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This story was nearly called Near Death Experiences and Incest. Not coincidentally, that could also be the show title.

Saying Something Stupid
Sam/Dean, 666 words

"You're really fucking tall," Dean says. From the tone of his voice, it might be the first time he's ever noticed, but it's certainly not the first time he's told Sam about it tonight. "If you had any decency, you wouldn't be." He frowns, and then apparently remembers that it hurts when he moves any muscle in his face. Not that it shuts him up.

"Got only myself to blame," he says, and this mournful turn is new. "Should have kept more of the Lucky Charms for myself."

"Lucky Charms aren't nearly as nutritious as you think they are, Dean." Sam digs in the bucket for more ice, wraps it in another towel and places the whole thing back on Dean's head. Dean winces more extravagantly than he did when the ghost nearly scalped him.

"Tall and mean," he says. "That fucking hurts."

Sam doesn't take his hands away. Christ knows when he last passed up a chance to keep them on Dean, but this time, Dean's got a concussion — the kind bad enough to make him open and vulnerable, and just a little bit ridiculous. Sam's justified in staying close, holding the ice in place because Dean won't. "Excuse me for making sure you don't die from your massive head wound."

"Lot of effort to go to," Dean says. "Considering."

Sam would really have preferred the antique clock to the head. "That's just —" He stops, rendered mute again. Dean does this. Hits Sam with the idea of him being gone like it's okay. Dad would have appreciated it, he thinks, Dean finally not giving Sam a chance by telegraphing his moves.

"It's not," he says, horrified by the catch in his throat. "It's not okay."

Dean's movements are sloppy and sluggish, his fingers fumbling at Sam's sleeve before they fasten around his wrist. "It will be," he says. "I trust you. But this time — before, with the, you know." He lifts his free hand, waves it back and forth between them.

Sam knows; of course he does. Near death experiences and incest aren't as weird to them as they should be, and Sam's never regretted half of that as much as he should have.

"The part where you pinned me against the car and I got you off," Sam says, defiant now. "That what you're talking about, Dean?"

"Not this time." Dean's fingers press harder, and only Sam's hand on his head keeps Dean lying still. "Won't be fair on you this time. Clean break, okay?"

The towel deadens the sound as the ice hits the wall, and Sam's across the room, back against the door and breathing hard without knowing how. "You've got no right to say that to me," he says, when he can speak. "You've got no idea—you don't—" And Dean doesn't, that's the thing. This is what's stolen Sam's words all year, the betrayal that's forced him to helpless silence. Dean not wanting to live in a world without him: Sam might not like it, but he can forgive. Dean taking it for granted that Sam can, that Sam will — "You don't know," he says, and that's still all he's got.

"Sammy. Don't." Dean's on his feet, unsteady and weaving, and fixed inexorably on Sam. Sam isn't sure he can do much better, but he actually doesn't want Dean to die of his massive head wound, so he pushes off the door, and they stumble into each other, clutching and frantic.

"You're so fucking tall," Dean says, when Sam tries to burrow into him. He tucks Sam's face against his neck, brushes his lips against the side of Sam's head. "I still don't regret the Lucky Charms," he says — softly, as if that might be a secret.

Sam laughs, kind of messy and watery. "You don't know," he says again. And maybe Dean doesn't, but his fingers stroke through Sam's hair, and his arm settles warm around Sam's shoulders, and he holds Sam up, like he always does.

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