Pride Pulled Like Stitches

John/Bobby. NC-17. ~1500 words. Pre-series.
“It’s written all over your face, Singer.”

Mud squelched under Bobby’s boots, so thick even the air tasted of dirt, but that at least was better than the taste of stale blood.

Ahead, John slipped down a bank, his hand reaching for a scrubby tree, its leaves bent and broken by the endless streaming rain that had turned the ground to soup beneath their feet. He hissed a curse into the humid air as he stumbled to a stop, his other hand clutching at his side.

“Y’alright?” Bobby called, and drew up close to his side.

John forced an answer between the clench of his teeth. “Stitches pulled.”

“Lemme have a look.”

John’s forehead crinkled, sure sign he was of a mind to voice a protest, and one look at the flat line of Bobby’s mouth changed it for him. He sighed and glanced around, then trudged over to a sodden log. His face went white as planted a hand on the old bark and carefully sat, spine ramrod straight.

“Could’ve waited another day,” Bobby said casually, following. “That critter ain’t going anywhere in this downpour.”

“It’s fine,” John said, hand still pressed tightly to his side.

“Don’t look fine to me. Watch your arm.”

John grudgingly shifted his arm out of the way, his breath coming in short, hard puffs. Giving him a stern look to sit still, Bobby untucked the hem of his shirt and lifted it to bare the railroad of stitches tracked from his side to back.

Fresh blood oozed from one corner of the wound near his belly where the stitches had stretched and snapped. “Where’d the bandage go?” Bobby asked.

“Lost it a couple miles back.”

“Should’ve said,” Bobby said, not one bit surprised stubborn pride had held John’s tongue.

The pack Bobby carried held guns and ammo and only a few first aid supplies. He’d wanted to turn back after the trail went cold at the end of the first mile. The thing they were after had probably burrowed straight underground at the first hint of rain and it would be a day or more until the ground dried out enough for it to venture out again.

Hauling out a fresh bandage out of the pack, Bobby hunkered down at John’s side. That close, the wound looked worse than he’d first thought.

“Don’t say it,” John grunted.

“Wasn’t going to say a word.”

“It’s written all over your face, Singer.”

“Then I guess I don’t need to say it then, do I?” Bobby daubed at John’s side with rain-wet gauze. It came away bright red.

John sucked in a quick breath. “Too late now.”

“Bullshit.”

John barked out a laugh cut short by a grunt as Bobby pressed the gauze harder to the wound. “Looking to bust the rest?” John asked, one eyebrow raised high.

Point taken, Bobby eased off. John would never be the man he used to be, and selfishly, Bobby was glad of it. He’d never have survived the aftermath of his wife’s death without John there to drive him on when he’d needed it. Sometimes, though, he knew John drove too hard.

“Going to have to make a choice soon enough,” Bobby said. He held the edges of the bandage tight to John’s clammy skin and dug out the tape, handing it over for him to tear a strip free. “Full dark is a couple hours away and the trail’s been fading fast as we can find it. We either turn back or find a place to settle in for the night.” The cold wet ground didn’t sound too appealing to his mind, but he knew John. It had to be John doing the choosing or the choice wouldn’t be made at all.

“We don’t have the gear for an overnight,” John said, a sour twist to his mouth. “You know that as well as I do.”

Bobby said nothing at first, busying himself with taping down the edges of the fresh bandage. It would hold for a few hours more in the rain, less if John kept pushing.

“Why’d you follow me all the way out here if you were going to send me right back?”

“You get it in your head to do something, Winchester, there ain’t nobody gonna talk you out of it until you’re ready to hear some sense.”

John’s smile turned rueful. “Long walk back with nothing to show for it.”

“Not for lack of trying.” The stubborn glint to John’s eyes said he was still considering sticking it out until they picked up the trail again or found where the creature had gone to ground. Swallowing his own pride, Bobby said, “Sick of this rain,” and pushed his hand again to the bandage to make certain the tape held. When he glanced up, John’s tired gaze met his.

