Length: About 1300 words
Rating: Hard PG or light R
Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester
Synopsis: My first (and probably only) Wincest. No actual sex, just post-coital angst. The morning after the first time. Dean's POV and then Sam's POV.
Notes: No, I am no abandoning my gen status. But this plot bunny burrowed into my brain and refused to go away until I wrote it out. Flowers in the Attic is a cheesy gothic novel featuring four children who are locked in an attic by their scheming mother who hopes to hide their existence; the oldest son and daughter eventually begin an incestuous relationship. The title is from "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash, which I never heard until recently but am now obsessed with.
. . .
Part 1: Dean
It doesn't start with romance or lust. It doesn't start with that little flash of bare skin visible above his jeans when he raises his arms (it makes you crazy and you don't know why; you see him shirtless all the time but for some reason that little strip of skin that isn't meant to be showing just brings you to your knees). It doesn't start with you staring at that perfectly sculpted spot at the base of his throat and finally setting your mouth to it and marking him up the way you've dreamt about for years (you've bruised him when you were sparring, and you've battered him in anger, but you've never left a mark for the purpose of saying hands off, he's mine and oh, what you would do just for the chance). It doesn't start with you too drunk to keep holding it all in and Sam too drunk to say no (you would never, you would never).
It starts with terror. Pure balls-to-the-wall terror that you're about to lose him. A horribly fucked-up hunt where you almost die, but more importantly, you almost watch Sam die, and you stumble into your motel room, both still out of breath, still not quite sure what happened out there, and you're checking him for injuries and every breath is a silent mantra, I almost lost you, I almost lost you, and nothing is enough, you want to crawl under his skin, you want to open him up and cradle his heart in your hands to make sure it's still beating, you're holding him tighter and tighter and he's clutching you just as tight, looking into your soul with those big wet eyes and saying "Dean, Dean," like your name itself is a prayer, a request. A plea. Whatever he is pleading for, you will give it to him. And it turns out the only thing he wants is all of you.
Which is convenient. Because the only thing you want is all of him.
. . .
But then comes After, and you have to face what you've done.
When you wake up (his arm is still flung over you, it's so wrong, it's so wrong), you quietly crawl out of bed and hurry into the shower. There is no water hot enough to scrub you clean, no soap strong enough to wash away your sins (watch out for your brother, it's your most important job). When you give up and turn off the water, you realize you didn't bring any clothes to change into, and you sure as hell weren't wearing any when you fled into the bathroom. There's nothing you can do but wrap a towel around your waist and hope he's still asleep.
He's not. He's sitting up in the bed you shared. His hair is a tousled mess, a silky brown cloud, and your fingers twitch with the craving to be tangled in it again. He doesn't look disgusted, or repulsed. He looks… hopeful. Like he hasn't caught on yet that you are a monster.
(He will be the death of you.)
(He is your reason for living.)
You sit on the other bed and try not to stare at that hickey that you finally managed to put at the base of his throat. (There are other marks. Don't look at them either.)
He speaks first. "Look, I know this is some crazy Flowers in the Attic kind of shit—"
"Oh, this is so much worse than Flowers in the Attic."
"Why?" His brow furrows. "Because it's gay?"
Which stops you in your tracks, because of course that's not the problem. But also because you haven't even thought of this as gay. It's not that you're interested in guys. You're not thinking about random guys when you jack off in the shower, or when you can't fall asleep, or when your life sucks and your heart hurts and you need an escape. It's not guys. It's not anyone else. You've chased a lot of tail over the years, trying to convince yourself otherwise, but it's just Sam. Only, always and forever, Sam.
But now he's looking at you like you're some kind of monster, like being a homophobe is somehow worse than being a sick bastard who wants to fuck his little brother. So you quickly say "No, dammit, you know that's not it."
"Then what? Why is it worse?"
And it's not fair that Sam is both your victim and the priest who will hear your confession; it's not fair that you're going to have to say the thing that will make him hate you, make him walk away from you again, but, well. Life stopped being fair when you were four years old. He would have figured it out anyway. He's too damn smart not to eventually realize whose fault it all is.
"It's worse because I raised you, Sam. I did this to you. I made you want this."
"What?" Sam's voice goes up an octave, incredulous. "You're saying you groomed me?"
"Not on purpose! But yeah, subconsciously, I must have done something! I must have screwed you up somehow. Otherwise, you wouldn't… there's no way you would have…"
"Slept with my brother? So there's no way I would have wanted to have sex with my brother unless someone snuck into my brain and planted the idea there? Someone must have made me want it? Is that what happened?"
Oh, Jesus, Sam just needs to stop talking, because he's making it worse. Yes, obviously you planted that idea in his sweet, trusting little head. Who knows when or where or how, but obviously you did that. Obviously you took him, the brother you were supposed to watch out for, you took his innocent love for you and twisted it into something awful and self-serving.
