Characters: Dean, Sam, Castiel
Rating: PG-13 for language, a mature scene in the first chapter, and some darker themes
Spoilers: Set in Season 5 after 5.05, Fallen Idol. Anything up to that point is fair game.
Summary: There are things that make him human. Deciding what those are will become the difference between sanity and madness. When a demon forces the issue, Dean and Sam fight back the only way they can: together.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. More's the pity.
A/N: I had a dream. No, really. I did. And I woke up, jotted it down, and it turned into this…. This is my first foray into Season 5. Because of the history and the destiny and all of the weight of that season, I wasn't really ever sure I wanted to go there. But go there I have. We'll see if it works for ya'll. At the very least, I hope you're entertained.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
"You took an angel to a whore house?"
"A strip club."
"A whore house fronting as a strip club."
"Dude, he was about to have a Holy-fire showdown; I wasn't gonna let him die a virgin."
"He's an angel, Dean. I kinda think that's the point."
Sam shoved a fry into his mouth as he watched his brother grin around the opening of a beer bottle. He knew that grin. It told him that Dean was dying to divulge more details, but was stubborn enough to wait him out.
Sam was going to have to ask.
"So…did he close the deal?"
Dean rolled his lips in as he swallowed, then leaned back into the corner of the booth. There was an air of coiled tension and heightened awareness around him, and yet it was the most relaxed Sam had seen his brother in weeks. The world was folding in at the seams, and for the first time in their adult lives, he and Dean were moving forward from a level playing field.
No roles of guardian and guarded. No hierarchy of age. No watch out for your brother.
He hadn't expected Dean to relax at all.
Their waitress paused at the table, asking with disinterest if their food was okay, and Dean nodded. As she left, Sam watched his brother's eyes follow her, then take in the dark edges of the bar and grill. People clustered around one of the two pool tables toward the back of the small, shadowed room. Four men flanked the corner of the bar, silently munching pretzels and staring up at the TV.
In the back of his mind, Sam registered a news reporter speaking in affected tones about record temperature extremes in the western part of Kansas, while in the eastern half, where they were, rain was causing the Missouri River to rise at what was—according to the over-excited reporter—an alarming rate.
The Apocalypse is in our backyard, Sam thought, chewing the remains of his chicken sandwich.
"This anything like that place you worked, Keith?" Dean asked, poking at Sam's choice of alias while they'd been apart.
Sam ignored the jibe and looked around, nodding. "Sure. It's a bar, man. We've been in thousands."
"Yeah," Dean nodded, then sighed and leaned forward, resting his weight on his elbows and cupping his hands around the bottle of Dos Equis. "I guess we have."
Sam stifled a sigh; they were still working out the balance of conversation. The moment Dean had handed him Ruby's knife on that deserted back country road, Sam knew they'd have each other's backs in a fight. He knew that the big struggles would be rolled up into their history and they'd find ways to move in synch once more.
That wasn't what had him worried.
The details mattered now. The tense silence filled with unspoken thought where there had once been a comfortable quiet of understanding. The uncertain glances, the slight pause before speaking. They were all tells of a mending relationship between two people who'd been broken in one way or another.
No one has ever done anything so bad that they can't be forgiven or can't change.
Lindsey's words clung to Sam's memory. Every time he saw shadows cross Dean's face, heard the breathless rustle of hellish nightmares still wrap around his brother at night, caught the note of doubt in a once-certain voice, Sam tried to find a way to tell Dean that same thing.
They'd both screwed up; they'd both suffered for it.
Dean so much as said that back in Canton. Sam was ready to steadfastly stand by his declaration that the only way they were going to get around their apparent angelic destinies was if they fought together. As Dean said, keep each other human. And right now, he needed to haul Dean up out of the thoughtful melancholy he so easily slipped into these days.
"So," Sam prompted, pushing his empty plate aside and reaching for his beer. "Did he get laid or what?"
Dean chuckled. "You looking to get some by proxy?"
