It's the same guy, and it's the same thing.
It's the exact same guy as in his dream, and it's the exact same monster.
Sam has never seen either of them before. He's heard of dire wolves, and he's seen actual wolves, but never before in his life has he actually seen a gigantic, intelligent, man-eating wolf before now. Except in the nightmare he's been having basically every time he closed his eyes for the last week.
The guy has the same ripped Superman shirt, the same skinned knee, and the same cut along his face, and Sam does the worst thing he can possibly do and just freezes. It's only for a second, but it's long enough that the dire wolf notices.
Even the brainless monsters know that a stationary target is an easier snack than a moving one, and then all of a sudden, everything goes to hell.
The dire wolf leaps at Sam. Sam tries to aim his gun, but before he can even get it eye-level with the giant monster of a wolf, he's on his back, and he can feel its claws digging into his chest, and Sam knows this is it.
Then the wolf—the giant, monstrously huge in every sense of the word, dire wolf—yelps like a puppy that just got their tail stepped on and is suddenly off of him and in a dead heap next to him with its neck snapped. The guy they're supposed to be rescuing—in the Superman shirt, with eyes that look completely normal now but were black like oil in Sam's dreams—is standing over the body.
"What the fuck was that?" Dean roars.
The guy, who clearly did not need saving, ignores him and looks at the blood on Sam's chest. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Sam answers, forcing himself up. He isn't, really; he just got his chest punctured by a fucking dire wolf. But he isn't dead, and, also, this guy killed Dean and Jess in his dream, so Sam's not about to offer up signs of weakness. "What just happened?"
"You were a hair away from being a Scooby Snack," Jess tells him.
"Do yourself a favor," the guy who isn't Superman starts out. He's still talking to Sam and hasn't given any kind of indication that he can even hear Dean or Jess. "Try not to let yourself get eaten, okay?"
"We're still here, right?" Dean asks, turning to Jess. "We didn't get killed?"
"You're here," Sam tells them, not taking his eyes off the guy he really hopes won't still try to kill them.
"Yes, you're here, they're here; life is all flowers and puppies," Bizzaro Superman says. "But really, you should probably put some more work into your workout before you decide to hunt again."
"Dude," Dean starts. "Exactly how many fucking hunters go to your college?"
The guy finally looks away from Sam to shoot a disgusted look at Dean. "There's no need for insults," he says. And then he just. Vanishes. He's there, and then he isn't, and Sam is probably a little shocky because the gouges in his chest don't hurt, but he's almost positive he didn't just black out while the guy walked away.
"What the fuck?" Jess asks.
Somehow, they make it back to the car. Sam's brain feels like it's made out of Jell-O, and he just cannot deal with this night. The nightmares were shitty, and then they were scary, and then they were apparently real. Or not, because instead of killing his brother and his girlfriend, the guy saved his life.
Dean backhands Sam in the chest—not hard, but right over a bleeding wound—and Jess instantly reaches over the back of the seat and smacks the back of Dean's head hard enough for it to make a sound.
"Are you fucking listening to me, Sammy?" he barks.
"Did that really happen?" Sam asks.
"Yes, it did," Dean tells him. "Wanna tell me why?"
"Leave him alone," Jess insists. "He just got knocked on his ass."
"No, fuck that," Dean yells. "You don't freeze, Sammy! What is rule number fucking one of hunting? What is it?"
"Don't—" Sam starts.
"That's right, it's don't fucking die!" Dean cuts him off.
"Stop yelling," Jess orders. "We're right here, and you're going to blow out my eardrum."
"What the fuck, Sam?" Dean asks again, noticeably quieter this time.
"I don't..." Sam trails off. He can't even explain it, doesn't know where to start. "I don't know. I guess I'm more out of the game than I thought."
"You guess you're more out of the game than you thought?" Dean asks incredulously.
"Yeah," Sam lies. "I saw it, and it was like everything slowed down."
"Bullshit," Dean says.
Dean cuts him off again, though, and for a moment Sam curses that Dean knows him so well.
"Dude, if you don't freeze watching a werewolf eat someone's fucking heart, then a wolf sure as fucking isn't gonna make you shake in your boots."
"Dire wolf," Jess points out from the backseat. Dean whips his head around to glare at her, and Sam can see the reflection of the giant, wide smile she gives him in the rearview mirror.
"Don't fucking lie to me, Sammy," Dean says.
Sam doesn't want to lie to Dean. He can't think of a lot of things he would like to do less than lie to Dean, but he can barely wrap his brain around everything right now.
"Okay," Sam starts. "You know those dreams I've been having?"
"You mean the nightmares where you wake up screaming like I'm trying to take away all your books?" Dean asks. "Yeah, I remember them."
"Well, it was that," Sam says.
"Freezing?" Jess asks.
"No," Sam corrects her. "It wasn't freezing. It was that. The dire wolf was attacking that guy, and then you two saved him, but instead of saying thank you, he killed you both. Snapped your necks, I think."
"It was just a nightmare, Sam," Dean tells him. Sam can hear the force in his voice, though, and he knows that Dean knows it wasn't just a bad dream about a similar situation.
"No, Dean. I don't think it was," Sam says. "It was exactly the same. Exactly. It was the same guy in the same shirt with the same hair and the exact same dire wolf barreling down on him. And when I saw it, I just. I—I don't know—I couldn't move or think. I just freaked out."
Dean doesn't respond to that. Neither does Jess. Sam isn't really surprised, though. There's not a whole lot to say to that.
It's a good five minutes later before Jess speaks. "So... are we just not going to talk about the guy who killed the four hundred pound wolf with his bare hands and then vanished into thin air?"
"Nope," Sam and Dean say at the same time.
It's a long drive back.
They ignore the giant neon elephant in the room for a while. They ignore a few of them, if Sam's being honest with himself‐ which he's been trying out, for a change‐ but this is the most recent and obvious one. That they all know about.
It's even worse—bigger—than Sam realized because after the wolf and the guy, he starts thinking and paying attention. And he didn't before, really. Everyone has things happen to them that they're sure they've dreamed before. There's even a term for it, he thinks. But there are pop quizzes that he's studied for that had nothing to do with the chapters they had been reading, and he saw that girl from his class get bitten by her boyfriend before she ever came to class with that giant bandage. There are tiny things and really big things—like the crab hunt that he convinced himself he didn't actually dream about—and Sam is just so overwhelmed and freaked out.
