Sam/Dean. R. 600 words. Mild crossover with Fullmetal Alchemist, because the evil twin said please.
It’s in the way Sam walks these days.
It happens gradually, just slow enough for Dean to notice and still try to ignore. It works, too, for a month or more, until the night he dreams of the opened Gate (not the Devil’s Gate, but a Gate just as dark, just as terrifying, one he’s never seen before) and of Sam on his knees before it with a hundred thousand unblinking eyes staring out at him.
He jerks awake to the hollow neon glow and thudding bass line of the strip joint across the alleyway. Sam is still up, profile stark in the light of the laptop’s LCD, wearing nothing but jeans and a tight tee even though Dean would swear it’s fifty below in this dump.
Dean knuckles at his eye and slurs, “What’re y’doin’?”
“Man, get some shut-eye.”
“Fine.” Dean punches his pillow, flips onto his stomach, and falls back to sleep to the steady tap-tap-tap of Sam’s typing.
It’s in the way Sam walks these days. Always tall, always smooth, saunters into a room like he owns it. Like how he strolls into a little downtown boutique one day in the middle of a job knowing Dean would follow, picks up this tiny, stupid-looking pair of round, wire-rimmed sunglasses and slides them on. Suddenly, they’re not so stupid anymore. They’re his.
“You break it, you bought it,” Dean says.
Sam peers at him over the rims, teeth flashing white. “Buy ‘em for me.”
“Jesus,” Dean mutters, and slaps a twenty on the counter.
Sometimes, Dean can’t help but stare at Sam’s hands. He knows what the mark is called but not exactly what it means. It looks like a tattoo, dark, heartblood red etched into Sam’s skin, but it’s not. It’s a birthmark of Sam’s second coming, as much a part of him as the slant of his smile, the timbre of his laugh. Dean watches bone and tendon shift beneath it as Sam picks through his worn cassettes.
“This music is getting old,” Sam says. “I want some new music.”
Mostly to himself, Dean replies, “Don’t you always.”
“I want you to get us some new stuff.”
“Dean.” That smile again, swift and sharp as a shark’s.
“Surprise me one day and tell me what you don’t want.”
Sam slings an arm over the seat, miles of leg folded up against the dash. The tee shirt already stretched taut across his chest strains against muscle, and for all his bitching, he’s tapping one foot along to Hetfield. Dean doesn’t have a sweet clue where the kick-ass boots he’s wearing came from.
“Don’t hold your breath,” Sam says.
The slim bands of leather crisscrossing Sam’s arms at each wrist are warm against Dean’s palms. All he can smell is the thick scent of new leather. There’s sweat beaded on his upper lip, salty-slick, from the heavy Southern air, but Sam’s skin is clear, sun-kissed brown and perfect.
“Figured out something else,” Sam says.
Dean’s back thuds against a wall. He keeps a tight hold on Sam’s wrists and Sam lets him, smiles like it’s cute. Sam hooks off his shades with one long finger, pins him in place with alien, cat-slit eyes. He’s fucked and they both know it.
“You gonna fill me in now or yammer on s’more?”
Sam leans close, all unnatural heat and strength pressing into Dean, something bittersweet on his lips like blood and spun-sugar. Dean’s heart kicks at his ribs so hard he holds his breath for the sick snap of bone.
Mouth to mouth, Sam whispers, “You bought me back as greedy as you are.”