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Fic: Keep a good man down

Title: Keep a good man down
Author: stripytights
Giftee: ceolenska
Pairings: Sam/Dean
Rating: R
Word Count: 3878
Warnings: fuck or die
Notes: based off a combo of likes - fuck and die, hurt!Dean and messy difficult relationships. Apologies for the lateness, things have been hectic here.
Summary: When it comes to fucking or dying, Sam can't believe Dean would pick dying over touching him.

You can never keep a good man down. Or hold him down. Or ask him to stay down. Or beg him to just fucking stay in the bed because he's going to fall apart otherwise. Sometimes Sam wishes his brother wasn't fundamentally a good man, because then he'd feel less guilty about wanting to just knock him out and drag him from motel to car. Dean's all tight shoulders in his jacket, leaning on the counter and grinning at the receptionist who looks entirely unimpressed with him, and is leaning back in her chair with distaste. If it's hard getting Dean to let him drive, let alone to let Sam give him a helping hand, he suspects it's a waste of good oxygen to convince him that letting Sam help him shower isn't a slur on his masculinity, and as a result he's tending towards the ripe. That's one thing that Sam can fix though, even if the curse that's eating slowly away at Dean is beyond his purview.

Dean protests like Sam knew he would, but when sunset hits, his words lose substance, become thin and wispy, leak away in the air, as his head falls down on his chest and he sleeps before he can even argue properly. He'll wake up, humiliated and angry in about ten minutes time, take refuge in sarcasm and being a jerk, because both of those are easier than acknowledging that when the sun goes down he can't keep his eyes open long enough to tell Sam to fuck off. Sam takes advantage of the ten minutes of peace and quiet he's been afforded to yank off Dean's boots and jacket, strips him out of his t-shirt and turn on the shower. Dean's going to be pissed but he might as well be clean and pissed. In the end Sam doesn't need to convince him though, when Dean wakes up he takes it as some sort of challenge and edges his way towards the shower and manages to get his own jeans and underwear off and get straight in to the spray. He's left the door open because Dean's not stupid even if he's pigheaded enough that Sam wonders why anyone ever thought he was the stubborn one.

"Sam," he shouts in a moment, voice strained, an edge to it that says that if Sam says a single thing, Dean's going to lose it. "I need the shampoo," and Sam wishes he didn't know exactly what that note sounded like or that he hadn't been in this position before, but neither of those are a possibility. Instead he gets up, and passes the shampoo through the crack in the shower door and then sits on the toilet lid and waits for the inevitable. He knows what Dean's doing, the useless fast stripping at his dick, that accomplishes nothing, and it should be weirder but with everything that's happened over the past few days this is the least odd bit of it, Dean hunched in the shower, breathing in steam and trying to jerk himself off. He's seen Dean with his hand down in his pants on more than one occasion even before the witch had got a dying fuck you out, and in the eight days since Dean's been losing function, he's seen it twice more, Dean trying desperately to restore some normality.

Sam closes his eyes and lets his shoulders sag, listens to the remorseless, wet, slap of Dean's hands, and then picks up the towel and shoulders open the shower. Dean's barely standing still, hunched over under the spray, eyes shut, hands limp by his side. Sam keeps his eyes above waist, but Dean's slippery with unwashed off soap and his hands skid uncomfortably close. Dean's heavy and now he's decided to accept a bit of help, uncomfortably lax against Sam, breathing slow and deep, chest hitching on the inhale in a way that makes Sam want to regulate it for him. Then they're at the bed, and Dean slips down onto it and grabs at the towel, unselfconscious about his nudity but clearly chilling in the room. His dick, when Sam accidentally looks at it, is half hard on his thigh, a little flushed, vanishes when he pulls up the sweatpants Sam had laid out for him.

Sam sits down beside him and stares at his hands, alien and empty on his knees. "We can't go on like this," he says, like they're trapped in some loveless marriage, and the thought hits hard. Dean's still and tense beside him.

"No, Sammy," he says and there's a finality there, deep and inevitable, drawing from that groundswell of what makes Dean, Dean. He'll do anything for Sam as long as it's what Dean thinks he needs, but Dean thinks this will hurt him, destroy them both, and maybe he's right. Sam's made his half of the decision, three days ago, but he can't make Dean's half for him. He can't tie Dean to a bed and make him rest, he can barely inveigle him into a shower, hell he can hardly hold his own battered body and soul together some days.

