Title: Try Me
By: rainbowmind
Pairings: Sam/Dean
Rating: NC-17
Author's Notes: Minute, teeny spoiler for "Bugs" otherwise all original. I'm glad to get this out too because I was starting to lose patience with it. Plus my morale is low. Reading other works does strange things to me sometimes. Anyway, hope you enjoy all the same.
Summary: Sam bleeds into every area of Dean's life and he can't stop it. More intriguingly, he doesn't know whether he wants to.

***

Walking into the small town bar with its wonky red neon sign out front, the claustrophobic fog of tobacco smoke hit Sam chokingly in the face.

A student at Stanford who happened to be of British heritage once compared such a moment to what it must be like to walk through the smog filled doors of a particular contestant-wannabe-popstar TV talent show named Stars In Their Eyes. Sam, with the clear cultural difference, had looked perplexed back then, but nevertheless her comment had still just rung through his mind at this juncture in time.

Whilst Dean got swallowed up by the throng of customers around the bar, Sam automatically scanned his surroundings for a cosy booth to slump into. He tried to keep a watchful eye on his brother as he sat down, (you never knew when a rescue attempt or help might be needed) but the thick wisps of greyness made tracking someone's movement that little more difficult. After a few minutes, he gave up and pulled his knees up towards his chest, sneakers squeaking and grazing against the faux leather upholstery of the seating.

This was just like any other night these days. Drinking and picking up women were Dean's main activities of relaxation. Sam had become his shadow out of necessity rather than want. Although he knew his brother would never completely let his guard down around anyone or take his eye off the ball for even just a nano-second, Sam felt better in himself if he was able to see Dean, watch what he was doing, as much as possible. When the twenty six year old, physically gifted in all ways got lucky good and proper, obviously his younger sibling had to bite his tongue and just let him go. After all, he did trust Dean. He just didn't trust anyone else.

Sam's dark eyes momentarily grew wide. Oh God, he was turning into Dean more than he cared to confess. All the long days and even longer nights spent with him were starting to take their toll and Sam's first reaction was to detest such a notion. Rational thought wasn't far behind and he concluded a little shakily that perhaps being more like his brother, learning more and more from him as each day passed, wasn't such a bad thing in the end.

"Jeez, that was like breaking into Fort Knox" Dean's raised voice made its way into Sam's ears after he'd deciphered the syllables from the loud music that accompanied the frenzied chatter inside this too small building.

He glanced up for a second when a bottle was placed on the sticky table in front of him and another one settled opposite. Then his eyes filled with Dean, smiling slightly back at him as he took his seat.

Studying his brother for a critical minute or two, Dean eventually rolled his hazel eyes and loosely picked up the bottle that stood in front of him.

"Chin up, sweetie" he teased with easy effort "Life can't be that bad. Actually I know life isn't that bad"

"Yeah, life's just fan-bloody-tastic" Sam muttered under his breath, as he stared down at his kneecaps.

He always got like this. Sam knew it and Dean knew it too. Like he'd acknowledged before, Sam was just there because Dean had dragged him along. He was just a spare part; a third wheel...or at least it felt that way.

Out from beneath his fringe, Sam sat stock still but his eyes flickered up to observe his brother. Dean was already gazing around the place, checking out the pool table in the corner, the people gathered there, the girls dotted at points throughout the place like a constellation of very fine looking stars...

Sam left him to it, didn't say a word. He knew how the show went. Any minute now...

"You're no fun" Dean told him accusingly and then he was up on his feet and ambling anywhere, just getting away from his sullen brother.

Sam relaxed bodily and mentally. His feet touched the ground again and his knees weren't far off from hitting the underside of the scratched, worn table.

In recent days, maybe weeks, he'd slowly become more introverted and shrouded by his own thoughts. Sometimes he thought aimlessly, other times he delved into specific topics. Those topics never changed. If he wasn't in an absent minded mood, which often resulted in him doodling on scraps of paper too, then he was criticising himself. About the dreams, visions, he'd had before Jess's death, about his rocky relationship with his father that Dean didn't wholly understand, and recently about his brother himself. Not just concerning the deeper issues between them - because Sam could be as superficial as the next person "” no, but also alien, uninvited notions of how super-quick Dean's reflexes were amidst battling the forces of evil, how he harnessed this undeniable, overwhelming charm that pushed the buttons of most of the females they came across, then down to, and more worryingly for Sam, how his clothes fitted him and how his muscles moved beneath expanses of honey skin.

Yes, it was worrying alright. And the best way, he'd devised, to make such thoughts vanish completely was...to pretend that they didn't exist in the first place. Sullen and brooding worked for him as it was only now an extension, an embellishment of those traits in his personality. Dean was only oblivious to one thing. His brother. Repressed emotions of his own meant that recognising them in someone else, no matter how close he was to them, proved difficult. Dean hadn't noticed the change in Sam at all because it was so subtle. And anyway, he had bigger fish to fry. Like hustling pool and inflicting his good looks on a female in every state.

Dean cared about Sam; loved Sam with everything he possessed inside of himself, but that didn't mean he paid attention all the time. That was impossible to achieve, however skilled a hunter you were.

~*~

As Dean hovered by the pool table and pretended to just be a casual spectator to the goings on, his eyes couldn't resist throwing glances towards his brother. Every time he looked over at that dimly lit, fog impaired booth, he was reminded of the miniscule change in Sam that had happened over recent days, possibly weeks.

At first, it was just a case of him making a wisecrack that Sam was suffering from a major bout of PMT, but when those types of jokes continually fell flat, Dean knew there was something more.

