The fire popped loudly, and Sam woke with a start. "The hell?"
Dean woke instantly, feeling Sam's heart beating fast beneath his hand pressed to Sam's chest. 'S'ok, Sammy. I got you."
Sam shook the hair out of his face, disoriented, looking around the room to place himself. Dean pulled the red throw blanket higher to wrap snugly around Sam's neck, in the process exposing their bare feet. "We fell asleep." The fire still burned strong, crackling in a hypnotic rhythm that made Dean yawn heavily, ready to fall right back asleep.
"The Sanctuary?" Sam blinked rapidly, trying to clear his head.
Dean roused, hearing the confusion in Sam's voice. "Yeah. The Sanctuary. You ok, Sam?" He looped a lock of Sam's hair back behind his ear and brought his mouth to Sam's neck, nuzzling him until he shivered.
"Yeah, I just… can't clear my head." Sam yawned. "Feels like I slept for three months."
Dean rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. "More like five."
Sam squirmed, bending his long legs to tuck his bare feet back under the throw. "What's the point of a throw blanket? They only cover like my leg."
Dean chuckled. "You want a bigger blanket, princess?" He nestled closer, whispered, "Want to go to bed?"
Sam shivered at the need, the promise, in Dean's voice. Before Sam could give utterance to what he wanted, the sound of heavy winter boots down the hallway presaged Juliane's entrance in the common room, Danny at her side. She took off her coat and hung it on the heavy antique wooden coat rack to the right of the fireplace. "Hey, Sam." Her voice was gentle and soft. "How are you doing?" Her cheeks were pink from the sharp sting of the snow. The log on the fire popped, sending up a small shower of sparks.
"Better." Sam sat up fast, and pulled the throw up around his chest to cover his bare skin, his own cheeks turning pink for being caught curled up with Dean on the floor practically naked. Unfortunately, by doing so, he tugged the throw off Dean completely.
"Hey!" Dean complained, snatching the throw back to cover himself up, successfully hiding his erection.
"Put some clothes on, you two." Danny tossed another throw to them, the smile crinkling the corners of his eyes showing he was not truly bothered.
Juliana scrutinized Sam's face intently. "I'd like to try a new technique with you, to see if we can't clear you of more of your PTSD."
"Like the pen thing?" Sam looked up at her, puppy-dog eyes wide with trust.
"Same general idea but a different technique. It's called tapping. Get dressed, and I'll show you." She rubbed her hands down her heavy winter pants. "I need to change too. Danny, can you—"
"Already on it, babe." Danny set the just-filled tea kettle on the burner with a dull clunk.
Sam and Dean padded barefoot out of the common room, wrapped in the throw blankets, to get dressed.
Once inside their apartment, Dean had Sam up against the wall, kissing him hard and needy.
Sam didn't protest.
Dean dropped to his knees and stripped Sam's board shorts off, taking his soft cock in his mouth.
"Dean," Sam gasped.
"I'll get you there. Just… let me." Dean took all of Sam's soft cock in his mouth easily, sucking hard as he pulled back, drawing blood into the flaccid member. Sam moaned at how Dean knelt before him, worshipping his cock even while it was soft and small.
It wasn't soft or small for long.
Dean pulled down the front of his own board shorts, pulling his hard cock out, fisting it with one hand. He looked up at Sam, green eyes so clear, pink lips wet and gleaming. "I want you to come in my mouth."
Sam's cock bobbed, muscles twitching. Dean brought his mouth down, soft and warm and so wet, all the way to the base, and back up, sucking, pulling the soft flesh out, stretching it, holding the head tight with his lips, then back down fast and repeating the process, stroking the underside with his tongue, feeling his cock fatten and swell. He worked his own cock with one hand, thighs spread wide, and reached the other up to Sam, put his right hand on the back of Dean's head, urged him to take complete control. "Come on, Sammy. Fuck my mouth."
