Sam can practically hear the clock ticking in his brain, tick tock tick tock, and it is killing him. He keeps stealing glances at Dean, watching him, making sure he hasn't been taken from him too early, trying to memorise every single detail of his face, and in private moments, his body, running fingers over scars, over muscles and skin, committing everything to memory.
Dean knows what he's doing, shuts his eyes and lets Sam do it, because Sam knows it almost too painful to watch him do it. To watch his brother learning by heart the ridges and plains of Dean's body, but Sam can't help himself. Wants to be able to draw on these memories when Dean is gone. Sam's body stiffens at that, when, not when...if. He tells himself over and over again, because he's going to get Dean out of this, going to stop the deal, is not going to let Dean go to hell for him.
Two weeks, 14 days, 336 hours, 20,160 minutes. And Sam counts each one in his head. Hating that fact that he is counting down the time, but he can't help it. And Dean knows this too. Keeps catching Sam working it out in his head, lips barely moving as he works out the sums under his breath. A gentle hand on his shoulder, imperceptible squeeze so Bobby can't see, to make Sam stop.
“Sammy can you stop?” Dean's voice is quiet in the dimness of the bedroom. Bobby is out, pretending to be normal with friends who have no idea what goes on in the darkness. Sam and Dean are wrapped around each other, sweat still cooling on their skin, breath still a little ragged.
“Stop what?” Sam asks, using the same voice, quiet, unsure. Dean tightens his hold on Sam just a bit, a quick squeeze before pulling away and sitting up, rubbing a hand over his face. And Sam would swear that he can hear the rasp of stubble against his brother's palm.
“Stop counting.” Dean says quietly, even more quiet now. Sam take a breath and sits up, wrapping his arms around Dean from behind, capturing him in an embrace that just dares Dean to get out of. Dean's skin is still warm, almost hot to the touch and Sam buries his nose in the crook of his neck and breathes in, smelling salt, sweat, Dean and Sam. Sam and Dean.
“I know you're doing it. I can practically hear you man. Stop it.” Dean says, leaning back into Sam's chest. Sam pulls them both back, settling against the head board, wrapping his legs round Dean, trailing a hand down his chest. Dean's stomach muscles quiver and tense instinctively and he lets out a sigh and Sam wraps his hand around Dean's cock.
“Sammy...” Dean's voice is broken, catching on the last syllable of Sam's name and Sam squeezes his eyes shut as he moves his hand slightly, mesmerised by the image of his hand wrapped about Dean's cock, of Dean's hips lifting almost instinctively, following Sam's movements as Sam draws his hand upwards.
Sam loves having Dean like this, helpless, silently begging, pliant and warm in his arms. Dean leans his head back against Sam's shoulder and Sam lowers his mouth to Dean's neck, kissing, sucking, gently biting at his pulse point, feeling the strong throbbing of Dean's heart flutter under his ministrations.
Dean shifts, twisting around in Sam's arms, trying to face him, trying to untangle legs and hands.
“Shhh, no Dean...let me.” This is about Dean, about making Dean realise how much Sam needs him, making Dean understand that he isn't going to just let him go. He's going to fight, do anything it takes to keep Dean with him. Whatever it takes.
“Sam, no. I don't want you playing with that stuff. This isn't a game.” Dean is pacing in Bobby's living room, fists clenching and unclenching at his sides, worry and anger rolling off him in waves so strong that Sam flinches. Bobby watches both of them, knowing eyes flicking between the two, back and forth likes he's watching a game of tennis. Although this isn't a game.
A log in the fire shifts, cracks and sends sparks skitting across the floor. Dean watches them glowing dull on the wooden floor. Tiny pricks of light in the dimness.
“I'm not playing, Dean, and I know its not a game. I'm trying to save you. I...” I know Sammy, I don't know if I can live without you either. Dean tries to show Sam that through through his gaze.
Memories come flooding back, memories of the silent nod, the silent yes sir that hung in the air as Dean stared, dumfounded at his father. The last memory of his father telling him he might have to kill Sam, might have to kill the other half of his soul, if he went too far. Sam reading up rituals, spells on how to find demons is not something Dean wants him to do, wants to keep as much of Sam's new found innocence as he can.
“No Sam.” Dean stops pacing, flicks a look at Bobby that Sam can't read and then looks at Sam. Sam looks back at him, confusion clearly etched on his face.
“Why?” The stubbornness that Dean missed, although he can't remember why, the stubborn Sam that constantly argues, keeping Dean on his toes is back, watching him with a look that is so familiar, and even after all this time, months of being with this new Sam who can't remember their childhood, Dean can see him, the old Sam, staring out at him from the new Sam's eyes.
“Because...” Using the age old argument that used to make Sam huff in annoyance, and bitter amusement.