"Hey," Sam tipped his fingers upward. "It's been a long time."
Dean lifted an eyebrow. "You mean you didn't let some honey share your motel bed while you were on your own?"
Sam felt a twisted chill curl around his spine as he thought of his dreams of Jessica, so real, so needed. He looked away, the taste of the beer souring on the back of his tongue as he remembered those dreams turning into a nightmare of truth as Lucifer washed away the image of Jessica's innocence.
"Sam?" Dean's voice cut through the memory with a blunted edge.
Sam looked back at his brother; he should remember that Dean missed nothing. Even when they were apart, somehow, Dean always sensed when something was off.
"No," Sam shook his head. "Nobody."
"What is it?"
Sam took another drink, wondering as he did why he'd been able to tell Dean about the horror of finding out he was to be Lucifer's vessel, but not how he'd found out. Dean had divulged in horrific detail what his trip via angel transport to 2014 had been like. He'd shared with Sam every vampire nest he'd cleaned out, every low-level demon he'd killed, even how many times he'd washed and waxed the Impala while they were separated.
It was as if Dean had been trying to somehow insert Sam into those moments through the magic of storytelling. Sam had told him about working at the bar, about the hunters who'd found him—drawing Dean's lips back in a snarl as he recounted having to fight them off because they'd discovered he'd started the apocalypse—and about Lucifer's message.
But he'd left out Jessica.
The weakest point in the whole time he'd been away from Dean had been night, when he'd been most alone, when she'd been most real to him. He'd almost been ashamed of his need for her, of his gratitude that his brother hadn't been there to interrupt those moments, however false they'd been.
"Nothing," Sam muttered finally, lifting his shoulders and folding down his lips in a shrug. "Just…had a lot of dreams about Jessica during that time."
He hazarded a glance at his brother and saw something soften around Dean's eyes. He almost told him in that moment. The words were poised at the edge of release. Lucifer used Jessica to break down my defenses. He got to me through her.
"If it's any consolation," Dean said, breaking the moment. "Been awhile for me, too."
"What?" Sam scoffed.
"You remember that girl from the library?"
"Girl from the li—"
"Before we got the call from Adam. Or, you know…ghoul-Adam."
Sam blinked, setting his beer down on the table with a thunk. "What!" This time it was said in shock.
Dean lifted his eyebrows and nodded.
"No way," Sam shook his head in denial. "Dude, that was…months ago."
"Tell me about it."
"How are you even still walking?"
The door opened with a splash of the seemingly endless rain and Dean turned his head to watch a woman walk in, his eyes following her to the bar. "Kind of a lot has happened between then and now, Sammy."
"What about at the whore house?" Sam asked, still trying to connect the dots.
"That was for Cas," Dean said, sitting back once more, his gaze resting comfortably on the woman.
Sam rotated slightly so that he could follow Dean's eye line. The woman shoved a black hood from her head, shaking out shoulder-length dark hair and finger-combing it away from her face. He couldn't get a good look at her features, but she moved as if she were familiar with the place. As they watched, she shrugged out of the short, black leather jacket and hoodie combo and handed the wet garments across the bar to the bartender, laughing as she did so.
"You're telling me you sat at the bar like a good boy?" Sam pressed.
"Someone had to be the wingman," Dean said casually, then slid his eyes to Sam, grinning at his pun.
"Sad," Sam shook his head.
"You should've seen him, though, man," Dean chuckled. "He was like a kid playing spin the bottle for the first time. I thought he was going to hurl when the girl came out and led him back to her room."
"Probably felt heaven's wrath bearing down on him," Sam muttered.
Dean lifted a shoulder. "He didn't forget who he was," he said cryptically, stretching out one leg on the bench in front of him.
His face pulled into a slight grimace until he'd found a comfortable position, reminding Sam that his brother had recently had his ass handed to him by a pagan god—who just so happened to look like Paris Hilton.
"What do you mean, he didn't forget?"