Sam loves Jess. He loves the way she rubs his back when he's sick and the way she laughs too loud and obnoxious when he's too hungover to function and the way she draws patterns on his arm or leg or stomach early in the morning when she thinks he's still asleep. But he just wants to curl up in Dean's lap like he did when he was so little that he barely has memories. He wants Dean to stroke his hair and tell him it'll be okay like he used to when Sam would have nightmares about his kindergarten teacher eating all the children in class like the evil witch in Hansel and Gretel. But all that does is make Sam remember how fast they moved and wonder if he was right and how long he's been seeing things before they happened.
It makes him wonder if Dad knows, or knew, and if that was why Sam could sometimes barely go to the bathroom alone without Dad throwing a fit.
Sam starts sleeping on the couch. It's a halfway tactical thing. He doesn't really trust himself to sleep in a bed next to Dean right now and not reach for comfort in some form or another, and Jess doesn't deserve that. At the same time, he doesn't want to kick Dean to the couch right now so that Jess can give him the comfort he wants from Dean. None of them deserve that.
So Sam takes the couch.
But Dean knows Sam better than he knows himself, and so Dean camps out on the floor. And Jess is more like Dean than Sam ever realized, because instead of spending more nights at the suite she technically still lives in, she camps out right next to Dean, and they tell Sam that they're there for him without any words.
And when he wakes up terrified with eyes burning from tears he doesn't want to fall, Jess is on his right and Dean is on his left, and Jess leans her head on his shoulder while Dean teaches them both how to make spaghetti sauce that doesn't come entirely from a jar.
They're in the grocery store when Dean's cell phone rings. Doing actual, honest-to-whatever grocery shopping. Their cart has food in it. Four boxes of cereal, two gallons of milk, food that takes more than a can opener and a microwave to make, and fruits and vegetables in little plastic bags so grubby little cart germs don't get on them.
Sam is pushing the cart because he won't let Dean have control of it, and Dean is giving Jess a piggyback ride through the store because Sam is pushing the cart and she kicks it when he gives her a piggyback while pushing.
His phone rings, and just like every other time Dad calls, Dean almost lets it go to voicemail because he doesn't recognize the ringtone. He catches it on the fifth ring, though, and gets it out and answered without giving either himself or Jess a concussion. He ignores the flash of guilt—isn't even sure who he feels like he's betraying more—and lets Jess down so he can go out front and talk away from bitchfacing little brothers.
The only thing he can even think to say first is, "Dad."
"Dean," he says. "Where are you?"
"Uh, Stanford?" Dean doesn't really know why that comes out as a question. He isn't hiding anything.
"Where specifically?" Dad asks. There's an impatient tone in his voice and almost a growl to it. He sounds like he usually does after Dean's made one too many jokes at the sheriff and got them the cold shoulder from the deputies.
"A grocery store in Palo Alto. Vons, I think," Dean says.
"Good," Dad says. There's this relieved sigh to his voice when he says it that makes the hair on Dean's arms stand on end. "Sammy's with you, right?"
"Okay. Okay, that's good," he says again. "Do not leave that building until it hits the hour."
"An hour from now or the hour?" Dean asks as he tries to nonchalantly make his way back into the building.
"The hour. When you leave, you go right back to your apartment, and none of you leave until Bobby calls and tells you you can, okay?"
"Go ho—back and don't leave, got it."
"Buy a couple of bags of rock salt if you don't have any left, at least two. You're gonna need about a dozen Sharpies, some rubber cement, a couple of gallon jugs for water, and a throw rug."
"A throw rug?" Dean asks, pausing. He's got the makeshift shopping list scrawled over a weekly ad from the front door. But even with the giant porch swing for sale in front of the store, Dean doesn't know if buying a rug here is even possible. "Do they sell those in grocery stores?"
"Some of them, yeah. And if you can find some water guns, grab those, too. Big ones and the little ones. If you can't find any, grab something with a spray bottle—make sure there's enough for each of you."
"Water guns and spray bottles, got it."
"Get a welcome mat, too, if you don't have one. Something with an underside you can draw on, none of that weird knitted shit."
"Dad, I gotta—what's going on?"
"There's no time for that right now, Dean. Just do what I say and don't forget." The line clicks dead before Dean can say anything else.
The rest of the day turns into a shit-show. When Dean tells Sam about the call, Sam picks a fight—like he does best—and Jess just gives him a look like she's so damn disappointed in his existence. And then, because Dean didn't know they were going to need extra cash and using cards with different names on them at a place you go once a week is just plain stupid, they end up having to put back everything in their cart.
And Dean still has to steal the Sharpies just to make sure they get everything.
They rubber cement rocksalt along the window jambs and above the door. And then, as if that isn't fucked up enough, they bless six gallons of water and fill super soakers with more. Jess uses some pictures Bobby e-mails her and draws some sort of ridiculously complicated design on the bottom of their new throw rug.
Bobby's call was only marginally more informative than Dad's, and he put them on lockdown until FedEx could finish overnighting some brand new necklaces to them that they were not to remove while outside of their apartment.
Dean knows his place—and it sure as fuck isn't to question Dad or Bobby—but a very, very tiny, insignificant part of him might have agreed a little with all of Sam's whiny cry-baby bitching about no one telling them what exactly it is they're hiding from.
Not completely disagreeing does not necessarily make the next thirty-something hours any easier, though.
And besides, it's not like it even crossed his mind to tell Dad about Sammy's fucking—his whatever. His dreams.
They don't get to leave the apartment for two days, and by that time, they're all so stir-crazy that Sam actually actively looks for a hunt for them to go on so that they have an excuse to shoot things.
It wasn't even staying inside so much as it was being told they couldn't leave. Jess is pretty sure Dean was gonna go Shawshank on the walls if he had to go another night without daylight.
"I gotta tell you, Sammy," Dean starts, pausing to lean on his shovel and huff out a couple of breaths. "...What do I gotta tell you?"
"Really?" Sam asks, leaning on his own shovel.
"Shut up," Dean grumbles, shoveling more dirt out of the grave.