Sam groaned, fisting his hand in Dean's hair, thrusting his hips forward, driving into Dean's mouth, feeling the head of his cock slip down Dean's throat. Dean hummed with pleasure, tipping his head back, taking Sam's cock like a pro. The faster and deeper Sam thrust, the tighter he twined his fingers in Dean's hair, the more Dean moaned, keeping his mouth wet and sloppy, his tongue soft and wicked, spit leaking out of his mouth, working his hand on his cock just as hard and fast. Sam put his other hand on Dean's head, held it still, and pumped his hips, fucking Dean's mouth like he asked him to. Dean moaned, again and again, like the feel of Sam taking control, taking his mouth like that was breaking him apart with pleasure. Instead of Sam's usual gasps and whimpers, the act brought out primal grunts and low cries, masculine. Dominant. In control.
Dean relaxed his jaw, opened his throat, and took whatever Sam gave him, watering eyes fluttering with the pleasure of it, hand on his cock, jacking it savagely.
Sam muttered, "Fuck, Jesus, Dean, gonna come, gonna come in your mouth, Dean, Dean…" and with that, Dean was shaking and crying out his orgasm with a mouth full of his brother's cock, Sam coming down the back of his throat, milking it all out with the muscles of his throat as he swallowed and swallowed and swallowed again, his own ejaculate spattering the carpet and wall.
Sam pulled back just enough for the last spasms to spill on Dean's tongue, so he could taste it fully. Dean's eyes fluttered shut as the intense briny flavor flooded his mouth. "You like that," Sam whispered.
Dean looked up into Sam's eyes, holding his cock in his mouth, kneeling before him, and nodded. Sam drank in the visual for a long moment, then tugged him to his feet, and kissed the taste of himself out of Dean's mouth.
"I see what you did there, by the way." For someone who had come practically screaming a moment before, he sounded surprisingly self-possessed.
"Got you from soft to crying out my name in three minutes flat?" Dean smirked.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Put me in control."
Dean blinked, eyes soft and innocent, not really surprised Sam had seen through his ploy to make Sam feel in complete control of his body and Dean's too, to feel his power and strength, to not feel vulnerable or scared. "Nah. That would be like, some sort of awesome psychological tactic. And I'm not that smart."
Sam shushed him by kissing him again. "Yeah, you are." He pulled Dean into a hug. "Damn right you are," he whispered.
While Sam and Dean were getting dressed, Juliane disappeared into the bedroom to change.
She emerged a few minutes later, wearing comfortable black leggings and a hugely oversized blue knit sweater that fell to mid-thigh.
"Zinger or English Breakfast?"
Juliana leaned against the kitchen counter and said nothing, a troubled expression on her face.
"What's up?" Danny wiped his hands on a dish rag.
She pushed her hair back with both hands. "I, um. I got my period."
Danny blew out a deep breath. "Ah." He kept his face impassive, just reading her.
She blinked rapidly. "I should feel relieved. I mean, I do feel relieved. But…" She rubbed the back of her neck. "But I'm…"
Danny drew close, and brushed a stray lock of hair off her forehead. "You feel sad too." His smile was sweet and understanding, but his eyes gleamed with tears.
She stared up at him, her pale blue eyes wide. "I thought you'd be relieved. Off the hook, you know."
"I told you. I don't want to be off the hook. There is no hook." He brushed his hand through her hair. "I want it all with you." He smiled down at her. "Whatever you're willing to give me."
She nestled herself into his arms, face buried in his chest, breathing in his cologne. "You can have everything," she murmured into his chest.
"What's that?" Danny cocked his head like he couldn't hear her.
"I said you can have everything."
"Really?" And in a smooth, graceful motion, Danny dropped to one knee.
Juliane's mouth fell open.
"Say that again."
Juliana tried to speak but no words came out.
Danny loosened the tie on the leather pouch he always wore around his neck containing his talismans, reached inside and pulled out a ring.
He examined her face for signs he was doing the wrong thing. She just stared at him in disbelief, tears welling in her eyes.
