Keeper of the Souls

Fandom: Supernatural

Category/Rated: Slash, R

Year/Length: 2007/ ~11,012 words

Pairing: Dean/Sam, monsters

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Warning: Hints of pre-Wincest in the first four chapters, smut in the fifth. Violence. The boy's have dirty mouths.

Summary: She's the daughter of the devil, the sister of a snake, the keeper of the souls down on Voodoo Lake and the Winchester boys are about to have a very unfriendly meeting with her. Sam remembers Dean drawing a blade across his own palm, smearing his own blood over his own heart and throat and face. Remembers the prick of a blade against one of his fingers, and Dean's rough, hard hands taking his and pressing his bleeding fingertip once against Dean's heart, his throat, his forehead, eyelids, and mouth. Sam remembers it as a dream.

Author's Notes: Prompted by listening to Skynyrd after watching a Supernatural marathon. First SN fic, and the first four parts are definitely Wincest friendly. The fifth part is pretty much smut. Fair warning.

hr

Way down yonder you can hear the wind blow
Through the tall grass growing in the old bayou
The old bayou
There's a dark haired woman that looks so fine
Wearing hand me down clothes, drinking homemade wine
No one ever knew who her daddy was
The people down here say it's all because
She's the daughter of the devil, the sister of a snake
The keeper of souls down on Voodoo Lake
There's a city boy across the county line
Came looking for the legend of the girl so fine
Well the stories that he heard, well they had to be lies
But he found out different when he looked in her eyes
Well he tried to run away but she had control
He's findin' out now what everybody knows
He knew it was over when she started to shake
Now there's one more soul down on Voodoo Lake
There's an eerie silence at the break of dawn
A chill in the air, something wrong
When a shadow crosses the ground
Those long lost souls never make a sound
You'd think by now they'd realize
She'll never break her bayou ties
She's the daughter of the devil, the sister of a snake
The keeper of souls down on Voodoo Lake
Lynyrd Skynyrd-Voodoo Lake

Prologue: Memory

Sam remembers half-waking once, months ago, in the middle of the night, his brain muddled and thick with sleep and dreams. Remembers thinking there were candles flickering from the corners of the room, the smell of herbs and incense heavy on the air. Remembers thinking that Dean was standing above him, his hair and skin wet, as though he'd just gotten out of the shower, wearing nothing but one of the motel's threadbare towels wrapped around his waist.

Remembers Dean's voice, a low rumble, the words spoken under his breath, but with the soft rise and fall of an incantation. Remembers Dean drawing a blade across his own palm, smearing his own blood over his own heart and throat and face. Remembers the prick of a blade against one of his fingers, and Dean's rough, hard hands taking his and pressing his bleeding fingertip once against Dean's heart, his throat, his forehead, eyelids, and mouth. Sam remembers it as a dream.

Sam remembers being excited to be going to Lafourche, Louisiana. Remembers wanting to see the historical sites, the bayou, the churches, the old plantations. Remembers laughing when Dean insisted that the priest from St. Joseph Co-Cathedral who called them for help was probably just panicking over the deaths of a half-dozen people from the church. Remembers pointing out that people don't usually mysteriously come down with smoke-inhalation.

Remembers the confused spirit that had died in the fire that had burned the original church in 1916. Remembers running after it through the gigantic church, coughing, barely able to breath from the smoke that followed the spirit around. Remembers Dean pounding towards him when he lay on the ground, suffocating. Remembers Dean raising his shot-gun and obliterating the stained glass window that pictured the church that had burned, that the ghost had latched onto.

Sam remembers all that, and other things too, some times. Bits and pieces from his life that jump out at him at the oddest times. Remembers Jess, his father, his mother, Ellen and Jo. Remembers going to college and hunting and being so tired all the time that he just wanted to curl up in on himself and sleep for years.

He remembers it all, but the memories aren't important anymore. He's left that life behind, and he's glad of it. Feels at peace with himself for what he thinks might be the first time in his entire life. He's happy. Content, even. This life is everything he never realized he wanted, which just goes to show how big a fool he was.

And if he wakes up, sweating and gasping, dreams of his brother's eyes, smile, touch filling his mind, urging him back to what he's given up... Well, she's there, ready with one cool hand on his brow, warm words whispered in his ear, a soft body wrapped around him. Ready to remind him of what he has now, to show him just how small a price she has asked from him.

Sam pays it. Gladly. Can't imagine why he would ever want to not have this.

But sometimes...he remembers, and whispers his brother's name like a prayer under his breath.

Part One: Daughter of the Devil

//Two Days Ago//

"Sammy " The smoke is so thick in the air that he can't see more than a few feet in any direction. It stings his eyes, burns at his lungs so fiercely that he wonders if it's becoming fire as he breathes it in. He has not a clue where the fucking poltergeist is. And he's lost Sam. All in all, Dean's day has gone completely to shit.

He tries to scream for his brother again, but coughing gets in the way. He keeps pressing forward, because he has to go this way in any case. This is where the bloody window is. And he's sure Father Barbier isn't going to be pleased with him for smashing the thing to little pieces, but he's positive the ghost has to be tied up into it somehow. Mostly because there's nothing else for it to be focusing it's energy on.

Sure the window wasn't completed until after the old church had already been nothing but ash and rubble, but he's got nothing else. The old church burned. The spirit's bones burned. All his worldly possessions burned. There's just the window. And so Dean's going to destroy it.

Just as soon as he finds it.

And then he hears Sammy calling for him, puts his head down and sprints for his brother's voice. He's already got his shotgun up when he whips around the corner, loaded with rock-salt which will both deter the spirit and break the window.

Sammy's laying slumped against one of the walls, staring up into the thing of smoke and flames above him. Neither one of them is saying anything, but sometimes Dean wonders if they're talking on some plane he isn't privy to. He wonders now, watching the thing slowly extend itself towards Sam, ash swirling out from it with every movement.

He doesn't say anything, doesn't want to alert the thing. Just finishes sighting it in and pulls the trigger. Watches the thing go all wispy and drift apart and hears the tinkle of broken glass. The smoke starts clearing almost immediately, swept out the broken window into the cold early morning sky. The glass is still mostly in the frame and so he busts the rest of it out with a mixture of his elbow and the butt of the shot gun, not stopping till there's no glass to be seen in the frame, before turning to check on Sammy.

"You okay?" Sam just nods, scrambling to his feet, coughing into his hand as he does. His lungs sound bad-sticky or congested or something. Of course, Dean's are rattling as well, with every breath he takes. Nothing they can do about it right now, anyway. They've just carved another notch in their vandalism bedpost and getting the hell out of Dodge just got a lot higher on the priority list.