Dean's grin crinkled slightly at the corners, causing Sam to lean forward in spite of himself. His brother had always had a gift for telling stories—especially if sex were involved. Sam signaled the waitress with two fingers and pointed to their beers, returning his attention to Dean when she nodded.
"He, uh," Dean chuckled. "He told the girl that…it wasn't her fault that her father left."
"Oh, God, he didn't," Sam groaned, closing his eyes and rubbing the flats of his fingers across his lids. "He tried to save her?"
Dean finished his Dos Equis and shoved the empty bottle to the back of the table, clearing space for the cold one the waitress thunked down in front of him. Taking a drink, he glanced at Sam.
"Kinda. I mean, I don't think he could help it."
"Doesn't he know every girl in there probably had the same story?"
The woman at the bar laughed again, this time tossing her head back as she did, and Sam watched Dean's eyes shift to her as if pulled by a magnet. Her laugh reminded Sam of Ellen Harvelle's: deep, throaty, and released with abandon.
"I thought it was…refreshing," Dean confessed. "I think I kinda forgot that some of those girls…I don't know…."
"Aren't there by choice?"
"Yeah, I guess," Dean nodded, rolling his neck. "Was a rush ducking the bouncers, though," he chuckled. "Hadn't laughed that long in—" He stopped suddenly, his eyes bouncing to Sam's, and then quickly away again. "Well, in awhile."
Sam rolled his shoulders back against the booth, sighing inwardly. "Yeah, well," he allowed. "We haven't had a lot to laugh about, have we?"
"Maybe we should change that," Dean said, tipping his chin to the side and catching Sam's eyes in a challenge that Sam hadn't seen on his brother's face in years.
"Yeah? How're we gonna do that?" Sam asked with a half-grin, thinking to indulge this game of make believe and lengthen the time Dean was relaxed around him.
Sam frowned. "Stop what?"
"Everything. Hunting. Traveling around this…literally God-forsaken country." Gaze directed toward the middle distance, Dean's voice cracked slightly around his words.
Sam blinked, eyes taking in the expression on his brother's face, ineffectually trying to find the joke hidden in the lines around Dean's mouth.
"What do you mean, like, just…ignore this whole Michael and Lucifer destiny stuff? Quit the apocalypse?"
"Yes," Dean turned toward him, dropping his foot back to the floor with a solid thud against the wood. "Yes, I mean exactly that."
Sam pulled his head back, unsure what road his brother's thoughts were suddenly traveling. He palmed his beer, letting the condensation from the bottle roll down the green glass and trip over his knuckles as he said, "We…we can't quit, Dean."
"We're in Kansas City, Sam," Dean said, his chin lowering even as he kept his eyes on Sam's face. "Back to where we pretty much started. Wanna know what this place looked like the last time I was here?"
"You told me."
"That's right," Dean nodded, pointing at him and easing back against the booth. "That's right. I told you. It was Hell, Sam. Diseased and…and burned out. And why?"
"'Cause of us," Sam said quietly.
"'Cause we played their game," Dean redirected. "Or…didn't in my case."
"We started this," Sam said. "This is happening because of us."
"So…we end it." Dean tipped his fingers up in a shrug. "We stop. They can't have their war without their vessels, right?"
Sam frowned at this thought. It couldn't be that easy. "What if they…pick someone else?"
"If there was someone else," Dean said, slowly peeling the label off of his sweaty bottle in one long tug, "don't you think they would've picked them already?"
Sam looked away and down, considering. He'd told Lucifer no—to the fallen angel's face, more or less. Dean had told Zack what he could do with his flash of the future. How long would the opposing factions continue to pursue them?
Watching as Dean flattened the loose label on the table top, rubbing along the edges with his thumb, Sam found he was actually considering the idea. It was one thing for him to leave hunting—it was something completely different if Dean were with him.
"What would we do?"
Dean's shoulders flinched in what might've been a shrug. "Open a bar?"
"A bar? Like the Roadhouse?"
