Author's note The next chapter will come VERY soon. In fact, this chapter was part of a 10,000 word chapter already written, which needed to be broken out into a smaller one for issues of structure, but I didn't want to post it without writing past a crucial area of narrative structure. However, I did some more work and fleshed the early part out into something that can stand alone as its own chapter. You will not have to wait long at all for the next, lovely, long chapter.
Outside the Sanctuary, Bobby hugged Sam and Dean goodbye. "We'll give you a call when we get to Morrison."
Dean snorted. "You really don't want to see your ex, do you?"
"Hey!" Bobby protested. "Reggie hasn't been interested in anyone since Nathan. Man wants to stop off and see this new fella on the way, it's the least I can do."
Nobody believed Bobby's primary motivation for the stopover was fostering Reggie's love life, but Sam and Dean let the little white lie go unchallenged.
Bobby waved at Juliane and Danny. "Take care of my boys."
"Always!" Juliane called out, then shut her mouth quickly as though she'd said too much.
Bobby climbed into the car, and Reggie leaned out the window of the Dodge Challenger. "Try not to get yourself in any trouble while we're gone." The cold January wind whipped his silvery hair back.
Dean raised his right hand. "On my honor." Sam's mouth twitched and slipped his hand into Dean's. They smiled as Reggie started the car and backed out of the parking space.
"On my honor, I will do my best…" Dean said under his breath purely for Sam's benefit. Sam made a soft little sound. Dean leaned closer and whispered, "Want me to find a Boy Scout uniform, Sammy?"
The muscles in Sam's throat worked as he swallowed. "Not fair."
"Hey!" Dean called out to Juliane. "Got stuff to make s'mores?"
Sam squeezed Dean's hand as Dean tugged him toward the door "So not fair."
"Mind rolling up that window now?" Bobby complained to Reggie.
"Your old bones cold?"
"Yes. Actually. Because it's winter."
Reggie rolled up the window, secretly glad to put a barrier between him and the cold air, but relishing, as always, a chance to needle Bobby.
The tires rolled over the salt speed bump protecting the Sanctuary and the Challenger pulled out onto the road.
A silver Honda Accord slowly pulled out and settled in behind the Challenger at a discreet distance, driven by the white-haired demon, Azazel's minion, his eyes black and cold.
Back inside the Sanctuary, Dean sprawled on the couch in the common room, tugging Sam down next to him. "So, Sammy… what do you want to do today?" His grin made it perfectly clear what he wanted to do.
Dean blinked, trying to puzzle out what sort of sexual euphemism "chess" was.
"Don't you ever get enough?" Sam poked him in the chest.
Dean rolled his eyes. "Duh. No. Next question?"
"I want to play chess with Juliane." He called over to her at the table where she sat reading a book. "Up for playing a game with me?"
Her face lit up. "Sure!"
"What am I supposed to do?" Dean pouted.
Sam leaned in and whispered something in Dean's ear that made him blush. Sam laughed. "Or you could play cards or something with Danny. Or work on Bobby's car."
Dean grinned. "Know what I want?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Yeah."
"Besides that. I want to get out of here. See a movie."
"You want to go from one enclosed space to…another enclosed space?"
"Dude, it's cold as hell out there. Not like we can go play ball or something."
Sam nodded, acknowledging Dean had a point.
Danny called the local theater to see what was playing. "I think there's a new movie just came out we'd like. Boondock something."
"Boondock Saints," Juliane said, looking up from a paperback on the Baobhan sith of the Scottish Highlands.
"Right. That's the one."
They decided to see the late afternoon showing, giving them plenty of time to relax and just hang out, something everyone felt was certainly well deserved and appropriate.
Dean and Danny got started on the work that remained to make Bobby's car operational and safe. Juliane made a pot of chamomile tea for her and Sam, and brought out the chess board.
Sam flipped a coin to see who was black and who was white. Juliane won the toss and opened with the Knight's Indian attack, with her knight to F3.
Sam grinned, popping his dimples, and moved his knight to F6. "So… you and Danny."