"Father Barbier is gonna be pissed."

Dean snorts. Understatement of the year, right there. Especially when the cops find the good Father's keys in the door downstairs. Definitely time to go. "Let's get out of here."

hr

They don't make it far before the Impala's gas gage is slipping towards E, all surrounded by swamp and marsh so that Dean actually worries for awhile that they're not going to find somewhere to stop in time. Lets out a breath of relief that rattles in his lungs when the empty road segues it's way into a small town. A very small town.

There's no stop light to be seen, no fast food joints, or anything that looks even remotely trademarked that he can see. But there is a gas station, heralded by a billboard sized sign on the roof of the building proclaiming: Cigarettes, Bait, Beer, Gas, Fire Arms, Boyd's Bears-State Minimum On Everything At Earl's. Dean has the distinct feeling that he and Earl would get along fabulously.

Sam's asleep when they pull in, slumped against the window, wheezing more than breathing. Dean doesn't wake him, just slides out of the Impala and fills her up. The pump is painfully slow, and he finds himself watching the numbers as they slowly flip over and over and over. His mind is tired, he can't remember the last time he slept, and he can feel himself drifting now, watching the seven turn to a eight turn to a nine.

He's not sure how long he's been staring at the pump when he finally realizes that its stopped. Shakes himself when he walks into the little white washed building to pay. It smells like lemons and tobacco inside, and is jam packed from wall to wall with everything the sign advertised and more. Milk, bread, condoms, knives, maps. A stuffed deer head on the wall.

No sign of Earl, though, just a little red-headed girl with huge green eyes who looks up from cleaning a muzzle loader behind the counter when he walks in. "Help you, mister?" Her voice is soft and sweet and he wonders if she's older than fifteen, but doesn't see how she could be.

He asks for coffee and splurges on sausage biscuits that she swears up and down were made this morning by her grandmother in the kitchen in the back of the store. He's on his way out the door, after paying with real money he won at a poker game instead of Richard Wickston's card as he had been intending to, because the girl seems alright, when he feels the air in the room jump degrees warmer.

Instinct makes him shove the coffee and biscuits onto the counter, one hand sliding around his back to rest reassuringly on the gun shoved in the waistband of his jeans. The girl behind the counter has gone milk pale, her hands clenched hard on the barrel of the gun she's holding. He's looking around for a defensible position when the door pushes open and...something steps into the building.

It looks like a woman. Tall and wonderfully curved, legs that go on forever. Wearing what looks like a man's dress shirt and boxers and flip-flops three sizes to big for her. Dark hair slipping and curling over her shoulders, eyes like gems in a face so perfect it makes his spine itch. Flushed cheeks, red lips curling up at him, dimples. Sin on two legs.

It talks and moves like a woman. Walking over to him, voice sugar and molasses, thick and sweet. Hips swinging from side to side, in time to her words, washing over him like the tide on some beach. "Good morning, sweet stranger. I'm Shari, I need help. Will you help me?" Her voice slips around over his skin, washes over his mind, and for a minute, just a minute, his hand starts to release the gun.

It doesn't smell or feel like a woman. He jerks back at the cool, dry scent of it, the feel of her fingertips-rough and ridged-over his cheek. There's a pounding in the back of his skull, like something trying to get in or out, but he's really not in the mood to be contemplating that right now. He's to busy watching her face fall when he takes another step back, watching her eyes harden.

It starts to take another step closer and he bares his teeth at it and snarls. His hand tightens on the gun and he's in the process of drawing it when the girl behind the counter very slowly and very deliberately pulls back the hammer on her muzzle loader. "You get out of here right now, Shari, you just get and leave him alone." Dean's suddenly glad he left Sam in the car, because he once saw a black dog get shot at close range with a cannon like the one the girl has, and it's not a pretty sight.

The woman smiles at him again, dimples prettily, the tip of her tongue caught between her teeth and it is very red. It says, "I wish you wouldn't be like that, Niki, I wish we could be friends," but it steps back all the same, keeps walking backwards all the way to the door, keeps eye contact with him till it's almost out the door. "He's hardly the only game it town, anyway."

And then it's gone.

The temperature drops immediately, and the girl sags in on herself, gun clattering loudly against the counter as she sobs. Dean's to busy moving to worry about her, because Sam's outside by himself with that thing. He's running when he bursts through the door into the morning air, gun drawn and up, but doesn't see the thing anywhere. And Sam is still sleeping, face mashed against the window in the same position as Dean left him.

Dean abandons the coffee and sausage, sprints across to the car and is moving down the road before his mind has a chance to catch up, looking for a motel. They have work to do here.

hr

"Wait, Dean, slow down here. So a woman came on to you, and she was gorgeous. That happens all the time. I'm not seeing how that makes her one of our kind of problems." Sam's been irritated ever since Dean woke him hours ago. He's not even sure why he is. Nine times out of ten when Dean gets one of his gut feelings that something's up he's right.

It just sounds kind of ridiculous. "Fuck, Sammy, she wasn't human. Trust me on this one."

Dean's getting breakfast when a woman, apparently insanely good-looking, tries to jump him in broad daylight. And then the cashier, who Dean had probably been flirting with unabashedly if Sam knows his brother at all, had aimed a gun at the woman's head and told her to get out. There had apparently been some threatening comment about finding someone else.

He'll admit that it sounds crazy, but it doesn't exactly scream supernatural at him. Dean casts him a dirty look from behind the laptop, the effect somewhat ruined by the fact that Dean appears to be genuinely shaken by the whole experience. There's to much white showing in his brother's eyes, and he's wound so tight Sam can see the muscles jumping in his shoulders and back. Sam relents. "Okay. What was she then?"

"I'm thinking siren or some kind of nymph or something." He's flipping through dad's journal and rubbing at his forehead.

"Aren't sirens usually around fishing centers-you know, the whole men with boats thing?" He pauses, wracking his brain, "And you're telling me nymphs actually exist?" Because he apparently missed that hunt.

"Yeah, hunted one in the Everglades a few years back. It wasn't taking well to the land being developed. It'd get into your head and next thing you know you're holding your own head underwater and taking big, deep breathes. Bitch bit me." And he motions at his shoulder, before returning his hand to his temple, wincing when his fingers press into the skin.

"You okay?"

Dean's look is incredulous, "It was years ago, Sam. I can't even find the scar."