Jess is still shovel-free for another ten minutes, so she's playing lookout until Dean stops being a stubborn ass and gives up his. It mostly involves standing there and trying not to bore herself to sleep. "Did your dad or Bobby say what these pendants are for?"
Dean makes a face at her, which is uncalled for. "Nope."
Sam scoffs and makes a sound that sounds a lot like disgust. "Did you even ask?"
"No," Dean snaps back. "And you know why? Because I actually fucking trust the man who kept us alive for twenty fucking years."
"Hey!" Jess yells, interrupting them. "Knock it off! If you two are actually going to fight over something as stupid as this, I'm going to take your shovels and beat you to death with them. And, might I remind you, you're standing in an open grave. If I fill it in, no one will know where to look for either of you."
It's a few minutes before either of them talk again. Dean, of course, is the one to break the silence. "Your girlfriend is a fucking psycho, dude."
Jess smiles and takes it for the compliment it is.
"Wait, Monsters, Inc. is a cartoon?" Dean asks, reading the back of the DVD case.
"It's not a cartoon. It's an animated movie," Jess says, stealing a few pieces of licorice and climbing into Sam's lap.
"About monsters. For children."
"It's kind of a cute movie," Sam admits. There's a pretty solid chance that Dean will mock him for this forever. "Funny."
"It's a movie about monsters," Dean repeats. As if they might not have heard him the first time. Or seen the movie they own. "Teaching children not to be afraid of them."
"Yes, Dean, it is," Sam says slowly. "Most people don't know about monsters and don't want their kids to be scared of things they don't know are real."
"Most people are teaching their kids how to get killed," Dean says. Like Sam's the one who made the movie.
"If you both don't stop talking right now, I'm going to put on Lilo & Stitch," Jess warns them.
"What's that?" Dean asks Sam in what he probably thinks is a whisper.
"A movie about kids with no parents," Sam tells him. "Shut up and let her watch this movie."
"Come on," Dean says. "Don't you wanna come watch me make our rent?"
Sam's got the kitchen table covered in books and papers and his laptop. He has four highlighters and two pencils and just shoots Dean a prissy look in response. "What?" Dean asks. "You can do that later."
"Dean, I need to write this paper. I've put it off long enough, and I only have a few days left."
"It's one paper," he says, ignoring Jess's snort from her spot on the couch. "Come on, Sammy, how hard can it be?"
"Well, the title of my paper is Instances Where the Supreme Court Has Held Cases Which Decided Constitutional Issues In Which No Defense Was Raised."
Dean gives up trying to figure that out after a few seconds. "Sounds easy."
"Write it for me without flunking me out, and I'll go with you," Sam challenges.
"Or, and here's an alternative, I could pay someone to write it for you."
"How do you think Sam makes his half of the rent?" Jess asks, laughing.
"Did he tell you he pays rent?"
"Dean, go away. If I flunk out, I'm going to key your car."
He knows Sam isn't serious because that would be the last thing Sam ever did. At least with his hands. Sam could live a mostly full life after Dean chopped his hands off. "Hey, Jess—"
"No," she says.
"Don't you wanna go distract dumbass college boys with your tits?"
"Yeah, but Sam's on a sex strike until he finishes his paper, so I'm just gonna go get girl drink drunk with Liz and Becca instead."
"Like in a bar? Possibly one with a pool table and drunk idiots who might try to up their bets if they think it could improve their chances with the hot chicks at the table next to them?"
"Not going to happen," she says.
"Because you have a penis and girls have vaginas," Sam says from his little nerd hutch.
"Did you just quote Kindergarten Cop at me?" Dean asks him. "Do your fucking paper, Poindexter."
"Children," Jess mutters.
"Come on, Jess. Jessica. Blondie," he begged.
"Every time you and Liz are in the same bar together, all you do is try to get more numbers than each other," she says. "And then you spend days pouting because she wins."
"She cheats! She plays up that whole 'I look like a dude' thing and gets phone numbers from the single chicks and gay guys."
"You get phone numbers from the gay guys, too," Jess points out.
"Yeah, but I can't pass as a chick and hit on lesbians," Dean complains. It's an uneven playing field. "If you say one word," Dean starts before Sam can say anything, "I will tell everyone you know about St Steven's."
Oh, it's so awkward. It's so fucking awkward. Jess—her brain—it just.
She thought it was Sam. She thought Dean had convinced Sam to come hustle pool or dragged him out to the bar to get drunk or something, and she thought it was Sam.
Then Dean shoved him against the car, and she could swear she could hear the wet noises of them kissing, and it was so insanely hot, and then she looked closer, and she realized it wasn't Sam, and then her brain just stopped. Grinded to a flailing halt, shut down, and rebooted because, no. No. No, no, no—just no.
It's not supposed to work like that. She's not supposed to think it's hot when she thinks her boyfriend and his brother are making out. And Jess sure as fucking hell isn't supposed to look closer. And, really, why the fuck did Jess's brain decide to wait until she realized it was Dean and some random guy who looked like Sam to freak out?
What the fuck? That's not how it goes. It's supposed to be gross and fucking wrong because it's incest, and Flowers in the Attic was a book, not real life, and her brain got thrown in reverse or something.
Dean making out with some random guy isn't supposed to make her stomach turn. He looked like Sam! Dean making out with some guy who looks like his little brother—that is the big thing. That should be the big thing. Not it being some random stranger.
Jess is going to go back home—where Dean will clearly not be for a while if he's out banging random strangers—and drink all of the alcohol in the apartment.
Everything just starts to fucking fall apart at once.
Sam doesn't know what happened, if he pissed something off or whatever, but it's like a snowball rolling downhill. Sam comes back from the library, and Jess is sloppy drunk on the couch; one of his hoodies is covering her like a blanket, and she's sobbing over Legally Blonde and complaining that everyone is being so mean to Elle. And, okay, that's pretty much what Jess does when she's drunk. But she actually kicks Sam when he tries to comfort her this time, and then in the morning, she's gone.
The Jess stops talking to Dean. And then she starts ignoring Sam in class and spending all her time in her suite, and Sam is too afraid to think too hard about what that might mean. And then Zach stops talking to Sam for more than two minutes between classes—because he might be Sam's friend, but he's Becca's twin, and she's Jess's roommate. Zach tries to explain it, but mostly Sam just smiles and nods like he gets it.
