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This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Sanguine

Dean knows Bobby had time to strip down the panic room, but no Winchester ever met a setting incapable of providing him a weapon and Sam's a Winchester yet. Dean sags down into the chair next to Bobby and they watch Sam through the camera feed Bobby set up.

Sam curses; he shakes (Bobby turns his face away from Dean, but Dean knows it's to spare him the sight of Bobby's pity); he drinks a couple of the bottles of water Bobby left, then twists them apart, though the plastic is too soft to make even a crappy knife. He curses again; he searches for a weakness in the room, which he must know was never designed to hold anything in. He lies down on the thin mattress and stares up at the devil's trap in the ceiling. The lights pattern his face like bruises. He curls himself up and shakes some more.

Bobby eventually goes to take a nap—he worked through the night to turn the panic room into a holding cell, and he ain't gettin' any younger. Dean wants to ask him: is anyone? But Bobby doesn't deserve his anger so he keeps his fool mouth shut for once.

Sometime in the dead hours, Sam groans and raises his arm to his mouth.

Dean forgot: Sam brought his own weapons inside.

Moving as fast as he can without making a noise that might wake Bobby, Dean grabs a first aid kit and hauls ass down to the basement. He throws the locks without checking the window and charges in.

Sam hasn't managed to hit a deep vein yet—teeth aren't precision cutters—and by the look of him his own blood isn't giving him the hit he needs. Dean takes a moment to bar the door, which will slow Sam down some in case he manages to get past Dean, and then drops to his knees by the bed.

Sam's eyes are red and swollen. He doesn't fight Dean when Dean pulls his arm away to inspect it. He just lies there on the cheap mattress, not like a corpse—Dean knows that for sure—but maybe like he's dying.

Dean starts to fix what he can.

He doesn't think Sam needs stitches, but the cut from the ghouls is barely healed and Sam's ripped it apart, making it the worst wound by far. Dean gets out the surgical glue and presses the edges together. It's not easy. He has to line the skin up just right, fast enough so that the glue can do its job. It's messy and the light sucks and his head hurts, throbbing with his heartbeat like he just got another concussion even though the only thing that happened was that he found out just how far Sam was willing to go for his powers.

When the knife wound is closed again, he works on the bites: antibiotic ointment (the human mouth is filthy; he hears Sam's bitter 'so what?' in his head, but Sam's still not talking in reality so he ignores it), butterfly bandages, his fingers wiping away blood like it was just another kind of dirt.

"What are you doing, Sam?" he asks, without meaning to. He's heard of guys in the desert drinking their own piss to survive, but it can't be the same.

"You know what I was doing," Sam says.

"You're not possessed," he says back, like that's the flaw in Sam's logic.

Sam smiles, his lips and chin dotted with his own blood. "It's still in me. I can taste it. It's just not enough to do anything."

Dean's supposed to roll his eyes, deny, yell.

He wasn't lying all the way when he told Sam that he was tired. So instead of doing any of the things Dean Winchester (gripped tight and raised from perdition) is supposed to do, he brings up his bloody thumb and swipes his tongue across it, slow.

Dean knows this taste. It's the flavor souls bleed in Hell their last time on his rack, just as their eyes start reflecting Hellfire in all its glory. The sense memory puts him there again, screams of the damned hot in his ears, stoking the rage inside him—their whining and their useless pain so much like his own; Alastair never said outright but maybe if Dean showed enough of them the error of their ways his own shredded insides would re-knit, seamless and shining like the damned were when they left him.

It's not sulfur, this taste. It's more like fire. Dean should know. He's had his tongue burned out of his mouth enough times to recognize it.

"Dean," Sam says, shock and something else ringing in his voice. He sits up, putting himself on the edge of the mattress so his legs bracket Dean, down there on the cold concrete.

"You tasted my blood," Sam says, each word heavier now, swelling near to bursting. "Look at me, Dean."

Direct order like that, and Dean wants to disobey more than he wants to keep breathing, but wanting never did shit for him, so he lifts his head. Sam's shoulders are shaking, his eyes bright as summer stars out in the middle of nowhere.

