just didn’t want anybody thinking it was okay to talk about you that way,” he blew out a breath, “okay, Sam?”
Sam looked down at him, his gaze a little heavier than Dean could bear. “You know, I expected hell from you.”
Sam made a noise in his throat. “Lots of reasons, you’re you, Dean—painfully hetero and kind of a jackass to boot.”
Dean shifted, his fingertips throbbed with heat and pain. “Where is the love, man?” Sam wasn’t paying attention, he was going on about Percocet left over from the last time, and was it somewhere in the medicine cabinet. It was all a little murky. Dean fell asleep with his bedroom light on low and Sam standing watch over him, like a put upon and yet still wryly affectionate saint.
Dean was seeing two different girls. Cassie, who had dreams of journalism school and becoming Barbara Walters, and who was up for it anywhere any time, but especially after hours in the garage, and Lacey, who might’ve been the one girl who was actually out of his league, but was bored enough to settle. They both had things to say on Sam’s new found homosexuality.
Cassie pointed out after a pretty vigorous fuck session in the outdoor shower at the back of her place that she and Sam could totally have a conversation about boys now, and wasn’t that weird. Dean had blown out a lungful of smoke and refrained from commenting, because Sam and Cassie couldn’t have a conversation about anything. Their entire world views were two unmatching schema and Sam derisively called Cassie a fascist but equally insipid Lois Lane. She, in mild comparison, found Sam pretentious.
And Lacey had said offhand after he’d finished tonguing her hairless cunt, “So your baby boy might be pretty kinky,” like it was a proposition. Dean had been out of there so fast, he nearly had an accident with his zipper.
But it wasn’t just them. It seemed that everybody was interested in the new gay accessory. Girls who’d hung around Sam for Dean, were hanging around Dean for Sam. Dean’s friends thought it was hilarious, he heard about it all hours on shift, on his lunch break, at the bar. When they weren’t speculating over who Sam would couple up with—that waif-like drama geek, Andy Jenkinson’s weird older brother, the math teacher the PTA was always trying to fire.
Sam completely, perversely, Dean thought, resisted his new found popularity.
He acted like a boy. Like a straight boy. He still played striker on the soccer team, dressed like a hippie skater dude, and played Call of Duty with his friends.
“Everybody should be gay, they’d get so much pussy that way.” Dean laughed over another hastily prepared dinner of green beans and rice. Dean was still eating with his left hand, thumb of his right completely immobilized by the brace.
Sam glared at him. “Yeah, but they wouldn’t enjoy it.” The same morose expression took over his face as the one he wore when Bush won in 2000 and Dean kept Sam at home to make sure he wouldn’t kill himself in the school bathroom.
“What? No dick for you?” Dean asked, taking a big gulp of beer and nearly spitting it out again at the hilarious expression that took over Sam’s face.
“Let’s not talk about it, ever,” Sam said, face still screwed up. He wiped the rice that Dean had scattered as he ate clumsily off the table and stood to drop it in the trash. Dean looked at Sam’s slumped shoulders, and too baggy jeans, and wondered what it was Lacey was imagining beneath the shell of Sam that Dean knew so well. He nearly considered braining himself in another bar fight when he realized exactly what he was thinking.
Dean came home early, blew off both Cassie and Lacey, and found Sam standing over the washing machines in the plaid of his boxer shorts. They’d been on their last few pairs of socks for awhile, because both of them detested doing the laundry. Sam had caved to cleanliness at last.
“Can I wash your brace for you?” Sam asked, looking back over one bare shoulder. “That thing has got to smell pretty bad what with you wearing it all the time and working in the garage.”
Dean peeled the Velcro back and chucked it at him, holding his wrist up to his chest. “I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
“Hmm?” Sam shot him another look.
“I don’t know, I guess I thought you being gay would be a bigger deal to me after all.”
Sam laughed and Dean saw it, saw what had put that spark in Lacey’s eye. He nearly tripped on the carpeting getting out of the room after that.
Dean woke up with Sam’s nervous face floating above him. “Huh? What?”
“You were having a nightmare.”