Sam matches him face for face, steps up and then around him. "Is your head bothering you?" His hands find their way to Dean's shoulders without needing any help from him, and his brother's so tense it feels like there's rocks under his skin. He squeezes, rubs his thumbs in soothing little circles, and Dean sighs long and low and lets his head fall forward.

There was a time when he'd have gotten slugged for touching Dean like this. But they've been touching more and more since Dad died. Because Sam might have said they were the only ones left before, but now they actually are. They are each other's first, last and only family, friend, confidant, partner.

There's no one else to touch.

He lets his hands kneed at the tension across his brother's back, listening to the soft sounds Dean makes. The knots fade away before him, like they were never there, and he slides his hands up onto the rough skin of Dean's neck, smiles a little when Dean presses into his touch. He runs his thumb up and down the vertebrae, skimming over the short, soft hair.

And then his hands start to slide forward, over Dean's collarbone, fingertips brushing his chest, and Sam catches himself. Dean is perfectly still, is holding his breath. Waiting. And Sam realizes that he is pressed up close behind

his brother, upper body curled forward so that he is looking down at Dean's upturned face. Staring into his brother's sea-change eyes.

He jerks himself back like he's been burned, heart pounding loud in his ears. His mind, body, and soul are all on board with the fact that Dean is all he has, but unfortunately his body seems to be slightly confused about how far it's supposed to be taking that knowledge. He clears his throat, uncomfortable and unable to look at Dean.

"Look, Sammy..."

"I'm going to take a walk, see if the locals are willing to talk. I'll bring back some dinner." He's already moving towards the door, itching suddenly to be out of this enclosed space. Needing to get somewhere that doesn't smell like Dean. Needing to touch and hold and push, but unwilling to allow himself to.

"Sammy, there's something-"

"I won't go off with any stunningly gorgeous women." He raises one hand over his heart, "Scouts honor." He's out the door before Dean can protest again. Staring up into the late afternoon sun and wondering what's wrong with him, exactly.

The town's noisy and bustling the way little towns always are. There's a dozen cars trying to get into and out of a post office that's designed with parking for four, and a building capacity of eight. There's people walking their dogs, and an elderly couple jogging and a group of high school girls all mashed together, whispering loudly as they stumble and weave their way through the crowd.

Sam's looking for the pizza place. Because towns like this always have a pizza place where the young kids and the old drunks all go to hang out. Where he can find out if there's been anything strange going on lately, any recent developments encroaching on wetland, any gorgeous women randomly abducting men. Where he can buy dinner so that when he goes back to the motel room they'll have something to do with their hands and mouths and there won't have to be any discussion.

He's scanning the storefronts, and never sees the person standing in front of him until he's ran into them and they're laying on the sidewalk, and pile of limbs and bruises. He's on his ass, and there's a woman in his lap. Beautiful like nothing he's ever seen. Long dark curls, sapphire eyes and ruby lips. He looks at her and feels his heart skip a beat.

She's perfect.

"Good evening, sweet stranger. I'm Shari, I need help. Will you help me?"

God, yes.

hr

Dean's been worried since Sam walked out the door, but it takes two hours before he starts panicking in earnest. Two hours of staring at the door, not getting any work done, twiddling his thumbs and listening to the white-noise in his head. Two hours of the nagging something-not-right sourness in his stomach. Two hours of calling Sam's cell and not getting any answer.

Sam had been pissed when he left, another of his freak mood changes that Dean can't seem to get his mind around no matter how hard he tries, and Dean had wrote off the unanswered phone as that, at first. Now, he's not so sure. He also doesn't care. If Sam's still having one of the his bitch-attacks, he's just going to have to deal.

Dean pulls the door closed behind him, phone pressed to his ear, calling Sam again. His phone isn't even ringing anymore. Sammy's voice on the machine is light and carefree, a message from another life ago, and Dean curses and slides his phone closed. Panic is bubbling up inside him.

He jumps when he turns to find himself staring into the face of the girl behind the register from Earl's. She looks even smaller now than she did, arms wrapped tight around herself, unable to look him in the eyes. He can see her shaking, and the panicked feeling in his chest quadruples. "What is it?"

Her voice breaks when she speaks, "Where you with someone? A tall guy, brown hair, brown coat?" She looks into his face for the first time, must read the answer that he can't seem to force from between his lips written in his eyes. She drops her gaze to the ground. He hears her sob. "She-she-she-" her voice breaks and trails off. She takes a hesitant step towards him, as though she intends to touch him before thinking better of it.

"I'm so sorry."

Dean's world spins.

Part Two: Sister of a Snake

"That thing from the store, it took Sam?" His own voice sounds faint in his eyes over the roar of his heartbeat. He feels faint, lightheaded, itchy under his skin. If he had known it was going to come after Sammy he would have gone with it himself earlier. He would have refused to let Sam out of his sight. He would have tied him to the bed till he figured out what was going on.

The girl, the thing had called her Niki, he vaguely remembers, is shifting awkwardly from foot to foot in front of him. "I was walking home and I saw her take him. I'm sorry. I saw-I saw your car. Parked here, I mean. And-" he thinks she's going to apologize again, but her mouth snaps shut.

"Where did it take him, do you know?" he's pushing past her, over to the Impala, popping the trunk and glaring down at it's contents. He doesn't care if she sees, at this point. Some mother-fucking thing took Sam, and Dean's world has narrowed into getting him back as quickly as possible. Collateral damage will have to be dealt with later.

"No. No, I'm sorry." She follows him, stands awkwardly over the trunk. He scowls deeper, slams the hood shut, wants to hit something. If it's a nymph he has to find it's tree and cut it down-burning doesn't work for them. If it's a siren he'll need iron, preferably a hook, though pumping them full of bullets has worked in a pinch. And if it's something else... Niki's talking at him again, "Why do you keep calling her, um, it?"

To preoccupied and worried to even think about lying. The girl's about to get a crash course in paranormal 101 and he'd feel bad about it if this was any other situation.

"Because it's not human." She makes a choking noise and he shoots her a look without making an effort to hide his disgust. "And you know it. You threatened it with the gun back in the store for talking to me. How many others has it taken?"

He's got a thousand questions, and prays that she has the answers, stalking back over to the motel room and slamming the door open. Enjoying the bang of the door handle against the wall. He looks over his shoulder to find her still standing by the Impala, all folded in on herself, eyes darting between him and the ground and the cars passing on the road a handful of feet away.

He barks, "Get in here." It's an order.

She does, big green eyes glimmering with unshed tears.

hr

Time seems to have slowed down. Everything feels slow and thick and warm. And happy, almost to the point of bliss. The closest Sam can figure that he's ever felt to this before was when he used to get pleasantly buzzed with...someone...and lay out on a cold hard roof looking up at the stars. Yeah, this feels kind of like how he remembers those nights feeling. Just ten times better.

