Sam finds the hunt that changes everything the last Friday in April.

Dean's in the shower and Sam's been surfing random newspapers from the closest four states or so. It's been an hour since Dean went into the bathroom - and honestly, Sam has no idea what he does in there that takes so damn long, because even if he's jerking off - Sam cuts that thought off before it can even fully form and focuses back on the web page opened on his laptop. He finds something after a bit that sounds worth checking into.

The Johnstown Tribune Democrat isn't exactly the New York Times, but he manages to glean enough information between their articles and a few well-worded Google searches to be sure that it's something solid enough for them to check out in person.

He's writing down the details on a piece of motel stationary when Dean finally emerges from the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel. Sam glances up and, after one look at Dean's expansive chest and shoulders, flushes and looks back down at the pad bearing the name of The Wagon Wheel Inn, in Wheeling West Virginia - the alliteration alone makes Sam want to find the person who named it and smack them. And that didn't even begin to cover the wallpaper complete with tiny little prairie schooners or the light fixtures made out of fiberglass wagon wheels.

When he finally looks back up from his research, Dean is dressed and sitting on Sam's bed, cutting his toenails.

"Dude, that's fucking gross, okay?" Sam says, wrinkling his nose as he gets up, tossing the notes he'd amassed during Dean's hour long grooming process into Dean's lap. Dean smirks and tosses the clippers on the nightstand as he picks up the sheaf of papers and starts to scan them.

"New hunt?" Dean asks, looking up at Sam through his eyelashes. His tone manages not to sound incredulous; it's the same tone he's been using every hunt since Wyoming, when they'd wasted the demon with their father looking on.

Dean hadn't been too subtle about his belief that Sam should leave again, especially after Dean's 'year' was up. Forget Dean, leave the life, the hunt. Even if he'd never come out and say it, it was obvious to Sam. The first few weeks, Dean had done nothing but find hunts in the vicinity of Palo Alto, until one day Sam had just ignored Dean's suggested idea of checking out a possible poltergeist and found them a hunt clear down in North Carolina. Dean had just shrugged and pointed the Impala east, but Sam knew the issue wasn't dead.

It was like Dean was just ignoring the huge ticking clock that was always in the back of Sam's head, ticking off days, hours, minutes, seconds until the hell hounds would come for Dean and Sam wasn't sure just how exactly to convince Dean that Sam wasn't going to let that happen, that there was no way for Sam to ever go back to a normal life. Even if Sam wanted it, not that he did. It had taken a lot, including Dean almost dying twice and Sam actually dying for him to come to the realization that this was his life and that he wanted it. Every time he tried to bring the deal Dean had made up, Dean brushed it aside or changed the subject, or, on one memorable occasion, had even got up and walked out of the room.

Sam, for the moment, chooses to ignore the tone and just fills Dean in with what he's learned so far.

"Yeah, 'bout two hours out from what I can gather - small town in Pennsylvania called Johnstown. About a month ago, once the snow had melted and one of the local hiking trails was re-opened, people started disappearing. Six in the past four weeks. One of them was found just the other day on the trail, dead, about a half a mile from where she disappeared," Sam pauses, watching Dean as he continues to scan the notes, biting on his thumbnail as he does so. Dean looks up when Sam stops, so Sam continues, pacing back and forth, hands on his hips.

"There are two witnesses - both of them friends of the dead girl - and both are reporting seeing a man wearing period clothing and carrying a pick axe and a lunch bucket moments before their friend went missing."

Dean chuckles, mirthlessly. "Let me guess, no one believes them?"

Sam nods, smiling. "Bingo. Girls are about sixteen, cops and parents are both saying it's nothing more than over-active imaginations and stress brought on by the death of their friend. But, there is a local legend connected with this particular hiking trail."

Dean smiles too and put down the notes, grabbing a bag of Cheetos from the nightstand before he leans back against the headboard and starts to eat, chewing loudly, mouth open. "Do tell, Sammy, my boy."

Sam frowns as tiny flecks of cheese dot what had been Dean's clean tee shirt, and sits down on Dean's bed, folding his hands together and letting them hang between his splayed knees.

"Back in 1902, an unreported number of coal miners lost their lives in a mine collapse on the side of the mountain where the hiking trail is located. For years, people have reported seeing a coal miner at the sight of the mine accident but up until this year, there have been no disappearances or deaths. But there's also an inclined plane there, as well. One that they just started to renovate this spring," Sam says, watching as Dean connects the dots himself in his head.

"Right around the time people started disappearing on the trail. Could you find out how the girl died?" he asks, sitting up and putting the now empty bag of Cheetos back on the stand.

Sam gets up, grabbing the laptop and showing Dean the page he'd pulled up after hacking into the Cambria County Coroner's server. "Asphyxiation, almost as if she was in-"

Dean's eyes scan the page. "A mine when it collapsed. Jesus, they found coal dust in her lungs? Dude, this guy must be really pissed off."

"Or guys. There aren't any solid reports online of how many casualties there were. Could be as little as two, could be as many as fifteen," Sam says, taking the laptop from Dean and closing it with a snap.

Dean sits back again on Sam's bed. "Guess we're going to Pennsylvania then, dude."

Sam nods. "Yeah. Now get the hell off of my bed, man. I have to sleep there, ya know."

Dean flips him the bird and stands, making sure to brush as many crumbs as he can onto Sam's covers. "Sure thing, princess."

Sam rolls his eyes and goes to brush his teeth, ignoring the short bark of laughter that follows him into the bathroom.

...

