Coda to eighth-horizon's Disinterment from the Salvation AU.
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Sam/Sarah, Het, Rated NC17 , takes place after Breakage
He couldn't sleep. He'd tried. He finally laid down with Sarah wrapped up in his arms after they'd sent Allie back to bed and made sure Dean was down for the night.
After he'd eaten the sandwich Sarah fixed -- kind of amazed he was that hungry. He couldn't remember the last time he'd actually sat down to eat rather than grabbing something from the vending machines at the hospital or the hotel…managed to choke down anything solid that didn't immediately threaten to come back up. There was a time when he was sure he could subsist for long periods of time on vending machine coffee and Fritos, with the occasional foray into Milky Way bars or the days-old fruit Danish wrapped in cellophane.
That had been a lot of years ago.
After food there was a shower to be had; where water and soap managed to at least momentarily ease the scent of smoke and sweat but not the fear. Fear couldn't be washed away with soap and water, or even Sarah's vanilla scented shower gel. Fear was like asbestos lodged in his lungs, itchy, undeniable, and dangerous if it clung too long.
He'd spent too long at the door of Mary and Leigh's room, catching the light gleam from Chriso's eyes where he lay across the end of the bed Allie was sharing with Leigh -- and the twin bed was almost too small for the two of them. He'd stepped in to tuck Mary's hand back under the covers, smooth her hair, hope the dream catcher at the window would actually do its job. Picked up the ratty-eared cat that Leigh had been clinging to the last couple of days even though she'd announced she was too big for stuffed animals just a month ago. Plus, she had Christo who put up patiently with the same kind of dress up and earnest conversations the stuffed animals had. He backed out when Allison shifted -- she woke too easily like he did. Like Dean did. She also slept on the outside of the bed, between the door and her baby sister and if that wasn't a family trait, Sam didn't know what was.
Of all the traits he didn't want his first born to pick up that was a big one. Not just defending her sisters -- siblings did -- but putting herself between them and the bad things. He could admire the urge and despise it as much as he did with Dean.
This was not a herald of things to come. That, more than anything, kept him awake and restless. And at least he and Sarah and Dean, too, agreed on that much. None of them wanted the hunt, the drive to not only destroy evil, kill the bad things, but to actively seek it out be a legacy for their daughters.
The problem was, wishing a thing didn't make it come true.
The door to Allie's room was open still; Dean asleep on his side -- not comfortable but he couldn't yet sleep on his stomach, not with stitches decorating his chest like a bizarre and gruesome necklace. He'd pulled a few tonight. Correction, Sam had managed to pull a few. He'd let Sarah do the patching up after Allie had gone to bed. She hadn't replaced the stitches but she'd cleaned the oozing, half-healed gash, bandaged it -- Sam silently handing her supplies, Dean grumbling but still kind of high and spaced from… from whatever.
Sam couldn't touch him. Not now. Not yet. The urge to do so still sizzled under his skin, along his nerves, left a hollow and aching spot under his ribs. Dean should kick his ass for that alone. And Sam would take it, lying down if necessary. It had been a crazed, invasive, unforgivable thing to do and just as equally impossible not to do.
Because underneath it all, Dean was still Dean; untainted, unmarked inside and along his soul as he wasn't unmarked in body and mind. And that was what Sam needed to know -- had to know if only because he, himself, felt stained and damaged and battered inside as he physically wasn't .
He needed to know that Dean would still let him in. That putting Charlie at risk hadn't built up walls or blown chasms in the structure of his already warped and restructured relationship with Dean that Sam couldn't fix. Couldn't repair, couldn't make deep enough amends for -- all of which could be in real jeopardy because Sam wasn't and couldn't be entirely sorry for using Charlie as he had. Forcing her to do something she wasn't ready for.
For putting her in danger, yes. There was no excuse for it and Sam didn't make any. If Dean had done that to his girls, he'd have been equally as angry.