He took her hand, and held out the ring. It was a classic platinum band with a princess-cut diamond at the center, flanked by two triangular tapered shapes with very small diamonds inside. Juliane said nothing, eyes moving from the ring to Danny's face and back again.
Danny began to babble. "It was my grandmother's. I, uh, I never thought I'd get the chance to… to give it to anyone... I just kept it with my talismans because diamonds boost the energy of other stones, and I don't know if you'll like it, or if this is even what you want—"
Danny stopped babbling. "…Did you just say yes?"
"Yes." She laughed. "Yes, I said 'yes'."
Danny closed his eyes. "Oh, thank god."
She pulled him to his feet and kissed him, laughing and crying at the same time, gasping against his open mouth. "Put it on." She stepped back and extended her left hand.
The tea kettle's whistle screeched loudly, startling them. Juliana jerked, her hand hitting Danny's. The ring went flying, clattering on the kitchen floor and disappearing from view.
"Oh, no." Juliane's hands flew to cover her mouth.
Danny pulled the kettle to a cold burner and turned the heat off. "We'll find it."
"Oh, no, no, no…" Juliane repeated.
When Sam and Dean returned, they found Danny and Juliane on their hands and knees on the kitchen floor, patting frantically.
"Lose something?" Dean looked puzzled.
Juliane fell back against a cupboard door, stricken. "I'm such a klutz."
"Got it." Danny pulled his fingers out from under the refrigerator, holding a lint-covered diamond engagement ring.
"No way." Sam gripped Dean's arm.
Danny wiped the ring off on a kitchen towel. "You want to try this again?" He took her hand, with a firm grip this time, drew her to her feet and slipped the ring on her finger.
"It fits." Juliana shook her head in disbelief. "It actually fits."
"I thought it might. Nana had real delicate bone structure. Like you."
Juliane pressed her palms to Danny's face, the diamond ring glinting in the light, and kissed him, so gentle and pure Dean had to clench his jaw to try not to tear up.
Sam made no such effort.
Danny kept it together until Juliane hugged him, burying her face in his chest and whispered, "I'm so lucky."
He pressed his hand to the back of her head, wet eyes looking upward, lips forming a soundless prayer of "Thank you."
Marcus slumped on the couch, clad in clean sweat pants and a sweatshirt, tugging on socks and wincing. Reggie flinched at the sight.
"Thanks, Angus. I owe you one." Reggie flipped his phone closed. "It's all set." He turned to Marcus. "He'll meet us in Centennial and get your key. Pack up whatever you want to keep, and put it in storage."
Marcus looked up at Reggie, eyes red. "And then what?
"Then you rest. Heal up. We'll worry about 'then what' later." Reggie brought Marcus a glass of water. "You up to packing a bag? Stuff you want to bring with?"
Marcus nodded, and took a sip of water. Reggie turned to head back in the kitchen, and Marcus grabbed his hand, stopping him from leaving. "Thank you."
Reggie's mouth twisted with guilt. "Don't. Don't you do that."
"I mean it."
Reggie stared at him in disbelief. "This is my fault."
Reggie shook his head, grey hair flying. "This happened to you because of me." He stabbed his chest with his finger.
"I don't blame you." Marcus protested. "You aren't responsible."
"Yes, I am." Reggie's voice was rumbling thunder, gravel crunched under the tires of a tank, thick with bitter recrimination and anger aimed squarely at himself.
"You can't convince me otherwise." Reggie stood tall and imposing, the fact of his words etched clearly on his face. "So just let me get to making it right. Alright?"
Marcus nodded, recognizing he could not win this battle. "Ok." He tugged gently on Reggie's fingers. "Just… it's important you know. That I don't blame you."
Reggie's jaw tightened, too many words and emotions warring for dominance for him to be able to speak. Finally, he choked out, "I don't deserve you." Reggie looked on Marcus with wonder, at how he could not blame Reggie for what had been done to him. "But I'll try to."
Marcus move to rise to his feet, pain flickering across his face. Reggie helped him up with exquisite gentleness. "You go on and get your bag packed. I got a big bottle of Vicodin, and you're gonna take one, and we'll get you settled in the back of my car, and you just get some sleep."