It feels like fourth grade again, when Dad shaved his and Dean's heads and no one in school wanted to talk to him anymore because everyone said he had lice and didn't shower.
And then Brady stops coming over—which Sam is pretty sure Dean would throw a party over, if not for the fact that, once again, Dean is the only person who likes Sam.
It's okay, though. Sam is fine. So what if Jess went from seemingly loving Sam to not even being able to look him in the eye in the span of three days? So what if she won't return his phone calls or texts? It's only been a week. It isn't the end of the world.
Sam just... wishes he knew what he did wrong. He didn't think he was being too clingy, and he's tried hard—he's tried so hard—to not stare at Dean too much or talk about the visions he keeps having that he knows freak Jess and Dean out so much more than they let on.
Jess is not expecting Dean when she opens the door. She should have, though, really. Liz and Becca are finally gone at the same time after a week of trying to nurse her through a breakup she keeps telling them has not actually happened. And if they're convinced, then Zach is probably convinced and has probably tried to give Sam the sympathy shoulder, and Dean's probably wants her dead now for hurting Sam.
Which is just so funny that Jess could vomit all over the floor.
She doesn't invite Dean in, but she can't look at him, and if her eyes happen to slide away towards the inside of the suite instead of the outside, then maybe it's just her subconscious trying to punish her more.
"You know Sam loves you," Dean says. He sure doesn't beat around the bush.
"I didn't break up with him." Her voice sounds a little more watery than she would like, and she can feel the itch of tears trying to sting at the backs of her eyes, but considering that she honestly can't figure out who in this room she hates more, she thinks she's doing pretty good.
"You might wanna tell him that," Dean scoffs. "You won't talk to him or answer his calls, and every so called 'friend' he had has jumped ship because they think he fucked you over or something."
Jess's stomach churns more because she is even more of a bad guy in this than she thought. "I keep telling them we didn't break up."
"Good for you. Maybe you should tell your boyfriend that."
Jess laughs. It's mostly hysteria with just a tinge of detached amusement that this is her life right now. She drops herself down onto the couch and tries to wipe away the tears before they actually make it down her face. The couch dips right next to her, even though there is plenty of room on it, because Dean doesn't know what personal space is unless he doesn't like you. She can see his finger twisting the ring on his thumb back and forth like he does when he's nervous.
"You know..." Dean trails off. "I know I make it seem like he'd die on his own, but Sam'd be a great dad."
It takes her a beat to figure out where that pop-fly just came from. "I'm not pregnant, you idiot!"
"Are you sure?" Dean asks.
"Would you like me to explain to you how I know I'm not pregnant?"
"No!" Dean says quickly. "No, that's fine. I'll take your word for it. But if you're not knocked up, then why did you break up with Sam?"
"I didn't," she says again. "I just... I can't look at him."
"Well, yeah." Dean laughs, nudging her with his elbow and shooting her a sly little smile that should make her want to hit him. "I know he's hideously disfigured, but you've been doing pretty good staring at him without throwing up so far."
Her skin should be crawling. She should be disgusted and sick and want Dean as far away from her as humanly possible. But she just wants to turn and curl up in his arms so he can fix it for her like he fixes everything for Sam. "I thought I saw you making out with Sam."
Dean stops. The smile drops off his face, and he shifts away from her. His hand rubs at his mouth, his chin, his jaw, his other hand, and he can't seem to figure out what to do with himself. "It wasn't Sam, I swear."
"Yeah, I know." She laughs humorlessly. "And now I can't look at him because I kind of didn't mind it when I thought it was him, and I have no idea what is wrong with me."
"I can leave," Dean says, and she knows he doesn't just mean the suite. Jess doesn't know what to say because she doesn't want him to. Sam loves his brother so much, and she's pretty sure that Dean never did anything to Sam because Sam can barely stand his father, and all they did was scream at each other nonstop.
But. She isn't sure if she honestly believes that or just wants to believe that because she's just as disgusting a human being as those women you hear about on the news who stay with men that ruin their children's lives. Except maybe she's worse in a way because Dean isn't her boyfriend, Sam is, so she might be taking the wrong side and deluding herself for someone she doesn't even have that kind of a connection to.
"I want you to disgust me," she quietly admits.
"If it makes it any easier for you, I disgust myself plenty."
Jess leans her head on his shoulder, taking just as much comfort from the movement as she's giving.
Sam comes back from his Sex and Love in Modern Society class to find Jess asleep on the couch. She's got one leg kicked over the back and the rest of her body practically trying to wedge itself between the seat cushions and the back. Her hair was at one point in some kind of bun, but now it looks like just some kind of loose twist near her shoulders.
Sam wants very few things more than to go sit on the edge of the couch and play with her hair until she wakes up. But he doesn't know if he's allowed to do that anymore, so instead, he goes into the kitchen and gets himself a beer and retreats to the bedroom to study. Dean wakes up long enough to call him a little bitch for hiding, and Sam knows he's right, so he doesn't even bother to get mad.
He's two pages into a paper he has due eventually when Dean wakes up from his nap and shuffles out of the bed. A few moments later, there's a thump coming from the living room, followed by another thump and Dean cursing. Then Jess appears in the doorway. Her hair is a mess, she has no makeup on, and there are sleep lines on her face from where her shirt-sleeve folded under her cheek.
She doesn't apologize, and Sam doesn't ask her to because he has no idea if either of them have anything to apologize for. Jess shimmies out of her jeans and pulls off her shirt and climbs into the spot where Dean was just sleeping, laying her head on the pillow he had been mumbling into minutes ago.
They don't have sex that night, and she doesn't look him in the eye, but Sam sleeps better than he has in a while, and he only hates himself a little in the morning when he wakes up disappointed that Dean isn't there with Jess.
Everything isn't magically fixed. She has to make a conscious effort to look Sam in the eye when she talks to him, and she wants to flinch when she does it because she can't stop thinking about Dean and that guy and how hot it was when she thought it was Sam.