Even if Sam was angry with him, Dean knew how to get through to him. He knew how to raise a smile, even just a hint of one, because Sam was open. He couldn't help it. The break into normality that he'd had at Stanford had strengthened that mindset. Dean didn't know whether to admire him, envy him or think he was completely nuts. If a hunter was open, honest, then it could lead to allsorts of trouble and yet...Dean wondered with a distant longing whether if he was more like Sam then he'd find things easier to deal with.

Sure, putting a bullet through a demon's skull didn't cause him to bat an eyelid but when it came to talking and expressing, especially emotions and feelings...he was at a loss.

Dean's eyes found their way back to Sam. His younger brother seemed more relaxed now and he slightly took offence. All he wanted to do was have fun. With his brother. But whenever they came to the satisfying end of a hunt, all Sam ludicrously wanted to do was analyse. He would watch Dean as they drove back in the Impala to the motel they'd checked into, all the while Dean feeling increasingly uncomfortable and knowing that Sam wanted to talk.

He had to admit that these nights out, on the same nights they'd kicked some supernatural ass (if they weren't too beat up), were kind of a diversion, a distraction for Dean in that he could let his hair down, have a good time and also successfully prevent Sam from wanting to get deep.

With adrenaline pumping through his veins, the last thing he wanted to ever do was sit down and talk about what was on his mind or listen to what was on his brother's. Christ, Sammy's head was probably overflowing with agonising thoughts and it was safer just to not go there. The post-hunt rush shouldn't be wasted as far as Dean was concerned by doing something as mad as that and ending up falling asleep from the tedium of it all.

Sam would probably hate him for even trying to do that so that is why Dean's method was best. No talk, no boredom sleep, everything stayed the same. Physically moving from one place to another he could do, emotionally and mentally sorting things out he could not. Maybe he never would.

"Hey punk! Stop staring at my girl!"

Blinking out of his reverie, Dean glanced up at the face of an irritated looking biker with incredibly hairy and tattooed arms. Standing next to him, with her beau's cue in her manicured hand, was a six foot tall leggy blonde. What the hell did she see in the big lump that was now staring Dean in the face?! Money? Probably.

"If you wanna hit on women "” single women "” then there's usually plenty of them hanging around the pool tables in the back" the biker ground out threateningly, nearly nose to nose with the hunter.

Without commenting, Dean moved away. With Sammy the way he was tonight, there was no guarantee that he'd come to his brother's rescue if he was locked eyes with danger. So, not wanting a bloody nose for once, as the consequence from one of his snarky remarks, he did the sensible thing and fled. Dean? Sensible? If only Sam knew. He could be level headed and not guns blazing sometimes. If only Sam knew and had seen, indeed.

~*~

Sam blinked in surprise as he watched his brother, his smartass, cocky, snarky brother, walk away from a potential scene. Sometimes, he'd get into a scuffle with some hot headed idiot (maybe he recognised himself in the other person and wanted to beat him to a pulp because of it...) and still shockingly somehow end up with the girl. She'd miraculously realise that her current squeeze wasn't right for her after Dean flashed her a knee weakening grin and suggestively winked.

Yeah alright, Sam burned green with envy. Everything was always so damn easy for Dean. The hunting, the pleasing their father, the getting the girl...everything. Sam had tolled his fair share of mistakes under pressure, like aforementioned the only thing tying him and his father together was blood and vague threads of deep seated understanding and the only girl he'd shined for completely and got back the interested glow in return was Jess.

A voice at the back of his mind told him to stop beating himself up. The voice sounded close to his ear and he flinched. He glanced up and saw Dean straighten to his full height. He grinned slowly at him.

"I thought you'd gone to do what you do" Sam told him, picking up his half empty beer bottle and immediately putting it down again.

"I had. And I will" Dean replied evenly before adding, "Come on, shift your ass"

"What?"

Sam hadn't meant the word to tumble out sounding so sharp. He was just bewildered at his brother's request that's all. When Sam was in full flow brooding mode Dean usually just left him be until the issues he'd been thinking about were temporarily put to bed. Dean knew his brother could be fun when he wanted to be. Well, he was tired of waiting around for it to happen. Tonight he was gonna make him have fun, if that's what it took. He had power too. He knew how infectious, how contagious he was and being Sam's brother he knew exactly how to get under his skin, in good and bad ways.

Dean's fingertips encircled the middle of the bottle in front of Sam and he made him take it as he repeated himself,

"I said. Shift. Your. Ass"

Sam stood up with a frown wrinkling his forehead then his expression darkened. The last thing he wanted to do was have Dean throw him towards an eager female. Meaningless fumbles in the dark with a complete stranger weren't going to fix anything.

"Dean" Sam called for his attention, squeezing through people when he realised that his brother was already ahead of him "Where are we going?"

Dean pointed a finger in the air and Sam followed the digit with his eyes. When they got out of the crushing, warm crowd, they both let out a breath. Dean smiled over his shoulder at Sam then pushed open the door to their right. Sam numbly went after him and stopped when he saw a row of pool tables. Oh well, at least he could still see Dean in here. With more clarity actually.

"I'll, uh, just be over here" Sam muttered to no one in particular, not expecting anyone to hear him, as he gestured towards a tiny table in the corner.

The actual lighting in the room was ineffective but the individual lamps over every pool table meant that if nothing else the coloured balls were visible.

Sam felt a tingle run through him as Dean unexpectedly grasped onto his nearest wrist.

"Oh no you don't" he heard Dean say as he tugged him forward, "You're coming with me"

He wanted to protest but then he caught his brother's gaze and all words escaped him. The left side of Dean's face was bathed in the light from the pool table lamps; the right was residing in shadow. However, his eyes glittered. He'd seen that playful look before. It was mostly reserved for conquests of the female kind but absurdly Sam noticed that he didn't mind. Maybe it was because the expression on Dean's face seemed slightly less guarded than usual. Maybe Sam wouldn't be able to talk to him about anything right now but at least he could open himself up to letting Dean help him enjoy himself.

