Title: Chasing the Equator
Author: liath
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Warnings: incest
Rating: NC-17
Note: Written for the un_love_you comm on Livejournal, for the prompt: You'll do.
Summary: They've traveled a long way, and Sam doesn't remember all of Dean's scars.


He remembers she shook his hand when they first met. His wide palm engulfed her fingers, and that was it.


The scent of her fills his head, always chasing the rest of the world out to the periphery where it dances like heat shimmer. Cinnamon and flour from their kitchen, citrus and ginger from her expensive, organic soaps. He breathes her in, inhales deep until his chest is filled with her, and burns it into memory. Lips chaste against her nape, face buried in her hair, nose against her ear.

He can't sleep without it anymore.


She's so fragile against him. Delicate curves under his touch, the ache of bone beneath just enough skin. He's always afraid he'll break her. Even so many warm months later, when fall has forgotten to arrive again.

"You don't have to be so careful." Her eyes are dark when she says it, pupils blown, and he sees himself in them, small and far away.

"Yeah," he says. I do. He stretches over her, leans down for a kiss and lets his tongue slide gently against hers. She tastes like caramel, like chocolate. Sweets stolen unabashedly from their trick-or-treater cache in the days before Halloween. Rocking back on his knees, he pulls her up with him, draws her close, his hands against the curve of her waist, thumbs pressed into shallow notches between her ribs.

She only smiles when he keeps moving slow, wraps her legs around him tighter and rolls her hips, takes him all in. When she comes, she arches into him, head falling back, and he drags his lips over the hollow of her throat. She pulls him up along with her, and when he falls into the waves of his orgasm, he forgets the beginnings and ends of everything. He thinks that's the way it's supposed to be.

She rests her head on his shoulder, sheets tangled around their legs, tangled around each other. The feel of her fingertips over a faded scar on his collarbone lulls him to sleep.


The flames set her eyes to black. The roar drowns out everything but Dean's voice, everything but Dean's hands pulling, pushing, dragging him out and away. His throat is raw with screams, her name still bursting out of his chest with every breath.

Dean steadies him, lays a hand on the back of his neck and pulls him down until their foreheads touch. Everything melts together, a mess of red and white and yellow, and he can't tell what's fire and what's air. The only thing he's sure of is Dean, dark and solid in front of him, the thrum of his name over and over in the haze.

Sam. Sam. SAM.

He pushes away so hard that he stumbles back into the Impala and crashes to the ground, road grit grinding into one bloodied palm.


"You were happy."

It's been a month, and Dean's standing with his shoulder against the wall, a towel around his waist, damp hair shaken into narrow spikes. The grey northeastern sky makes him seem pale in the shadows beside Sam.

It's not a question, but Sam nods anyway, manages a weak smile. He watches the corner of his brother's mouth quirk under strained eyes. The light sets off a clean-edged line of bright skin on Dean's shoulder, stretching angrily from his collarbone to the side of his arm. Sam doesn't remember that scar, doesn't know how he missed it.

"Where'd you get that?" He reaches out and runs his fingertips over it, the raised flesh smooth beneath them. The old wound looks like it had been deep, and he traces it to the end, stopping just above Dean's chest. The landscape is so familiar, so warm under his touch that the air rushes out of his lungs.

"Nightmare. Nasty one outside Denver."

He knows Dean's lying, but right now he can't bring himself to care. He lays his palm flat over the scar, and his brother's hand covers his.

"No stitches?" Sam pulls his hand away, but Dean's lingers, fingers flexing.

"Not exactly, you know, easy to do on my own. Went through a whole box of butterfly band aids. Took it easy for a while." The laugh Dean gives is short, sharp, and he thumbs the scar before letting his arm drop. He pushes away from the wall, toward Sam.

He's close–too close–and Sam jerks away, bites his cheek.

"Dude, you okay?"

There's no way to answer that, not the way he needs to. He turns back, brow knit. "Yeah. I mean..." He runs a hand through his hair and stares hard at the wall. The wall stares back, blank and final. "I just miss her."


They're bleeding in Ohio, and Dean's hands are frantic, reverent as they kiss. Teeth clash, and all Sam can taste is the blood.

He shoves Dean away, drags the back of his arm across his mouth and staggers out of the store. He never wants to see another mirror again.


It's hours before he says a thing. He weathers Dean's sidelong glances, holds up beneath the feeling of eyes boring into him. His brother's eyes, the eyes he'd just seen staring back at him, empty and vacant. Dead. It doesn't matter that it was the shifter, that Dean had stood over it with a smoking gun and torn his necklace off its body.