He's vaguely aware of riding in a car, a red Dodge Viper, and he's never ridden in one of those before. The engine purrs and the road hums beneath him, it drives like a dream. But there's some kind of bizarre music on the radio, all bells and chimes and flutes, and Sam's not sure why but he knows that's wrong. There should be something else...he just can't quite remember what. It's right on the edge of his tongue and he hums a few notes, clashing discordantly with the radio.

There are lyrics to, now, bubbling up through his mind and his throat. And he remembers, oh, yes, memories crashing down on him like a wave. Dean, eyes flashing hurt as he pushes out the motel room door, shoulders warm and firm beneath his hands, smelling like smoke and leather and dirt, rough voice telling him something. Telling him...

Fuck, Sammy, she wasn't human. Trust me on this one.

He starts, sits bolt upright in the sleek leather seat, fear and adrenaline pouring white hot into his blood stream. He's got to get out of here, got to get away right now, back to Dean. Tell him what happened, tell him what the creature is, what it's doing. Got to-

Something squeezes his thigh, and he looks down to find a woman's long, elegant hand there, skin milk-chocolate dark, fingernails blood red. There is no long pale scar jagged across the back of it, no knot work of scars across the knuckles, no pinkie that curves just enough the wrong way to show that it's been broken close to a dozen times. It's not right, no one should be touching him but Dean, it's...

Perfect.

Totally.

Sam shakes himself, not sure what had come over him there for a second. Not even sure who this Dean person was, and why they should be touching. He sinks back into the warm of the seat, lets his head loll across the back of the seat to stare reverently across at the woman driving. She's so beautiful.

He's not sure how long he's been watching her when he feels the car go still and silent beneath him. She turns to look at him, smiles at him and she looks like an angel, she really does. Maybe she is. Her hand on his thigh squeezes again, and her other slides up his chest, over his neck, cups his cheek as she runs her thumb over his lips. He presses a kiss to the soft, supple skin, unable to resist.

She laughs, and it is the sound of bells and smoke and a creek burbling. "We are here, sweet stranger."

//One Day Ago//

The girl shouts when she wakes, and Dean spares her a glance to make sure that she's alright. Not that anything should be able to get in here. The deeply uneasy, paranoid clench in his gut hadn't let him do anything at all last night till he'd not only salted ever possible entrance to the room but also carved half a dozen protective sigils into the drywall.

When she seems uninjured he turns his attention back to the laptop and the phone pressed to his ear.

"Yeah, hey it's Dean Winchester. John's son, that's right. I found this number in his things, look, I don't have a lot of time to explain. No. No, sir. I understand. I wouldn't-no, listen for just a minute-no, damnit, I need-" The line goes dead just like that, and he slams the phone down, cursing paranoid old men who won't shut up long enough to listen to a simple request.

"No luck?" Niki's voice is soft, like she's not sure if she should be speaking or not. She's still curled on the bed, his bed, because he couldn't bear the thought of her sleeping in Sam's. He wishes Sam were here to make some crack about jail bait.

He himself didn't sleep at all, though he did lay in Sammy's bed-a bed that Sam never even touched-and stare at the ceiling for almost a half-an-hour sometime during the small, gray hours. He rubs a hand over his face, can't seem to unlock his jaw to answer her. The computer screen swims in front of him, letters blurring and swirling and the dial tone is still echoing accusingly up from his cell at him.

He knocks it off the table, slams the side of his hand into the wall, feels anger and helplessness and fear all bubble and mix together in his chest.

Niki had fed him a lot of information last night, enough that he's disqualified both the siren and nymph idea.

The creature, whatever it is, takes one man a year, every year around this time. An hour of digging through local news articles, and who would have thought a backwoods place like this would have so much information online, reveals that the disappearances have been going on for the entirety of the area's recorded history. And that's not the sign of a nymph aggravated about recent deforestation.

And it has to speak to lure it's victims in. Niki's little boyfriend got snatched last year, and he had seen it coming, had taken Niki's hand and ran at the sight of it. It was only when it spoke that he froze, jerked away from Niki and turned back towards the creature. Walked off with it to the sound of Niki screaming. And popular lore be damned but sirens ensnare through sight, not sound.

Problem is, that now he has no fucking clue what the bastard is. And neither does anyone else. He's called every contact he can find, waking them up in the middle of the night, desperation coloring his voice, his words. He doesn't think he's ever begged like this in his entire life.

He's itching under his skin, needs to get out, needs to move, needs to do something. Moving before he thinks about it, grabbing the keys and headed out the door. " Wait, where are you going?" She stumbles getting out of the bed, legs all tangled in the sheets. He doesn't look back at her, but does pause for a minute, half in and half out of the door.

"I'm going to go look around that swamp. See if I can find...anything." That's the extent of his plan. It sucks, but he doesn't have anything else. He's run out of options and it's driving him crazy.

"For God's sake, hold up a minute. You can't just go wandering around the bayou. You'll get lost or hurt or something. I mean, lord, the snakes'll eat you alive if the bugs don't get you first." He's about to snarl out an answer when something about her words snags itself up on the inside of his skull, jumping up and down and yelling to get his attention.

" Snakes?" He asks, buying time for his brain to figure out what his subconscious is trying to tell him.

"Yeah, I mean no offense, but don't be a dumb shit. I found a fucking skin as big as you one year." Behind his eyes the answer is flashing bright white, yelling at the top of it's lungs, kicking him in the balls.

"They supposed to get that big around here?" She's behind him now, hair all a mess, still fully dressed. Rumpled.

"No. No, but I got the skin anyway, so I figure apparently they do."

"This skin, you find it near a body of water? Like a stream, or-"

"A lake. Out the south end of town. Some idiot looking for business with the tourist industry named it Voodoo Lake."

And Dean smiles, or at least his lips pull back from his teeth in an expression so hard and predatory that Niki takes a step backwards. He laughs, a sharp barking sound without any mirth, and she takes another step away. He knows he's scaring her, but can't seem to bring himself to stop it. Because he knows what it is, can feel the truth of it aching in his bones. The word comes unbidden to his lips. "Naga."

Now he just needs to figure out how to kill the bitch.

hr

The house is big and warm and old. Ancient. He can feel its age every time he moves, echoing out to him from the dark wood, the beveled windows. It smells of all the brightly colored, exotic spices that he had always liked making excuses to put on his food when he was young. Curry and jerk and sage and jasmine and a hundred others whose names he can't remember.