But Dean was alive. He'd be okay. Sam couldn't regret that no matter the circumstances. He couldn’t be sorry for it no matter what else it might cost him.
But he could still be wary of how thin a line he walked with Dean at times. He hadn't wanted to peel Dean's skin off and wear him like a suit, but how different was it really when he wanted, still wanted, to crawl inside Dean and rest silently and wrapped in everything that Dean was? That was the real danger of this thing, this path or road or doorway they'd opened between them. The desire to be submerged in everything Dean was, in being able to separate himself from his own fear, his own anxieties, his own weariness of being alone in his skin when he was overwhelmed to the point of collapsing.
Actually lashing out at Dean for being the independent, risk taking, stubborn bastard of fucking hero that he was would have been kinder and less damaging than what Sam had done.
Every time he came close to losing Dean made it worse, made the uncontained scream of everything Sam was blot out and obscure any sense of reason or God help him, sense of self in an uncontrolled and unbearable void of loss that would not be ignored or wrestled into sanity or rationality. It felt like all the bits and pieces of him that had been cobbled and stitched together over the years to patch up the losses and the anger and the fears and the hopes and even the joys were being peeled back and pulled apart.
Putting Dean on gave him a sense of containment, of safety, of belonging that he couldn't even describe; that he didn't feel even with Sarah -- no matter how much he loved her and he did.
It wasn't an obsession -- not usually, not most of the time. Sam, like his father, knew what obsession felt like. But when it did happen, when it hit him so hard and so fast, it was like suffocating, it was very much like being deprived of something vital, like blood or air or water.
And now he was scared to touch his brother at all. Not because he was afraid he'd slide into Dean all over again, because he knew he wouldn't. Not now -- he had that much self control. But because it would just make the withdrawal, the separation, the distance, that much more difficult to bear.
"Sam." Sarah's voice was soft -- neither questioning, nor anxious. Enough to let him know she was close; that his thousand-yard stare into the darkened room where his brother slept had not gone unnoticed.
It really wasn't difficult to pull his gaze away, to shift his attention to the door and pull it almost all the way closed, a sliver of light from the hallway lancing across the end of the bed. Sarah stood in the door of their bedroom, wearing loose and worn sweat pants under one of his pajama tops (which he never wore). It was hardly sexy or appealing attire and she already had her hair pulled back in the loose braid she wore to sleep, but she was by far, still the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, even with the bruises still marking her face, and a faint frown adding to the lines that were already starting to be etched in her face, around her mouth by time -- and dare he hoped -- too much laughter.
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm coming," he said even as he walked toward her. He still felt loose in his own skin, flesh stretched too tight and then suddenly released again. Just the thought of it gave him a shiver, and an echo of that same lack of remorse he'd felt facing the skinned body in Dean's office. Sarah stepped up to meet him, arms unfolding to slide around his waist even as his own circled her shoulders and back and he bent and curled to press chin and then lips to her hair. Underneath the braid her hair was still damp and heavy from her own shower. She smelled faintly of vanilla and cold cream, of toothpaste and mouthwash, even more vaguely of talcum and skin warmed cotton.
It was almost too much, the way his sense could go into overdrive. It was a product of adrenaline and endorphins and a side effect of whatever part of his brain regulated the quirk and curse of both his prescience and his ability to slip inside the intangible from time to time, be it to recognize the lingering presence of a magadelena or the open paths and by ways of his brother's soul. It was why even after his shower he could still smell smoke and the sweat on Dean's skin. Why even days after he finally managed to clean the blood from cuticles and under his nails, he could still feel it, slippery and warm on his skin, cooling fast like sweat, cloying and coppery in his nose.
Almost but not quite, but still Sarah's hands on his skin felt more hot than warm, her mouth equally as warm but cool and slick too from the minty flavor of her toothpaste. There was too much crawling under his skin for him to ignore, and Sarah's touch and sudden and equal need offered him a different kind of satiation from the singing of blood and bone and nerves. It wasn't the same -- could never be the same. It was methadone to a heroin addict.