He spins the volume knob up until Zepplin's so loud he can't think.

"The hell is up with you?" Dean almost slams the motel room door.

Sam's hands close into fists, nails marking his palms. He turns on Dean, too-tall and suddenly awkward, towering above him.

"Joking about your fucking funeral? Did you see that? Were you paying any attention at all?"

Dean's eyes are wide, shining dark in the yellow incandescent light, the blue burning neon outside. He stares at Sam defiantly, jaw slack with confusion.

"Yeah, look man, I–"

A button pops off when Sam grabs fistfuls of Dean's shirt, and they stumble, stagger until Dean's back slams into the door. There's no air between them, and Sam's sure he's stopped breathing.


"No." When Sam leans in, expression twisting and words tripping past clenched teeth, Dean closes his mouth. "You didn't see what I did."

His brother doesn't say a word, and Sam's eyes dart over his face: eyes, cheekbones, jawline, mouth. Throat tight, breath tearing from his lungs, he pushes hard off Dean and fists both hands in his hair.


"Don't." Sam holds a hand up. "I just need..." To forget what it looks like to lose everything.

Dean steps away from the door, and Sam wants to shy away, to run, to lock himself in a room where no one will ever pound on the door.

"What do you need, Sam?"

Sam glares, eyes sharp, pupils pinpoints, and Dean freezes. "Where did you get that scar?"

Dean ignores him, just holds his hands out, palms up. "Sam. What do you need?"

Sam's eyes crash to the floor. He extends a hand, looking back up from under a drawn brow. He can't meet Dean's gaze.


The keys slide off the table with a shink, and Dean tosses them. The cold metal teeth of one bites into Sam's finger when he catches them, and he grabs his coat from the back of the chair.

His voice is rough, washing over gravel. "I'll be back." The air that sweeps through the door is far too cold for March.


"I can't do this anymore, Dean."

"Do what?"

"This." He sweeps an arm out, wide and open-handed, like Lawrence and Palo Alto are burning behind him.


He counts the scars on Dean's back, slides behind him where he stands by the bathroom sink. It's the closest he's been since Toledo.

"I remember all of these," he says, fingers ghosting over a trio of long lines on Dean's back. Werewolf. He traces a white half moon over his brother's hip bone, brushing forward along his abdomen. Sylph. Leaning in, he presses his mouth against an uneven ellipse of pale skin by the nape of Dean's neck. Harpy.

Dean smells like the best kind of shaving cream.

"Good thing you do." Dean smirks at him in the mirror.

"Almost." He pulls back, lets go of Dean's waist. His brother puts the razor down, water dripping off his fingers. Dean turns and leans back against the sink. His face is unreadable, but Sam can see the muscles at his temples working. His brother runs a hand through his damp hair, droplets flying.

"After you left." Dean hooks his thumbs in the towel around his waist.

"You weren't hunting, were you." Sam steps back until he's against the opposite wall. When Dean shakes his head, he inhales sharply.

"Just a fight. It was an accident."

"Really." Sam crosses his arms, hands tucked into the crooks of his elbows. The mirror is fogging behind Dean, washing away their reflections. He thinks of Ohio and is almost thankful for it.

"Really, Sam." There's a glint in Dean's eyes that Sam knows almost better than he knows himself. He won't push, won't force his hand. It's the truth, just not all of it.


Driving to Lawrence feels too much like driving to Palo Alto.

He spends the trip shaking and pretending to sleep. For the first three hours, she's all he can think about. For the last two it's just Dean.


"That rock salt fucking hurt, bitch." Their taillights are watching Illinois disappear, and Dean's grinning behind the steering wheel, hands tapping in time to something Sam doesn't recognize.

Sam rubs the side of his face and turns an open-mouth stare on Dean. "So did your fist, you jerk." His indignation is only magnified by his wet jeans. The last bag of ice has melted, leaving his shirt and one pant leg soaked, and the swelling is coming back, a slow, steady throb.

"Yeah, well." Dean's still grinning, too wide, too many teeth, so Sam punches him in the arm. His shoulder hits the door when Dean shoves him back. He laughs, short but bright, feels like he's come around half the world. Dean's smile gets bigger.

"It's too fucking hot for April," Sam says, draping his arm out the window and letting the air current guide his hand. His shirtsleeves are rolled up past his elbows, and his hair is sticking to his face, framing it in dark curls. "This is going to bruise like a bitch, you know."