There's a fireplace in the center, and he's staring into it, watching the flames twist and writhe against each other. There's a cup of tea in his hands, big and hot, and he's not sure how it got there, but it smells divine. It tastes of apples and dates and sand and something so old it hurts. The initial sweetness fades to something like bitter ashes on his tongue and down his throat.

He grabs onto that taste, can almost feel smoke swirling in his lungs. Coughing and looking up into the swirl of sparks and burnt skin above him. His arm over Dean's shoulders, Dean's arm around his waist as they limped their way out to the car. Enjoying the way that for just a minute as Dean unlocked the door his brother let him melt against him.

Dean, all hard planes, skin wonderfully hot against the chill of the morning air. Pulse beating against Sam's forehead where Sam had managed to slouch and twist enough to tuck his face into the crook between Dean's neck and jaw and shoulder. His brother's voice, hard and thick and buried in his curls, telling him to get into the car, telling him...

Fuck, Sammy, she wasn't human. Trust me on this one.

He starts, almost drops the heavy ceramic cup in his hands. Wondering how he had forgotten, wondering where he is, wondering where Dean is. Under the spices he can now smell the dust and decay and death of this place. He looks up and can see sunlight through the old, rotting, roof. The fire in front of him is tiny, licking at three logs staked in the middle of a hearth big enough to hold six times that many.

He stumbles backwards, panic climbing up his spine and finds himself pressed against a soft female form. Her breast are warm and firm against his back, nipples erect and pressed against his shoulders. Her hands are on his hips, long fingers splayed across his stomach, smoothing little circles into his flesh. Her breath against his neck is cinnamon sweet, blood salty.

He has just enough time to whimper his brother's name into the thick still air before he feels her crawl back inside his soul. And then he sighs, and sinks back against her, murmuring her name sleepily as his hand comes up to tangle in her long thick hair.

Her lips are warm and soft on his neck, teeth nipping at his skin before her rough tongue soothes over the skin. Trailing across his skin and one of her hands slides up his stomach, finger nails just dragging across his flesh, and then other slips beneath the waistband of his pants.

He chokes, trying to say her name but unable to, getting it all tangled up in his mind with other things that he can't seem to properly remember. And then her hand closes around him, and he's crying, can feel the thick salty tears running down his cheeks and wonders why. He's never felt this wonderful in his entire life. This is perfection. Heaven.

He sobs, unable to stop himself, unable to understand what he possibly has to be upset about. And her name, the name that he intended to scream with passion and release and thanks for the beauty she has shown him, twists out of his mouth all wrong. It's a name he doesn't even know, drenched in fear and pleading and need. A prayer for deliverance instead of thanksgiving.

"DEAN "

hr

"Ash, shut up and listen to me. And I need an exact and immediate answer on this, okay? Will the spell work retroactively?"

He feels his knees go weak at the affirmative answer, doesn't even stay on the line to listen to the rest of Ash's bumbling explanation. Flips the phone closed and sinks onto the edge of the bed. Breathes long and slow for the first time in what feels like months.

Niki looks up at him from the other bed, where she is trying to learn the correct pronunciation for the Hebrew phrase he gave her with somewhat limited success. "So we have a plan then?" She's lost the jitters that she had when she showed up, gone cold and hard as a diamond, and he wonders briefly just how much he's taken from her over the last day.

Thinks about how much more is going to be taken tomorrow.

In the end he can't think of any other way this could have went down, and so he nods at her, and goes back to gathering supplies. "Tomorrow morning you're taking me to fucking Voodoo Lake and we're going to teach this bitch a lesson it'll never forget." And what Dean means is kill it, as dead as any thing can get.

She's quiet, and he's looking up to tell her to get back to practicing when her hands land on his shoulders and her mouth descends on his. And things like, fifteen, jail bait, innocent, run through his head. He lets her kiss him, her chapped lips against his, small little fingers digging painfully into his shoulders. And he thinks: Not Sammy.

He pushes her back, even tries to be gentle about it. She's crying, her eyes screwed closed, shaking with emotions that he identifies with but can't name. He pushes her back another step, hands on her arms because that seems like the safest place. She finally opens her eyes, looks at him with something like disappointment and relief written all over her. She says, "I'm sorry."

"Get some sleep."

She turns back to her bed, curls in, and then hesitates before laying down. "The man it took...he was...I mean, you and him?"

He doesn't reply, just clenches his hands and grits his teeth and waits for her to turn over and go to sleep. And after a moment she whispers another apology into the air, and does just that. He's not sure how long he sits there before he's calm enough to resume cleaning his weapons. He whispers to the room in general, "Yeah, I'm sorry too."

Chapter Three: Keeper of the Souls Down on Voodoo Lake

//Present Day//

She directs him with monosyllabic words. Right. Left. Yes. No.

He doesn't mind, conversation is, at this point, the last thing he wants. His mind is at that pleasantly empty place it goes before a hunt. Every nerve ending is tingling, adrenaline and anger sharpening his reflexes and his temper. He's been itching to hurt something for almost two days, and now he's going to get the chance to.

The suns not over the horizon yet, his watch says it's three in the morning, and they have a lot to do in a few hours. He's not sure how long he has before the naga kills Sam, and he can't face the thing with the full weight of it's power behind it. And that's why, when the glittering blue-green surface of the lake comes into view, Niki gets out of the car with him.

He knows he should feel guilty, but it was this or loose Sam forever, and that's no choice at all.

He hoists the bag of salt and weapons onto his shoulder, watches her staring down at the knife in her hand. It glints in the dark, as do her eyes, and he wonders if she's been crying again. He wonders if there's something he should do or say here, to try to make this better, but the sad truth is there's just not enough time for any of that.

"Let's get to work."

hr

His head is pounding when he wakes up, a slow throb that extends from his temples to the back of his skull, bouncing around a hundred places in between. He was dreaming, mostly just feelings, with snatches of images and sounds. Warmth-safe-loved-needed-protected, and Dean's smile, his hands on Sam's shoulders, holding him back, his voice saying nothing bad is going to happen to you as long as I'm around.

For a minute he basks in the dream, floating in that place half between sleep and wakefulness, trying to figure out where he is without opening his eyes. There's a warmth across his chest, and his legs are wrapped...constricted somehow. Someone's breath is dancing across his cheek, someone's long hair is tangled in his fingers.

His eyes jerk open, and he looks down at himself, and very nearly screams. Shari is cuddled against him, her face soft and sweeter than he's ever seen it with sleep and what he supposes must be post-coital bliss. Which is, well, disturbing. But not the worst thing. Not by far.

