Title: Bruises
Author: maddykitty
Pairing: Sam/Dean (unrequited)
Warnings: Angst & thoughts of incest.
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 1,427 words
Note: Written for the AWDT, in which the prompt was "Can we go now?" Also written for the hump_day101 community, in which the prompts were angst & "Relinquish control."
Beta'd by: The utterly wonderful, why_me_why_not. Thank you so much, sweets! If any mistakes remain, they are solely my own.
Summary: Dean knew there would be bruises. Pre-series.


Dean knew there would be bruises -- it wouldn't be the first time he and Sam had inflicted them upon each other, but that was the only shred of familiarity remaining. The cause of these marks would be so very different from any of the others.

Sitting across from his brother in the sparsely populated diner, Dean had no doubt that they would both be bruised before the day was over. He could almost taste Sammy's skin in his mouth as he imagined biting down on the pulse-point at the side of his neck -- not quite hard enough to pierce the skin, but just enough to burst a few capillaries -- before running his tongue over the indents made by his teeth. Sam would pant and squirm underneath him, trying to stifle his groans, never wanting to relinquish control but ultimately unable to resist the urge to thrust his hips upwards. Dean had to stop himself from groaning aloud right along with the fantasy versions of him and his brother in his mind.

He couldn't help but watch the way Sam's throat worked as he swallowed the last of his coffee -- Dean's own cup still half-full and long forgotten--picturing a livid bruise that, so far, only existed in daydreams. He knew, without doubt, that this was going to happen, was always going to happen. There was only so long that they could put off the inevitable, denying and ignoring what should be blatantly obvious. It had taken Dean a long time to accept the situation, but now that he had, he really didn't want to wait much longer.

"Fuck." The barely exhaled word broke into Dean's thoughts and, for a second, made him wonder if Sam had read his mind. "I don't know how to say this."

"Say what, Sammy?" Even before he'd finished speaking, Dean started to wince, anticipating Sam's response. And sure enough --

"My name isn't Sammy. God, Dean, how hard is that to remember?"

"Whatever, dude." Dean rolled his eyes. "Stop changing the subject."

Surprisingly, perhaps even worryingly, Sam didn't pursue the argument, instead dropping his gaze to the table and falling silent. Dean had to remember to breathe as he waited for Sam to say whatever he was going to. He had the feeling that it was something important and he was kind of proud of himself for acting so normal, considering his previous thoughts.

"You have to promise not to freak out."

Dean's mouth was suddenly very dry and he was finding it difficult to swallow, much less to respond.


"For Christ's sake, Sam, just tell me," Dean snapped, his nervousness adding more bite to the words than he had intended. Immediately, he regretted his harsh tone as Sam looked at him as though he had kicked his puppy -- never mind that Sam had never owned a puppy. He wanted to apologize but stopped himself just in time, crossing his arms and deciding to wait it out. Eventually Sam began to speak haltingly.

"Well, you know how my grades were sort of good?"

That had to be the understatement of the century, thought Dean, but wisely said nothing, allowing Sam to continue.

"Yeah. So I thought that maybe I might kinda want to go further or something. With school." Again Sam paused, casting his eyes downwards once more and rubbing the back of his neck. He took a few deep breaths, clearly steeling himself for something. Finally, he squared his shoulders and lifted his head, making unwavering eye contact.

"I was offered a scholarship." Sam's voice was strong and clear now. "I'm going to Stanford."

If Dean had a hypothetical puppy of his own, he imagined this is what it would feel like if Sam had bludgeoned it to death with a tire iron. There was an awkward silence, but Sam didn't drop his gaze. He looked at Dean as though challenging him, and Dean wondered how long it would take to stare him out, to make him lower his head once more and start stammering.

But then Dean didn't care. It didn't matter. Sam wanted to go. Sam was going to leave. Sam was going to leave Dean.

Without a word, Dean fished a few bills from his wallet and threw them on the table, intending to walk away. He wasn't prepared to deal with this now, wasn't sure if he ever would be. But before he could retract his hand, Sam's arm shot out, lightning fast, fingers curling over Dean's wrist tightly.

"Say something, dammit." Sam's voice was no longer steady.

"What do you want me to say?" Dean tried for ire, but he was suddenly too weary. And he needed to be somewhere -- anywhere -- that wasn't here.

"I don't know! Just... something. Please."

"You really want to have this conversation here, Sammy?" It was a testament to the seriousness of the situation that Sam didn't even argue the use of the nickname.

Sam didn't answer, just tightened his hold on Dean's wrist in reply. And Dean was reminded, inappropriately, of another of his frequent Sam-based fantasies. He closed his eyes briefly and, in that instant, saw a flash of himself and Sam, tangled together in an anonymous motel bed, Sam moving above him, pinning his wrists to the mattress. Dean opened his eyes and the image was gone as quickly as it had appeared, leaving behind the ever-present ache that he had become accustomed to a long time ago. Only now, he suddenly knew that he had been wrong -- Sam did not feel it, had never felt it. Jesus, how long had he been deluding himself?

Dean attempted to yank his arm out of Sam's hold but Sam didn't let go. There was no way to free himself without causing a scene. And with that thought, Dean realized why Sam had chosen to drop this on him here.

"Oh, Sammy," said Dean with a bitter laugh. "Who knew you were such a coward?"

Sam's fingers flexed against his skin. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Tell me," said Dean, ignoring Sam's question, "have you worked out where you're going to tell dad? Because I really don't think a tiny diner is going to be public enough to stop him from kicking your ass."

It was with a sense of sick satisfaction that Dean watched as Sam's skin paled at the remark, letting him know that he'd scored a direct hit. The pressure on his wrist increased, dangerously close to crushing.

"At least you'll get another opportunity to gloat about what a perfect son you are. You should be pleased."

"Ah, I knew we were still in here for something. It's not a proper breakfast without a helping of your paranoia." Dean forced himself to laugh again, though he wasn't even slightly amused. "Can we go now?"

He didn't notice, straight away, when Sam's grip loosened, only becoming aware of it when he felt the thumb stroking his skin. Dean's breathing hitched, but one look at Sam showed that he was not aware of this action or the effect it was having on his older brother. They made eye contact once more, and the disappointment Dean could see in Sam's eyes was like a blow to the chest.

"I just -- You --" It looked as though it was causing Sam pain to even speak. "You're not even going to try to understand, are you?" It was phrased as a question, but delivered as if merely a simple statement of fact. The resignation in Sam's tone hurt to hear.

"Sammy --" But before he could say anything else, Sam had released him completely and was standing up, looking anywhere but at Dean.

"Don't." He rubbed the back of his neck, once more. "Just... finish your coffee, Dean."

And then Sam was walking away -- away from Dean -- and Dean thought that he should use this opportunity to get used to it.

Time passed, though Dean paid no attention to that or to his surroundings. He didn't know, or care, how long he had been sitting there before finally glancing down at his hands. Without being aware of it, Dean had been rubbing the wrist that his brother had held so forcefully, imagining he could still feel that vice-like grip. But now he was paying attention and could not miss the darkening marks on his skin, clearly in the shape of Sam's fingers.

Fitting his own fingers over the blemishes, Dean smirked self-depreciatingly -- he had known there would be bruises.