radiumgirl: (brothers)
[personal profile] radiumgirl
Title: Last Call, a For Keeps Prequel
Spoilers: s!6 general (If you know what's going on this season, you'll be okay.)
Genre: AU, For Keeps 'verse
Summary: It’s not Sam’s birthday, but it’s close enough.
Warnings: swearing, slightly disturbing imagery (Sam’s been to Hell, after all)
Disclaimer: Not my sandbox.
Author’s Note: Belated birthday fic for our ‘lil Sammeh. Takes place prior to the main events of the For Keeps ‘verse.

Sam woke up warm beneath scratchy motel sheets. His head throbbed and his mouth tasted like sulfur. Dean, the third piece, brought the puzzle together, snoring softly against the headboard of Sam’s bed, palm situated on the pillow next to Sam’s head.

His stomach flopped and he muted a groan against Dean’s outstretched leg. Dean, of course, woke with a sputter and a snap, one hand groping for Sam at his side, “Sammy?”

Sam considered doing his coma impression, but something in the way Dean’s voice wavered when he said his name changed his mind. Sam made a wordless noise in response and groaned inwardly at how utterly pathetic he sounded. Then he realized that he didn’t really care and kept his face hidden as Dean ran his thumb over his forehead, “You with me, Sammy?”

Making words was a slow and careful process that made the ache in Sam’s head and the lurch in his stomach intensify. “D—.” the name was lost to retching. Dean bolted up, shoving the ice bucket beneath Sam’s head and rubbing his shoulders and back with one fluid movement.

He knew the routine well at this point.

Sam wasn’t sure which tasted worse: the sulfur or the barf. He drew the blankets over his head and moaned, “Fuck meeee,” into the mattress.

Dean palmed his head through the covers, gave a small laugh that Sam could tell was forced, “Not my type, dude. Sorry.”

“S’ok.” Sam muttered, “Prolly wouldn’t be a very fun lay right now anyway.” He knew his half of the script too.

“That’s assuming you were a good lay to begin with.”

Sam smiled, despite himself, “Never heard any complaints.”

“They just didn’t want to hurt your delicate feelings.”

They ran out of words. Sam was okay with that. Sleep was soft and Dean was solid and together they were stunning. Sam was almost out again when Dean squirmed and spoke, “You okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Then why are you clinging to my leg like it’s the only thing in the room that’s not moving.”

“…because it’s the only thing in the room that’s not moving.” Sam deadpanned. He grunted unhappily when Dean extracted himself from his kitten-weak grasp, hiked a pair of wrinkled jeans up to his hips and didn’t bother with a fresh shirt. He ran a hand through mussed and greasy hair and crouched next to Sam’s bed. His own bed was untouched, Sam noted. He caught his reflection in the mirror above the dresser. He looked glassy-eyed and green with nausea. He slowly turned his gaze back to Dean, who hadn’t shaved in days, who was biting his lip and looked all of twelve-years-old as he studied Sam like a priceless relic, hopelessly shattered.

Sam hated when Dean looked at him like that.

“Will you be okay if I run out for a bit?”

No.

“Yeah.”

“You sure?”

“I just…” Sam caught his reflection in the mirror again. He looked like a trauma victim: flaps of filleted skin hung from exposed sinew and muscle and smooth white bone. He squeezed his eyes shut, wiggled a hand free of the motel bedding and ran calloused fingers over his own cheeks, his lips, his nose. He relaxed into mattress when it all felt whole. “I had a seizure.”

Dean nodded. Sam didn’t tell him about his missing skin, or the cracks in the air leaking stretches of time and blinding flashes of Heaven and icy Hell. He didn’t mention that the last time Castiel had dropped by; he could have sworn he saw the outline of what might have been an enormous wingspan. He thought it best not to mention how Dean started glowing green-gold after the last seizure and had never really stopped, how he went deep dark crimson when he was angry, how the air vibrated with his mood, and right now his vibrations were making Sam dizzy.

Sam knew he wasn’t going crazy. He knew he wasn’t hallucinating. It wasn’t that he was seeing things that weren’t there. It’s that he was seeing things that he was never meant to.

And there was nothing they could do about it.

Castiel had commented, the last time, which Sam suspected was the last time, that he would remember anyway, that Sam’s stoicism was admirable. “Almost angelic,” Castiel had said with a wry grin, as though he realized the irony of his statement and pleased himself with such a display of divine wit.

