category: preslash (Sam/Dean)
notes: I hate Christmas, but I do like giving Christmas presents. 900ish words. And also: a song.
“You get mud on the upholstery, I’m gonna-” Dean paused, looked around, “damnit.”
Sam sighed and threw another black garbage bag across the seat.
Everything was dirty. They would have changed clothes but it was too damn cold to strip down and all their clothes were just as bad; laundry being overlooked in favour of speed and getting the job done as fast as they could. They were paying for it now. First break in more time than they wanted to think about and nowhere to stop because every motel was “no vacancy” – usually after they presented themselves at the office in their muddy clothes, after some bone-deep-tired slipup with ID and credit cards, after Sam accidently brushed the palm of his hand against Dean’s hip and everybody makes assumptions.
Dean stood back, arms down at his sides while the clerk eyed them suspiciously. His right hand brushed against Sam’s hip, fucker always stands so close, Dean thought, and the clerk’s expression darkened.
“We don’t like that kind of behaviour here,” he said, and nodded significantly at the ring on Dean’s hand. “You two boys are gonna have to go elsewhere.”
Sam sputtered out an explanation– “what! we’re brothers! we just need a double room for the night!”
Clerk cut him off with a vague sort of wave and pointed at the door. “No vacancy.”
Sam watched Dean carefully; he knew that Dean was tired as hell – all groggy and halfasleep, and not functioning at his best but it’s been too long since they’d been able to stop and this was all too much–
The clerk snapped her bubblegum. “What did you say your name was again?”
Dean snapped back to attention. “...Rob Jones?”
She sighed. “Sir, the credit card says James Earl. I’m afraid there’s no vacancies for you tonight.”
“Dean, we can’t keep driving like this.” Sam paused, looked over and saw Dean’s eyes at half mast. “C’mon, pull over.”
Dean stopped the car, opened the door and walked around to the passenger side while Sam slid over. “Can’t stay in the car, too fucking cold.” Dean shivered and settled against the door.
“I’ll find something.” Sam said, softly, and he turned the heater back up to full blast while Dean slept.
Sam cracked the window open, turned the music up just a little louder: anything to stay awake just for a little while longer.
It was way too easy to find, especially considering how he nearly ran off the road and the dark barn just so happened to be right there. Sam considered it for a minute, but there were definitely worse places and it didn’t look like it was going to fall apart or anything. Better than nothing, in any case.
Sam set the fire up. Dean was sleeping still, hunched in the passenger seat; Sam had just managed to check the place out, make sure it’s okay for them. Everything appeared to be in good shape, and the hay in the loft was even still soft and yellow-green, not half-rotten like he was expecting.
It’s warm, almost too warm, but he knew it just felt like that because they came in from the cold. He looked around and found a big metal trench, like the kind they used to water horses out in pasture. He dragged it over by the fire he built, and draped a hose over, filled it up and let it warm. He stripped down to his bare skin and stepped in, washed his hair and his skin, got out and tugged some boxers, washed his clothes. Dean’s too, mostly. He tipped the trench over and let the water fall through down to the drain in the center of the aisle, then flipped the trench over and laid the clothes on it, let it dry by the fire.
“When were you planning waking me?” Dean asked, voice scratchy and sleepy.
“When I was done.” Sam replied; he shook his head and sprayed water all over the place, grinned at Dean. Dean climbed out of the car, walked the necessary two metres and plopped down on the hay-softened cement beside Sam.
“Abandoned?” Dean asked, and Sam nodded.
“Looks like. Running water, cement floors, hayloft that isn’t too old. I figure we can stay the night, get our bearings in the morning.
They stared at the fire for a while, hips and elbows about an inch apart.
Everything was where it belonged. Wordlessly, they went to the car, gathered up blankets and the supplies they would need, then they made their way up to the hayloft. Settled down into the hay. Sam rolled around over the blankets while Dean picked up stray bits of hay, Sam patted the space beside him and Dean play-grimaced, settled into the space at Sam’s chest, rolled close against his brother and sighed. Sam threw an arm around across Dean’s hips, and didn’t think about how good it felt to have Dean in his arms.
Sam dreamt of sheep singing the Hallelujah Chorus and full grown men dressed in sackcloth and ashes lying in mangers and no room at the end inn for a pair of kids who know more than they should and that nobody would probably really understand anyways-
He woke up. Dean breathed steadily against his throat, and Sam could feel the rise and fall of Dean’s chest, soothing constant in the dark. The fire was low, the light shining against the impala like flames, or maybe morse code, beep beep, beep beep, m’aidez. Somebody calling and asking for their help again.
Dean stirred, muttered in his sleep and Sam gathered him closer than he should.