As if the weight of the last few years had settled all at once, John’s shoulders slumped. “I know what you’re not saying, and maybe you could’ve saved yourself the trouble of sparing my pride.”

All John had left in the world was that and his boys, and Bobby wouldn’t be the one to take either from him. He patted John’s side companionably and rocked back on his heels just as John’s hand fisted in the open collar of his jacket. When John yanked, he lost his tenuous balance, falling to his knees in the mud.

The pain that had clouded John’s eyes faded beneath a glint Bobby couldn’t claim was entirely unfamiliar. He’d seen it on a few occasions before, at times for the pretty women who helped John forget the ache lodged like a knife in his chest, and sometimes exactly like this, levelled straight at him as if he were the only person John had really seen in years. It tugged at something down low in his belly, and if the scratch of John’s short whiskers against his mouth stirred him up, then the soft give of John’s lips opening up under his in a wet kiss made him a little crazy.

John kissed like he lived, hard and desperate, focused and still somehow a little lost. He went for a sharp bite and pulled up short after his teeth barely scraped Bobby’s lip, and Bobby wasn’t having none of that. Out in the middle of the woods was no place for horsing around, but just the suggestion had set Bobby’s nerves to burning. All he heard was the patter of rain through the leaves as John’s heavy sigh pushed hot into his mouth.

Good idea or not, Bobby tugged open John’s zipper and pushed past cloth to find bare skin. John’s knees splayed wide, his hand skidding up to grasp Bobby’s shoulder in a strong grip. That as much as the feel of John thickening in his hand tightened his chest, and he tightened his grip in turn. He felt more than heard the groan trapped low in John’s throat, the slow rumble of it like distant thunder.

“Nobody gonna hear you but me,” Bobby said, and John’s answer came in the form of a misaimed kiss to the corner of his mouth. He twisted to catch it full on and worked John’s cock free, skidding his thumb up to graze the head. He’d only done this a handful of times but he remembered how John liked pressure on his slit, liked it a little rough, and he finally let that moan free when the calluses on Bobby’s hand caught on the ridge.

He lost the steady rhythm aiming to get John off good and fast as fingers grasped at his zipper looking to return the favour. Resting his head on John’s shoulder, he gave himself over to it as fully as he dared, memories of fox holes and dirt churned to bloody muck like acid on his tongue until John kissed him again, kept kissing him as filthy and dirty as the mess he knelt in until neither of them could manage it any longer.

When he came, he grabbed onto John’s side, holding on for everything he was worth as awareness of the world around him shattered. John grunted in sudden pain and he remembered the wound, cursed his carelessness. He pulled his hand away only to have his wrist caught and palm pressed back to the warm seep of blood.

John followed a moment after that, eyes squeezed shut and teeth digging into his lip, noises like prayers he didn’t believe in anymore slipping out on ragged breaths. They burned their way into Bobby’s head, searing like a brand, another scar to carry.

Wiping a hand off on soiled jeans, Bobby smacked John’s hand away and peeled back the corner of the bandage to check the rest of the stitches. Their foolishness might’ve broken another one but he couldn’t be sure in the waning light.

“All right, Winchester,” he said, rocking back up on the balls of his feet. “You gonna walk, or do I have to carry you back to your boys?”

John’s slanted grin shone in his eyes. Lord help the ladies if Winchester blood ran true; no woman would resist that sparkle. And lord help any man that found it swinging their way, because as much as Bobby liked to think he was made of sterner stuff than most, it undid him every time.

“Give me a shoulder and I’ll do just fine,” John said, clapping a hand to the side of Bobby’s neck.

And of that, Bobby had no doubts.

End

One Response to “Pride Pulled Like Stitches”

  1. JenIsaks Says:

    Great fic loved the pairing too. Good work, thanks.

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