Fuck, Sammy, she wasn't human. Trust me on this one.

No. No she really fucking wasn't. Goddamn Dean for being right. Sam stares down at the thick coils of her body surrounding him from the waist down and feels his heart rate double. It must wake her. Or maybe she was never really asleep, he's not sure.

Just feels her long fingers wrap around the back of his head, directing his face down to hers, her mouth opening under his. She murmurs into his mouth, her voice smoke and blood and the fury of a river, "You have helped me so much, sweet stranger, I have only a little more to ask of you." He kisses her, wraps his arms around her.

And the part of him that stays him, the part of him that remembers Dean and what his life really is. The Sammy part of him, curls into a little ball in the corner of his mind, screams and rages. And when his body goes tight and tense, when the thing in him momentarily loses itself in her body, he seizes control and screams for all he's worth. Praying, pleading, begging.

"DEAN "

hr

It doesn't take as long as Dean had feared it might to completely salt the perimeter of the lake. Setting up the candles takes a little longer, but the four of them have to be equidistant from each other, or none of this will work, and so he takes the extra time to make sure it's right. And then there's nothing to do but put Niki inside the circle, grit his teeth, and hope this works.

She's trembling, and he feels like a pile of shit for doing this to her, but there's no other options.

The summoning spell falls easily from his lips, the lilts and whorls of a dead language almost as familiar to him as English. He watches them rise, keeping up the litany, words falling one after the other out of him till there's a crowd numbering in the hundreds surrounding them.

They're all soaking wet, as though the water actually has any effect on them, men of every age and walk of life. Men dressed in modern clothing, and leathers, and silks. Over two hundred and fifty years worth of tribute to a forgotten goddess. They look at him with dark eyes, all the spark gone out of them, empty used things that chill him to the bone.

Dean's never seen spirits this dead before.

And then one steps out of the crowd, young in life, tall and gangly and awkward. He knows when Niki gasps who it is, who is must be. Her boyfriend steps up to her, enfolds her in a hug that doesn't leave any residual moisture on the girl. She is sobbing, truly now, and Dean watches the ghost brush the tears away, watches it try to smile for her, and feels himself break a little inside.

"Niki. Do you want me to explain to them...?"

She shakes her head sharply, not looking at him, hasn't looked at him all morning. When she speaks her voice is low, meant for her boy and the others to hear. That's fine. Dean knows what she's saying by heart anyway. That they can be free, that they just have to trust her, and she will give them rest. That they won't be trapped here, in this lake anymore.

For a minute they stand still as stone, and Dean thinks for one horrible second that they will refuse, that the creature's hold on them runs so deep that they won't be able to accept. But then her boy offers her his hand, palm up, and he lets himself breath. She's crying again when she jerks the knife across his flesh, which splits but doesn't bleed.

He pushes it onto his chest, his neck, smears it up across his face, and though there's no blood there is a noticeable shimmer everywhere he touches. She pricks her own finger, touches his heart, neck, forehead, eyelids, mouth. Her blood burns like a brand against him. And he hears her, though he's sure she doesn't intend him to, say, "Goodbye."

The boy's eyes flare and spark, and he smiles, even as he fades from sight. And then there are two hundred and fifty men offering Niki their palms. Dean squeezes her shoulder, "Work fast, Niki, I'm counting on you." And steps forward, through the crowd that offers him no resistance at all, down to the lake. Toes off his boots and makes sure the blade and the bag are both securely fastened to his belt. Takes a deep breath.

The water is like ice around his legs, feels oily slick and dirty everywhere it touches him. He walks out as far as he can, and then breathes as deep as he can, and dives.

He's not sure exactly what he's looking for, and it's hard to see in the murky water. And then he sees it, the hole black like a wound on the surrounding brown mud. He kicks hard for the entrance, lungs burning by the time he pulls himself inside. It's pitch black inside, and he kicks and pulls himself along the edge desperately, unable to tell how far he's come, unable to guess how much longer it might be when suddenly, there is light.

He surges towards the surface.

hr

He's not sure why he ever thought this place was a house. There is wood, but mostly there is stone and earth everywhere he looks. He's not sure where she's taking him, has lost his bearings in the labyrinth of this place. There's tunnels upon tunnels here, and they all look the same to him.

The Sammy part of him, the part not on fire from the feel of her hand in his, screams and tries to convince his body to do the same. The most he achieves is a murmur, but that's more than he would have got out yesterday, and he wonders if he's starting to adapt to her. Wonders if he'll be able to shake off her hold completely in a few more days. Wonders if he has that much time.

He's pretty sure he doesn't.

She's cooing at him again, her hands fussing with his hair, her body pressed all close up against his. Not all of her body, of course, because she's given up all pretense of being human. Her body must be close to twenty feet long, all told, and he's not even sure how he would fight her if he was capable of it.

And then the corridor opens into a room, huge and domed, roots hanging down from the ceiling. It's completely bare, except for the stone slab in the center. He's sure it was gray or maybe white once, but now it's green with algae and brown with crusted blood. He can smell it from here, and the Sammy part of him tries to dig his heels in, fights with everything he has to stay as far away from it as he can.

"Come now, sweet stranger. Please help me."

He walks towards the alter, unable to stop himself, screaming at the top of his lungs where no one can hear him. He lays down without being asked, feels the dig of the rough stone on his bare back, feels himself smiling at her. She smiles back, still so painfully, terribly beautiful. He tries to scream, one last time, and he surprised when his voice comes out, no louder than a rough rasp, but still a sound that he intended, "Dean..."

Her smile is gone, her face transformed into something hard and cold. There's a knife in her hand and there's a part of him that's relieved that at least she's not going to swallow him whole and digest him while he's still alive or something like that. He finds he can still talk, and keeps his mouth moving, can hear himself getting louder and louder by the second, his brother's name a mantra falling from his lips.

The light catches on the knife at the peak of it's upward arch, and he watches it descend, still unable to move anything more than his mouth.

Her fingers spasm open around it, her eyes blown wide and huge with shock, her mouth opening in a scream that curdles Sam's blood. There's a sword sticking out of her chest, blood flowing bright and red around the blade, down her perfect stomach, across her scales. It twists, and she screams again, and for just a second Sam can see the figure looming over her shoulder.

Dean, soaking wet, face blank, flat and hard as rock. Eyes on fire.

And then she twists, flailing with her whole body, all twenty feet of bone and muscles and Dean goes flying.

hr

Fucking rock wall hurts like a fucking bitch.