Dean blinked a few times and yawned. Nightmares were cause for some concern in the house. Sarge occasionally got dangerous, running around in his underwear, writing symbols on the wall. He hadn’t been home in awhile, but the envelope had arrived on time, so he was probably all right. When he’d last left, he was going to see his old platoon buddy, Bobby. He wondered what the other man made of Sarge, or if his father’s brand of insanity was the only thing that made sense after Viet Cong tunnels and pungi sticks and trip wires.
“Dean,” Sam reiterated, hand on Dean’s bicep, careful of his wrist, because they hadn’t yet fished the brace out of the washing.
“I’m all right,” Dean took a deep breath, he was covered in cold sweat but he couldn’t even remember why.
Sam got the same look of relief on his face that he had after the computer lost power but had remembered to back up his unsaved eight page English essay. And Dean had no clue where the thought that kissing Sam would swallow that relief up, because he could honestly say, he’d never looked at another boy, and had been really mildly disgusted with the thought. But he did it anyway, leaning up to brush their mouths together.
He was sure Sam would run out of the room, expression of horror on his face, and that was certainly one way to get rid of that expression of damning relief. But Sam rocked his world a little and leaned into it, and there clearly was dick for Sam somewhere because he didn’t kiss like an amateur. He sucked on Dean’s lower lip and brought one spindly fingered palm up to Dean’s face.
Dean yelped when Sam’s weight landed right on his wrist, but Sam adjusted his position, and continued right at it, slowly sweeping into Dean’s mouth with his tongue, fingers flexing and tightening on his upper arm. Dean moaned and shifted when Sam’s hand snuck into his sweat pants, fisting the hardness already there.
It had been awhile, he’d stopped going to see Cassie or Lacey some time ago, and he could never quite get the hang of jerking off with his left. Sam kissed him and tugged on his dick at the same time, like this was the perfect cure for nightmares. If perhaps, one overlooked the nightmare of what they were getting themselves into. But it felt too good, even if God only knew Sam’s motivations, and Dean felt like it was the only way he knew how to connect with his little brother any more, since he seemed determine to wayfare ever farther away.
When Dean came, Sam had two fingers braceleted loosely around Dean’s bad wrist. The barest bite of pain tingeing his all-too-quick orgasm. He breathed deep, offering with a crude gesture to reciprocate, but Sam rolled his eyes and shoved him over in the tiny bed, content to just fall asleep.
Their Dad came back a few days later, lumbering through the doorway, drugged up and dirty, smelling a bit like stale urine—another brush with the law perhaps. It ended whatever tenuous bridge Dean and Sam had built between them. Everything was back to normal. Sarge dozed for hours on the couch, bottle lined up on the end table, and they did their best to make their lives work around him.
Eventually Sam left, taking his political causes and his G of the SA with him. Everybody seemed to forget all about him, and Dean was back to being one of the go-to-guys, a man with a devilish smile, and a lighter trick that got audiences every time. Dean found himself wondering if madness was catching, maybe Sam had never existed at all—he was a figment, a specter, one so nebulous that it hardly mattered how they’d crossed the line.
Sam hadn’t left anything but the slight twinge in Dean’s wrist behind.
Let me tell you about the adventure I had with this fic. So I have a new laptop with cruddy windows vista on it. And I'm still using the trial copy of office because my mother insists she wants to get Office Professional for the both of us, so I'm waiting around for her to do that, and you know, the mood strikes to write.
Now I could do it on the old lap top, only the keyboard on that doesn't work, so it kinda sucks to have to sit with a laptop AND a keyboard in your lap. So I thought, well, you know, I'M AWESOME, so this trial copy will work for me. Well, lo' and behold just as I get ready to copy and paste into this box, it freezes. So I restart the system and pray to baby jesus and all the little angels that I don't believe in that autorecover works.
Well, autorecover doesn't work. Now I'm crying, because I just wrote 3000 words of fic, and I LOST it because my computer is a tard. But I'm telling myself, there is no way there is no temporary copy of this on the system. I refuse to believe it. Well, I was right, obvi, you're reading the story right now, but I...er...might have played a little fast and loose with my OS to get where I am now. Needless to say, Word, you are my bitch. Although you get points for making me want to destroy my brand new laptop and return to the pre-historic state of my ancestors