They were in a dusty parking lot in Georgia, headed for a haunting in Tennessee, then back down to Alabama, unless something else came up. Dean was paying for gas and Doritos and a Big Gulp, chatting it up with the painted and permed cashier so that she’d forget to ask for ID with the credit card.

Sam looked at his shoes to avoid looking at the almost-wings and said, “Don’t give me too much credit, Cas. I’m scared shitless.”

“That is understandable--.”

“I don’t want this to be any harder than it already is.” Sam said, “I don’t want Dean left with a screaming mess.”

Of course, Sam knew better than anyone how difficult it could be to jungle multiple wants and desires. And right now, he wanted to scream at Dean to stay with him.

“Sammy?” Dean’s hands were on his unmarred cheeks and his tone said that Sam had zoned out again and the vibrations in the air reached an audible pitch.

“I had a seizure.” Sam croaked.

Dean nodded, “You had your seizure three days ago, Sam.”

Sam swallowed and instinctively drew the blankets tighter around himself, “Three days. That’s new.”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll be okay.”

“I’ll be quick. There’s a strip mall right up the street. Should have everything. I’ll get something for your stomach. You have to piss or anything before I go?”

“No.”

“Okay.” Dean hesitated, nodded to himself and tucked the blanket beneath Sam’s chin, “Alright. When I get back we’ll get you cleaned up. Just take it easy.”

Yellow, sulfurous smoke wafted up from the vent by the door. Dean clearly didn’t notice it, but Sam’s stomach tightened when the stench hit his nose. Dean shut the door with a barely audible click and Sam pressed his face into the sheets, inhaling the blessedly familiar scent of Dean that still lingered, letting sleep drape his heavy nothingness over Sam like a thick quilt in the middle of a raging blizzard.

++++

Admittedly, Sam felt better when he woke up the second time around. The pounding in his head had been tamed to a persistent tapping against his skull. The haze of yellowish smoke was gone, though the scent lingered like the aftermath of a cannibal barbeque, with just a touch of singed hair thrown in for flavor.

The heinous orange curtains were drawn. The light above the dresser was on, a fancy gold and banana-yellow scone that would have been better appreciated circa 1973, Sam decided. Dean was back, showered and shaved and stretched out on his own bed, staring at the evening news, but definitely not watching it, if his blank expression was any indication. Dean’s green-gold aura was an even hue stretched out over his skin. It flared vividly when Dean glanced over and made eye-contact with Sam.

“Hey,” he grinned and a wave of shimmering green washed over Sam, drowning the remainder of the sulfuric smell in…whatever…and leaving the standard Eau de Winchester in its wake: dirty laundry and sweaty sheets and three-day-old Chinese take-out. Sam felt like a vice had loosened from around his chest. He filled his lungs and it felt like the first real breath he had taken in days. Maybe it was.

He blinked and sat up, caught a whiff of himself and frowned, “I’m gross.”

“You haven’t left that bed in three days, dude. And it ain’t a fuckin’ bed of roses.”

“If I’m lying in my own pee, I’m gonna kill you.”

“Dude. Would I let you lay in your own pee?”

Sam’s expression said, ‘yes, of course you would.”

“I didn’t let you lay in pee!” Dean huffed, “Jesus.”

Sam slowly peeled the layers of bedding back and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Dean bounded across the space between their beds and held Sam in place, “What are you doing?”

“Getting up.”

“Why?”

“Dean, I’ve been in bed for three days.”

“You should eat first.”

Sam considered the oatmeal or ramen or, if he was lucky, Campbell’s condensed that Dean most likely had waiting for him. His stomach rumbled ominously. He shook his head, “Shower first.”

“Food first,” Dean said, “Stay there.”

Dean didn’t have much to worry about with the way the carpet swam in from of Sam, vertical for the first time in days. Dean knelt in front of the mini-fridge next to the door, cradled a square box in his arms. He plopped it on the table in the corner and went back for Sam, throwing an arm over his shoulders and expertly maneuvering his brother around the two beds, the piles of dirty laundry, the weapons bag. He dropped Sam in a chair adorned with blue and yellow streamers and, with a theatrical flourish, lifted the lid to the box.

A small, glossy pink cake stared back at Sam. He looked up at Dean who was practically bouncing in the chair across the table. The air hummed and Sam stiffened with the effort to ignore the blatant change in tone.

“Why did you get me a pink cake?”

“Because you’re a girl.”

“That joke is so overused.”

“It’s strawberry. You like strawberry. I remember.” Dean said it like it explained everything, like it was the most important thing in the world, to remember that Sam Winchester liked strawberry cake. “It even has, like, strawberries inside. Between the layers. I had to make up some bullshit about buying it for my girlfriend.”