But he's not looking at you like he just realized what a monster you are, like he finally saw the darkness you've managed to hide all this time. He's smiling.
"You're an idiot," he says. "But okay, let's say you're right. Let's say the only reason I would want to have sex with my brother is because someone raised me wrong. Someone screwed with my head when I was little and made me want this. Then who did it to you?"
No, wait. That's not. You stare at him, mute.
"If you raised me to want this," he continues, "who did it to you? Dad? Is that what was going on, all those times you guys went off on a hunt and left me at a hotel? Dad spent the whole time convincing you that at some point you were going to have to throw me on the bed and have your way with me?"
"Dammit, Sam, that's not funny."
"I'm not trying to be funny, Dean. I'm just trying to show you how ridiculous it is to blame yourself. No one made you want it, and no one made me want it. It's just a product of our fucked-up lives. There are no victims here."
Is that possible? You want (so much, so much) to believe it. But even if he's not your victim, he still has to see how wrong it is. You've ripped your heart wide open and he's staring right at its dark, festering core. Surely he sees that.
"It may be a victimless kind of fucked up," you say cautiously, afraid to break whatever spell has been cast. "But it's still pretty fucked up."
"I'm not saying it's normal," he says. "You and me, this is definitely not normal. But we left normal behind a long time ago. We were never gonna have that. And this is something we do get to have."
Oh, okay. Sam can't have normal, so he's settling for Dean Winchester, the world's shittiest consolation prize. Well, that's the only part of this that makes sense. And you're not too proud to accept that role. You look at the carpet (you can't look at him) and nod. He will leave you again someday, when he does find normal, but for now? This is enough. This is still more than you ever thought you'd have. More than you deserve.
Sam throws back the covers. He is still very, very naked. Bruised from the hunt, and bruised from what happened after the hunt. (And so goddamn beautiful. He doesn't even know.) He gets out of bed and sits next to you. Not touching, but close enough that you can feel the warmth radiating off him. When you do finally force yourself to look at him, he smiles at you again, that fond smile that stabs you right through the heart. You would give anything to have him sitting next to you, smiling that smile at you, for the rest of your life.
"You know," he says, "all those years I spent chasing normal, it was because I didn't think I could have what I really wanted. This, Dean. You and me. This is what I want. I wouldn't trade it for normal. I wouldn't trade it for anything."
If that's true. Oh god, if that's true.
"So," he continues, "maybe we just appreciate it. Maybe we hold onto it. I mean. Only if you want to."
Only if you want to. Like there's anything you want more. Sam is offering you all you've ever wanted, and all you have to do is reach out and take it.
You've lost the ability to speak, but whatever words you came up with would surely fuck it all up anyway. You take his hand and entwine his fingers in your own. He squeezes. You squeeze back. It's just one more in an endless history of wordless conversations, but it's the most important one you've ever had. You both sit there quietly for a minute, and you are very aware that you are wrapped in a towel and he is naked and you're holding hands and… it's not weird. It's okay. It's better than okay.
"You know," he says, "the most disturbing thing about all of this is that you just admitted you read Flowers in the Attic."
You have to clear your throat before you can answer. "It was a book? I saw the movie on TV once, when I couldn't sleep."
It's a lie. He knows it's a lie. He was there with you, that awful winter in Nebraska, when Dad dumped you at that weird old house for a couple of weeks and the only thing to do was pick through the pile of ragged paperbacks some teenage girl left behind. He knows you read it. He doesn't know you got to the incest scene and tossed the book away, no, no, I would never do that to him. I would never. He doesn't know you picked it up again, later, hoping it had a happy ending.
He knows you're a liar. He knows you're twisted and wrong. He loves you anyway. And maybe you don't deserve it, but you'll take it anyway, and hold onto it for as long as you can.
Part 2: Sam
Something about almost losing Dean puts everything into perspective. And yes, you almost died too, but it's hard to see your own death as comparable. Dean's near-death is what matters, the thing that paints everything in stark black and white.
There's no time to talk, no time to wonder, no time to check each other for injuries and try to figure out how you escaped this time. He shoves you into the Impala and speeds away from the scene, and you stare at his (beautiful) profile and think I can't do this any more, I can't die and not tell you how I feel, I can't let you die without knowing what you mean to me, I can't do it, I won't.
But it's not the first time you've told yourself that, or the second or third. And you know you'll fail, in the end, as you always have. Except. Except that when you finally make it into the room you're both still a little panicky, still having a hard time catching your breath, hearts pounding, and he says are you hurt, are you hurt as he paws at you, and then holds you tight and won't let go (you don't want him to, oh God you don't want him to) and you grab him, hold him just as tight and this is it, this is the moment, use your words, dammit, but all you can do is keep repeating his name like an idiot and you finally just kiss him and it turns out neither of you needs words after all.