They halted at a pool table at the end. Whilst Dean fished out necessary coins from his pocket, Sam unhooked two cues then took a look around. About three out of six tables, including theirs, were occupied, and were at the opposite far end of the room. At least if Sam struck up a conversation with his brother, purely one of banter, then he wouldn't have to worry about eavesdropping, neighbouring pool players.

"Come and get me, Sammy" he heard Dean suddenly challenge him above the clank of the released pool balls.

The moment, Dean's words, was akin to the time back in Oklahoma when he had pretended, without a prior warning, that they were a couple. The gentle pat on the butt that Sam had received had shocked him, jolted him, but now it was almost as if his mind was conjuring up the memory of that time because he could feel his brother's touch there again, although at the time it had barely happened.

"Sammy" Dean walked over to him and waved his hand condescendingly in front of Sam's face "Hey. Sam. Snap out of it"

Sam swallowed hard, embarrassed by his staring, and straightened his spine, pushing his chest out a little further as a result.

"OK!" Dean grinned "Now I'm gonna whoop your ass"

"You wish" Sam blurted out, not missing a beat.

Dean cocked his eyebrow, smirked and went to grab the small cube of blue chalk. Sam stood with his cue in his hand and watched as Dean applied the fine dust to the tip of his own cue, always with a ghost of a smile on his face. He tossed the cube to his brother and Sam just about caught it in his hand.

"Get ready to fall, Sam" he taunted as Sam slowly added the chalk to his cue "cos you're going down"

Sam watched his fingers momentarily turn blue. Were his hands shaking? Maybe he was just being clumsy...

"Only if I can take you with me" he whispered, hoping it would sound just as teasing but it moved into the atmosphere sounding less like a friendly threat and more like a promise.

What the hell was wrong with him? It was as if his brain wasn't engaging fast enough with his mouth to stop himself from talking. Maybe Dean was right. Maybe sometimes talking was just too much. Damn him thinking about Oklahomo-oops-a.

"Is that a threat?" Dean asked casually before his eyes crinkled prettily and he smiled again "or a promise? "˜Cos it certainly sounds like it's the latter to me"

Things were worst than he thought. The weeks of silent, thought provoking torture were starting to take charge of his body and mind. But no, he couldn't take any risks. It was too difficult, too wrong, too frightening.

He cleared his throat, "Whatever. Less talking, more playing"

"Ooh fighting talk from college boy!"

And so the game began. Dean took the chance to break the triangle of red and yellow spheres. When the white ball knocked against them, they spread out across the whole of the table like brightly coloured pixie dust.

Once they were into their flow, Sam thought of something to say.

"So why did you walk away from that biker dude earlier?"

~*~

Sam's long, lean frame hovered over the pool table, cue in hand. He had picked his shot and Dean thought he would just take it when he spoke instead.

"So why did you walk away from that biker dude earlier?"

He momentarily looked over his shoulder at his brother then returned his dark gaze to the task at hand. Dean had hardly ever seen Sam look teasingly at anything. Wait, he had to rephrase that. Dean had never seen Sam look teasingly at anything. Not even a cereal box, although why he would do that he didn't know and the more he gave thought to it, the more it weirded him out.

However, Sam had thrown a teasing glance over his shoulder just then. At his brother. At Dean. Whilst he was positioned in front of, draped over, a pool table, goddammit. He didn't even realise until that moment that Sam even knew how to look or be teasing. Well, who was the naïve one now?

"Why?" he responded, hurling a piece of the question back rhetorically just so he got himself back into the conversation "I just felt like being sensible"

Sam snorted with laughter and, abandoning his second attempt at potting a ball, turned a disbelieving expression onto his brother.

"I can do sensible" Dean maintained, adamant and confident as always "You haven't got a monopoly on it, y'know"

Although they both knew that neither of them practiced the true meaning of the word. If they did, they wouldn't be out all the time, trawling every state to reek revenge on all things evil. They just used and understood the term as Sam's reluctance to be a twin of his brother in the relaxation department. He favoured a good book or his laptop or just...something interesting, something to stimulate his mind. Dean preferred a whole different kind of stimulation that had nothing to do with his mind.

"Its just unusual for you, man, that's all"

"I can be unusual too" he chimed and chuckled, as Sam good-naturedly rolled his eyes "Ah, really" he amended after a beat of silence "it just wasn't worth it" "˜Cos you're all that's been occupying my mind all night.

"Well maybe it's a new skill you've learnt. Now you know the power of rising above it all"

Dean mockingly huffed and puffed but sat back on his heels and inwardly sighed with contentment. Really, being like this with Sammy, having this banter between them, felt just like old times. Childhood times when they were allowed rare respite from their daily focus and more recent times when they were on the road with nothing to do except marvel at the genius sounds of rock (well him, anyway) and pick derisive holes in each other.

Dean suddenly felt a hand brush over the broad expanse of his shoulder and give him shivers. His gaze followed a petite redhead as she headed for the door that was next to his and Sam's table. Her emerald eyes bore into him before she disappeared out of sight.

Tonight, in that department, just didn't feel right somehow. He didn't feel right. Normally, he would have made a quick joke to Sam then dashed after the female without a second thought to work his charms on her some more. He needn't have tried to do that because they always seem to fall at his feet anyway. Unless they had something about them that was worth going after then sometimes he did admit to himself that the constant fawning tended to get a little old.

His heart gave a dip when he noticed that the redhead had momentarily captured Sam's attention too. It made Dean nearly lose his balance, not from the action itself but from the thought behind.