"Dean," he tries anyway, because if he doesn't then they're both dead one way or another, and he's pretty sure Dean doesn't want that. Once he'd have been able to say so for sure, but things change. There aren't any words though. His hands are heavy on his knees still and he contemplates lifting it and touching Dean, wonders if skin on skin will break down that barrier and send them further into the darkness. "We have to do something. Jesus, fight a bit."

"We are," Dean says, like he really thinks they'll find a witch who can lift the spell, as though he doesn't know as well as Sam that spells like this come bound in blood, deep and old and dark, and he sounds like the brother Sam used to know, the lightness of the lie easy on his lips, like he's telling Sam to hang on it, that it isn't long until the next rest stop. "C'mon Sam, we've beaten worse. Like we're going down that easy when we've got we've got such a classy selection of killers on our tail. One skanky witch with a bottle of newt's blood is like a holiday," and he doesn't even believe it himself, glib reassurances as he falls back onto the bed, skin burning up like he's being eaten from the inside, eyes closed like he can't keep them open any longer.

Sam wants to belt him one after that, because if Dean dies, if Dean dies because he won't let Sam fix this, then he's fucking walking into hell or heaven after his brother and he'll kill him all over again. Only Dean does this to him, he thinks helplessly, only Dean makes him want to lay out his words in the shape of fists as though that'd make some deeper impression on either of them. His head hurts, a dull ache behind his eyes, pounding at them, a whisper of something darker curling up in his mind, a familiar chuckle that he swallows back because now is not the time. He's pretty proud of how stable his voice is. "I'm not letting you go." Not like everyone else. It's Sam's turn to hold on tight and drag Dean back from the edge, to press in deep on hidden scars and draw the pain from him, leech it out. He's not sure if Dean's awake to hear that, breathing shallow but Sam can't sleep.

He reads until his eyes are sore and gritty, variant after variant, reads all the impossible ways Dean can die placed under a geis of this sort, reads of men stretched thin and vacant because they failed, until they snapped like perished elastic, and Dean slobbers and snores, and once cries out anguished and sharp, the call strangled in his throat, dying in the still air of the motel room. Sam holds his breath and doesn't touch him, doesn't skew the odds in his favor because Dean will never forgive him. Goes back to his reading, alert and ready for something, anything that can be used.

There's nothing in their encounter with the witch, so soon after they'd left Amy and her son behind that Sam hasn't picked over endlessly. The witch hadn't taken kindly to having his front door kicked in, his hex bags burnt or a knife at his throat after the third death in three weeks, and it had been Dean in the firing line, Sam by the table burning the book, and a horrible, dawning look of comprehension in the witch's face, as he cast his spell, crude and sudden, blood bubbling up from his own hand at his own throat, the sort of magic that was deep and old and so dark red it was almost black. There's no Castiel to help, Bobby doesn't have a clue and it was only by sheerest luck that Sam had worked out what it was, the oldest, the filthiest of all crimes, blood mingling with blood. That first night they'd drank until they were sick, Dean's easy consumption matched for once by Sam's need to forget, every shot chased down with a foot of space between them, an ugly current beneath their skin.

The second night, Sam had spent prodding at the thought like a bruise, or a rotten tooth, a poisoned hurt, and concluded that yes, yes he could. To save Dean, to preserve him. There was sickness there at the back of his throat at the thought but it was overwhelmed, driven out by preservation, of Dean, of himself, of that last barrier that they presented. Dean had reared back as though to punch him and then changed his mind and stalked off, his silence all they needed to know. Sam could offer but Dean wasn't accepting.

They'd needed off the grid and fast with Dean weakening slowly and inevitably, falling asleep in the middle of the road once, which was how they'd found out that this had patterns. Dean can't get off however hard he tries, and he has, time and time again, almost automatically. He can get it up, which Sam can't help thinking is impressive enough with the amount he drinks, but jerking off ends in a numb hand and a sore cock apparently, but he's weakest when night hits. During the day he rallies, enough that he can get around just fine but nights are the worst. His sleep is restless and ragged and barely helps at all, and when he wakes up he looks like a ghost. They have, Sam knows until the full moon because that's how these things work. They've wasted seven days trailing from pillar to post, chasing every witch rumor in the hopes that someone else could undo what's been done, hiding from the Leviathans, sinking below their notice while they're so incapacitated.

