برزخ (life after)ratings/warnings.
14A for implied sexuality.pairing.
Sam/Dean angst/schmoop via third-party perspective.notes.
1590wc for amchara
. grateful thanks to girlmostlikely
Death doesn't much like his job. "Every soul must taste of death, then to Us you shall be brought back."
The Qur'an. (29.57)
Death was dressed in a three piece suit, and the watch at the end of his fob was pointing directly at midnight. He tapped out a cigarette, put it to his mouth and lit it, breathed deep.
It was dark out, darker than he'd planned or hoped but there was nothing for it. Smoke curled up blue above his head, and Death crouched outside the motel office door to wait.
It wouldn't be much of a wait. The black Impala pulled up to the motel office at twelve after one, and both Sam and Dean stumbled out, looking like they were jittery on their feet, like they'd just burned through too many cups of coffee, too much drive-thru takeout doggie bag fried grease on a bun. Death tossed down his cigarette, stubbed it out. He followed Dean into the motel office, and watched as Dean signed his name 'Roger Moorland'. The kid at the front desk was a young and wide-eyed news junkie, and Death could see that the kid who knew exactly who he was talking to. Give him a break, Death whispered, can't you see he's tired and maybe you're wrong?
Dean smiled and turned around, walked out of the room with the room key. The kid let go of the shotgun underneath the counter, breathed deep and decided that no way no how did Dean Winchester, wanted in six different states, just check into the motel.
Sam stood outside their room, one motel door up from Death. Sam was still hyped up on caffeine and adrenaline – he tapped his foot against the planks of the motel patio and Death could feel it - still wound up from the last kill, the last hunt two states and three hundred miles away. Dean walked up with the room key - they always got the second from the end, only two external walls to worry about and far away from the motel office - he tossed the keys at Sam, let him open up the room while Dean grabbed a couple of bags from the trunk. Sam checked the room out, made sure it was clear. He walked into the bathroom and poured some tap water into a glass (You sure you want that? Death asked) but made a face at it.
"Want to go get something to drink?"
Dean stuck his head around the wall and peered into the bathroom. "I don't think anybody's open right now, Sam." He caught Sam's expression and the baleful look at the tap water. "But if you insist, princess."
The vending machine didn't even have an actual brand on it, just generic no-name stuff, but it wasn't like they were picky. Dean pushed at it a little, rocked it back and forth; he half-hoped that something would fall.
You think that's a good idea? Death asked. Dean paused to let the vending machine settle, then he pulled a paperclip from his pocket and wriggled around a bit, picked the lock that held the wide door closed.
"You want coke?" Dean asked, but Sam rolled his eyes and grabbed a can of iced tea. Dean shrugged and took three cans, balanced them carefully in his arms.
Sam knocked against Dean's shoulder on the way back to the room, and that led to an all-out tussle, knees and elbows rolling and flying - quick darts of action dancing in and out of each other's range until one or both connected with a solid hit.
Dean wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, grimaced and rubbed at the bruises forming on the insides of his arms, these finger-shaped dark marks. "Damnit, Sam-" he ran his tongue over his teeth, "-if you'd have chipped something, I would have broken your face."
Sam barked out a laugh, fingered at the split skin across his cheekbones. "Fuck you, Dean."
"Maybe later, sweetheart," Dean cracked, and shoved Sam into the wall. Sam rolled with it, used the motion to shift into their motel room and push back harder. He didn't seem mindful of his own strength, focus all on what it felt like pressed against Dean. Death kept an eye on the aneurysm at the base of Dean's brain, by the circle of Willis, and it wasn't worse but that last concussion really could have been the last.
He's your brother, Death said quietly, a puff of air against Sam's hands, skin and muscles and bones.
Sam eased off, dropped his hands down to Dean's hips and stepped them both back to one of the beds, enough for them to trip over. Sam braced himself, let his full weight pin Dean down.
"Wasn't enough for you the first time around, Sammy?" Dean said, playfully pushing against Sam's back until Sam shifted, fell off the bed. He smacked his head against the berber floor, and Death rolled his eyes up at heaven beseechingly and prayed that Sam wouldn't breathe in the dust settled into the carpet, that neither would run out of oxygen before they got their fill of each other.
A dog sniffed around the Impala's back tires, left markings. The streptococcus bacteria in its mouth was natural, normal.
Sam slammed the motel door, stalked to the Impala to get a sixpack stashed in the trunk, something they'd forgotten about earlier in their jittery haze. The dog bared its teeth but loped away, and Death relaxed back against the hood of the car, tossed another cigarette butt to the ground.
It's wasn't like they were on a hunt or anything. Downtime between gigs, trying to keep on top of things - they took to sparring like they had a tendency to.
"Mm-mph!" Dean knocked his head back against the plaster, threw himself forward and hit Sam. Sam reeled, rolled back and touched his nose. Death eyed the proceedings warily, crouched down and kept a close eye on the nail head sticking out of the floor about six inches from Dean's head.
"Dean! I thought we said no face shots!" Sam frowned, considered, and hit Dean back.
"That was before you pounced on me- fucking elephant, get off!"
"Trying to!" Sam grinned, more cheerful than he should. Death would have laughed, if laughing didn't clash with his suit.
Dean flipped them around and canted his hips sideways, up against between Sam's legs, grinding hard and bracing his forearm against Sam's chest and shoulders. Not so hard, Death whispered close in Dean's ear. Go easy. You know he's breakable, fragile.
Dean backed off even though Sam was panting in his ear and practically begging for it. "Shit!" Sam hit the back of his head against the door frame, rattling the window and the low table by them both, nearly knocking bottles over, the little boxes of chinese takeout.
"Careful," Dean said, and he smiled crooked and white. "I'm gonna have to take advantage of you."
Thirteen miles away, Jerry Newton was piss drunk and sliding across the bench seat of his minivan, key in his hand barely making it to the ignition. He muttered something about how his wife was gonna kill him, he had to be at work by nine and look, it was eight forty-five already, and he was supposed to have kicked this, and damnit, but why wouldn't the car start-oh wait. The engine turned over, Jerry grinned over the dashboard and gunned the throttle, didn't see the four or seven or twelve stop signs on his way in.
Dean kicked at Sam's feet, sticking out from under the covers. "C'mon, we have to go, have to get back on the road-" His voice trailed off, somewhere in between a song and something else. He held out coffee and a styrofoam box of pancakes and Sam sat up to take it.
"Breakfast in bed, Dean?" Sam grinned, and Dean shrugged.
"I was up."
Sam tooked a sip of the coffee, careful not to burn his tongue. Death stood in the corner of the room, leaned back against the wall and lit another cigarette. You don't need to leave yet, Death said.
Sam grinned at Dean, set the box down to the side and leaned close to grab Dean's jacket lapels, pull him down. Dean twisted, tried to move away, "We have to go, Sam," he said, but Sam shook his head.
"Isn't gonna kill us to stay for a bit." He whispered the words behind Dean's ear, touched his tongue to that spur of bone, ran his hand up Dean's chest and back down, back up under his shirt; felt warm muscle and skin.
"No, no it won't." Dean relented, bent and kissed his brother.
Death stepped outside, some things too secret even for him to know. He eyed the Impala's tire pressure, made a mental note to watch out for that. Then he bent down, flipped the complimentary newspaper to the page with the headline 'Girl discovered alive after weeks underground, investigators mystified', stood up and decided to get back to work.