It's like an infection. Once she gets the thought in her head, no matter how badly she doesn't want it there, she can't stop seeing it everywhere. It's like Remus and Sirius, or the trio—every touch is suddenly something more, every look seems to linger and last just a hair longer than normal.
Dean and Sam sit practically on top of each other, which they always have, but it's like all the empty space next to them on the couches and benches seem to light up in neon now. When Sam zones out in the middle of thinking, his eyes stay rooted to Dean's hands, or the beer bottle Dean's drinking from, or the pen cap he's gnawing on.
Jess isn't worried that she's just some kind of beard for Sam's incestuous love or something stupid like that. When he's tired, he still has trouble remembering not to talk directly to Jess's chest, and the way he kisses her neck when she's cooking is anything but fake.
But there's a difference between reading a book or watching a movie and slashing the hell out of all the characters in it and your brain betraying you and trying to use your goggles to tell you that incest is totally hot.
A Few Good Men is halfway in—no commercial breaks, thank you, HBO—when the door slams closed and Dean hears Sam's bike clatter to the floor. Before Dean can even react to the noise, he's being pressed into the couch, heavy weight settling on his legs and Sam's mouth sucking at his neck.
Sam's hands are everywhere, pushing at Dean's shirts and sliding into his hair and holding his face still, moving dizzyingly fast like he can't make up his mind. Dean tries to get his attention, gasping out Sam's name as Sam grinds into him, but Sam just takes the opportunity to dive in for a kiss, and holy fuck, Dean has missed Sam's stupidly talented tongue way more than he realized.
He pushes Sam away. Or, at least, he tries to. Sam is strong and big and physically has an advantage over Dean in this position, so all it ends up doing is getting Sam to move back just enough to roll his hips against Dean, sending sparks flying through Dean's brain in time with the thrusts.
Dean's head is being angled back by Sam's hands, and somehow, Sam has learned how to become an even better kisser in the years since the last time. And it's that thought right there that kicks Dean's brain into gear and makes him realize that this is something that is actually happening right now, not some kind of dream or anything. Dean's got his hands locked on Sam's hips, forcing them back because Sam has Jess, and he wouldn't do this, hasn't wanted it in years, and there's got to be something wrong, but Dean doesn't know what.
Sam whines low in his throat—a sound that, for all Dean's mocking and bitching, he has never heard Sam make before—and keeps pushing his hips into Dean's hands, rocking against nothing and trying mindlessly to find some kind of friction, something to get him off.
"Sammy," Dean mumbles, trying to angle his head far enough out of Sam's reach to see how bad Sam's eyes must be glazed. "Sam," he says again, more forcefully this time.
Sam sounds needy and desperate when he responds with a drawn out, "Dean," and it makes Dean rear back because Sam has never been needy a day in his life. He always seemed to resent having to learn how to drive instead of just knowing or not understanding calculus without Dean showing him tricks.
There's a flash of dark blue at the corner of his vision, and Dean's brain has a flash second of stop using my towel before he realizes Jess is standing there watching her boyfriend climb all over his disgusting brother like he's gonna give Sam the lead in the movie if he just shows off his skills.
"Take him," Dean tells her, pushing Sam more forcefully and trying to climb backwards over the couch to escape the train wreck this day is quickly becoming. Jess is still standing there, eyes wide—not that Dean can blame her. Brother on brother isn't really something you see every day. Unless you're into specialty porn. Dean uses his hunt voice to get her attention. "Jess! He can't stop; grab him!"
Jess finally kicks her brain into gear, or at least lets the autopilot take over, and moves towards Sam, getting an arm around his chest and pulling him up and backwards, which gives Dean just enough room to scramble backwards over the couch in the most undignified way possible. He lands on his back with a thunk and immediately scrambles back up before staging a strategic retreat to the bedroom and the shower in it.
It takes willpower, but he manages to make it through the entire shower without thinking of Sam or his mouth or his cock or what he and Jess are probably doing right this moment on the couch.
It's still light out when Sam wakes up. His head doesn't hurt, but his shoulder and back feel like they're on fire, though rolling onto his stomach dulls the fire to a sting. He wishes he were hung over or drunk or had anything but a completely clear memory of trying to force himself on Dean, of begging Jess to let him follow Dean into the bedroom or wherever it was he had gone.
Sam wants to bury his head under the pillow and stay there until he's sure he can fake having no memory of the last few hours. He doesn't, though, because he has screamed at John Winchester and lived to tell the tale, so he can do anything. First, though, he needs clothes. And to wipe himself off.
For a split second, Sam almost tries to put on his best Dean face, but this isn't the time for it. This is the time to beg for forgiveness and hope that he hasn't just ruined everything good in his life in one fell swoop. Jess has only just come back, and Dean shoved him away the last time Sam kissed him.
There's a map on the kitchen table, and Dean and Jess are standing over it, talking quietly and pointing at it. He feels completely mortified, and the prospect of having to have them look at him makes him a little nauseous. Sam clears his throat, but before he can open his mouth, Dean cuts him off.
"You passed out," Dean tells him. His tone gives no room for argument. "You came home, and you passed out, and now we have to figure out what it was that made you come here and pass out."
Sam's honestly a little relieved to hear Dean's denial. If he's pretending it didn't happen, then maybe he won't leave, and Sam won't have to try to convince him to stay. "I—" Sam clears his throat of the wobble that was in it and starts again. "I was on my bike. I took a different route than usual, but one I've done before. I don't know if I crashed my bike because I... was going to pass out, or if I crashed it first."
Dean nods, all business in a way he hasn't been in a long time. Focused solely on the hunt like he only ever used to be after one went bad and landed him or Dad in the hospital. "You know where you wiped out?"
Sam's avoiding even looking in Jess's direction. "Yeah, it was..." Sam trails off, trying to pinpoint it on the map. "There are these estates? Right around here." He points on the map. "There're a couple that all open up to the road and just have little signs instead of huge gates. It's right by there."
"Good, good," Dean says. "We can probably find out where exactly you ate it pretty easily, since you left most of your back behind with you."
Sam knows he's not part of the "we" this time. It makes sense. You get hit with something that robs you of the ability to control yourself, and you don't get to go back because who knows what will happen if you do. Not that he minds, really, right now. He doesn't like the feeling hindsight gives him. When it was happening, he was frantic, but he wanted it. He wanted it so bad he couldn't think about not having it, but now that he's rational again, it terrifies him to think about what almost happened.