Juliane looked up at Sam with a shy smile. "Me and Danny."
Sam took a sip of tea. "Going well?"
She gave a shy smile and nodded.
"You two seem good for each other."
"I think so too." She moved her pawn to G3. Sam countered with his pawn to D5, and she moved her bishop to G2.
Sam took his time surveying the board at this point, calculating various strategies.
Juliane watched Sam make his next move, and moved immediately, having anticipated his choice already. "Are any of Azazel's memories still bothering you?"
Sam frowned. "I remember all of it, but it's faded. Like a TV show from a long time ago. I remember seeing it, but it's not vivid like it was."
Juliane continued her cautious strategy, not attempting to control the center of the board directly, but marshalling her forces from a safe distance. She moved her queen to E1. Sam moved his bishop to E7. Juliane nearly moved her pawn to E4, but realized it was a trap, and pulled her pawn back before her fingertips had released it. Sam crinkled his nose in mock disappointment that his strategy had been discovered.
"What's your plan now?" Juliane's voice was light, but the tension at her mouth showed it was a hard question for her to bring herself to ask.
"You and Dean just took out the Big Bad Wolf. Now what?"
Sam moved his bishop to a stronger position. "I don't know."
"Yes, you do." Juliane took a sip of tea.
Sam's mouth twitched into a reluctant smile. "Well, I want to find out more about these powers I have, and what they mean. And I want to get that notebook translated and find out how to cure demons. That would be pretty awesome."
"Finish school. Go to college. Get my degree. I used to want to get a law degree. But now, I'm thinking ancient languages and lore."
Juliane cocked her head, a bit surprised.
"Look, I don't want to run around like my dad or Bobby or Reggie killing monsters one or two at a time. I want to find out how to stop them. Like, large-scale. And maybe the way to stop them is to save them. Not just demons. All of them. You can't just do that fighting hand-to-hand combat on the ground. You need research. Real research and study."
"You want to put Hunters out of business."
He grinned. "Yeah."
"I like that idea." She tucked her hair behind her ear.
"I want to help people. And I have these powers, these gifts, right, and they're big. And so I feel like the way I help should also be..."
"I agree. And I'd like to help you do that." She made her next move, pawn to E4 with the protection now offered by the queen to support the move.
Sam smiled at her show of support.
"Sam. I can really help you and Dean. A lot."
Sam looked at her curiously.
"I have a lot of resources. More than you realize. And I want to help you. You know, maybe that's my thing. I have these resources, these gifts, and they're big. So maybe I should start helping…bigger. And I can start with you."
Sam twirled the silver ring on his right ring finger.
Juliane fiddled with the cuff of her sweater, forehead creased as if unsure about saying what was on her mind. "I can get you set up here with private tutors. Anything you'd want to learn in a university, you can learn right here. I can bring in the best scholars, the best minds. Whatever you want."
Sam's mouth fell open.
"Dean too. Whatever he wants to do, I can help him get there." She took a deep breath. "I'll cover all your expenses. You don't have to worry about anything."
Sam blew out a loud breath, stunned at the generosity of her offer and what it implied. "Why—"
Juliane cut him off before he could say any more. "Because I can? Because you saved me?" She blurted out, then looked down at the chess board, avoiding Sam's gaze. "Don't say anything. Just…you have options."
Sam reached over the table and took her hand. "We like you too."
Juliane's smile was that of a little girl with a lapful of puppy for Christmas. "Alright, you. Change the subject." Her cheeks were pink.
"Ok. What did you want to be? Before you found out about all this?" Sam gestured to the library of supernatural books and objects.
"Before I learned monsters were real?" Juliane rubbed her thumb over the end of the scar that curled over her wrist. "I didn't want to be anything. I didn't have to be anything."
Sam cocked his head like a dog confused about what its human was doing.
"My family was wealthy, and I was the sole beneficiary."
"Your mom and dad are gone?" Sam's eyes widened.
"Boating accident. I was 14." Juliane looked troubled, and steered the conversation back. "Anyway, they were rich. Not just incredibly wealthy. Obscenely wealthy. All I was had to do was get through private school, go to Yale, look beautiful, marry well, and do charity fundraisers."