"Exactly." The smug look on Dean's face makes Sam seriously consider killing him.

He huffs and pokes at his cheek, squinting back at his reflection in the side mirror. The grey-gold stretch of farmland looks like an ocean behind them, the copses of trees deserted islands.

"We need some ice cream."

Sam snorts. "No, you need a sugar fix."

They find a mom-and-pop ice cream parlor off the highway, a dusty little shack surrounded by old cars and children's laughter. Sam orders chocolate, and Dean raises his eyebrows. All he can do is shrug. Vanilla reminds him of long, tear and tissue filled nights. And of flames.

When they leave, Sam's got Dean's rocky road dribbling down the back of his shirt, and his chocolate cone has gotten far too up close and personal with the parking lot.


It's not easy to hide the headaches his visions bring, but he manages most of the time. He rides them out, jaw clenching, stomach twisting until he wants to be sick. She starts appearing to him everywhere, paler than he remembers, softer. At night there's only fire.

Dean wakes him when he screams her name in his sleep, warm hand on his chest. After a week, Sam grabs his brother's arm and pulls him onto the bed.

"Fuck, Dean. I don't know how–"

Dean slides in next to him, face to face, and grabs his shoulders. "Hey, Sammy."

It's all he says before Sam slips a hand behind his neck, pulls him close and crushes their lips together. Dean's mouth is hot, yielding, and he licks into it, rakes his teeth over Dean's bottom lip while his fingers dig into his brother's neck.

When Dean puts a hand on the small of his back and pulls him in, the fire flares like a backdraft, and then he's left with only the imprints of Dean against him.


Dean hisses when Sam slides the needle through his skin, tying off the last stitch.

The cuts are deep, intersecting old wounds. Crossroads. Sam traces them carefully while Dean can't argue, fingertips following the pale, healed skin, ghosting alongside the fresh wounds as he checks the thread. It's a map he hasn't seen in far too long.

"We should have gone to the hospital," he says, frowning over the wounds.

Dean scoffs, stretches one arm carefully to test the stitches. " Fucking daevas. They don't fight fair."

"Okay?" Sam looks up at him, pulling the unused thread loose from the needle and packing up the first aid kit.

"Yeah. Thanks."

It takes a month to heal enough to move on. Every day, Sam memorizes all the unfamiliar scars he glimpses when Dean changes, showers, lies shirtless and irritable in overheated summer motel rooms.


Dean hasn't touched him like this in two years. He'd almost forgotten Dean's hands, so much rougher than hers, more demanding, more need, now, must, mine. Sam can't wrap his long fingers around Dean's arms, can't feel his ribs beneath the smooth layer of muscle. His fingers reach, catch, dig into flesh and pull, and Dean crushes their bodies together against the wall.

Sam tastes beer, breathes in leather, earth, after-shave and cheap motel soap. He smells back-roads and shop grease, the years filling him up. He thinks of her, too. Just a little.

Dean's all sharp, thick arcs where she was yielding, angles and bone where she was gentle, small curves. His brother shoves into him, grinds against him. When he tears Sam's shirt over his head, Sam's skin flushes, feverish. It's imperfection spiraling down deep into memory.

There's nothing to wind his fingers through. Dean's hair is rough, almost sharp against Sam's palms. When his brother drags his mouth over his jaw, down along his neck, Sam knows he'll have marks for days. He moans, hooking his fingers into his brother's jeans and sliding them inward, knuckles brushing over Dean's abdomen. The button flicks open, the fly rips down, and Sam grabs the fabric, shoves it down and wraps his hand around Dean's cock.

Dean's mouth disappears from his skin, his forehead falling against Sam's shoulder. Sam feels fingers digging hard into his waist, and he starts fisting Dean's dick, grip tight, strokes slow. Short, guttural sounds escape Dean between hisses of breath, and his brother's hips buck into his hand. Sam flicks his thumb over the head, drags it over the slit and back down, and Dean groans, low and throaty. The sound makes Sam's cock twitch, and his head falls back against the wall.

"Sam." Dean growls his name and pulls away, shoving Sam's hand aside. He works Sam's jeans open, fumbling with the belt buckle before he can shove them down around his thighs. Dean drops to his knees, fingers curled hard into Sam's waist, blunt nails bruising. He stops, rests his forehead against the shallow valley between Sam's abdomen and hip.

"Fuck. Missed..." Dean breathes hot against him, sucks the skin there, and Sam lifts his head, only to have it drop against the wall again.