What he could have done.
"Sam, no," Dean says, answering the wrong question. It makes Sam's stomach churn a little.
"No, I just need to talk to Jess," he says.
"Right, right. I'll go check the supplies," Dean says, rushing out like his car's being towed. "Fifteen minutes, and I'm leaving alone," he throws back, closing the door.
Sam finally dares to look in Jess's direction. Much like has been happening since Jess came back, she can't seem to keep her eyes on him for more than a second or two at a time. Maybe this was why she left in the first place. He doesn't think he'd had any of those kinds of dreams about this, but what if he did and didn't remember? What if he talked during it? Or, more accurately, what if he moaned out Dean's name like some horny "straight" guy in gay for pay porn?
"Oh, oh, Sam, don't cry, come on," Jess begs him, cupping his cheek with her hand
He isn't crying, thank you very much. He might pierce his lip with his own tooth, but as long as he doesn't actually cry like a three-year-old, that's okay. "Jess."
"You can't cry, Sam." She thumbs away tears that aren't falling yet. "You're a fucking hideous crier," she says, making him laugh. "If you cry, I'm gonna have to go and get drunk just so I don't have that ugly face haunting my mind through the hunt."
"Gee, I love you too," he says, smiling even though—maybe a little because—he knows it'll push a tear or two out of his eyes.
"You're repulsive," Jess says, kissing him and pulling away. "Dean's going to leave without me." Her eyes are still darting away, though not like they were before.
"Be safe," Sam tells her.
"I will be," Jess says as she closes the door.
Jess can feel the sting of the tree's bark digging into her scalp, but it barely registers above the drag of Dean's nails along her legs as he pulls them up around his waist. She bites down, sucking at the skin of his neck as he moans filth into her ear about all the things he wants to do to her.
She arches and wishes his hair were longer so she could grab a fistful of it and tug, but she settles for scrabbling at the back of his neck, then his arms, his shirt, his chest, then back to his arms. Jess wants it all, everything, and she feels like she's going to explode if she doesn't get it right now. She can't decide what she wants first, can't get still or think straight.
Dean can't seem to either, hands roaming over her body, cupping her chest, thumb rubbing over her nipple just long enough to make her squirm and then moving on to her back, her legs, her face, the button on her jeans that won't come undone in the two seconds he tries to fumble with it.
She wants her bra off, needs it off, but when she arches and gasps Dean's name, his hand gets caught between her flannel and spaghetti strap, and Jess digs the heel of her boot into the base of his spine, urging him closer, closer, until she can wrap her arms around his neck.
Her breath is speeding up, coming fast as everything starts overwhelming her, and she presses her face into Dean's neck, sucking more bruises into the skin and biting her way up to his ear where she can tug on it, nipping and telling him how bad she wants him, his cock, those long fingers of his, that fucking talented tongue he's always bragging about. How wet it got her, seeing him and Sam together, how Sam begged so pretty and called her Dean when they were alone.
Dean's growling at her throat, harsh and guttural, and thrusting against her, shoving them both into the tree, and the last thing Jess remembers before she blacks out is her toes curling in her boots and Dean's voice in her ear, telling her how fucking pretty she must have looked with Sam's cock in her.
"I thought you said you'd be safe," is the first thing Jess hears when she wakes up. Sam makes sure of it. She groans and buries her face in the crook of her arm.
"Your brother wanted to take a shortcut," she says. Sam can tell exactly when everything comes flooding back to her because she just stops moving. He's weirdly okay with what happened—except for the part where he had to change them out of their clothes. It's one thing to have almost-wet dreams about them and be okay with it. But Sam didn't really anticipate the complete lack of anger or jealousy he feels right now.
Part of that might be because he knows they had as much control over themselves as he did yesterday, but another part, a louder part, says that that isn't all. "Yeah, I kinda figured it was something like that."
He waits for her to ask what happened or how she got back home, but she just keeps her arm over her face.
"Baby?" he asks, resisting the urge to touch her. He doesn't want to overstep himself here, and even though the witch sounded like she was telling the truth, not being able to control yourself is still pretty fucking terrifying.
"I'm so sorry," she finally says. "I cheated on you, Sam."
"You didn't," he tells her. Cheating requires mens rea—a guilty mind—and she sure as hell didn't plan this. "You got dosed with magical anti-repression Viagra."
"What?" Jess asks, finally dropping her arms from her face to stare at him.
"Well, the witch who owns the land with the trees on it? She found you and Dean." Sam doesn't miss Jess's wince. "And she felt really bad that she forgot to turn off her trees, so she found my number in your phones and called me. And then she made you an 'I'm sorry you trespassed and my trees tried to pet you' cake."
"What the fuck?"
"I guess the trees have, like, off buttons or something. But she had, uh." Sam coughs, trying not to picture the witch naked with a dozen of her friends. "Friends over and forgot to turn them back off or something. She said she was sorry. The cake is really good."
"Off buttons?" Jess asks, looking bewildered. "What?"
"The trees have this spell on them. It's supposed to, well—" Sam finds himself stammering, suddenly reluctant to explain it like the witch did, now that he knows exactly what it will reveal. "It doesn't make you do anything you don't want to do. It just... takes what you want and makes you want it more. So you aren't as self-conscious about taking it, or something? She turns it off when they leave, but apparently, she forgot this time," he says, "She swears it won't happen again."
Jess is breathing slowly, staring at the table. "I can go sit in the kitchen, if you want," Sam suggests. "Dean's in the bedroom because if I left him out here, I'm pretty sure he would have taken off."
"The kitchen would be good," Jess says quietly, and Sam tries not to let it hurt when he goes.
It's a fucking mess. It's a fucking giant of a monster of a ridiculous mess, and then Dean goes flying, and there's blood in his eyes. He can hear Jess screaming, and Sam's body collapses to the ground, and Dean can't tell if that's good or not because five seconds ago, his shoes were scrambling for purchase as something wrapped around his neck and hung him from the ceiling.