. . .
Dean's hasty exit wakes you, and your heart leaps panicky into your throat for a minute. You fucked it up, he's running; all those years you held your feelings in check and now you've fucked it up and he's running. But he simply rushes into the bathroom and turns on the shower. He showers for a long time, which gives you time to think about what to say. Because you know he's going to be freaked out. You know he's going to say this is wrong, this is bad, we can't do this again. But there is no going back now; you can only go forward. You salted and burned just brothers last night. The only option now is brothers plus whatever this is. You'll have to make your way through whatever objections he has.
When he finally comes back into the room, every speck of his normal bravado is gone. He looks frightened and guilty (and beautiful, so damn beautiful, with the morning sun peeping through the flimsy curtains highlighting him in gold, picking out each eyelash as if God himself were directing it) and your heart melts like it always does. You are so fucked.
He clutches the towel wrapped around his hips tightly, and you're pretty sure the only reason he hasn't already put three layers of clothing between you and him is because in his hurry to get into the the shower he didn't take time to grab his armor. So, yeah. He's freaked out. It's okay. You'll talk him down (there is no choice, there is no other option) and it will be okay.
But it turns out you are not at all prepared for what his real objection is. Not at all.
You could tell him the truth. Yes, you made me want you. Just by being you. By being beautiful and brave and smart and funny and strong and exasperating. You made me love you in a way you are not supposed to love a brother, just by being you.
Or another truth is this. You think you were grooming me? When I was thirteen? When I was a gangly, clumsy, morose little barely-a-teenager? Because that's when it started, Dean. It wasn't anything you did. You weren't grooming me, you were busy chasing anything in a skirt. I had just turned thirteen years old and all I wanted was you.
But there is another very important truth, which is that you're both kind of irreparably fucked up. And this is possibly a silver lining to that. The fact that you're fucked up the same way, together.
"I'm not saying it's normal," you tell him. "You and me, this is definitely not normal. But we left normal behind a long time ago. We were never gonna have that. And this is something we do get to have." He has to see that, right? He has to understand that you two cannot measure yourselves by other peoples' yardsticks.
His reaction is to withdraw a little bit. Does he not believe you? Can he not tell, even now, that you love him so much it burns? You have no choice. There is no going back. You get out of bed and sit next to him. "You know, all those years I spent chasing normal, it was because I didn't think I could have what I really wanted. This, Dean. You and me. This is what I want. I wouldn't trade it for normal. I wouldn't trade it for anything. So, maybe we just appreciate it. Maybe we hold onto it. I mean. Only if you want to."
You gave him an out. You pray he doesn't take it. He doesn't. Thank God (or no, probably not God), he doesn't. You sit next to him, naked as the day you were born, and he doesn't flinch, doesn't lean away, doesn't say no, Sam, this is weird, this is bad, this is wrong. He just looks up at you like he's dumbfounded, but in a good way. And then he takes your hand. He's clasped your hand thousands of times, shepherding you across busy streets as a child, hauling you out of freshly dug graves as an adult. But this is the first time he's actually held your hand, and it feels like something greater; like a vow.
You need to change the subject pretty quickly, before you make a goddamn fool of yourself.
"You know, the most disturbing thing about all of this is that you just admitted you read Flowers in the Attic."
Dean's voice is hoarse. "It was a book? I saw the movie on TV once, when I couldn't sleep."
It's a lie. You know it's a lie. You made sure he saw you reading it, and you watched him pick it up after you were done. You had a thousand imaginary conversations where he said what did you think about that book and you said siblings locked in an attic for years, all they had was each other, it makes sense that their relationship would transform into something else, it wasn't hurting anybody, and after all, incest is only taboo because of the risk of birth defects, and many civilizations actually encouraged marriage between siblings, it's not really a big deal, and he said exactly, especially in a situation like that where they're literally in their own little world, and I've been thinking, and then and then and then.
None of that happened. What happened was he turned 18 and then 19 and then 20 and grew more and more maddeningly insane and reckless and beautiful and you realized that either he was going to die, or he was going to keep breathing but remain forever out of your reach, and either way you couldn't live like this any more.
But now he's sitting on the bed next to you, almost as naked as you are, holding your hand.
"You want to get some breakfast?" he says.
"I would love some breakfast. Let me shower first."
He gently swats you on the back of the head. "Go on then, Princess. Wash your pretty pretty hair."
The knot of fear that's been squirming in your stomach since you woke up quietly unclenches. And for the first time in a very long time, you think everything might be okay after all.