On the eighth day Sam had had his realization, as he hauled Dean's inert body fully onto a bed and taken off his boots for him yet again, a matter of fact action that reminded him of the rare occasions Dad had come home drunk enough that Dean had had to do this for him, brisk and sharp, shooing Sam back to bed when he was little, and shoving him there when Sam at fifteen, a ball of anger and contradictory emotions, had started to be mouthy enough to complain about how gross it was that Dad couldn't control himself enough to stay sober, and that this was the man who was harrying them from place to place. He knows now all these years later that sometimes loving someone means this as well. He'd learnt it sewing up Dean, he'd learnt it holding Jess when her grandmother died even as he'd wondered at her grief. He let his hand rest on Dean, still warm under his fingertips, and tugged at the slow string in his own gut, unraveled it back and let it expand in the sick conviction that Dean would die if Sam didn't convince him they had to do this.

And when he'd started thinking about it, he couldn't stop. When Dean leaned his head back in the Impala, neck exposed and vulnerable, Sam thought about biting that hard line. He considers the possibility of kissing Dean, of opening him up and twisting him apart, of everything they could do and be together. He examines the thoughts alongside everything else they're going through, picks them apart and to pieces, analyzes the thoughts he can't take, the ones that are bearable, the things that make heat pool in his stomach and rise to his face, and cause him to regret even following that train of thought. The time he has between researching anything to get them out of this, and looking after Dean as much as he can, it feels he spends on his knees in the bathroom or hard as hell and guilty because he doesn't know if he can forgive himself for opening this can of worms. Doesn't know if he'd be able to forgive himself for convincing Dean to do it and then getting off on it, all that twisted emotion fucked up inside himself. Not when it's blurring in his mind like some of his memories tend to do, warping and reshaping and restructuring as though they bend around the ruined bits of his mind that nothing wants to touch, until he's not even sure if this is the first time he'd considered it, the first time he'd thought about crossing that gulf and touching.

But Dean won't do it, clings stubbornly to the idea that in the time they have left they'll find something like they always do. Won't look at Sam, doesn't want to touch him, even though he revives momentarily when he does and flinches away from any raising of the idea with a blanket no, and Sam doesn't know what to do to, to convince him.

He's been reading all night and he's not even a little further on from the grand total of nothing that he's accumulated so far when Dean stirs as dawn breaks outside. Sam regrets the reading now, the turning over of useless thoughts. Dean might be well enough to drive during the day but Sam's not sure for how long. He keeps still and quiet as Dean subsides. Two nights in one place, even as tiny and off the map as this motel is, is risky for them at the moment even if they're not on a case. But if he can persuade Dean to stay another day instead of chasing a fruitless empty lead that will go nowhere good, then maybe they can talk this out, ask why Dean would rather die than do this. Sam keeps still and quiet and silent, no company but his thoughts.

It's past twelve when Dean wakes properly, instant dismay on his face. "We need to be gone," he says, tone accusing, but his movements are lethargic and slow and Sam decides they're going to have to settle this here and now. He doesn't touch Dean but he sits opposite him on the other bed and waits for Dean to stop moving and look him in the eye. That doesn't happen though and Sam doesn't know how to start this conversation up. What he says is something Dean might not forgive him for if this doesn't work out. But if it doesn't work out he'll be dead, so Sam's got an evens chance with it.

"I need you to do this," he says, and the words stick there, everything else unspoken. I need you to stay, because I don't know what I'd do without you. Dean's face twists, and Sam doesn't know if Dean's aware of how every emotion is written there for Sam to see in this one unguarded moment. Fear and sorrow and something hungry that mirrors the lashing ache in Sam's gut, and spirals everything he'd known out of control because that's Dean there looking as though he's a starving man at a feast.

But Dean's answer is as firm as his face isn't. "I'm not touching you like that Sam," and he's definite, no doubt in his voice. "Jesus, what would that make me?" That's a punch to the gut and Sam absorbs it steadily, doesn't know if Dean calculated it to hurt, to drive Sam away, or if with the peculiar ability they each have to hurt by accident he hadn't intended how it sounded. Hadn't intended to encompass what Sam must be to even offer this, what sort of monster, what sort of freak to consider using everything in his arsenal like this.