Dean struggles to his feet, and then the girl, the stupid idiot that they're trying to fucking save from her own fucking stupidity stops screaming bloody murder. And, while that would normally be fucking A-okay with Dean, when she stops, it's to sigh, loud and unimpressed, and her eyes go solid black like Dean's never seen before, and the room—
It's suddenly brighter, and Dean didn't even realize how dark it was until it wasn't anymore.
"Honestly," she says, sneering at the bloody mess that is them. "I don't understand what it is my father sees in you chuckleheads. You're just lucky I'm a good daughter."
She walks over to Sam and nudges his side with her boot. Maybe it's a kick, if the way Sam groans is anything to go by. "Oh, goody. You didn't choke to death on your vomit. Maybe you aren't completely useless."
It hurts to swallow. Sam's pretty sure his windpipe is at least bruised. Maybe crushed. He doesn't know what a crushed windpipe feels like, and he can't remember if you can breathe through one right now.
Dean and Jess are fighting. Screaming at each other, to be specific. Which is not surprising, since that's pretty much the only way they've communicated with each other in the two and a half weeks since Sam "passed out."
Jess thinks they should run back to the apartment. Dean is not leaving his car here. And, of course, the best way to solve the problem of blood loss, head wounds, and pain so bad that it will probably actually be blinding soon is to scream at the top of their lungs at each other like the really shitty kids at the playground.
Sam is actually glad he can't speak right now, or they might try to make him pick sides.
"I can see Sam's cheekbone, I don't know how your eye is even still in its socket, and I'm pretty sure half my lip isn't supposed to be touching my chin," Jess yells. Sam doesn't actually know how either one of them have managed not to lose their voices yet. "Once the adrenaline wears off, we will not be able to function."
"And three people running on a college campus at two in the morning covered in blood will get the fucking cops called on us, and then we'll have to explain our illegal weapons, and they'll make us go to the fucking hospital."
"Of course we need to go to the hospital!" Jess screams. "Half our faces are missing!"
Sam wants to point out that that isn't actually even close to correct. It might be a good thing that he can't make much noise right now.
"Oh, really? And what are we gonna tell them, huh? That we, what? Got attacked by stray mountain lions who tied a rope around Sammy and tried to drag him off?"
Sam's throat really hurts right now, and he's resigned enough that his adrenaline is starting to wear off already. They can scream bloody murder at each other in the car; he just wants to go home and ice his neck before swallowing becomes even more painful.
It won't endear him to Jess, but he makes his way to the car and climbs in back, lying down and waiting patiently to pass out. Or for them to come get in the car. Whichever comes first.
A needle repeatedly going in and out of Dean's face, that close to his eyeball, is not Dean's idea of a good night. Given, it's probably not on Sam's list of Fun Shit To Do At Three In The Morning. But Sam's a fucking loser, so his list is probably things like "work on term papers" and "read that new boring-ass book like a virgin who will never have sex."
Okay, so Jess was fucking right. His face feels like something tried to rip it off. Which, hey, what do you know, something did. It hurts so bad that the only time it stops hurting is when it decides to thump in time with his heartbeat instead of keeping with its steady drum solo.
Dean would say he envies Jess for getting the knockout drugs, but seeing as how whatever the fuck that was back there actually did almost succeed in ripping the bottom half of her mouth from her face, he doesn't really envy shit about her right now.
Sam keeps flinching away from Dean, but only when the light catches on the needle and reflects in his peripheral vision. Dean keeps the stitches as tiny and tight as he can and mentally thanks Pastor Jim for going Green Beret before he "found God." No one better to learn this kind of thing from, even if he was Army.
On Sam's urging—those fucking eyes are even more effective when Sam's got a bruise wrapping around his throat—Dean calls Becca and asks her to let Sam and Jess's professors know that they're sick with something fucking horrible and bad.
Of course, it's five-thirty in the morning when Dean calls, and Becca's first class apparently isn't until ten, so first she curses him for ten minutes straight, then she hangs up on him.
There's apparently something called "Keep Your Job Gel" from Jess's "Auntie Dinah" that's on its way to them. But it can't be shipped through the mail, so it's coming along the Hunter Express, which makes pit stops every twenty feet when it isn't a life or death situation.
Jess swears it works even better than a plastic surgeon, and Dean just fucking hopes she's right. Chicks dig scars, so as long as he can still get laid, Dean doesn't give a fuck how good he heals up, but Sam and Jess would probably enjoy not getting stared at like sideshow freaks. At least any more than they already do.
"Why can't we be near people?" Sam asks. He voice is a fucking mess, and, Dean isn't gonna lie, it's a little hot. But the wincing when Sam tries to force his vocal chords to work is significantly less hot.
"I don't know," Dean says. "We all have the flu? Gonorrhea? The clap? Herpes?"
"Do you know any contagious diseases that aren't STDs?" Jess asks him. She seems moderately calm, which is a fucking nice improvement.
Dean thinks for a second. "...Chicken pox?"
They end up all faking scarlet fever. Dean had it once when Sam was little, and he doesn't remember much about it, but he remembers it's fucking super contagious and that he threw shit at Pastor Jim the entire time he was there because Sam couldn't stay in Dean's room or see him.
Dean tries to sit Sam down without Jess and talk about hunting. It would be funny in a sad kind of way—since they're all stuck in a two room apartment for the foreseeable future—if it didn't kind of make Sam want to strangle his brother.
"Grow up," he tells Dean before calling Jess over.
"Fine," Dean snaps. "But I fucking hope all the shit we did to the apartment soundproofs us now, because the last time I said anything, it all changed."
"Are you trying to be vague on purpose?" Jess asks. Sam is already regretting his decision.
Dean ignores her, thankfully. And it's sad when Sam is proud of Dean for acting like a three year old instead of a two year old.
"There were no hunts when I got here. None. And then, the second I said that shit out loud, all of a sudden there were so many hunts I didn't even have time to heal between them. And they're fucking weird hunts, too. Shit I haven't seen or heard of, and no ghosts. Did you notice that? Fucking shit that's supposed to be extinct and no actual ghosts."
"And what the hell was last night, huh?" Jess asks.
"That wasn't last night," Dean points out, just to fucking bother Jess. Or maybe that was just to bother her like normal. Sam can't even tell anymore because they're driving him insane.
"You mean the part where the civilian saved our asses," Sam asks. "Or the part where her dad likes me?"