Sam surveyed her as intently as he had the chess board. "That's what you were expected to do. What did you want to do?"
"I wanted to be Indiana Jones." She glanced up at Sam quickly, expecting to see amusement in his expression. Instead, she saw a smile of recognition and respect.
"Teacher. Researcher. And an adventurer. A warrior fighting evil, but using his brain. Great choice."
Juliane sat back in her chair. "I'm impressed. Most people just think of Indy running around in exotic locations fighting the bad guys. They forget about the whole scholar/professor part."
"That's kind of what you're becoming now."
Juliane looked confused.
"You're like a scholar of supernatural lore. You fight evil and help Hunters. And you could be totally badass with a little fight training."
Juliane looked stunned. "I never thought of it like that." This revelation so preoccupied her that she lost her focus on the chess game. Sam quickly gained the advantage and maneuvered his pieces into a double bishop mate.
She accepted her defeat graciously, and suggested a Speed Chess round.
"Ok, but if I win, you have to buy us lunch." Sam winked.
Juliane opened a cabinet and pulled out an analog chess clock made out of mahogany. They made their moves in rapid succession, slapping the button on the top of their clock's counter, barely allowing a few seconds for thought. She nearly won, but Sam's mind was too sharp, and he won the second game too.
"I was going to buy everyone lunch anyway." She tipped over her king.
Sam stood up and stretched. "I should hope so. Since you're obscenely wealthy." He ruffled her hair in an annoying-little-brother way.
Juliane didn't mind at all.
Sam walked into the garage to find Dean bent over Bobby's car, up to his elbows in the engine block, and Danny's boots sticking out from underneath the car. "You two about ready to catch that movie?"
Danny rolled out from under the car, setting his wrench back in the toolbox, and tossed Dean a shop towel. Dean straightened up and wiped his hands, barely budging the thick layer of grease that covered them. "What, already?" He looked disappointed.
And Sam knew why. He glanced at the clock on the wall. "We have a few minutes. Let's go back. Get you cleaned up." Sam gestured to Dean's filthy hands.
They ran down the hallway and into their apartment. Sam pushed Dean into the bathroom. "Wash your hands." As Dean scrubbed the grease off, Sam pressed up behind him and unbuckled his belt. Dean rinsed his hands clean (cleaner, anyway), and turned around to face Sam.
"Wanna play a game?" Sam's expression was mischievous.
Dean nodded, eager to play whatever Sam had in mind.
"It's a new game. I just made it up." Sam dropped to his knees and undid Dean's buttons on the front of his jeans. "Speed Blow Job."
Dean swiped his tongue over his lip."Really."
"Kinda like Speed Chess. But the rules are I try to make you come as fast as I can. And you have to hold out as long as you can."
Dean was already half-hard, but Sam's idea quickly brought him to full attention.
"Then it's your turn. You try and get me off as fast as you can, and I try to not come for as long I can. And the loser is whoever comes the fastest."
"And what does the winner get?"
"I already have those." Dean smirked.
Sam thought about it. "Loser has to do the dishes and laundry for a week."
Sam grinned up at Dean mischievously. "Oh, and one more thing. We'll measure how long we last by how many times we can say the Boy Scout Oath."
Dean closed his eyes. "Jesus Christ, Sammy."
Sam pulled Dean's cock, beautifully hard and ready for him, out of his jeans. "Ready?"
"Get set. Go!"
Dean raised his right hand, elbow bent at a ninety-degree angle, thumb and pinky touching, three middle fingers straight. He had barely gotten the words "On my honor" out when Sam's mouth was sucking him down to the base, so warm and wet, feeling so good that Dean stammered "I-I-I, uh, will d-do my best…"
Sam yanked Dean's underwear down to his knees, cradling his balls in his right hand and tugging, rolling them in his fingers, sucking his cock hard and deep like his life depended on it.