Any other time lifting her up with hands behind thighs and under her ass would have elicited and amused grunt and chuff of air, maybe an idle tease of how he was getting too old for this. And he definitely felt it; the tight soreness in his muscles and the ache of his bones left over from earlier, from pounding axe blade to earth until he could pulverize the bones into dust. But even feeling those mundane aches and pangs was a relief of sorts, only fed his need to get out of his own skin and head for a bit without losing himself.
She only locked her legs around his hips and her arms around her neck, one hand fluttering out to shut the door behind them. The girls were too old now to be wandering into their bedroom at all hours, but the week had not been normal --none of them were back to normal no matter how hard they fought for it.
Sarah's hands in his hair and along the nape of his neck weren't pulling and tugging the way she did when she was feeling a little feisty, a little or a lot horny or happy or playful. She was petting with hands and comforting with lips, a murmur of sound that wasn't asking Sam for anything, only murmuring, It's okay, Sam…it's gonna be okay. We're all okay. She was usually so very good at translating his moods into plans of actions, be it the need for a neck rub, or pulling him along to take a walk. Or more, or this, it’s not Tuesday, she said against his mouth but kissed him anyway. Married people jokes, that were most often followed by Sam's own laughter and expression of intent to beat the national average; Once a week and twice on Tuesday.
She unclasped her legs when he settled her on the end of the bed, trying to pull him down to rest or sleep, and only blinking at him when his hands tugged at the elastic waist of her sweatpants, fingers catching her underwear as well; cotton plain and warm from her skin. Her fingers stretched through his hair, combing it back at the sides when he crouched and then knelt drawing the cloth away, not touching the shirt that bunched around her hips and waist.
Her skin was so smooth, along her thighs, sleek and soft and warm where he stroked along skin, thumbs pressing a little harder on the inside of her thighs, pushing her legs apart.
He wasn't even hard; and even so there was still a thrum along his nerves, prickles to his skin, something like a hum washing through him but with no sound. He didn't necessarily want sex; not the bury himself inside her and rock her until she came with a gasp and the rake of nails across his shoulders. He wanted Sarah though -- wanted the taste and feel of her, the sound of her voice in his ears, the bitter-salty-slick taste of her in his mouth, the scent of her overriding every other sense.
He didn't miss her small, "Oh!" of sound when he pushed his thumbs forward and up, hands lost under the crumpled fold of her night shirt, finding the soft furred mound of her pubis by touch and memory alone. She leaned back on one hand, opened herself wider for him, hand running light and gentle under his chin to lift it. He only turned his head and kissed her palm. He leaned in closer, lips and mouth and the nip of teeth following his fingers.
The touch of his mouth to all that clean, soft skin made her shudder, her hips rolling slightly toward his mouth, her hand dropping to the bed to support herself as he opened his mouth to let his tongue trace the crease of loose and rosy skin, opening her as easily with his mouth as he spread her legs with his hands. And there was the taste of her, just the start, there, on the firmer bud of her clit, tiny and responsive and oh, so sensitive. He tucked his hands under her and pulled, tipping her backward, chin nudging the cloth away until Sarah pulled at it, pulled at the buttons to open it.
He stopped her, catching her hands and pulling them away, lacing his fingers through hers. "Sam…Sam…"
He didn't answer her, only held her hands away, bent his head and licked and lapped and sucked until she was shuddering and restless, squirming and so wet against his lips, a flick of his tongue there and a long swipe all along the crease until he could suck on the soft mound of flesh and curly hairs. She was moving underneath him now, struggling for still, asking for more, and he took the barest moment to glance at her flushed face, the glitter-bright darkness of her eyes, and the chewed-red fullness of her mouth.
So, beautiful. So very much so even now, even after years of getting to know every inch of her body and skin, of knowing her inside and out almost as well as he knew himself or his brother. And yet still that much apart from him. But if Dean was half of everything he kept hidden then Sarah was half of everything he was that the world saw. Separate but vital like heart and soul, like skin and bones.