Sam lets his fingers slide through Dean's hair until his brother takes his dick into his mouth. His hands slam back against the wall, fingers scrabbling uselessly against the drywall.

"Jesus. Dean."

Slipping one hand down to cup Sam's balls, pressing into the sensitive area just behind them, Dean moves forward and takes Sam in far enough to hit the back of his throat. When Dean hums around him, Sam can't bite back the moan it draws out of him. His hips jerk forward, needful, and Dean moves, pulling back until his lips are around the head of Sam's dick. He slides his tongue around, under, and takes Sam in again.

"Fuck." Sam reaches for Dean's shoulders and pushes him back.. He tilts his brother's jaw up, tugging, pulling Dean back up. He takes Dean's mouth, tongue slipping in, sloppy with the click of teeth against teeth, and grabs Dean's ass, forcing them together.

Words get lost somewhere in the kiss, curses and names and things neither will ever admit to. Pure need. Sam breaks away, tries to breathe.

"Here, just–" He spins them, swaps their places. He kisses Dean again, hard against the wall, crushing up against him. Dean gasps, pulls back and turns. He braces his forearms against the wall, looking back over his shoulder, and Sam watches him as he grabs the lube from the dresser beside them. He slicks his fingers, circles them over Dean's hole and pushes two fingers in, dragging a half-bitten curse from him. He slides his fingers in deeper, to his knuckles, leans his hip against his hand and grinds his cock against his brother's ass. His fingers spread, stretching Dean, and he crooks them until–

"Fuck, Sam, just–come on."

Sam's throat catches when he tries to swallow, staring at the expanse of Dean's back. He slips his fingers out, fists himself with more lube. He presses his cock against Dean, inhales sharply and pushes, pressing, sliding in slow. He feels Dean growl more than he hears it.

"You don't have to be so fucking careful, Sam."

Dean's back, his sides, his stomach are all muscle under Sam's hands, solid and steady. He swallows thickly but says, "Yeah," thinks I don't.

He thrusts, sliding into Dean all the way. His brother's head falls forward against his arms and Sam leans over him, kissing along his shoulders, wet and messy and trailed with teeth. He remembers every road they've ever traveled as he traces the faintest of lines that cuts right along the middle of Dean's back. Shifting, bracing, he pulls out nearly all the way, rolls his hips forward, up as he thrusts in again. He fucks into Dean hard, quick, and his brother pushes back against him, making the filthiest sounds every time Sam slides over his prostate. Sam's falling toward the edge, and it is falling.

His hand slides around Dean, and he takes Dean's cock in his hand, stroking with each thrust. He's sure his brother's hip will be littered with bruises from his fingers, but he doesn't care, knows Dean doesn't care. He's breaking apart over his brother, and–

Dean arches, spilling hot over his hand, and he drags Sam down with him. Sam's hips buck when he comes, small movements that push him farther inside Dean and make his brother shudder.

"I got you," Sam says when Dean's knees almost give. Maybe he's not the only one coming apart.

Skin slick with sweat, they slide against each other as they move apart. Their breath fills the air with short gasps, and Sam staggers toward the bed. They both pull up their jeans, not bothering to close them, and Sam falls back onto the mattress, arms spread wide, legs hanging over the edge. Dean collapses next to him, scrubbing his hands over his face.

Sam rests a hand on his stomach, scratches absently and watches the shadows play in the corners of the ceiling as he chases down his breath. The cheap motel bed spread is harsh against him, skin too sensitive, still too fevered. He's a thousand miles away when he hears Dean saying his name, feels Dean's fist connect lightly with his shoulder.


"I said–the scar's from a fight with Dad."

Sam tilts his head up to look at his brother.

Dean sits up on the bed, twists to look at him. He rubs idly at the mark crossing his shoulder. "You. Stanford. That whole... You know."

"Shit." Sam clears his throat, starts to say more, but Dean cants his head, straightens. He nods instead, and that's it.

"You know, just once I'd like to stay in a place that has room service."


The months settle, and they chase the seasons down countless miles of highway. Layer by layer he comes around, traces the imperfections down until they start to clear. He sinks, falls back into an old cadence. The maps get redrawn slowly. He remembers the old and easily learns the new, and when Dean lets him, he spends long moments drawing his fingers over every mark, every line. He sees where things begin, where they reach now.

Once or twice Dean follows the trails of Sam's scars. He only asks once, about the thick, pink line on Sam's wrist from the oven in California.