"…to do my duty to God and my country…"
Sam pulled off Dean's cock long enough to wet his index finger, slipped it between Dean's thighs as he drove his mouth back down on Dean's cock, circled his hole and slipped his fingertip inside.
"Christ!" Dean gripped the sink behind him. "To God and my country, and to obey the Scout law..." Dean squeezed the porcelain sink hard, desperately trying not to come in seconds like a horny virgin, trying not to come from Sam's gifted mouth on him, his finger inside him, moving just right, the sight of Sam's lips wrapped around his cock, his big hazel eyes locked on him, moaning with the pleasure of having Dean in his mouth. "To, uh, shit. To help other people at all times… to keep myself physically strong…"
Sam crooked his index finger, stroking his prostrate gently, making Dean shiver, took his cock so deep it made Sam's eyes water, back arching at the feel of it hitting the back of his throat.
"…mentally awake and… fuck… and morally straight…" Dean released his death grip on the sink and held up his right index finger. "That's one."
Sam sank his mouth down onto Dean's cock with total abandon, sucking hard, eyes on Dean, willing him to come, one hand working his balls the way Dean loved, arching his back and sticking his ass out, making Dean want to rip his jeans off and slam his cock inside Sam, make him squeal and writhe.
Dean concentrated with all his might, and made it through the oath a second time, and a third.
Sam twirled his tongue around the end of his cock and whimpered.
"Fuck." Dean panted and started again. "On my honor, I will do my best…" He closed his eyes, willing himself not to come, insisting he not come. Sam kept making soft whimpering sounds of pleasure and need. "To do my duty to God and my country and Jesus fuck, Sam…" Sam nursed on the end of his cock and moaned, and he was lost, tangling his hands in Sam's hair, seeing the light leap in Sam's eyes as Dean's hips pumped helplessly, hearing his moans of satisfaction as Dean came in his mouth, came down his throat, came hard and long and so, so good.
Sam swallowed, not letting a single drop escape his lips. That triggered an epic aftershock that left Dean weak in the knees.
"That was, what, three and a half times?" Sam stood up. "I can beat that."
Dean sank to his knees and licked his soft, pink lips, looking up at Sam's flushed face, knowing he was already halfway there just from sucking Dean off. "Wanna bet?"
Sam let Dean undo his jeans and take his cock out.
He grinned at the sight of the pearl of pre-come jewelling the slit. "Sorry, sweetheart. You aren't gonna make it past two." He curled his tongue and lapped the drop up.
"Ready. Get set. Go!" Dean didn't devour Sam's cock like Sam had done to him. He looked up at Sam, blinked his long lashes slowly, and licked at Sam's cock lazily.
"On my honor, I will do my best…"
He rubbed the head of Sam's cock over his soft pink lips and moaned.
"Fuck." Sam shivered. "To, um, do my best, to God and my country…"
Dean shook his head.
"To do my duty to God and… Jesus, Dean."
Dean parted his lips and wrapped them around the head of Sam's cock. He made a tight seal with his lips and rotated his head in a slow circle, flicking his tongue along the underside of Sam's cock as his mouth revolved.
"Guh." Sam's breath was rapid, and a drop of sweat ran down the hollow of his throat. "To God and my country…"
Dean dipped the tip of his tongue into Sam's slit and teased out more pre-come. "So sweet…" he whispered."Such a beautiful cock."
Sam's hips bucked. "And, um… to obey the Scout law…"
Dean rubbed Sam's cock over his lips, smearing pre-cum over them until they glistened, and licking it off. "Sam. You taste so good."
Sam squeezed his eyes shut, fighting hard to not come immediately at the sound of Dean talking dirty to him. "To help… to help other people at all times…"
Dean sucked on the head of Sam's cock again with an obscene wet sound, making Sam gasp and open his eyes, look down at Dean again.
He let his long, thick lashes flutter. "Come for me, sweetheart. Come in my mouth." He wrapped his lips around Sam's cock and sank down to the base, pressing his tongue to the sensitive underside the entire way, then pulled back up, cheeks hollowing, tongue stroking the underside of his cock, lapping all the way up to the crown, then twisting and swirling and sucking, his green eyes locked on Sam the entire time.