…bones that had tried to pry his brother from his skin to wear him, to wear the flesh but destroy so much more…
…there's so little difference it's hard to see the line… the thought made him shudder and his stomach clench.
He'd never even tried. Never tried to slide inside Sarah the way he could Dean -- never wanted to see if he could, or if she wanted him to try. He didn't even know if it was possible with anyone other than Dean, wasn't sure if it was all the torn edges they'd ripped in each other or bits that had been ripped from them that made it something that could be done. He'd never asked for it to be this, to want to be that far inside someone or let someone else so far in. It had all the terrible comfort of death -- quelling the fear of the unknown, craving for the quiet.
He was still too long; a moment, hours, and Sarah made a small noise, query and concern both in the bare rasp of sound.
He squeezed her hands and sucked and licked, distraction and apology both. She pulled her knees up and wide, pushing back and rocking, small, soft pleased gasps escaping her and her nails digging into the back of his hands when she came in a tiny flood of silk-salt-sweet liquid and a tightening of her thighs around his shoulders and head, tension and release hitting her all in one moment.
Sam leaned forward against the end of the bed, resting his head on her belly, eyes closed while the rapid flutter-stutter of her breathing eased, until he felt the pin-pick burn of where her nails had dug deep into his hands. She eased her hands free, once more stroking over his hair and face, let her legs relax and drape once more over the end of the bed.
She'd managed two buttons and the cloth of her top was spread in a wide vee over her abdomen and hips, bare skin exposed to just under her sternum where Sam could see the paler underside of her breast. The cloth was pale blue and worn soft from a thousand washings, the once brightly-blue corded trim on the cuffs and along the button front worn dull and starting to fray. It was loose on her, too big from the start, time and wear loosening the weave even more, so that it settled in folds across the curves and dips of her body. A too loose second skin.
He couldn’t get away from the thought, the implication of any of it, couldn't stop seeing parallels and dangerous syllogisms of evil -- wearing the skin of others, of him taking the metaphor a step further, that things taking on the aspect and appeal of other people's existence were evil in and of themselves.
Which made Sam, what?
Sarah tugged at him, pulling him up, drawing his hands along her skin, asking and offering in easy familiarity, and he let himself be drawn up, went further and lifted her, pushed and tucked her against the pillows and flipped back blankets and sheets but he stopped her when her hands tugged at his pajama bottoms, curved and fit himself against her back to hold and kiss. "I'm okay," he said softly, pressing to her to let her know, to show her there was no need. She protested quietly but he only stroked her skin, slid a hand under the soft blue to feel the weight of her breasts against his palm.
"Shhh," when she would have asked, reaching across her to turn off the light, to hold her as he had a thousand times until her concern surrendered to sleepiness. He dusted alight kiss across the bruise on her face and buried his nose in the rich scent of her hair.
When she was well and full asleep, shifting in response to her own dreams he eased himself out of their bed and the room, picking up clothes from the floor to change into jeans and a shirt.
The house was quiet, only a small amount of time before dawn broke. The coffee in the kitchen was cold and he drank it anyway. Denim and cotton raked his skin like sandpaper, and cold greeted his bare feet on the front porch -- concrete and brick.
He would have to go much, much further to be able to fully shed the still insistent tug of need that left him feeling flayed and exposed and too far separated from everything he loved, for the touch of flesh to satisfy.
It would pass, the feeling of being separate from himself. Of being both more and less the sum of his parts. It would pass like the ache in his bones and muscles, like the bitter, heavy taste of cold coffee on his tongue. Eventually it would become merely the fact that all humans were alone in their own skin.
But the sensation, the knowledge of being apart, of no longer being part of something more than himself would not pass.
Sam didn't consider himself to be a particularly religious man but he understood some things.
Being damned was being separated from the grace of all that was good.
Sam understood that all too well.
And he'd done it to himself.
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