Heart sinking only happened in times of negativity, sorrow or...longing. He wasn't feeling pissed at anything or anyone, he certainly wasn't sad so...no. No. It was ludicrous to even entertain that in the slightest! How could he even infect his mind with such a possibility? "˜Possibility'?! Like hell it was gonna happen! God, what was wrong with him all of a sudden?!

"Dean?" Sam penetrated his worrying train wreck of thoughts "Are you okay?"

"Yep" he grinned all too rapidly, lying through his teeth "Just thinking. Tactics"

He wiggled his eyebrows and made Sam laugh. White teeth, luscious lips, carefree sounding laughter...that belonged to his brother.

Putting himself rigidly back in check, Dean studied Sam as a thoughtful frown creased his face. He stood up properly then chose to lean his weight on his back leg and gnaw at his thumbnail.

"Problem?"

"Just thinking" Sam countered and Dean could've sworn he saw mischief sparkling in his younger sibling's eyes.

~*~

OK, that was the last straw. Sam had seen how Dean's eyes had predictably followed a slender female with vibrant red hair as she walked past. His gaze had fixed onto her too, just out of pure unadulterated resentment. How could she do that, how could any female do that? All you had to be was gifted in beauty and Dean was as good as hooked. Sucker for a pretty face.

It disturbed Sam by how much such an observation riled him. It never had before. Although lately hadn't been an ordinary time, even by Winchester standards. He'd thought too much, not talked enough and given up on suggesting Dean do the same. Why did he always push him anyway? Maybe because he was so hard to read. Getting under Dean's skin would be a major achievement in anyone's book and that did include him too. Not that it was gonna happen. Willing someone to change is wrong. They have to make the decision for themselves.

He loved his brother like no other, flaws and all. No one could do that except him. Maybe their father could at a stretch but he wasn't around often enough for Sam to come to that conclusion and be sure about it.

As he waited for Dean to take his turn (he seemed to be making him wait), Sam let out a sigh that sounded really very forlorn. Dean looked up.

"Boring you, am I?"

The question was typical Dean but something was missing from his usual tone. He actually sounded off-kilter. Perhaps he was just waiting for a response so he could make another wisecrack. Knowing his brother like he did, that was a safe bet.

"You're taking too long," Sam chided, this time filling a sigh with feigned exasperation "Hitting a goddamn ball isn't rocket science, Dean"

Sam blinked. He sounded frustrated, alright. Maybe Dean was right. Maybe he needed to get laid. Tonight?

"Hey, pool doesn't require brooding. And don't you think I know that?" Dean shot back, still his usual challenging, smug self.

God, Sam hated him. Loved him...wanted him like never before. That's why everything felt so strange tonight. It must be the answer. The key was in the thought process. "˜Never before' so of course he kept pushing the feeling and idea away! He and Dean didn't seem to be so different after all.

Dean moved around the table and picked up the bottle on the nearby ledge that surrounded the room. He shook the glass object then sighed.

"I'm out. Want another?"

Sam looked towards his. He'd practically forgotten it was even there. He shook his head and silently tracked Dean's movements. His jacket had long since been removed; the black t-shirt underneath being the only garment covering toned muscle. Sam suddenly started to feel his body temperature rise. He shrugged off his own jacket at last (still cosy with a further two layers on top of skin) as his inky green eyes remained on his brother, on his brother's ass, as he walked towards the door of the relatively quiet room. Halfway across to his destination, Dean turned around and Sam couldn't help but jump. Luckily, his brother didn't seem to notice.

"No cheating, okay?" he warned sternly, pointing a finger squarely at him.

"Would I?" Sam tossed back with a look of innocence.

General noise filled the room momentarily as the door opened and Dean was gone. Sam sagged with relief. All these new feelings that had been cryptically plaguing him for days and the mind numbing confusion were really starting to feel like torture. How many more minutes, hours, days could he go on before he caved from the weight of his own fabricated lust for his own brother? He knew not the answer and probably never would. He couldn't wait for that to happen. He had to take matters into his own hands and do something about it himself. Just the idea scared him senseless but waiting wasn't the better option, wasn't even an option at all.

"You like him, don't you?" said a voice seemingly from one of the dark corners in the room.

Sam felt startled once again. He had to stop acting so jittery. Maybe if he thought of his present situation like a hunt. Surely Dean did that sometimes and it probably worked for him. Anything he put his mind to worked for him.

"Who?" he asked, wildly turning around to come face to face with a guy wearing leather pants and a brightly coloured, floral shirt.

Sam's eyes happen to take in the table furthest away from him. Two other males were dressed similar to this one standing in front of him. It was like a mini Mardi Gras parade!

"Don't play dumb, pumpkin" the obviously gay man smiled at him "It doesn't suit you. You look way too smart"

Sam didn't know whether to blush, thank him for the compliment or be horrified that he seemed so transparent to a total stranger. The guy put one hand on his hip in an overtly camp pose and took a drag of the cigarette resting between his fingers, all the while never breaking eye contact with the youngest Winchester.

"And what would you know?"

"I know that there's more between you and that guy you're with than just friendship"

Sam stopped scuffing his sneaker against the spongy, grubby carpet.

"We're brothers" he answered as evenly as he could.

The man laughed unashamedly in his face. No, he was starting to not believe it either.

"Oh sweetie" the guy sighed and his affectionate nature made Sam's skin prickle with embarrassment "You know what I know. Run with it. You never know where it might lead"

He placed his hand on the young man's shoulder and squeezed reassuringly. Sam just stared at him, agog.

"Uh, hey, can we help you?"

Sam's eyes were finally able to shift, although he couldn't tell yet whether he was glad or not. Dean was back...and had probably seen some, if not all, the exchange between his brother and this flamboyant, cryptic character.

The gay man shook his head, still with a slight smile on his face "No, no, just asking for change that's all"

He gestured towards the other men, no doubt his friends, then gave Sam a last glance and was trotting back the way he came.