“Okay,” Sam suddenly had an idea of where this was going, “Why did you get me a strawberry cake?”

The air rose in pitch and Sam knew that he was right. Dean said, with a shrug, and more into his shoulder than into Sam’s face, “Special occasion.”

“What, that my brain didn’t melt yet? Shit, Dean, if I knew I could get cake out of it, I would have started the wall coming down sooner.”

“Fuck you, Sam. It’s your birthday.”

Sam snatched Dean’s cell phone off of the table, toggled the screen to view the date. “My birthday’s not for another month, Dean.”

Dean looked away, his glow more green than gold. He tensed like he was waiting for Sam to blow. He had to know what kind of attack he was opening himself up to, Sam thought. If he had done something like this during Dean’s last year, he would have been left in a cloud of dust on the shoulder of Route 66. A remote part, no doubt.

The air started to hum again and Sam almost snapped at Dean to cut it out. It made his head hurt, dammit.

There was a crack in the wall to Sam’s right, an electric blue gash in the dark brown paneling. Frosty air blasted Sam’s face. He could hear voices hurling angelic curses into the escaping wind. His head swam and he gripped the edge of the table. Dean was on his feet, then kneeling in front of Sam. The voices and the humming were overwhelming and they should have stopped by now. After three days…they should have stopped.

“Sammy?” Dean’s hands were on his shoulders, too tight, like claws, shaking him.

Please stop.

“Sammy, say something.”

I did.

“I did?”

Dean was too bright. Sam couldn’t make out his face. He groped for lips, nose, and jaw. A hand pressed against his, flattened it against freshly shaven skin that smelled like Old Spice, “C’mon, Sammy. Snap out of it. Please.”

There was a hand on the back of his neck. Dean’s face came into view, a little hazy around the edges, anxious, talking a mile-a-minute. They were on the floor. Sam’s chair was on its side. Sam thought the worst, “Did I--?”

“No. You just…” Dean trailed off, “You weren’t here for a minute.”

Gently, as though he were fashioned out of tissue paper and safety pins, Dean guided Sam to his bed, pulling the covers down, then back up over broad shoulders. Sam pushed him away and sat up on his elbows, trying his best not to tremble as he said, “Bring that cake over here.”

Dean’s agitation zinged through the air.

“And stop that.” Sam grumbled.

“Stop what?”

“Nothing. The cake. Bring it.”

“We don’t have to do the cake, Sam. That was…I was an asshole. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

But Sam knew what he was thinking. And now Sam was, however reluctantly, thinking the same thing.

“Dean. I want to eat the cake. Then I want to take a shower.”

“Bath.”

Shower.

“If you take a shower, I’m gonna supervise.”

“Fine. Bath. Now give me the fucking cake.” Sam patted the space on the bed beside him and Dean brought the box over, settled it between them, and held a fork out to Sam. Sam scooped a huge mound of cake onto the plastic utensil and made a noise that he hoped sounded disturbingly orgasmic when the cake hit his tongue. Dean gave him a look that said he hit his mark.

Sam swallowed and smiled, “Did you get me presents?”

“I got Casa Erotica 17 on Pay-per-View.”

“That’s not a present.”

“Sure it is. If you got me Case Erotica 17 for my birthday, I’d think you were the best brother ever.”

“That’s because you’re a pig.”

Dean grinned and scooped a handful of pink, creamy icing out of the box. Without a word, he smeared it all over Sam’s face, “Now who’s a pig?”

Sam licked his lips and made another sex-noise that sent Dean on a mission for napkins in the bathroom, though not before dropping a paper bag with a thin, sleek box inside, on Sam’s lap. Sam wondered how many credit cards Dean maxed out to get it and whether or not they would be dumpster diving for dinner in the near future, because that would totally suck. Sam didn’t want his last supper to come from behind a Burger King.

“Thanks, Dean.” He yelled, holding up the iPad when Dean popped his head out of the bathroom door, “You’re the greatest.”

He smiled and Dean rolled his eyes. He caught his reflection in the mirror and ran a hand along the unbroken skin he saw reflected back.


Date: May 4th, 2011 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wishflthinkr.livejournal.com
Aww. As always, love it.

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Aww, thanks!

Date: May 4th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmram.livejournal.com
EEEE. This is AWESOME. How you could make this terrifying and sad, yet so adorable and "aw"-inducing I don't know, but you did.

