Characters: Sam, Dean
Genre: Some kind of mess
Word Count: 1,090
Warnings/Spoilers: brother hitting
Timeline: Post S1
Summary: But there are times when this just has to happen, outside of a bar on a warm western night, all blood and bruises and sibling frustration, bleeding all over each other, rips in their jeans growing bigger with every vicious turnaround, rocks tearing holes in their already torn shirts, grappling for something real and tangible, normal, a childhood fight twenty years too late, avoided by the fate of having an absent father and a dead mother, and where are they now anyway?
Author's Note: *waves* Just...I don't know. Posting this. For the sake of posting something after so long. I don't know what this is, I just felt like writing something.
Dean hears thunder when he hits the ground. It’s not storming. There is no rain, no lightning, no clouds. The ground doesn’t tremble, the trees don’t shake. There is no thunder to hear. Dean hears thunder where there is none.
The earth is hot under his skin, but cooling, the night is cool in the desert, the bar is loud and Dean is outside of it, neon lights of blue and red streaking across his face under the black sky and his brother is above him with a bleeding nose and a cut dangerously close to his eye, and there is no thunder, not outside, not in this still, warm night that Dean is a part of, that isn’t part of Dean. Because Dean knows where thunder is: it’s in his belly, in his chest, inside of him, inside of his tired body with its tired bones and cracked heart and thoroughly-abused liver.
“Stop it, Dean,” Sam spits, and there’s blood in his spit, and Dean’s at fault. But it’s just thunder, he feels, a terrible boom overpowering all of that guilt that lines his very existence and he gets back on his feet, and then Sam’s on the ground and Dean’s on top of him, his fists curled and bloody and there was a time, a time not too long ago, when Sam never would have fought back. Sam would have sat patient and taken it and waited for Dean’s feelings to bring a stop to this.
This is no longer the case.
Somewhere along the line Sam got bigger and stronger, but Dean can still take him down time and time again, it’s just more of a struggle these days, these passing days, hot days, summer days, in the car, stifling hot sitting next to his little brother with his little huffs and little eye rolls and little demeaning tones and his “No, I don’t want to do that. That’s not a smart idea, Dean.” Dean is full of smart ideas. Dean is full of fantastic, great, smart ideas and he carries them out with a smoking gun and a cowboy’s sexy flair.
But there are times when this just has to happen, outside of a bar on a warm western night, all blood and bruises and sibling frustration, bleeding all over each other, rips in their jeans growing bigger with every vicious turnaround, rocks tearing holes in their already torn shirts, grappling for something real and tangible, normal, a childhood fight twenty years too late, avoided by the fate of having an absent father and a dead mother, and where are they now anyway? Dean sometimes misses the feel of his father’s stern hand pulling him back, that displeased growl of “None of that cowboy shit tonight, Dean.” because he was at least there then, even if Sammy wasn’t.
Not here anymore, though. Now it’s just this, just Sam and Dean and the sky and the dirt and their fists and their blood and they’re bleeding all over each other, and Dean is angry, so angry, about every day, and every night, and the road and how it never ends, just like the monsters. Monsters never end either, and Dean’s always in the car, his car, his beautiful fucking car, and Sam’s always there, too, and sometimes it’s fine but now summer’s here and their skin sticks to the seats and the sun’s out far too often, hitting their faces through the windshield as the cassette turns over and replays and Sam hits the radio with a frustrated fist even though he knows that isn’t allowed.
The car is family, after all. The car is Dean’s parents and Dean’s sister and sometimes the car is Dean himself, sometimes Dean can’t see the difference, especially when his skin is sticking to the seat.
So he needed to hit Sam back. Because when family hits family, family hits back, and that’s what it is, being a family in a car, on a road that never ends, that just turns around and brings them back again.
To this. To this season where everything lives, and Dean just wants to bleed, so Sam has to bleed, too, and he’s going to regret this in the morning when the thunder is gone, when his belly is no longer warm and his throat is no longer burning from whiskey, when he wakes up, if he gets to sleep, if the thunder doesn’t take away the ability, because he hears it sometimes, as he’s falling asleep, sweating under sheets that he suspects were never cleaned and Sam told him one time, when they were kids, when he was just a little braniac who looked at Dean like Dean was the most awesome thing in the whole wide, crazy, manic world that they were hypnagogic hallucinations and not to worry, that thunder was normal and Dean would get to sleep sometime soon.
“Dean,” Sam pants now, on top and tipping over onto the ground, hissing when he lands on his arm. “Dean, can we stop this now?”
Dean doesn’t respond, but he doesn’t hit his brother again. He just waits for enough of the ache to go away and then gets to his feet, notes how Sam stays on the ground and just looks at him, because this is how it is, because he needs to know where they are now and where they’re standing and Dean is standing and Sam is not, so he needs to show him. He reaches down and offers his brother his hand, helps the kid to his feet.
The thunder’s gone, now he’s just numb and robotic, this is routine, and he pushes Sam into the passenger seat, walks around back and pulls the first aid kit out from the shitton of guns in the trunk. He gets behind the wheel because that’s where he belongs, that’s where he is in this family, the driver, sometimes the car, and he pulls out what they need, bandages and disinfectant and hands them to Sam, watches as his brother uses them, gruffly points out when he’s missed a cut still open and oozing.
He throws the kit in the back of the car when Sam finishes.
“Dean--” Sam protests.
“I’m fine,” Dean replies, and turns the key in the ignition.
He drives fast down an unending road, under a cloudless sky, in bloody skin and torn clothes. The thunder’s gone. Inside he is still, and unthinking, tired, ready for sleep. The radio’s off. Sam doesn’t huff. The car is silent.