Sam didn't say a word. That had to be the most surreal yet enlightening conversation of his entire life.

~*~

Dean felt stifled from his own body heat. His whole being, the very core of him, had prickled and risen, as if he sensed danger. Well, if it did come along, he'd be ready for it. Always was.

He got to the bar and ordered another beer of the same brand. He thought about getting drunk out of his mind, mixing his drinks...why? To see Sammy smile again. When his brother grinned, the feeling was infectious. He couldn't explain it exactly, he just felt...

He stopped himself. He wasn't going to let a chick flick moment sneak up on him and bite him on the ass. Even if it would only be to himself. No, the minute that started was the minute he opened himself up and if that happened...well, released repression was a messy thing to handle. There was no telling what he'd think, say, do. It was the same with the copious amounts of tempting alcohol, so Dean did what was best and decided to play it safe. Again.

The barmaid was in fact male, so bartender then. However, as Dean passed him the change from his pocket and accidentally-on-purpose let their fingers fleetingly brush, his eyes flickered up to the bartender's face. He wasn't interested, far from it, (he looked too young anyway) but if he gave that guy a momentary ego boost then who was he to stop himself? He wouldn't mind someone to do the same for him sometime. Hours on the road with Sam just entailed bickering, banter and sometimes, well...Dean wanted more. In the general sense, not the sexual sense. He guessed. He wasn't sure. Not tonight.

The bartender returned with his purchase and actually blushed as Dean smiled his thanks. Correct again. Why was that? Had he been flirting knowingly, aware that this guy was batting for the other team? Maybe. Was it just a subconscious, intuitive thing? Again, maybe.

He shook his head. Even if the former was the case, it didn't bother him. Never had. That much hadn't changed. But what had? Still, he was finding it hard to admit, if only to himself. He knew it would continue to nag at him until something was done about it by either him or...

OK, was this a dream? "˜Cos he could've sworn as he started to his brother that he'd spotted Sam standing next to, talking to, a guy in shiny leather pants and a brightly coloured floral shirt...

He made himself walk forward, into the room again, that had emptied a little since his departure.

Nope, he was not mistaken. Sam was with some wacky looking, obviously gay guy. But why did that bother him so much? He cringed inwardly. Was it the loud clothes? Nah, each to their own. The camp mannerisms? No, who was he to judge somebody else? It must be the fact that he was with Sam, talking to Sam...God, that was ridiculous! Was he...he...jealous?!

He cleared his throat and began to speak; even though he had virtually no idea what he was about to say and his head was still reeling from all these weird, unwelcome, fresh thoughts.

"Uh, hey, can we help you?"

Well, that was easy enough. Well done Winchester, I congratulate you on thinking before speaking.

Sam, who'd been staring at the gay man fixedly up until this point, moved his eyes over to Dean. It actually looked like it took some major effort to do. Did that mean anything?

"No, no, just asking for change that's all" the man replied easily, before turning slightly to indicate his friends, who were standing around the end pool table.

Dean wished he hadn't picked up on the final glance that the man gave his brother but he did and that was the truth. And this was reality. Painful, stark raving mad reality.

"Who the hell was that?" he whispered to Sam, leaning in and taking his cue from his brother at the same time.

Sam's eyes flickered to the man then back to Dean before he slowly shook his head, "I have no idea"

"So you were talking to a stranger..."

"He was talking to me" Sam went on the defensive almost immediately and Dean curled his fingers around his sibling's elbow before he even knew what he was doing.

"Hey" he said, his voice soft "I'm not gonna lecture you or anything" he let go as a grin formed on his face "That's not my job"

Sam momentarily stiffened at the thought of their father. Long, rough history was hard to smooth over and took a lot of time.

"So c'mon" Dean continued, pushing the old, awkward atmosphere out and pulling the playful one back in "let's get back to the game"

Dean took a shot, a pretty straightforward one, and predictably potted the ball. Doesn't mean he had any more humility about it though. He smiled smugly and Sam rolled his eyes. Then, he leaned over the table to take his turn when Dean startled him by half shouting "˜Wait!'

Sam straightened, "What's wrong?"

"I think you better take a shot from here" he pointed to where he was standing "cos your friend over there is playing his Peeping Tom role"

Despite himself, Sam looked over his shoulder. He instantly heard Dean snort with unbidden laughter. Nobody was looking at him. It had been a lie. Sam scowled at his brother.

"Jerk" he muttered, resuming his position, trying to ignore the fact that Dean was now walking around the table.

He had a right to be nervous, or at least wary, because no sooner had he leaned over a second time...well, aside from Sam remembering Oklahoma, Dean had seemingly felt like re-enacting the moment all of a sudden.

"Hey!" Sam admonished, before self consciously looking around "Will you quit it?!"

"Quit what?"

"You...you know! Stop it!"

"Y'know Sammy," Dean said in that all knowing, smug voice of his "Focus. It's the name of the game"

~*~

Focus, it's the name of game.

What a smug, irritating bastard!

Sam tensed up with indignation. God, Dean was going to regret pushing his buttons so hard and so frequently. He felt a mixture of rage and...passion (?) flaring up inside him, wanting to burst through his veins. He didn't know what to do. But still, something had to be done. Now.

Dean raised an eyebrow and indicated the table. Sam was losing but he didn't care.

His cue clattered against the side of the table and fell to the floor with a soft clunk as he took long strides until he was there, in front of his brother, and his lips were fastened determinedly to his.

~*~

Dean grasped Sam by his forearms and practically threw him into the next pool table, watching as he stumbled and wobbled. The look on his face was of pure shock until a deep frown took over. His eyes seemed to darken in the intensity. Dean swiped the back of his hand across his mouth, still able to feel the remnants of Sam's hard kiss.