"You said it yourself," Dean glanced up at him too quickly for Sam to read his expression before he looked back at the Dos Equis label. "We've been in enough of them. You worked in one."
"Open a bar," Sam repeated slowly, tasting the words, letting the thought ricochet through his head.
"Few pool tables, few beer taps, some top shelf liquor…," Dean said, shifting once more, his eyes traveling to the woman at the bar who was now, Sam saw, looking back at him.
She was too far away to hear their conversation, but Sam could see in her expression what she wanted to be saying to his brother.
"We could host a regular poker night and clean up," Dean was saying.
"What if they come looking for us?"
"Salt the windows and the doors. Paint sigils on the outside of the building. Make 'em part of the décor."
"What if they kill people to get to us?" Sam pressed. "Like Meg did to Dad?"
Dean looked over at him and this time Sam caught his eyes, though the memories there were so thick they sucked the air from his lungs.
"What if Cas needs us?" Sam continued quietly, knowing how much worth his brother placed on the lives of their friends—and how close he'd gotten to the rogue angel.
Dean held completely still for a heartbeat, his eyes boring into Sam's as if he were searching for something. Finally, just as Sam felt himself turning to glass in front of the only person in the world who could truly see through him, Dean took a breath and turned away.
"Why you gotta shoot holes in all my plans, huh?" he said, his tone once more jovial, once more in step with the casual rhythm of conversation they'd perfected for moments that weren't supposed to matter. "You're gonna make me panic."
"Part of the job description," Sam replied, his mouth tugging upwards in a reluctant half-grin.
Dean arched an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? For which job?"
"Pain in the ass."
Dean chuckled, draining his second beer. "You're right, man," he sighed. "You can't quit who you were born to be."
"So you really think this is our destiny?" Sam asked quietly, needing to know, searching for grounding. "Being an angel's vessel?"
Dean shook his head once, decisively. "No," he said, leveling his eyes on Sam. "I think they think that." He pointed at Sam, leaning further over the table. "Nobody controls your destiny except you, Sam."
"Yeah, maybe," Sam shrugged.
"Lemme ask you this," Dean said, arching a brow. "If I was always supposed to be an angel condom, how come they let me go to Hell in the first place, huh?"
Sam blinked. He hadn't thought of that.
"They let their precious…Michael's sword…get…ripped up by Hellhounds," Dean spat, his eyes flat, but the quaver in his voice exposing the pain he could obviously still remember. "They let so many awful things…." He stopped, looking away, then down, his throat working as he swallowed, his eyes hidden from Sam. "Point is, they're stumbling around in the dark, same as we are." He lifted his head. "So I say, to hell with their destiny, right?"
"Right," Sam replied, surprised to find his voice closed off, the sound forced through stiffened lips.
"We're nobody's meat suits."
Sam grinned. "I'll drink to that."
"'Cept, you're on empty," Dean nodded toward his bottle. He glanced around the room. "I think Susie Sunshine ditched us."
Sam's eyes cut over to the brunette at the bar, noticing as he did that she glanced away. Looking back at his brother, Sam made a choice. Dean needed a break; Sam needed to give him one.
"How 'bout you head over to the bar and get some?" Sam let his lips tip up at his own joke.
Dean picked up the challenge immediately. "Oh, you don't think I can?"
"You're the one who said it had been months," Sam tossed back.
"Only 'cause I had demons to kill and a pain in the ass little brother to save."
"If that helps you sleep at night." Sam lifted a shoulder in a nonchalant shrug.
Dean tucked his tongue into his cheek and Sam watched an inner light hit his brother's eyes. "Oh, it's gonna be like that is it?"
"Exactly like that."
"Better find a ride home, brother, 'cause it's on," Dean stated, eyebrows up.
Sam lifted the Impala keys from his pocket and shook them. "I drove. You find the ride."
Dean slid out of the booth and Sam watched him grip the edge of the table for the briefest of moments as he worked feeling back into his legs. His knee hadn't quite recovered from the impact of Leshii's Manolo Blahnik heel.