Dean can taste blood in the back of his throat, and he can't seem to get his vision to focus no matter how many times he blinks. He's pretty sure that hitting his head that hard against a rock was not the most advisable course of action, but at least the bitch is away from Sammy now. The downside to that being that she's slithering her way across the floor towards him and bitch does not look happy to see him.

He's dimly aware that she's yanked the sword out of her back, and left it back at the bloody damn altar about a million miles away. Pretty sure that the Bowie knife strapped to his thigh isn't going to be all that horribly useful against her if getting stabbed through the heart didn't do anything more than irritate her. He grabs it anyway.

Getting his feet under himself proves to be somewhat more of a challenge. The room keeps spinning, and there's a little voice in the back of his head telling him that concussions are such a fucking bitch to deal with. And then she's on him, hands closing around his throat and he stabs with the knife, quick deep incisions anywhere he can reach that do jack-shit.

He just hopes Sam is taking this opportunity to haul ass out of here.

She hisses, right in his ear, "Be mine, sweet stranger, please, won't you be mine."

He twists and ducks his head, finds her neck and bites as hard as he can, ripping his head back. Her blood is pure salt in his mouth, and he spits out the flesh, feeling his stomach roil at the texture of it on his tongue. She screams, and he can't see through her blood all over his face and the white spots swimming across his vision. Takes pleasure in hearing her voice break when she demands, "What is wrong with you? Why will you not be mine? How?" as she throttles him.

"Sorry, sweetheart, I'm taken."

She screams, louder than he's ever heard anything scream before. Naked fury tinged with pain, and he laughs though he's not sure why. Her hands tighten around his throat and now there's black spots with the white spots and they're on the inside of his eyelids, too.

"DEAN" Sammy's voice, accompanied by the sword biting down into the creature's shoulder, snapping it's collarbone and a half dozen ribs.

"DEAN" Yanking the sword out and bringing it down on an arm, the bone snapping or crushing or something that releases the pressure around his neck and sends him crashing to the ground, struggling to stand.

"DEAN" in one side of her neck and out the other, her head tottering for a moment before toppling off.

"Oh God, Dean," Sammy dropping to his knees beside him, pulling him close with those ridiculously long arms of his, sobbing or talking or laughing into Dean's hair. Dean reaches out carefully, pats at his brother, slowly because he's seeing three Sams and he doesn't think it would go over real well if he got the wrong one.

"Thought you s'd you wer'n't go'ng t' do that t' me 'gin," the words are hard to get out, his tongue feels to thick and his jaw burns like fire.

"Though you said you weren't going to come after me again if I did," Sam's rocking him back and forth, sitting in a puddle of goddess blood, and all Dean can think is that they could have had this conversation in a much nicer place. Because there's a desperation in Sam's touch that's been there for months, that he's been trying to ignore but there's not much he can do to avoid it when Sam's all wrapped around him like he's his anchor to the world.

"Lied. Nev'r gon' leave you." And then, because Sam should know, he should have told him a year ago when he did the ritual. "'m y'rs. You own me."

Sam pushes their foreheads together, doesn't say anything, but Dean can feel the tension, taste the decision in the air. He waits. Tilts his face in what he hopes is Sam's general direction and wonders briefly if he'll be getting to see a hospital in the near future. Wonders if this is the time Sam forsake whatever it is that keeps him from taking this last, damning, step in their relationship.

After a minute Sam laughs, somewhere low in his chest, and pulls away. "Let's get out of here."

Dean sighs, because that hurts more than anything else that happened to him today.

"Yeah."

Epilogue: Fallout

"Jesus Christ!"

"Sorry! Sorry!"

Getting Dean out of the Impala and over to the motel room a hundred miles away from Voodoo Lake is proving to be somewhat disastrous. Sam wishes that he'd been able to convince his brother to stay at the hospital at least over night. Unfortunately, after the doctors had decided that the concussion, busted knee, bruised ribs, broken pinkie finger, and assorted other bruises, scrapes and contusions were not deadly Dean had insisted upon leaving.

Which is why he's watching his brother limp his way across the parking lot, getting batted away every time he tries to help. He supposes he should just be grateful that Dean let him carry their luggage without throwing a fit about it.

The room is small and dirty and dark, and Dean collapses onto one of the beds the moment he's through the door, groaning, "Home sweet home." Sam wants to laugh at him, is sure that the line was thrown out to be laughed at, but can't seem to bring himself to. This one is his fault, and he's not sure how to go about making things right again. Especially since Dean hasn't said one word about the incident since Sam pulled his heavy ass out of the lake hours ago.

Eventually he sets the bag down, sinks down on the bed beside Dean and stares down at his hands.

"S'okay S'mmy," Dean's still slurring his words, and that twists the knife in Sam's gut, twists it again when his brother gropes out with one hand, pats him awkwardly on the leg. "N't y'r fault." He leaves his hand where it lays, fingers all bandaged together in what Sam's sure will be a futile attempt to make the broken finger heal straight. He laughs, and Dean shifts and asks, " Wh't? 'M amus'n' t' you?"

"No, it's just..." He lets his own hands wander, runs his fingers across the bruises on Dean's forehead, across his closed eyelids, his purple cheek, his split lip. Freezes there for just a second to long before dropping his hand back to the mattress, fisting his grip in the sheets. "I was thinking about your hand."

Dean cracks one eye open, stares up at him, and his gaze is still not connecting quite right, though his focus is ten times better than it was back in the caves. For a terrifying two hours as they made their way out, Dean completely unable to move on his own, drifting in and out of waking hallucinations, Sam had thought he might lose him. When Dean had went completely limp in the final swim through the lake, and then lay still and motionless and not breathing on the shore he had been sure he had. The remembered fear makes him nauseous.

"'s brok'n." Dean pats his leg again, as if to reaffirm his point.

"I know. It's-when she had me, when she touched me, you know, I remember looking at her hand and thinking it was wrong." He knows he should stop himself, should just bite the inside of his cheeks and go over to the other bed and pretend to sleep. But Dean's looking at him with both eyes now, staring at him like he's the only thing in the world, and he can't help himself, "Because it wasn't yours."

Dean just keeps staring at him, takes a deep breath, "S'mmy-"

"No, wait, I'm not done," he only realizes it's the truth when the words are out of his mouth. "How come it couldn't control you, Dean? I fought it as hard as I could and didn't get anywhere." He's surprised when Dean's eyes darken, when his hand slides suddenly from his leg up to rest against Sam's cheek, thumb rubbing awkward jerky circles.