Marcus gathered up his toiletries from the bathroom. Reggie sat on the couch, wiped his hand over his eyes, and slumped forward. Marcus packed up his photographs from the bookshelf and gathered his toiletries from the bathroom When he went into the bedroom finally, to grab the clothes he wanted from the closet, Reggie slipped quietly into the kitchen, called Angus back and asked him for one more favor.
Marcus insisted on sitting in the front seat with Reggie on the way out, which Reggie grudgingly allowed only if Marcus took his Vicodin without complaint. He held Marcus's hand most of the way on the 30 minute drive to Centennial, where Angus met them at the pre-arranged rest stop, in a large moving truck with a burly man in the passenger seat who waved to Reggie and went back to sleep. It was 3 am, bitterly cold without a hint of the coming dawn.
Angus looked like he just stepped out of a Western, with a neatly trimmed Doc Holliday moustache and hat, with a brown button-up shirt, dark brown trousers and bracers, and a long coat. Reggie introduced him to Marcus through the window, then asked him to just sit and rest while he handled their business. Marcus did not protest, wrapping his coat tight around him, yawning as the Vicodin's pleasant warmth began to move through him.
Reggie walked a few feet away with Angus. "Thanks again, man. I really appreciate it."
Reggie handed Angus the key to Marcus's apartment. "He wants to keep all the clothes and books. All the cooking stuff in the kitchen. The TV and stereo. You can keep the couch if you want it."
Angus stuck his gloved hands in his coat pockets. "I appreciate that. I could use one in the den."
"The bed? You burn." Reggie's face was stone.
"There's a big plastic bag of stuff on top of it. Burn that too. And don't open it."
"Salt and burn? Or just burn?"
"Salt, burn, nuke it from orbit. The whole nine."
"Alright." Angus raised an eyebrow, but didn't question Reggie.
"I'll keep you posted on our plans, but I expect we'll stay put where we're headed at least a couple of weeks."
"You got what I asked for?"
"Sure do." Angus tucked the apartment key into his leather wallet, and went back to the truck, rummaging behind the driver's seat. He came back carrying a thick blanket, and worn but clean black comforter. "Got a pillow for you too."
Reggie lay the blanket across the back seat and spread the comforter out on top. Angus brought him the pillow, and handed him a large thermos.
"Is this what I think it is?" Reggie drawled.
"Coffee. Hot, black and strong as hell," Angus said.
"Tell your daddy he raised you right."
Angus snorted. "Hell he did." He clapped Reggie on the shoulder. "I'll let you get on your way. You take care, sir."
"Don't call me sir," Reggie drawled.
"I always call you sir, and I always will."
Despite the events of the past nine hours, Reggie managed a small smile. "How's Sally Mae, by the way?"
"Oh, I brought her." Angus unsnapped the sheath at his hip and pulled out the knife Reggie had made for him, presenting it to him hilt-side first. "She never leaves my side."
Reggie took it, running his fingers over the flat of the blade and the rare green obsidian he had so painstakingly set into the bloodwood handle. "Hey, you," he said quietly. The green stone gleamed in the moonlight. He spent a moment with the knife, then handed it back. "You're taking good care of her."
"And she's taking good care of me."
"Glad to hear it."
"Good luck to you. Both of you."
Reggie shook his hand. Angus pulled out onto the highway to collect Marcus's belongings for safekeeping. Reggie turned his attention to Marcus. He opened the door for him, helped him out, their breath misting in the fold air. He pulled back the comforter and helped Marcus inside as best he could. Despite his care and the Vicodin, by the time he was settled on the wide back seat, Marcus's forehead was beaded with sweat from the pain of moving. He settled down on his left side with a groan, and rested his head on the pillow.
Reggie leaned in and tucked the comforter in around him. Marcus made a small sound of contentment.
