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Reality Dosing
By [personal profile] laurificus, 1782 words, Sam/Dean
Dean's laughter has made him greedy, made him recklessly desperate for all the necessary, hidden parts of his brother he hasn't seen in so long.

Here there be spoilers for 714 and maybe some schmoop. Thank you to [personal profile] de_nugis for the awesome and speedy beta. All remaining mistakes are mine.

***

Reality Dosing

They've been on the road for half an hour when they stop. Dean's hungry, and Sam's itchy, and Dean's still laughing, little machine-gun fire bursts escaping every time he looks at Sam. Sam's tried to clean himself up, really he has, but he's pretty sure the glitter is actually a highly potent life form, replicating over and over. Probably it's sentient, just waiting for the right opportunity to start waging its own campaign against them. First the devil, and then the leviathans, and then the pretty art supplies. With their luck, it's not even all that inconceivable.

From the backseat, Lucifer nods at him encouragingly. "The things I could do to make glitter hurt you," he says, and he sounds wistful like he so often does these days. 

Sam ignores him, and for once, it's not an effort at all. He goes back to ineffectually scrubbing at his face with one of the used napkins Dean left wadded up in the glove compartment days ago--since they gave up the Impala, Dean's become a lot more relaxed about what's allowed to travel with them, and Sam has a heretical moment of nearly being grateful for it. In his defence, it's probably the only reason Sam's sitting in the passenger seat now, shedding red glitter on the upholstery.

"You know you're just making it worse, right?" Dean says, but he's not even looking at Sam this time, busy as he is not backing them up into a tree while he parks, so he can't possibly know that. Sam balls the napkin up and throws it at him anyway. It bounces harmlessly into the footwell, where Sam imagines it sparkling menacingly in the darkness. 

"Wherever we stay tonight, I'm going to use up all the hot water," he says. "Even if it's one of those good places where you can't use up all the hot water."

"Even then, there'll probably still be glitter in your hair, Sammy." Dean looks over as he pulls the keys out, and there's laughter lurking in his eyes. "I'll let you drive for the next week, if you order and eat your food looking like that." 

Sam pauses, his fingers curled around the door handle while he looks at Dean's face. He'd been planning to wash up in whatever crappy facilities were available and convince Dean to eat in the car, but--he survived Hell, more or less. He can probably survive a few people staring at him in a diner he'll never set foot in again.

 "And I get to pick where we eat for the week, too," he says, after a moment of pretending to think about it. No point in not getting as much out of it as he possibly can. Though given how quickly Dean nods his agreement, he figures he should've aimed for more--an extension of Dean's no booze policy, maybe, but he's not about to push it, not right now. 

Inside, the food sucks, and their waitress is cute, which is about what Sam expects from a day that's already served him up beating by clowns. She takes their order like there's nothing weird going on, and Sam promises himself to leave her an extra good tip for not laughing in his face. 

"Unlike some people," he tells Dean, and Dean arranges his expression into one of sober concern that holds for about fifteen seconds.

Still, it could've been worse, at least where the real people are concerned. After the first curious glances, the other customers don't pay him much more attention, though a big guy with arms the size of most people's legs keeps staring at him mistrustfully. On the downside, he gets as much glitter as salt on his fries, and he gets tired after the burger, adrenaline wearing off and pain kicking in. And because he's tired, Lucifer starts showing up more. Wandering around the diner, whispering in the ears of the waitstaff and still loud enough for Sam to hear ("That big guy look dangerous to you? Kinda crazy, right? More than a few cards missing from that deck."), popping up behind Dean with a steak knife in his hand. "Come with me and he won't get hurt," he murmurs to Sam, the blade caressing Dean's throat lovingly, right from the dip between his collarbone to his left ear, back and forth, back and forth. But Dean's still smiling at Sam a lot, shoving food into his mouth while his knee bumps warm and solid up against Sam's under the table, so maybe even that's all right. Certainly nothing to freak out about. He gives Lucifer the finger, pretending to be scratching his head while Dean's not looking.

When Dean glances back at him, Sam says, "We should take the night off and just--" He waves his hand, because he doesn't quite know. It's been so long since they just hung out--a bad movie and a vending machine's worth of snacks, Dean's running commentary drowning out the one only Sam can hear--but he wants that now, with the kind of fierceness he normally associates with holding Lucifer at bay or keeping Dean alive. He runs through arguments in his head--still no closer to finding Dick, just for starters--thinks about maybe bringing out his hurt little brother face. But Dean just says, "Yeah, okay. You've had a hard time, I know." His mouth quirks up, and then curves into a full-blown grin. "It. Haven't seen that in a while."