Sam knows how to hurt as well though, and he wields it like a scapel, neat incisions deep and true, in pursuit of his aim. "What did it make you when you fished me out of the ground?" He takes no pleasure, no joy in Dean's flinch. "Is this different Dean? Is it worse to sell your soul to save someone than to fuck them," and the genie can't be rebottled, the ugly words are out there. Dean's closing off though, eyes distant and shuttered, hurt hidden, and Sam hopes one day he'll repair it, but only if he's given the chance to. "Dean," he says and he can feel his tone softening despite himself, "please," and he gathers up his final weapon because he's used all the others, steels himself for what it might mean between them. "I want you to do this.

Sam knows his brother. Dean doesn't listen to what Sam needs because he considers himself more than capable of divining that himself, no matter how many times he messes up, a streak of arrogance than runs in every member of their family it seems. But what Sam wants has always been a different matter, even if Dean never understands it, his own wants simpler and more stifled. "You can't want this," Dean says and that's when Sam sees it, and finally understands, finally gets why Dean won't ever touch him, why Dean would rather die than take it, reads the secret Dean might not even know himself. He should panic but the night before last, he'd jerked himself off to the thought of sucking Dean off, eyes squeezed shut, mouth stuffed full, silence between them, and he doesn't have a leg with which to stand on the rapidly shifting ground.

He doesn’t say another word, he leans forward and kisses Dean, lets everything fall apart, lets the world burn, until Dean is scrabbling with frantic fingers at his face. “Stop it,” he says, “I killed her, do you understand me?” It takes long seconds for Sam to understand, for the understanding to sweep through him. There’s no question who she is. Amy. Dean had lied, had destroyed her, and his heart is stone cold and heavy in his chest.

“Was it because she was a monster like me?” he says, voice careful, because if he starts screaming, he’s not sure if what’s left inside of his head would be able to stop.

“I killed her because she was a monster,” Dean said steadily. “But because she was a monster like me Sam, not like you. A monster who can’t change. Do you understand why I can’t touch you now? It’s because I want to. I wanted it before this. How could I do that to you?” He’s rigid and stiff, hands jammed into pockets, and he expects Sam to walk out, it’s there in every line of his posture. Maybe Dean’s trying to drive him away, Sam thinks detachedly, the first rat to leave the ship, the first time Dean’s ever pushed with the intention of permanence. And at any other time he’d have gone. Amy hadn’t deserved to die and Dean shouldn’t have done what he did. But Dean doesn’t deserve to die either regardless, and even if he did, Sam would never let him.

This time when he kisses Dean, neither of them stop, Dean’s mouth sweet and easy against Sam’s, a little acrid and bitter against his tongue, hands convulsively clenching as though unsure of where to settle, and Sam doesn’t know where to start, doesn’t know what the curse demands but he has an idea of where to start. Dean’s thick and hard under his sweatpants, and Sam feels his mouth flood hot and sudden, thinks of all the things he’s considered. He wants it all, at the same time, wants to climb on Dean’s lap and ride him hard and fast and slippery, not quite wet enough, leave them both feeling it, sore burn stretch for days, wants to roll Dean over and go to town on him, press down his spine, open him up with his tongue and then feed his fingers in until Dean moaned and tilted his hips up and asked without words for everything Sam would give him, fingers around his own dick. He wants it all, a shocking filthy cornucopia of ideas, the product of idle hours, the sick churn of his belly doing nothing to steady him, to remind him of every reason this is a bad idea. He’s tapped into something primal he thinks, as finally, finally Dean’s fingers grip him, blunt nails digging into Sam’s hand, grounding him in the moment, and he has no idea what it means or where he’ll end up at the finish of this ride.

He sucks Dean’s cock for the first time five minutes after, wet and messy and Dean doesn’t seem to care, thrust his hips up, hands over his eyes as though he can’t bear to see Sam do this, thrashes until Sam pins him down, fingers aligning with hipbones, and he closes his own eyes, makes it all more real. Dean finally comes like that, Sam’s fingers slipping between his thighs to exert a ghostlike pressure over his hole, comes like he’d failed to do anyone else including himself, a drawn out orgasm that shakes his bones and settles through his body, and Sam nearly chokes, but swallows it down in the interests of getting it done fast, and waits for the horror to kick in.

It doesn’t appear. Dean jerks him off, already revived a little, less tired and drawn, a fast handjob, methodical and sure, and he holds Sam close like that’s the important part as he does it, and Sam can’t help thinking through it, short disconnected little flashes that should wait for another time but which have no decorum. Dean loves me he thinks and it’s no revelation because he’d known that already, as much a bedrock of his existence as anything had ever been, matched with the reciprocation he’s always known existed. He wants me is more unexpected, more shocking, and it’s all he can think about towards the end, his hips snapping up to meet Dean’s fist in that pattern. Want, want , want they say, and Sam thinks of Dean dying rather than ever admitting it, of ever burdening Sam with that knowledge and comes with a helpless sticky spurt, all over Dean’s hand and himself.