Not here, not now, he tried to get through to his brother just by staring into Sam's incensed gaze. He was angry, clearly, about what, not sure. Probably a mixture of issues. The nature of repression. Dean felt it too. Kindred spirits. That much was a no brainer when he thought about it.

Obviously hearing the commotion, Dean cast his eyes around the room. The last trickle of people were leaving, leaving him and Sammy, Sam, alone in an enclosed space, together. He swallowed. An opportunity? Who knew? Only them.

When the last person threw a dirty look over their shoulder towards Dean and closed the door, the elder Winchester's eyes settled on his brother. Clearly their swift but attention grabbing kiss had rid the other customers of their pool playing addictions. Fine. He didn't care. In fact, it was probably better this way. No more hushed tones, maybe some emotion venting now, whichever one they picked to act upon.

Sam seemed to find the carpet or his feet a lot interesting to look at. Dean resisted the urge to sigh. After all, maybe he shouldn't have rejected him so harshly and so publicly. Well, it wasn't rejection per se, just...postponed action. However, the haunting look on Sam's face told Dean that perhaps his signals, his intentions, were not clear enough to understanding. Not that there were ever many times when they were.

The thought of Sam still somewhat hero worshipping him and not recognising his flaws chilled his bones. Dean didn't want to let him down. He had set up himself up to be the one person that Sam could always lean and rely on. He didn't want to fail him, not now.

So instead of standing back and watching his brother slip back into the sullen mood he's tried so hard to previously eradicate, Dean decided to put things right...in his own special way.

Walking over to the table that the youngest Winchester was resting against, Dean stood in front of Sam.

"We're cool...right?" he asked, giving his brother's arm a push.
"Sure"

He took a small step backwards, to observe Sam properly. Dean tried ducking his head slightly to catch Sam's gaze but he was avoiding eye contact still and the one word he'd spoken had sounded flat, disinterested...in a sulk. Dean steeled himself by taking a deep breath in.

"C'mere" he murmured, quickly gathering him up into an embrace.

A tense few seconds followed where for once Dean was holding Sam and he hadn't relaxed straight away. With his hands flat against in between shoulder blades, Dean pulled him in further, closer. He heard Sam's breath move out of him in a strange soft, whispering sound then his arms changed from being stiffly at his sides to clutching onto Dean as if his life depended on it.

"I'm sorry" he said quietly, his words nearly muffled by his mouth being close to Dean's shoulder.

"Forget it"

That was it. Dean's knack of acting blasé about most things concerning emotions and apologies meant that he hoped that now he had actively discarded the misunderstanding from earlier then he and Sam wouldn't have to converse about it. How wrong was he?!

"No," he could feel Sam's lips brushing against the shoulder of his t-shirt as his brother shook his head "No, I mean...I'm sorry...for..." he paused and half extricated himself from the proximity of their intimate moment. Well, it was gonna get a whole lot more intimate after this. Sam looked into Dean's eyes then when the elder thought he was going to just fall on him again, looking for more brotherly comfort, he leaned in yes, but choose to whisper in Dean's ear,

"I...I want you"

Dean froze; his breathing silent, the beating of his heart felt dormant, everything around him, his whole world, had stopped upon hearing those three little words. He'd only ever thought there was one set of "˜three little words' but he had just been proven wrong. The revelation was astounding, metaphorically knocking him off his feet and making him forget that, underneath it all, tonight he had been trying to do a shoddy job on lust and attraction denial himself. Did he really want Sam, his brother; as much as Dean had heard Sam just proclaim that fact to him?

He knew his silence was probably killing Sam right now but what was his response supposed to be? A quiet voice somewhere in the area of his psyche suggested to him that maybe it was more a case of what to do next rather than what to say.

Dean flinched ever so slightly, caught unawares, as he felt the tip of Sam's tongue sweep over the cartilage of his right ear.

"Dean?" Sam whispered, purred? "Say something, please"

As if all his senses and functions were coming back to him when they were most needed, Dean could hear the sound of his breath softly move over Sam's shoulder, cheek then neck as he extricated himself from the warm cocoon of his sibling's embrace.

Sam opened his mouth to speak, a fusion of concern and puzzlement etched across his face, when Dean quickly pressed a finger to those lips; felt Sam's mouth yield to his request and spread their softness over Dean's fingertip like silk.

Inclining his head to the side, Dean leaned in, this time aiming straight ahead, straight for lips instead of shoulder. Like thunder in his heart and lightening forking down his spine to earth, his mouth moulded, melted, ran into Sam's at an agonisingly tentative, slow pace. His hands came to rest on his brother's shoulders, tightening their grip, as their jaws descended and tongues swapped places, swirling, caressing, learning.

With things leisurely progressing amidst the clinging air of tobacco and original scents of alcohol, Dean began to wonder. History. What was Sam's history? And he wasn't talking childhood or education here. Was he experienced or not? Scared or fearless? More personal "” was this just sex or something more between them?

He pulled back from the kiss but kept a hold on the body snug against him, "Sam-"

"Dean, stop"

"Stop what?"

"The talking" Sam whispered, looking deep and meaningful at him "Don't say another word"

Dean caught his lower lip between his teeth to prevent him from making any sort of smartass remark. Even he recognised that perhaps now was not the time.

He gave an acknowledging nod as he stared at his brother. Sam's gaze was surprisingly unwavering too and it made the intensity of the moment between them increase tenfold, instead of Dean having the usual upper hand, superiority, over him.

Their second kiss was far different from the first. No longer careful but still with an air of simplicity, Dean's body was forming a plan of seduction without the command of his brain. Not his upstairs brain, anyway.

Sam suddenly gripped his front, the t-shirt material bunched up in his fist as Dean was yanked in closer and they both gasped into each other's bruised mouths.