For that, Sam leaves him to pay, waiting outside by the car and trying to be inconspicuous. Lucifer's sitting on the hood, heels kicking rhythmically against the tyres. He's whistling Send in the Clowns, and every now and then, Sam is surprisingly disappointed in his own brain.

"Very predictable," he says. "Not nearly as good as the diner stuff. I'd give you a C minus. Maybe even a D," and then he snaps his mouth shut, because, seriously, it's hard to do a convincing impression of not-crazy while talking to yourself in a parking lot.

By the time Dean comes out, there's a station wagon just pulling up, and Sam's taken Lucifer's spot on the hood. Dean's got a paper bag in his hand--almost certainly pie inside, if Sam knows him at all, and probably the chocolate cream one he was besottedly admiring all through lunch. Sam's not the only predictable one in this relationship, after all.

"Did you get me the cinnamon swirl I wanted?" he asks, once Dean's in touching distance. "That was really sweet of you."

"Who says I got you anything, bitch?" Dean says, casual and hardly even looking at him, and Sam's breath catches. He's careful not to let Dean see him dig his nails into his palm, but really, it's not like Sam can be blamed for needing to check. His brain might be paying him back for earlier, upping its game just to prove it can. It's the kind of thing Sam would do.

Dean doesn't waver, though, and Sam's whole chest goes through a brief but frightening moment of feeling like it's caving in. They're in serious danger of entering moment territory, but the station wagon doors open just in time, and a woman and a little girl step out. The kid's got messy dark hair and a gap-toothed smile; Sam grins back at her without even thinking, remembering too late about all the glitter. Probably Dean's fault, surprising Sam like that, when Sam's already vulnerable from clown trauma.

"Look," the little girl says, in what definitely isn't her indoor voice as she points one chubby hand at Sam. "A sparkly giant." Only it comes out more like spaklee. 

Her mother gives Sam and then Dean a startled, embarrassed look, murmuring apologies as she scoops her daughter up and hurries inside. Dean barely notices. He's laughing again, this bright, unlikely sound that makes Sam's chest start to malfunction a bit more. Sam wants to go on hearing that sound; it's like pain normally is these days, a shot of reality right through him. And maybe Sam doesn't just want to hear it. He wants to feel it, to be right there with his hands on Dean, because he looks so fucking happy, so much like Dean.

"Sparkly giant," Dean's says, or tries to, anyway. it comes out a stuttering, hiccupping mess.

"I only look big because I'm next to you," Sam says. He's off the car now, making his way around to Dean. There's a little voice in his head--not Lucifer, this time, but a real, sensible Sam voice--telling him that maybe this is a terrible idea. Sam ignores it. Dean's laughter has made him greedy, made him recklessly desperate for all the necessary, hidden parts of his brother he hasn't seen in so long.

"What?" Dean says, when Sam's standing in front of him. His face is all lit up with amusement, but there's a question in his eyes now, too. Not much of one, though. Dean's a smart guy; he's already reaching behind him to shove the pie on the car's roof, and he doesn't resist when Sam presses him back against the door.

"You shouldn't use your freaky giant strength to take advantage of humans," Dean says, his hands coming up to fasten in Sam's shirt. "It's unseemly."

Sam pushes in close, strokes along Dean's jaw with fingers that hardly shake at all. "You should stop talking," he says, "Jesus Christ." And he kisses Dean, not caring who sees them, and Dean kisses him back, like he doesn't, either. It's warm and slow, sending heat and hope flooding through Sam's body. This, he thinks, this is what he woke up for. This, and every other part of him Dean will let him have.

It's a long time before they stop, and Sam doesn't want to, even then. Behind him, Lucifer says, very gentle, almost like he's sorry, "He doesn't want you, you know. How could he, nutjob that you are?" 

That's a fair point, really. But Dean's hands are on Sam's back now, keeping Sam in place against him, and Dean's smiling, one of those smiles that actually shows in his eyes, as he says, "I'm gonna have glitter on my face now. You better be planning to make that up to me, Sammy."

So Sam tugs on Dean's hair until Dean's mouth is back where Sam can get at it again, and he says, "I'll think about it," and lets Dean take over the work of shutting Lucifer up for a while.

***
There are 2 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
posted by [personal profile] alexseanchai at 01:33am on 13/02/2012
Awwwww.
laurificus: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] laurificus at 12:22am on 15/02/2012

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