Sam made a helpless sound of surrender, shivered and shook and gave Dean what he wanted, spurting into his mouth, onto his pink lips, Dean sealing his lips over the end and sucking out every drop Sam had to give him.
He rose to his feet and pulled Sam, still trembling, into his arms and kissed him, letting Sam taste himself on Dean's lips. Sam moaned, and Dean's soft cock twitched.
He broke the kiss and smirked. "You couldn't get through it even once."
Sam didn't mind his abject defeat. "Nope."
"Guess I got bragging rights."
"Always." Sam held Dean close and trembled, undone by Dean on a more profound level than merely physical pleasure. "You… you're..." He couldn't find the words.
Dean stroked Sam's hair. "You too, Sammy." He swallowed hard, surprised by the surge of emotion he felt. "You too."
Just then, there was a knock at the door. "You two ready to head out?" Danny asked.
Dean kissed Sam on the neck, and tucked himself into his jeans. "Be right out."
The four of them piled into the car and went to the movie theater. Juliane bought two giant tubs of popcorn with extra butter, one for each couple to share. She went overboard on the candy, buying Milk Duds for Sam, black licorice for Dean (at which Sam wrinkled his nose), as well as Good and Plenty, Sno-Caps and Raisinets for everyone to share, with large sodas for all.
Sam and Dean grabbed fistfuls of popcorn, letting their fingers caress each other without fear of discovery, and settled in to watch the previews. Then the main feature started. They stared in astonishment at the story of two brothers setting out to rid Boston of evil men, and at the deep brother bond (and homoerotic subtext) of the MacManus brothers. Afterward, Dean declared it his new favorite movie. Danny and Dean kept repeating, "How did you two fucking fucks…" until they were breathless with laughter, all of the boys quoting lines from the movie with near perfect recollection after only one viewing. Sam threw his arm around Dean and said, "It is your evil that will be sought by us," and Dean replied, "With every breath, we shall hunt them down."
Afterwards, as promised, Juliane took them to lunch. They had burgers, fries and malts, stuffing themselves to the gills. Sam and Dean leaned against each other, fed each other fries, luxuriating in the open physical affection they felt safe to express in the absence of the man who was their second father. No matter how accepting Bobby was of Sam and Dean's relationship, there were simply limits to what was appropriate in his presence that did not exist with Danny and Juliane. And the boys reveled in the freedom. Gloried in it.
Once they had eaten their fill, the endorphins of the afternoon settled down and Sam fell quiet. He toyed with his straw while Dean, Danny and Juliane discussed the Kitty Genovese murder and the nature of evil.
"Could we stop by the hospital? We should check in on Gus and Rosier." Sam looked down at the gingham-covered table. "I need to tell them the experiment didn't work."
Dean frowned. "Can't you like, just tell Gus with your psychic CB radio deal?"
Sam met Dean's gaze. "I need to tell them in person."
Dean settled his arm over Sam's shoulder and pulled him close, knowing without having to ask that Sam felt guilty he wasn't able to pull the secret from Nathaniel's memory of how Azazel trapped Rosier's demon soul in his human vessel, the secret they needed to know in order to turn Gus's soul pure human again, to purge the demon and set him free.
On the way, Juliane stopped back by the Sanctuary to get a few items for Rosier. Healing crystals to help with his burns, amethyst and smoky quartz, and a lovely pink kunzite. When they entered the hospital room, Rosier lay in his bed, eyes closed, hooked to an IV for hydration and pain management after an extensive skin graft.
Gus woke with a start from his fitful sleep in the armchair. "Sam." He rubbed his eyes.
Sam had expected it would be hard to look Gus in the eye and disappoint his hopes that Sam had found the secret to how Azazel had locked Rosier into his vessel, the secret that had made it possible for Sam and Dean and their knives to burn the evil out of his soul. However, he hadn't expected the wave of shame and embarrassment that hit him when he laid eyes on Gus, from the first-hand memory he had experienced of the sexual assault and torment Azazel had put Gus through.