“Because your the oldest.” Sam sneers. Bobby stands, flinching slightly. He has been sitting for far too long, listening to Sam talk, to Sam explain his plan. Simple really, Sam had said, simple. Just use a spell to find Lilith, use the colt and this all goes away. Simple. Simple and stupid and suicidal.
“Sam. This is not up for discussion. Ok? No.”
“Dean, stop being such a fucking martyr.” Sam takes a step towards him. Bobby steps between them, eyes once again flicking between them.
“Sam watch your language. And Dean, Sam's right.” Bobby says, placing a hand on both of their chests and pushing slightly, pushing them apart.
“Bobby.” Dean shakes his head slightly and steps back. “This isn't your fight.”
“The hell is isn't boy.” Bobby replies, voice rising in anger. Dean stares at him. “Family doesn't end in blood, Dean.” Bobby says. The admission takes Dean by surprise. Sure, he's admired, practically hero worships Bobby for as long as he can remember, and can remember Bobby taking him and Sam under his wings when John died, even though Bobby can't remember that, memories wiped away by the deal. But Dean had no idea Bobby felt the same, looked out for him like he was son, the son Bobby never had.
“Now, stop being such a martyr and let us help you. This isn't going to throw Sam over the edge, its a simple spell. I can even do it if it makes you feel better.”
There is an old map sitting across the table, the edges are curling up, ripped and browning and Bobby places a tripod on top of it. The free swinging brass spike sways slightly as Bobby moves it around, settling it over the map. Dean catches Sam's gaze over the table and holds it. Sam's eyes are dark, and Dean can hardly read the expression in them, but he can see hope in his eyes. And no matter how much the thought of doing this, of letting Sam do this, makes his stomach knot, he can't bring himself to put a stop to this. Because he doesn't want to take that look from Sam. Sam bites his bottom lip and breaks eye contact, staring down at the map and the strange tripod covering it. Bobby looks at both of them, a wicked glint in his eyes.
“See the name, that's the whole kit and kaboodle. With the right name, the right ritual, there ain't nothing you can't suss out.”
“Like the town Lilith is in?” Sam asks.
“Kid, when I get done, we'll know the street.” Bobby taps the top of the tripod, setting the brass spike swinging over the map and take a breath, Latin spilling from his lips. The spike swings, backwards and forwards over the map and stops suddenly, settling at an odd angel, nothing normal about it at all. Dean narrows his eyes, the left over feeling of magic hanging in the air setting his teeth on edge.
“New Harmony, Indiana. We have a winner.” Bobby says. Sam looks at Dean, and the hope is back in his eyes, along with a need, and Dean can see its the need to hunt something, to kill something. He knows the look, saw it in John more times that he could count. Seen it in Bobby more than once. Hell, he's even seen it in his own eyes once or twice. But seeing it in Sam makes his breath still in his chest.
“Ok, lets go.” Sam says and turns away from the table, picking up one of Dean's guns and tucking it into his waistband, exposing a sliver of skin that Dean wants to touch.
The sudden gun-ho attitude from Sam is scaring Dean. But this life is in Sam's blood, no matter how hard he tried to deny it. Its there, buried under miles of good intentions and striving to be normal, its there. Or at least it was there, before Dean made his deal and sent Sam away.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a minute, just...holster it up there tex.” Sam stops in his movements, turning confused and hurt eyes towards Dean. Bobby stares at him, at Dean.
“What's the problem?” Please don't do this Dean, please just let me help. Dean can hear the unspoken words, and as much as he wants Sam to help, wants Sam to figure out a way to get him out of this deal, he can't bring himself to let Sam. Because letting him might take him closer to the edge, the edge that John spoke about when he whispered those words in his ear as Dean lay in a hospital bed, words that still now Dean hears every time he looks at Sam.
“What's the problem? Come on, where do I begin? First, we're not even sure it is Lilith that holds my contract. Ok, and second, let's not forget what happened last time we met Lilith.”
“I'm sorry, then what are we supposed to do, Dean?” Sarcasm drips over Sam's words, but underneath Dean can hear the anguish. He wants to reach out and hold Sam, crawl inside him, wrap himself around his brother and never let go.
“Just cos I gotta die, don't mean you have to.” His voice softens the slightest bit and Sam's eyes do to. Sam make the tiniest movement towards Dean, his hand twitching at his side, but he stops himself, gaze flicking towards Bobby. Dean swallows down the lump in his throat and lets his voice raise a notch. “Either we go in smart or we don't go in at all.” Sam sighs, nods once.
“Ok fine, if that's the case, I have the answer.”
“Yeah...” Dean hates and loves the look in Sam's eyes. Knowledge that he should have shining through hope and begging Dean to understand. And Dean can't deny the way that hope makes him feel. So before he even knows what he's doing, he's lowering himself onto the bench that runs along he edge of the table and telling Sam to explain, dread as, Sam begins, creeping into his bones, making him shiver as Sam's voice explains his plan.