So he wanted to up the ante, did he? Dean pushed his hips forward and into Sam, resulting in a yearning groan spilling from his lips. Dean's ears picked up on the sound immediately and craved the chance to hear it again.

Wanting to just crawl into heat and underneath skin, Sam moved and Dean followed. Now that didn't happen every often, if at all. When the kiss ended naturally to give themselves some air, Dean's eyes flickered down, around and back up to Sam. His legs dangled over the side of the pool table as he sat on the edge and looking at him through his lashes, breathing hard, Dean all but pounced, hungry and lustful.

He knocked Sam down onto the green covering the hard surface and stalked stealthily over him until all Sam could see was Dean.

"Ever thought about doing it on a pool table, Sammy?"

"No!"

Eyes wide, Sam's answer happened as somewhat of a choke as he tipped his head back to eye the door nervously and that was when Dean grasped the opportunity. Running his tongue over his throat, Dean felt the vibrations radiate from Sam's larynx as he groaned lowly.

"You like that, huh? C'mon Sammy, tell me what you want"

Sam's chin stayed lifted, his eyes shut and rolling to the back of his head, already losing inhibition and control.

Dean's lips closed around a space on that still exposed neck, capturing the thick vein that ran into hidden depths that were covered by clothing. He let his teeth snag the skin before he sucked, soothed, the discomfort away. Sam moved his head to the opposite side, thrashed around a little until Dean's weight moved lower. With his knees digging into the table, he straddled his brother then fingers began to work the buttons on Sam's shirt undone. Sam lifted his head, took in Dean's hands fumbling, (wow, fumbling...that's a first, surely?) then just breathed out and laid flat again. He became restless as Dean began to mumble curses over and over.

"Fucking buttons...Jesus...right, that's it..."

Eyes widening, Sam nearly laughed when relief washed over him at the feel and sound of his shirt being ripped open and the buttons of hatred popping and flying every which way. Crossing his feet at Dean's lower back, just above his coccyx, Sam squeezed his knees and thighs tighter together and pulled his brother back down onto him, watching Dean's arms appear at the sides of his face to keep himself upright. Sam looked at him, gaze unguarded and trusting.

Then Dean was falling; his mind falling back in time of its own accordance to when Sam was around five years old and had cuteness in abundance. Dean was still a child too. A tough one, but a child nonetheless.

Sammy was going through the known phrase of questioning everything. Why was the sky blue? Why did cats meow and dogs bark? Why did he sometimes hear Dean's muffled cries at night? He'd denied it, brushed it off then, and he probably still would today. He was close to Sammy, had that bond for as long as he could remember, but like Sam had said, there was some things he needed to keep to himself.

Thinking of Sam as a grown man again, Dean shook his head slightly and was swiftly brought back to the present. He momentarily shut his eyes as a large, warm hand cupped his cheek.

"Dean?" Sam's voice was soft, concerned.

"I'm fine"

"Then why did you stop?" Dean looked at his brother and saw him grin "Fucking kiss me again, you idiot"

Dean's eyebrow shot up towards his hairline, almost as if it wasn't just his mouth that could wear a smirk, taunt Sam, but he said not a word, just unusually complied.

Sam sucked in a sharp breath as Dean's tongue slithered inside like a hot, liquid snake, dangerous and demanding. Well, that was Dean alright. He touched the roof of Sam's mouth. Pulled back. Dipped the tip of that tongue into the well, the hollow, behind the back of his lower set of teeth, swiping and tickling the tiny tendons there that kept Sam's own tongue in place. Back more. Licked Sam's lips for him, turning them glistening and pink. Sam had never gone through something so strangely erotic before. Trust Dean to turn such a simple act as kissing into one big show of lazy movements and desire. But who was he kidding?! He'd burn in Hell (and oh boy, was he probably gonna) before he complained.

Meanwhile, Sam also began to do some snaking of his own, locking and threading his fingers through to the nape of Dean's neck, stroking and gripping when he needed to. He writhed from side to side then hips involuntarily moved in a half gentle bucking motion, searching for heat, when Dean's right hand started to wander. Instead of upwards because of already being in the vicinity of Sam's right knee, fingers glided along, bypassing his groin and halting at his jeans-clad thigh. Sam voiced his appreciation when Dean squeezed the taut flesh and Sam lost his hold on him.

Taking the obvious hint when Sam yanked downwards on the little hair that was at the back of his head, Dean moved lower and Sam's breathing hitched in anticipation. Now Sam just wanted Dean to go down on him, tear away his jeans and suck him off so badly it almost hurt just thinking about it. Those luscious Cupid's bow lips enveloping his throbbing cock in moist, fiery waves. Oh God, yessss.

Putting the majority of his body over Sam again, straddling him successfully, Dean's spine straightened as he sat up properly then slowly but surely, he rolled his hips forward. Sam groaned, full and needy. Dean's hands quietly lifted the two layers of clothing that his brother was still wearing, letting him come face to face with skin the warm colour of butterscotch, reminding Dean of childhood winter puddings. Everything tied and linked with Sam had him remembering times gone by. Conflicting messages told him two different opinions "” what he was feeling and doing was wrong...but then again, it felt right. Dean drowned the debate out through a moan and realised that it didn't matter what was seen as "˜wrong' or "˜right' as long as it felt good and...like home. God, Sam felt like home. Like Dean finally knew where he belonged.

And as his mouth touched gentle on Sam's exposed chest, chasing each kiss with another, creating patterns all over every muscle, once more a memory resurfaced, seemingly out of place and yet so fitting at the same time...