"You have to let me, now. It's only fair."

Dean just stares. He stares until Sam grabs his left arm, Sam's thumb pressing down on the skin of his inner forearm, his fingers like steel cables. Sam holds Dean's arm between them like it's a precious artifact, like it's a gun full of silver bullets and a werewolf's at the door.

Dean doesn't struggle as Sam tugs him into a crouch, enough that Sam can grab the knife out of his back pocket. Sam flicks it open, and Dean thinks for half a second that it was stupid to come in armed, but Sam isn't trying to go anywhere. All his attention is on Dean.

Sam slices high, near the inner elbow, like he knows just where he wants to get the best angle. Before the pain hits, before a single drop has time to hit the floor, he's got his mouth on Dean's skin, sealed around the cut.

The sound Sam makes is like—it's a sound from the bowels of Hell; it's orgasmic. He sucks like he's two minutes away from dying of thirst. He sucks like he needs Dean the way he needed him twenty-six years ago.

He pulls off just long enough to raise astonished eyes to Dean's. "You—it's not demon. I think—I think maybe it's angel."

And then his mouth is on Dean again. He's making thrilled, desperate little noises. Dean's balance is bad like this. He leans into Sam because he'll topple otherwise.
Dean remembers Castiel and the little Novak girl, the one whose blood made her a host, and then he thinks about the scar on his shoulder. Sam got fed demon, and it changed him; Dean got angel burned into him, and it was the same. Angels are dicks and demons lie and Winchesters, they just have to take it.

Of course Sam figured it out first. Nobody ever claimed that Dean was the brains of the operation.

Sam pulls him onto the mattress. He's straddling Sam's lap, Sam's arm wrapped around his back to keep him in place, pressed as close as possible. Dean doesn't mean to flinch, but Sam feels it, and it's even enough to make Sam stop. His face flushes obscenely pink, shocking contrast to his red-smeared mouth. "Sorry," he says, his eyes still on Dean's arm. "It's just physical." He bends again, and Dean lets him, says nothing back, because he seriously does not have the first idea why Sam would think that it was better that it's the blood that makes Sam hard.

His tongue is hot and strong, chasing each spurt; he's only just under Dean's skin but it feels like he's stuck his hands under Dean's ribcage, arrowing towards his heart. Dean kind of wants to throw up and then he kind of wants to pass out, but he's not that lucky. Would Sam stop if Dean's eyes rolled back in his head and Dean went as limp as wet laundry? Probably, he thinks. Almost for sure. Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Or maybe it should be, don't buy a cow when you can get the milk for free. Fairytales are true, so no surprise about proverbs. Dean realizes that this is blood loss, fucking with his head, but it feels like revelation.

The suction slows. How much blood fits in a stomach, anyway? Sam would know, and Dean bites down hard on his lip (not hard enough to draw blood, not that hard) to keep from laughter.

Sam pulls off, presses his hand to the cut, fresh salt pain like another slice across Dean's arm. Sam should go for the kit, more bandages for more scars, but instead he leans into Dean, tugging him close, hot palm pressing damply through Dean's shirt and into his spine. His chin digs into Dean's chest, and he's shaking or Dean is.

"This, this is amazing," he says. He sounds like Dean just gave him the best present ever, back when the best present ever was some dictionary the size of a spare tire or a full year in the same place. "I don't need Ruby if I—I missed you," Sam says, and Dean brings his free hand around to cup the back of Sam's neck, tangling in the sweaty curls there. Sam smells of the road, sweat and blood and exhaust, things left over after the fire.

"You and me, not gonna let you leave me again," Sam tells him, completely convincing. Dean's cut throbs in time with Sam's pulse. Sam curls even closer, strong and solid. Together they are an eight-limbed monster, like some giant deformed spider. Castiel would recoil in horror. Even Ruby might shut her fucking mouth and back away. "You and me," Sam says again, "take care of each other, just like we're supposed to," and the worst of it, the thing that shuts the door of the torture chamber that is Dean's life, is this:

The tears running down Dean's cheeks are tears of joy.

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