"You got something to tell me about, Sam?" Jess asks, raising an eyebrow. She's trying for playful, but Sam is just so far beyond annoyed at her and Dean right now that he doesn't care.
"Oh, right," he croaks out, voice failing him at the most awkward moment possible. "I almost forgot; I'm sleeping with my AbPsych prof."
"Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, because I know you're gonna anyway," Dean says. "But I think she was talking about how the civilian summoned our ghost and then fucking saved us from whatever that was that was kicking our ass. And the bitch's black eyes. And the fact that her dad likes you."
A cold shiver went down Sam's spine. "What's so weird about black eyes?"
"Not like, punched in the face black," Jess clarifies. "But the inside part." Jess waves her hand towards her eyes.
"The sclera," Dean says.
"Yeah, the—how do you know the sclera?"
"Everyone knows that," Dean scoffs. Sam wants to know why they finally stop making his life miserable only when there's something else to take their place. Sam hopes he doesn't throw up. That would probably suck with a bruised throat.
"Sam?" Jess asks.
"You remember that hunt with the dire wolf?" Sam asks, quietly. It's only a whisper because his throat hurts. No other reason.
"You mean the one you dreamed?" Dean asks. They've all mutually agreed to keep calling them dreams, which helps Sam's sanity.
Sam nods. "His eyes were black when he killed you guys."
"You think this has something to do with why our apartment is Fort Knox now?" Jess asks.
"Maybe it's something your brain did," Dean tried to reason. "Maybe it just saw black because it knew the dude was gonna try and kill us."
"But I didn't see her eyes tonight," Sam points out. "And I didn't see them in the dream, either. She was just screaming and getting attacked by a ghost."
"So, we've got two people with black sclera, and someone that might be listening in on us and... what?" Jess asks. "Controlling the monsters around here? And people that keep saving themselves before we can. And Sam's dreams."
"And wards we've never seen before, protecting us from things we're not supposed to know about," Dean adds, helpfully.
Sam needs a drink.
On day seven, they all fall asleep under a fort in the living room because Sam and Dean were both horrified to hear that Jess had never made one before.
On day eight, the fighting starts again. Dean starts picking fights and being snippy and Jess tries to resist but he's being such a complete asshole for no reason that she can't help herself.
On day twelve, Jess catches Dean trying to make a break for it and sneak out. Jess is not stupid; she knows that if Dean makes it out that door, he won't come back.
"There's a hunt in Maine that needs me," he tells them.
"There just happens to be a hunt on the other side of the country in the only state with almost no cell reception?" Jess asks him.
Dean pauses for a second, clearly caught out. "...yes."
"Then we can come with you," Sam tells him. It isn't a suggestion.
"It's really more of a one-man job," Dean says.
"If you take one more step towards that door I will blow your kneecap out and you won't have to worry about hunting for at least two months."
Things get even more tense, which Jess didn't realize was possible. She thought the thing where they all almost lost their faces was a low point, but she was wrong.
Jess has no idea exactly what happens between Sam and Dean, but she knows that it happens while she's asleep— because otherwise she would have heard it— and it leaves Sam looking like he's had his heart forcibly ripped from his chest and stomped on.
Suddenly, he won't sit close to Dean anymore, and will barely say a word to him, and generally acts like he's afraid Dean will vanish forever if he does something wrong, and Jess is fucking sure that's exactly what Dean wants him to think because Dean is an idiot and likes being miserable for no reason.
Jess comes up with a plan. There's talking involved, and ambushing Dean in the bathroom while he's shaving, and telling him things he already knows.
But then some movie comes on with one of the actor's that Sam's always had a hard-on for, and since Dean and Sam are playing keep-away she gets to be their buffer while they sit on the couch. And Jess could not possibly feel safer with any other two people, so she doesn't bother with people clothes.
She's got on a ratty old t-shirt that is neither tight nor small on her, and yet drives Sam insane for some reason, a pair of boy shorts on, and just enough of a mean exhibitionist streak to rub Sam through his jeans all night while he squirms and Dean completely fails to pretend he's paying attention to the movie.
"Jess," Sam groans. His voice is rough, not like it was right after he got choked, but more towards the end of the healing, when it more resembled the way he sounds after giving a blowjob. Which is really just an amazing image to have right now, actually.
"Remember Matty?" she asks, squeezing Sam just enough before dragging her knuckles up the inseam of his jeans. Sam groans and shifts in his seat, eyes darting over from Dean to Jess and back. "Matty's one of Sam's exes," Jess tells Dean. "Big blue eyes, and dark, thick black hair. Not a big fan of girls, but he was a charter member of the fan club for Sam's mouth."
She eyes the bulge in Dean's jeans, and continues. "One time, he let Sam suck him off while I fucked Sam with my strap-on." Jess squirms in her seat, remembering how hot Sam looked filled at both ends. "Sadly, my strap-on is still back at my suite, but I bet Sam would be even happier if you fucked him while he ate me out." She punctuates this with another squeeze to Sam's cock and the unintelligible garble that comes out of his mouth really just makes her proud.
Dean is going to break. Jess knows he is, he just needs a tiny little push. "Or, you could sit there and tell him how to eat me out while you finger me. Or, you two could just have sex while I watch. I'm not really picky."
The magical healing salve gel ointment thing that is supposed to fix them up finally arrives.
To Sam's mild shock, it works.
But they pretend to have scarlet fever for a few more days.
At some point along the way, Sam and Jess have decided that Dean is their pillow.
Because Sam and Jess like to curl up on him and cuddle. Also, because they are both women. And possibly lesbians.
Right now, at this moment, Sam is half asleep and has his head over Dean's heart—seriously, what the fuck—and an arm slung over his waist. He's got a leg hitched over Dean and a hand on Jess's waist
Jess is more plastered against Dean's side than on top of him because she still has bigger balls than Sam. Her head is pillowed on Dean's shoulder, and her hand is scratching lightly at his stomach.
She has, of course, already pulled his arm down so that it's kind of curled over her whether he likes it or not.
Dean will move, eventually. But for now, he's pretty content where he is: in his apartment, in his bedroom, on the bed he shares with his Sam and his Jess.
Maybe Stanford doesn't totally suck.