On the rare occasions when the Winchester brothers used to fight playfully with each other, Dean remembered how he always used to change. He knew this was a moment to appreciate his little brother, not help toughen him up. He used to launch feverish tickling attacks on him and Dean got as much joy out of it as his sibling did. Just to see Sammy, his Sammy, smile and laugh like that...the rush of love he felt many a time was inexplicable and overwhelming. He had an inkling, even back then, that Sam was gonna grow up to be a right little heartbreaker.

And here they were now, Sam breaking his heart into sweet, sweet smithereens and gluing it all back together at once with kisses and moaning and whispering Dean's name into the dim light.

Dean had one particular trick way back when they had enjoyed each other's company so innocently that used to make Sam let out that glorious laugh, literally shriek from it. Dean always made sure that he had his brother pinned down on the floor with nowhere to go and then he'd blow softly across the skin of Sam's stomach, chuckling himself as the youngster tried to get away.

God, now he had a sudden compulsion to do it again but this time for very different reasons. Their relationship had turned into a sexual thing, a needy thing, an addiction thing. No, wait. Sam had always been addictive to Dean, even in the pure sense. It's how his loyalty and love for him had become so fierce and unwavering over the years.

"Dean" Sam's voice was raspy, hoarse, but calling for his brother's attention "Not here...I...I can't"

Regardless of his words, Sam's hips rose and fell, creating shivering friction between him and Dean that made their cocks brush and grind together.

Then they were kissing each other again, tongues lashing, teeth clashing, noses bashing unkindly, and they were moving in sync too, rolling, rolling, until all they could do was pant and gasp.

Rapid, careless, uncompromising, Dean had that addiction once more. The feel of his body pressed flush against Sam so close, so fucking close, was a habit he didn't want to kick too soon. It was not possible to stay twisting, pulling, wanting like this forever but by God did he wish it was.

With his lips not attached to Sam's, Dean could watch his brother's clear expression if he looked down. He kept his head tilted towards the ceiling, eyes screwed tightly shut.

"Dean" Sam started through gritted teeth and half baked breaths, almost as if he was reading Dean's mind. Oh God, what if he was?! No. No, he couldn't do that...could he? "Dean, look...at me"

It wasn't an issue though because just hearing Sam's voice say his name again was satisfying enough and torture enough to send him past the point of self restraint and smack into the territory of wild abandon.

"Sammy, oh fuck, Sam" he breathed heavily, every syllable practically dripping with an ache that burnt bright flames in his stomach.

He took the plunge, not sure what he'd find, but he glanced down and couldn't help a low sound escape from the back of his throat. Sam's face was shining, glowing, with a slick sheen of sweat and he consciously opened his eyes wide, staring straight into Dean's.

"Kiss me, Dean. Please, Oh God, please"

"How much do you want it?" Sam's jaw went slack with what Dean wanted to think was shock "Come on Sam, tell me how much you want it"

Dean leaned over, smiled wickedly and clocked Sam's dilated gaze that was like that of an extremely playful, hyperactive feline. Inclining his head, Dean nipped and suckled at Sam's neck, nuzzling the skin as Sam dug in and bruised Dean's flesh at his sides.

"I want it-Christ-I do-please-fuck! I want it now-I want you now-I want you to-fuck me!"

His exclamation of profanity, sounding slightly out of place coming from his young lips, an angel with a dirty mouth as it were, didn't even have his brother batting an eyelid.

"What was that, Sam?" Dean asked just in an infuriatingly calm tone but he was still breathing hot air close to Sam's ear "You want me to what?"

Dean began that rhythm again, the one that was damn nearest sex they were ever gonna get with their clothes still on. The bolts of lust ricocheting left, right and centre through Dean's own body was quite enough but the thought of really fucking Sam, naked and tangled, just gave the whole moment a new razor sharp edge.

Then he gave into Sam and kissed him fervently, this kiss feeling as fresh as the first. But Sam let go of Dean with one hand now and was scratching determinedly, maddeningly, at the cloth beneath him.

Suddenly, his hand slipped, shot out like an arrow fired from one of their crossbows and came into contact with one of the few remaining pool balls still on the table. Predictably, the heavy clunk rang in their ears and Dean bore the brunt of the passionate mistake when the ball came bouncing back into his knee with surprising force.

Dean thrust his tongue further into Sam's mouth as a reflex and ground his hips dirtily down even harder, increasing pressure, almost to the point of discomfort for them both. But that's how he wanted it and judging by Sam's vocal reaction, that's what he relished too.

"Dean" he moaned, trying to inject some warning into the words as he grabbed onto bicep and then shoulder muscle "Dean, I'm-I'm gonna-oh Christ on a goddamned bike!"

Sam shuddered, continuing to grip mercilessly onto Dean, as he came in forceful-BANG! BANG! BANG! The sound of the shotgun of lust-tsunami waves and dragged Dean out to sea with him too.

Weakening for once in his life and feeling exhausted for the countless time, Dean softly collapsed against Sam, ignoring the stickiness he felt that practically cemented him temporarily to his underwear.

Silence fell between them, the only noise distantly coming from the bar next door that was probably emptying pretty good now. They had to leave. Soon. But not before Dean made one final remark...

"Christ on a goddamned bike?'" he snickered, leaving an idle kiss on Sam's cheek.

Sam shoved him in the shoulder with his fist. Hard. "Fuck you"

Dean scrambled to his feet, planting them firmly on the carpet again and turned to pick up his jacket. He wanted Sam to believe that he wasn't going to respond. He got to the door then pivoted round to face his brother who was sluggishly now leaned against the surface they'd just performed hot near-fucking on.

"You already have, little brother" he whispered, low and deadly with a glint in his eye "You already have"

He pushed the door open, which was luckily a back exit, and he knew. Maybe they hadn't properly fucked, although God now he wanted to, but they did need to get away from the bar and after all, they had a motel to go to. And so, like Dean had followed Sam previous, his brother was about to do the same in return...

FIN.

***