"Alright, you. Here's some water. That pill's gonna make you thirsty." He tucked a bottle of water into a coiled towel on the floor of the car close to Marcus. "It's about six hours to where we're going, but my girl is fast." Reggie patted the head rest. "I figure we can do it in five. We should be there in time for breakfast. You just let me take care of it all, and get some sleep."
Marcus's eyelids fluttered, half-asleep already. "I'll try."
By the time Reggie had walked around the front of the car and gotten in the driver's seat, Marcus was fast asleep. Reggie started the car and turned the heat on, and poured himself a cup of hot coffee from the thermos. It was, as Angus had said, strong as hell. Which Reggie needed because the adrenaline that had driven him to drive half the night and keep him on high alert in the two hours he had spent in Marcus's apartment, the fact remained he hadn't slept for almost 20 hours, and he had a while to go before even the chance of sleep was available. He downed the coffee as fast as the hot temperature would allow, and hit the road.
Reggie stuck a toothpick in his mouth and turned on the radio to a classic country station. Waylon Jennings was singing about how he's always been crazy, but the song quickly ended, followed by the Band.
I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling 'bout half past dead…
"Ain't that the truth," Reggie muttered.
I just need some place where I can lay my head…
Reggie concentrated on the music to keep his thoughts controlled, not circling the drain thinking about what Marcus had endured because of him. His fear of telling Marcus about the world Reggie lived and fought in. His wanting to love Marcus, and do the right thing by keeping him out of the world of Hunters and the monsters they fought, being the very thing that got him hurt. His carelessness for not giving Marcus the information he deserved if he was going to share any part of Reggie's life, and the tools to protect himself in Reggie's absence. For turning Marcus into a sitting duck. Instead, he recalled Marcus's words (I don't blame you), did the breathing techniques for calming he had learned from Bobby, of all people, years ago, and let the music be his mind's focus.
He drove at a steady pace, not the police-taunting suicidal clip he had kept to racing to Marcus's side, his headlights piercing the darkness, the only car on the road. He glanced over shoulder from time to time to make sure Marcus was asleep. He lay quietly on his side, snoring softly in a way Reggie found so profoundly soothing it shocked him.
"Shit." Reggie swore softly. With all the heightened emotions, he had completely forgotten to call Bobby like he promised. He turned the music down and fished his phone out of his pocket.
Bobby picked up on the second ring. "I was starting to worry."
"Sorry. I got caught up."
"You're forgiven. How is he?"
Reggie worried his toothpick with his teeth. "Could have been worse. Could have been a hell of a lot better."
"Where you at?"
"I-25, getting close to Colorado Springs."
"You're driving?" Bobby sounded more alert, but his voice remained quiet.
"He said he couldn't stay there. Not another minute. And I don't blame him."
"You bringing him to the Sanctuary." It wasn't even a question.
"You tell them you're coming?"
Reggie winced. "No. I forgot that too. Guess it'll be a surprise."
Bobby yawned. "I can get a car in the morning. Head back first thing. Wait—you ain't slept at all?"
Reggie laughed, a humorless sound. "I'm running on fumes."
"Roll your window down. Cold'll keep you awake."
"I got some high-test here. Strong enough to keep me upright till I get there." Reggie glanced back, compulsively making sure Marcus was still there, still breathing, still safe. "Anyway, you stay put. We need you where you are. Trying to crack that damn notebook."
Bobby sighed. "You sure?"
"Hundred percent. You go back to sleep. I'll ring you in the morning."
"Alright. You stay awake now."
Bobby hung up the phone and let his head flop back on the pillow.
"Was that Reggie?" Kathryn's voice purred in his ear, a long, bare leg slipping over Bobby's thigh.
"Is his friend alright?"
"Reckon he will be. Sorry to wake you."
She laughed. "I'm not." She slipped closer and straddled him, the sheets falling away, long hair tumbling into her face and brushing Bobby's chest. "Bet I can wake you up all the way, old man."
"I ain't bettin' against you."
Kathryn shifted her hips and gave a little gasp, a coquettish smile on her face. "Oh, my. Look who's up already."