But! It hit every button I have - Sam's wall cracking, Sam seeing things, Sam having seizures, Dean buying Sam strawberry cake and an iPad (awww...), adorable brotherly banter, and just. I am grinning so hard right now. To top it all off, the writing is evocative and smooth and there's a Castiel cameo!

Love it so much. <333

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! Castiel just kinda showed up. I think he was sad that so far in this verse, he's not a particularly welcome presence. I'm sorry, Cas! I'm sorrrry!

You and I have alot of the same buttons. Heee. <3

Date: May 4th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] si-star-x.livejournal.com
Eeeeee. I should really give you something comprehensible to match the awesome, but, it's hard. This was so intense and flawless.

“Sure it is. If you got me Case Erotica 17 for my birthday, I’d think you were the best brother ever.”

That was the best line ever. You can just imagine it, can't you? The gleaming-bright expression on his face. Ha.

Oh, Sam. At least you have people around you, always. That's all I'm sayin'. Fantastic prequel, it was long and perfect and smooshable and perfect. Really.

<3 you.

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Dean loves his porn. Loves it. He would be so pleased. *smishes*

I had a hard time writing this Sam. It was kinda rough, putting him through this and knowing what I had in store for him. He knows its coming though.

That actually might make it worse.

I'm sorry, Sammeh. <3

At least you have people around you, always.

This!

<3 you tooo!

Date: May 5th, 2011 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] si-star-x.livejournal.com
It's only with Dean that we can think a love for porn is endearing.

Poor Sammy. He gets enough love to make up for it all though. ♥

Did I tell you that I love this 'verse? Yes? Good.

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thinlizzy2.livejournal.com
OMG. Just OMG.

WHY DO YOU NOT WRITE MORE??? This is so very good!

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
*blushes forever and ever and ever*

It takes me daaaaays to get something prepped for posting because I don't know when to stop editing. Hence this became "belated birthday" fic.

This is why most of my original stuff never sees the light of day. The effort I put into fic is multiplied by about a bazillion for original stuff. >.>

<3!

Date: May 4th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonfly-sg1.livejournal.com
*happy sigh* So glad to see more of this. Never disappoints!

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
And it's ALL. YOUR. FAULT. ;)

Date: May 5th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonfly-sg1.livejournal.com
*beams* Welcome!

Date: May 4th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 4422shini.livejournal.com
omg asljfosusfjsfoisu!!!

words. cannot. describe. my. love.

*flails*

Poor wall-collapsing Sam! :DDDD

write more?

Date: May 4th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
XD

For Keeps 'verse eats my brain. There is so much more coming.

Eventually.

Date: May 5th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winchesterhaunt.livejournal.com
This was really great. It broke my heart when Dean wanted to celebrate Sam's birthday a month in advance because Sam might not be there for his actual birthday. And I don't partially like strawberry cake, but I kind of want some now.

Really great job. I can't way to read the rest of the verse.

Date: May 5th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Aww. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the rest of it!

Date: May 5th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] borgmama1of5.livejournal.com
This hurt to read--in a well-written, authentic characterizations, great dialog way. But poor boys!

Date: May 5th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Thank you!

The entire time I was writing this, I was like, "I'm sorry, boys. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please don't stab me. I'm sorry."

Date: May 5th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] primrose-1.livejournal.com
Okay, I just got caught up reading the whole verse, and I'm a fan! This one in particular, showing Sam's deterioration is wonderful. I love Dean's despair and patience with his brother through all the stories. Well done!

Date: May 5th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! I've been wanting to write something illustrating Sam's POV in all of this for awhile, but it's hard to get a grasp on. I feel that I may have copped out a bit, using his view while he's still relatively "there"...as opposed to the regular flavor of For Keeps Sam, who usually isn't....but it had to be done.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: May 6th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dont-hate-me01.livejournal.com
Sam's real broken and Dean is so cute! Thanks for sharing.

Date: May 8th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading!

Date: May 26th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
ladyjane: whipped cream and hand-cuffs. "Got Plans?" (Boyz in da Impala)
From: [personal profile] ladyjane
Bed-sharing, H/C, and FLANGST!!

I think I love you. :D It's hard to find well-written fluffy-angst, and you graced this one with a dollop of horror worthy of Lovecraft himself.

Poor scared, brave, boys. *cuddles & pets*

Date: May 27th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radiumgirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! *smishes* Most of my favorite fic tends to make me go "awww" while bawling my eyes out. I try to emulate that as best I can.

So, I feel like my fic is insanely self-indulgent. I get really excited when other people enjoy it!

*joins in the cuddling and the petting*
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