"Don't wait up." Dean turned from their table to approach the bar in a confident, rolling stride that had always left Sam just this side of jealous.
As he watched, Dean sat on a stool two down from the brunette and signaled the bartender with a tip of his chin. Looking at his empty bottle, Sam sighed. He knew that left-field comment about quitting was just Dean's way of attempting a semblance of control.
If he pretended he didn't care, then they couldn't get to him. Not really. Not where it mattered.
Not like they had before.
For a moment, Sam felt incredibly weary. All they'd survived, all they'd overcome, and all they had potentially yet to defeat pressed down on him and he felt his joints creaking with the weight.
This was more than war. This was a cage fight to the death and they'd been so close to tapping out only to grip tight to one another at the last possible moment and find their way out of the chasm.
How long can we keep this up?
The woman's throaty chuckle grabbed his attention again and he looked up to see Dean's face angled just so, offering her a look, taking her in with a glance. He'd watched his brother work his mojo on women enough times to know he was as good as in when her shoulders dropped just so and her hand moved to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.
Digging a few bills from his pocket, Sam left them under the salt shaker and slid from the booth, heading back to the restrooms before he left so that he could make sure leaving was indeed in line with Dean's game. He caught his brother's eye surreptitiously and saw the two-beat blink that gave him the all-clear.
"Guess it's another night of pay-per-view," Sam muttered as he pushed open the restroom door.
Her voice matched her laugh: husky. Like Kathleen Turner. Or Princess Leia, Dean thought with a buried grin.
He saw her glance skid across Sam's back as his brother retreated into the restroom and considered for one brief moment handing her a cover story. He had plenty on deck, and it wouldn't be as if he'd need to remember the lie. These encounters never really resulted in a repeat performance.
"My brother," he found himself saying.
"Oh yeah?" she tilted her head at that, her dark eyes sparking interest.
Dean nodded, returning his attention to his whiskey shot, holding the wide-mouthed glass with his thumb and the pad of his middle finger, then tipping it to watch the amber-colored liquid roll around the bottom.
"We're…kind of on an extended road trip," he told her, reverting back to what seemed like an age-old story. One they told when the worst thing they had to worry about was how many salt rounds to fire into a vengeful spirit.
Before they each had the fate of the world on their shoulders.
"Sounds like fun. What do you think of Kansas City?"
Dean huffed out a slightly strangled laugh and tossed back the whiskey. "It's a town," he shrugged, half-turning to face her. "But it does have some perks—"
A crash in the back of the room interrupted his delivery and he and the woman turned as one to face the crowd by the pool table as they grew increasingly rowdy. Dean slipped off his barstool and stood, watching tensely as fists were clenched and punches thrown. A blonde woman jumped onto the back of one of the brawlers, screaming obscenities until someone else pulled her free.
After several minutes, two bouncers grabbed the fighters and physically threw them out the front door and into the rain. It wasn't until the ruckus died down that Dean realized his body was coiled tight, his own fists at his sides. He forced himself to take a calming breath and felt eyes on him. Without turning, he knew they belonged to Sam. He sank back onto the barstool, then rotated around, letting his gaze hit his brother's worried face before looking back at the woman. He saw Sam leave the bar out of the corner of his eye.
"Rain brings out the crazies, huh?" he said with a half-hearted laugh.
She was watching him closely, the comfortable haze of alcohol that had loosened her shoulders replaced by something close to wariness. "Must be a full moon," she returned.
He shook his head. "Not for another four nights," he replied without thinking.
Her eyebrows climbed her forehead, speaking a paragraph on their journey. "Lunar enthusiast?" she commented dryly.
"Just…environmentally aware," Dean offered lamely, then turned back to the bar, signaling for another drink. Sam was going to kick his ass when he had to call him for a ride.
"Bet there isn't much you aren't aware of," the woman said softly. "Where'd you serve?"