Regardless of when you're reading this, feedback/crit always appreciated.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
I loved this delicious combination of hurty angst and reluctant heat. So good. Thanks for sharing <3
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Dec. 28th, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
Fantastic, hot and angsty, well done!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Dec. 28th, 2013 01:13 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm...delicious. So beautiful and hurty and sexy. I love FOD and this is a gorgeous example. Thank you.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and thank you!
Dec. 28th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
So nice to see new writing from you. I loved this, the stubborn set of Dean's shoulders, Sam's mournful eyes watching him. Dean in the shower, desperate and small, collapsing against Sam's chest. Such lovely, drawn out angst. I love that Sam never pushes at first, tries to always give Dean time to make up his own mind. Our big, gentle puppy. But then when things get down to the wire, he somehow manages to bend Dean around the sharp turn.

Lovely job. Merry Chrstmas hon!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much and a (very late!) Happy Christmas to you as well.
Dec. 28th, 2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
And this little beauty popped into my inbox just when I was thinking how long it had been since I'd heard from you...
Really enjoyed how hurt-y and reluctant and necessary it was... thanks for sharing!

And here's hoping you have a lovely new year ahead!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you, have a lovely year also! I'm definitely hoping to write more in the next few months than I managed in the last half of this year!
Dec. 28th, 2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
Loved the angst filed porn. But I loved more the analyzis of Dean. How he thought he knew better what his brother needed.
Brilliant short fic. Thanks for sharing.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you on both counts! I love when things work in more than one way, and I do think that Dean doing what he thinks is best for Sam rather than what Sam wants is an ongoing theme in the show so it was fun to explore that.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Cheers, it's good to hear that and thanks!
Dec. 28th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
Such accurate characterization with their stubbornness and the way they know how to hurt each other most with words, but such limitless devotion and love.
Great stuff. Thanks.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm really glad you liked it, especially the characterisation!
Dec. 29th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
I love the way the need is so muted here, and yet constantly thrumming under the surface, as both of them come to terms with something that feels inevitable. Nicely done :)
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad the sense of inevitability came through but not too melodramatic! Appreciated.
Dec. 29th, 2013 11:28 am (UTC)
Oh, how fantastic! The fraught, desperate tension in the story was fabulous to read. It had just what I find fascinating in fuck-or-die stories - the guilt, angst and gripping drama, made all the better by believable and heartbreaking characterisation.
Your writing is really fluid and has this visceral appeal; I was totally drawn in. One of my favourite parts was the mention of Amy, and Dean's reasoning for killing her - and thoughts on monsters. Drawing those connections was very satisfying to read.
Thankyou so much for writing this for me! I'm really lucky to have received this story as a gift. :)
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it, was a pleasure to write for you! I'm especially glad the Amy thing worked since it was the most obviously AU part of the story and could have been a little awkward to integrate. Thanks for the lovely comment.
Dec. 29th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
Fascinating and compelling, with Dean's determination not to drag Sam into it and Sam's determination to save Dean. And in the end, they get to be together. So deftly written!
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it.
Dec. 30th, 2013 02:43 am (UTC)
Excellent use of the trope! I love Dean's guilt and Sam's analysis of that guilt.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's one of my favourite tropes so I'm so glad it worked. Appreciated.
Dec. 30th, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
That was wonderfully hurty, and beautifully written. Poor boys.
Dec. 31st, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
Aw thank you so much! Appreciated. And poor boys is pretty much my mental running refrain when I watch the show :)
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
This is stunning! Sam's headspace just feels so right and I love how he sees Dean. So many fuck or die fics (my own included) tend to go all, 'we want this, might as well' or' bad, wrong, angst.' You've managed to walk a line here that feels real and as complex as their relationship.

I especially loved this line: Dean makes him want to lay out his words in the shape of fists as though that'd make some deeper impression on either of them.
Dec. 31st, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm really glad this gave a very slightly different angle on fuck or die. I love that particular genre and it's always fun to play with. Appreciate your comment.
Feb. 16th, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC)
That was terrific!
Feb. 17th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


heart, Dean and Sam

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