Gus registered Sam's discomfort with dismay, the hope in his eyes fading quickly.
"Dean." Gus's eyes grazed over Danny and Juliane without recognition, and then snapped back to Sam. "Any good news?"
Sam's mouth tightened and he shook his head no.
Gus slumped back in his chair. Rosier reached out and touched his shoulder in a comforting gesture.
"I tried," Sam said. "I really tried. But Azazel's memories… they were too much."
"They were poison, is what he means," Dean snapped, unable to control the surge of anger at the thought of how much damage just that brief spell inside Nathaniel's tainted mind had done to Sam. Had nearly done to them.
Gus looked up at Sam in sorrow, believing he had found the reason why Sam found it hard to look him in the eye. Sorrow, and guilt of his own. A reluctant demon that knew the darkness of even a baby demon newly forced into the path of evil, able to imagine all too well the horrors of inhabiting the memories of one of the oldest and most powerful dark entities the world had ever known. "It was brave of you to try."
Rosier's eyes were open. "I'm sorry you had to endure that, Sam." His voice was soft, but steady, and the emotion within it was heartfelt.
"It's ok. I mean… I'm ok now."
"Sure, now. After we all had to do the Vulcan Mind Meld with him to clear out that virtual reality rape and torture of some demon soldier—"
Gus gasped, eyes flashing black as shock caused his control to slip. He met Sam's gaze, and the expression within him told him everything he needed to know. That Sam had lived that memory, that degrading, shameful, horrible memory. He turned away and buried his face in his hands, unable to bear Sam's eyes on him.
Dean stared at Gus, then back at Sam. "It was him? That demon soldier—that was Gus?"
Rosier pulled himself painfully to a more upright position using his good hand. "You saw that?"
Sam looked helplessly at Gus, feeling shame that did not belong to him.
"More than saw it. He shared it like Nathaniel did. Like he was there, doing it." Juliane spoke up.
Sam took a deep breath to steady his emotions. "I'm sorry."
Rosier shook his head. "It wasn't you. You have nothing to apologize for."
Sam nodded, but his eyes remained haunted. "I saw you there, too. Saw how much it hurt you. What… what Azazel was doing. Saying. He did it as much to hurt you as Gus."
Gus stood up, chin jutting out in a show of bravado. "It was no big deal."
"I'm a demon, Sam. No big thing if I get hurt. Pain and shame and degradation… all part of the gig, right?" Tears welled in Gus's eyes. "I'm no innocent. I've done things. Awful things." He looked at Rosier. "And I'm going to keep doing awful things, aren't I? Because I'm demonkind. That's in my nature. That's what I am. " Gus's face was red, his eyes dark with hopelessness.
"It's not what you are. It's what you do. And you can choose what you do," Sam protested.
Gus laughed, a bitter, hollow sound. "Can I? Really?" He searched the eyes of everyone in the room. "No matter how much I want to be different than I am, can I really choose? If it were that easy, wouldn't all demons be able to just say no?" He dropped down into the armchair again, weak with despair. "Who am I to resist?"
Juliane approached him slowly, and reached her hand out. "May I?"
Gus wiped his hand over his eyes, and then let her hold both his hands in hers. Danny moved directly behind her, trusting she knew what she was doing, but never forgetting that Gus was a demon.
She dropped to her knees in front of him and pressed the backs of his hands to her forehead, breathing in slowly through her nose, holding her breath for a few seconds, then exhaling through her mouth. Her fingers spasmed once, twice, then calmed and quieted. "I'll be damned," she whispered.
"That's not funny," Gus muttered.
Juliane opened her eyes. "You're not pure demon."
Dean's eyes went wide. Danny took a step back. Sam's face broke into a smile so bright it seemed to send light skittering around the room like a bag full of gemstone marbles breaking open and spilling out onto the floor.
Rosier's mouth fell open, a single, perfect tear running down his burn-scarred cheek.
Juliane clasped Gus's hands and stared at him like a wondrous creature that had never before roamed the earth. "Your soul is still part human."