"'cause my soul...I...it wasn't f'r me t' give, wh't it wanted." In the caves Dean had said Sam owned him, and he knows he should push the issue, find out exactly what that means, exactly what he's brother has done. He just doesn't have the energy for it right now. Besides, his mind has already moved onto other things, skipping ahead without him.

"It made me-" he swallows, rephrases what he's about to say, "It did things to me, and I did things back and I didn't want to. I could see myself and I couldn't stop. I just...I don't know what to do about, about what happened." He feels like a bastard, asking his brother for comfort at a time like this, but he just really wants Dean to tell him how to think about this whole thing, and that everything will be okay.

"S'mmy, s'not y'r fault. S'okay."

"I know. I know that. It just seems like I should have been able to...to...fight it or something. But I couldn't and it just kept on doing things. And all I could do was pray and wish it was you-" He clamps his mouth shut at the last possible moment, biting his tongue so hard that blood bursts salty and overpowering in his mouth. Without him realizing it he's started touching Dean again, running fingers along the line of his jaw, drawing patterns against his scalp.

"W's me what?"

And they're on the precipice again, the one that they've been avoiding for months, this razor edge moment where Dean goes still and quiet to wait and Sam fights with himself. Sam's managed to keep his footing through so much, but now he's slipping before he can compensate, tumbling without a safety net anywhere in sight. "Was you touching me."

Silence.

"'Kay." Dean moves ridiculously fast, even wounded, and just like that he's tightened his fingers in Sam's curls, yanked him down hard. His mouth is warm and firm beneath Sam's, the split in the middle of the bottom lip almost silky in texture. His one hand stays wrapped in Sam's hair, the bandages snagging at the strands. The other braces against Sam's hip, and he has a moments consideration of this fact before Dean is pushing and twisting.

And then he's sitting up again, right on the edge of the bed, Dean kneeling between his knees, still kissing him somehow. He opens his mouth to protest things like: your bum knee, you're hurt, we're brothers. He never gets the chance, because Dean, always an opportunist, suddenly has his tongue in Sam's mouth, darting and pressing with the desperation of a dying man.

He's aware that there are hands unbuttoning his shirt, aware of the sudden loss of Dean's mouth against his, the warm press of Dean's lips on his chin, jaw, neck, behind his ear oh-God-right-there. He has time to think about how unfair this seems, how it should be him on his knees in front of Dean, how broken his brother is, how much he's going to hell for allowing this to happen.

And then Dean's hands are tugging Sam's shirts off, his mouth blazing a path across his shoulders, down one arm and back up the other, across his chest, down his stomach. Sam can feel himself trembling, feels his muscles bunch and jump, and realizes that the emotion chocking up the back of his throat is at least partially relief. Unable to express the fact that somehow Dean's touch cancels out the monster's...makes him clean and pure and whole again.

Dean's fingers make fast work of his belt buckle, button and zipper, and it doesn't seem fair that a man with a concussion can move so deliberately. And then Dean stops, a breath away from him, looking up at him with big green eyes that snap and flash with emotion, his lips red and swollen, the bruises half-hidden by the flush that's crept across his skin. "S'mmy?"

He's not sure whether to laugh or cry that Dean even thinks to ask, and the sound he ends up making is more a cough than anything else. Dean just keeps looking at him, gone quiet and still again, waiting. And Sam gives up, and lets the word that's been pressed against his teeth since this started slip free, "Please. Please. Dean, I-"

Whatever else he might have said dissolves into a groan, in Dean's lips around him, in his hand curling around the curve of Dean's neck, fingers working through short hair looking for purchase. Dean hums in the back of his throat, and Sam jerks forward, feels himself bump into the back of Dean's mouth and freezes. Tries very hard to remind himself of the monster pinning Dean to the wall, hands wrapped around his throat, choking the life from him.

And suddenly he wants to stop, to wait until Dean's not so beat all to hell, to not be so fucking selfish about this of all things. Dean's eyes flick up to his, flecked with blue and gold in the crappy motel light, and he hums again, and swallows.

Everything goes white-hot behind his eyes, and for a moment he thinks he lost it, but then Dean sucks and licks and oh God he thinks he might die. Right now. He's dimly aware he's making sounds, whimpers and words that don't register in his ears or his brain. He is aware of the volume, and in some corner of his mind, he's embarrassed. Mostly, he doesn't care.

Release sneaks up on him, and he shouts warning a moment to late, hears Dean choke from somewhere far away, and the sudden lose of the wet-warm-soft to the chilly air of the motel is almost painful. He blinks, trying to clear his vision, trying to make everything slow down and straighten itself out when Dean stands, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, still coughing a little.

For a moment there is stillness, as he pants and Dean stands there between his legs, looking suddenly awkward and unsure. "You 'kay, S'mmy?"

He wants to laugh or cry or scream, and settles for wrapping his hands around his brother's hips, and yanking him closer, sliding his grip to Dean's shoulders and pulling him down. Meeting his brother's bruised lips and tasting himself in Dean's mouth. Groaning into the kiss, letting himself fall backwards and bringing Dean with him. Spreads his legs so Dean's laying between them, rocks up against him.

"S'mmy?" whispered against his throat, even as Dean rocks back, the denim of his jeans coarse and painful against Sam's nakedness.

" Please," whispered into the ceiling, hands tearing at the layers of clothes separating them, hard again so fast it's painful. Dean bracing himself up on one arm and rummaging around in the bag sitting beside them on the bed. Sam tugging at his brother's jeans, using longer arms to his advantage to shove them over his hips. Grinding against Dean again, unable and unwilling to even try to stop himself.

"T'ke c're of you," kissing him, readjusting their hips and a sudden probing finger that he was expecting. "N'ver gon' let 'em h'rt you," warm mouth back at that spot right below his ear, fingers tracing a myriad of patterns over his skin, finger twisting and stretching and another one sliding in. "Kill f'r you," sucking and nipping and he recognizes the patterns as warding spells, and a third finger moving inside him. "Die f'r you," kissing him hard on the mouth, both hands moving to his hips, fingers gripping hard.

And Sam takes his face in his hands, makes him look him in the eye, feeling Dean pressing against him, wanting him so badly. He rocks his hips and Dean grunts and the pressure is different than he had been expecting. Slow and broad and stretching. Inch by inch by inch till there's nothing left to push and there's just Dean's eyes staring down into his soul.

"Live for me." Pushing up against Dean's mouth as Dean slowly rocks their joined bodies. Slow and easy and deep. Sam's not sure whether it's out of consideration for him or because of Dean's own injuries, and he doesn't care. Just stares into Dean's eyes and feels.

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