Dean frowned, looking over at her quickly. It was the second time someone had asked him that in the last month. "Come again?"
"You were about two seconds away from stepping into that dance," she said. "I bet you checked hands when you walked in here, too."
That pulled the corner of his mouth up in a quick bounce of a grin. "Yeah, actually."
"Two in the back, concealed handguns," she said, then tipped her head to the side to indicate the booths behind her. "Kenny Rogers back there has at least one. I'm guessing in his boot."
Dean was now turned, his left elbow resting on the bar, his body facing the woman. With a quick flicker of lashes he caught sight of a heavier set man with snowy white hair and a full beard and mustache digging in to a large steak and baked potato. He nodded.
"I'm thinking your brother was clean," the woman continued. "But I'm willing to bet he had plenty stashed somewhere else. Besides," she said, slipping from her stool and swinging her leg across the seat that had been vacant between them, "he didn't need anything did he?"
"He can take care of himself."
"And he had you," she said, glancing at the bartender and asking for another drink. "And I'll bet this drink that you've got…at least two weapons. So," she pressed. "Where did you serve?"
Dean swallowed, his eyes sliding down the length of her throat. Her ears were bare, as was her neck. She wore a black, V-neck T-shirt that covered the waistband of faded jeans and the toes of her black heels were scuffed. He glanced quickly at her hands; she wore a silver ring on her right thumb with what looked like a crescent moon inlaid in the metal. Nothing else.
"It's not really a great memory," Dean offered her.
"Hell, huh?" she asked, the question more layered then she could have possibly known.
"You could say that," he nodded, finishing another shot—he'd started to lose count at this point—and rolling his lips against his teeth. "You?"
She shook her head, a sad smile playing across her mouth. He noticed that her bottom lip was fuller than her top, giving her an almost innocent, pouty expression when she wasn't smiling.
"I serve every day," she told him. "I'm a cop."
Fantastic, Winchester, he berated himself. You sure can pick 'em.
He schooled his features quickly as she glanced up at him and he realized he saw something hesitant shifting in her dark eyes. Something that said, if you're gonna run, do it now. Something that challenged him.
"Dean," he said, dropping his chin slightly and meeting her eyes.
This time her smile was honest. "Raya."
"Interesting name," he said.
"Hebrew," she said. "Means 'friend.' My parents were Jewish."
"Doesn't that make you Jewish?" Dean asked.
"Only if I say it does," Raya said, lifting a shoulder.
Dean nodded, appreciation for this woman adding heat to the slow-burning fire in his belly. "Nice."
"So what do you do now, Dean?" Raya asked. "When you aren't traveling around the country with your brother, I mean."
Dean quirked his lips. "That's…complicated."
"Is it, now?"
"I could tell you, but—"
"You'd have to kill me?" she guessed, eyes just shy of rolling.
"But…then you might not find me half as interesting as you do now," he finished.
"What makes you think I find you interesting?" Raya challenged, arching a brow.
He liked how the ivory coloring of her skin contrasted with the dark shade of her hair and the almost ebony of her eyes. When she smirked, her skin pulled tight at the corner of her eyes and belied an affected expression of disinterest with the warmth captured in a glance.
"The way your shoulders shift," he started. "The position of your body. The fact that you can't stop touching your hair. How your eyes flashed just now. And the way your mouth looks like your lips are about to wrap around a word…or…something," he finished, allowing his words to guide him forward until he could feel her breath on his face.
"Oh," she breathed.
He didn't move. He simply watched her, waiting. After a moment, she tucked a breath of air deep inside and pulled herself upright.
"You have talent, Dean," Raya informed him, her voice steady once more. "Not a lot of people put me at a loss for words."
Dean grinned. "Don't feel too bad," he said. "I'm pretty sure in another environment, and without my friend Jack here," he tipped his glass toward her in a salute, "you would've had me pinned against a wall."
Raya's lips twitched. "Oh, don't worry," she said nodding her head toward the bartender and gesturing for her jacket. "I fully intend to pin you against a wall."
His body immediately responded, the blood in his head racing low.
"Just not one here," she finished. "You lost your ride, didn't you?"
Dean nodded, his mouth suddenly too dry to reply and keep his tough exterior in place at the same time.
"Well, I live two blocks down. Soon as you're ready, we can go."
"I'm good," he said, tossing back his last shot and slapping a couple of twenties on the bar. "We can go."
Raya tossed a wave at the bartender, then slid her arms into the sleeves of her layered jacket. "You got anything other than that?" She nodded at his green Army jacket.
He shook his head, resting his hand on the small of her back and matching her stride as she led the way out. "I'm okay with this."
"You're gonna be soaked," she warned.
"Guess you'll just have to figure out how to dry me off, then," he returned as they stepped into the roar of a Midwest thunderstorm.
"…I'm crossing here. And while you guys are dragging your candy-asses halfway across the state and back, I'll be waiting for you on the other side, relaxing with my thoughts."
"Do you use your left hand or your right hand for that?"
He'd seen this movie easily a dozen times. Not only that, Dean had read him the short story it was based on one Halloween when he'd been laid up with a broken ankle and John had been gone for several days. It reminded him of their childhood and a time so innocent in comparison to now that he almost felt like crying.
Clearing his throat, Sam capped the flask of whiskey he'd pulled from Dean's duffel and set it on the nightstand.
Enough of that, he admonished himself, picking up the remote and flipping aimlessly away from Stand By Me, searching for something else.
His eyes flicked up to the cardboard stand on top of the TV advertising Skin-O-Max. He glanced toward the door. Theoretically, Dean should be gone for several hours. However, the last time he thought the coast was clear he'd been busted and had to do some throat-clearing through a rather awkward moment he'd rather not share with his brother.
Rubbing his face, Sam squared his shoulders and flipped through the eight channels once more, unable to keep his eyes from the advertisement.
"Oh, hell," he sighed, sliding one leg off the bed and letting his boot hit the floor as he leaned forward and aimed the remote at the TV.
It figured that he was left alone to release tension while Dean was out with an exotic-looking woman. Of course, the last time Sam was the one to get laid there had been demon blood involved. And the time before that, Dean accused him of bedding a siren. And then there had been Madison….
"Face it, Sam," he grumbled as he searched titles too embarrassing to say aloud, let alone cop to on a motel bill. "You do not have the best luck with women. It's safer this way."
Settling on a selection that seemed to not bother with too much plot and basically got right down to business, Sam tossed the remote aside and leaned back against the pillows he'd stacked against the headboard. Closing his eyes, his hands moved to unfasten his belt and he froze.
The moment he closed his eyes, she was there. Next to him. In bed with him. Her hand sliding along his, lacing her fingers with his as he fumbled with his buttons.
Is it really you?
She didn't answer him, and he didn't open his eyes. She felt real. He could even smell her if he concentrated hard enough. He wanted her to be real. He felt himself respond to the idea of her touch, her fingers, the feel of her skin on his, the sound of his name captured in her whisper.
His sigh caught, tripping across his tongue and tumbling from his lips as she seemed to tangle with him, wrapping around him, slipping into him as easily as he yearned to slide into her.
The ring tone of his cell phone jarred him harshly from the moment. Gasping, Sam sat up, staring with bleary, confused eyes at the couple on TV. The gratuitous shots of flesh turned his stomach and he fumbled for the remote, turning the TV black and sending the room into silence except for his phone. He swallowed, looking around the room, half-hoping, yet half-afraid he'd still see Jessica.
The last time she'd remained real after he thought he was awake, she'd not truly been Jessica. She'd been a thing of nightmares.
"Dean," he practically growled as he reached for his phone. "You better have a goddamn good reason for this." He picked up the phone, flipped it open and frowned at the unfamiliar number. "Yeah?"
"Sam. It's Castiel."
Continued in Part 1B, found here: http://gaelicspirit.livejournal.com/92952.html