They roll into Johnstown on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and check into the sleazy Towne Manor Motel that is situated catty corner to the Inclined Plane. Dean takes one look at it and turns a bit green. Sam snickers and hauls the weapons bag, along with his duffel, out of the trunk. He bumps his shoulder against Dean to get his attention from where he stands, staring up at the feat of late nineteenth century engineering.

"Come on, man. Let's go dump this off in the room then head over to the library. Girl at the desk said it's only a block or two over. Maybe we can find out some more about the mining accident in the local archives or something," Sam says, walking towards the silver and red building that will be their home until they manage to figure out and then solve whatever the problem is.

Dean takes one last look at the hillside and follows, shoulders hunched a bit in his leather jacket, late-April sun glinting off his hair, turning the tips gold. Sam shakes his head at himself and thinks maybe he is the girl Dean is always accusing him of being.

They dump their bags in the questionably clean room and head back out into the sunshine, walking the short distance to the library, only to find it almost deserted. Everything inside seems faded and yellow, the light harsh, as Sam makes his way to the front desk, Dean occupied with studying the dioramas right inside the door.

"Uh, hello," he says to the bored looking middle aged woman working behind the counter. She gives him a wan smile and raises a brow as if to say 'get on with it.' "I'm doing a paper for my history class and I need some information about the mining accident that happened over by the Inclined Plane back in 1902. I found some things online but was wondering if you had any more detailed documents here, maybe."

She sighs and points him towards the elevator about five feet behind where he stands. "Take the elevator to the third floor, ask for Doris. Tell her you need to view the county death records from that year on the micro fiche. She'll set you up." She turns then, dismissing him as she walks away and sits back down to read and finish her coffee. Sam sighs and turns, waves down Dean, who is bent at the waist, face pressed to the glass of the cases containing the dioramas. Sam waves a bit more frantically, finally snagging Dean's attention.

Dean makes his way over to where Sam is waiting by the elevator door, having already pressed the button. He's jiggling his keys in his pocket and Sam slides him an annoyed look. Dean smirks but stops.

"Dude, did you know the first railroad tunnel in the States was around here? There's like a museum or some shit about a half hour away from here. We get this wrapped up quick, we should so check that out." Dean's face is wreathed in a grin and Sam finds himself smiling in return as they listen to the elevator groan and whine its way down to the first floor.

His big brother really is a geek.

The elevator finally arrives and they crowd in, Sam hitting the button marked three as Dean reads the random notices tacked up on the cork board, lips moving around the words. Sam wonders if they're ever going to actually make it to the third floor, winces as the elevator groans some more.

The door finally opens and they head over to the information desk directly opposite the elevator. There is an elderly woman sitting there, cats-eye glasses perched on what Sam thinks was probably once a stunning face. She is still an attractive woman and Sam flushes a little, realizing she's probably old enough to be his grandmother. He sidles up to the desk, leaving Dean to poke through the various brochures and papers beside the desk.

He flashes the woman his best 'you can trust me, aw shucks' grin and she smiles back, eyes twinkling.

"Can I help you, sweetie?" she asks.

He nods. "I hope so. I'm looking for a Doris?"

Her smile brightens. "That's me. I sincerely doubt you're here just to enjoy my sparkling wit and startling beauty, so what can I help you with?"

Sam laughs a little and a flush reddens his cheeks again. "Well, uh. I-the lady at the front desk, she uh.."

Doris gets up from her chair gracefully, chuckling a little as she rounds the desk. She stands in front of Sam and pats his cheek. "I'm just joshin' ya, honey. Barb called and told me you were on your way up. I just love to tease, that's all. Now, come on back, I'll get you set up."

Sam smiles at her and ignores Dean's muffled laughter as they follow Doris around to the front of the building, where the micro fiche machines stand in a line against the front wall, spring sunlight streaming in through the windows. Doris fiddles with the machines a bit and then turns to where Sam and Dean are standing, watching.

She pats Sam's cheek as she passes, smiling. "You boys let me know when you're done."

Dean's smirk grows and Sam huffs, bumps Dean with his shoulder. "Let's get started."

...

Dean had gotten up about an hour into scrolling through the files and Sam found himself relaxing a little once Dean wasn't pressed against his side, fingers covering Sam's on the controls. He'd watched as Dean made his way back into the fiction section behind him, probably to find some romance novel he could mockingly recreate for Sam later, just to watch Sam squirm.

Sam wonders if Dean knows it's because it's Dean and not because of the subject material.

Well, not entirely anyway.

He sighs, eyes going back to the screen. He doubts it. Dean can be incredibly dense when he wants to be.

After another half hour of sitting and flicking through countless century old records, Sam finally hits pay dirt. He copies out the pertinent information then hunts down Dean, who is sitting on the floor in the back corner, Stephen King's 'It' opened on his lap. Sam kicks him with a sneakered foot and Dean sighs, closing the book and shelving it among a bunch of Nora Roberts novels. Sam winces at the abuse of the Dewey Decimal System, but follows Dean as they make their way to the desk to inform Doris they're done. She smiles and gives them a wink before they clamber down the steps, not willing to wait for the elevator again. Or chance getting stuck.

Dean makes Sam stop in the lobby to look at the dioramas and Sam reads the plaques, intrigued despite himself. He makes a mental note to look up the Allegheny Portage Railroad on Wikipedia later and then follows Dean out into the sunlight, onto the sidewalk of Main Street. Dean stands next to a telephone pole and stretches. His tee rides up and exposes a strip of belly and Sam swallows and quickly averts his eyes, something he finds himself doing more and more lately.

Instead of trying to sort things out, place them in the appropriate boxes in his head, label whatever is happening to him, he shoves his hands in his pockets and stares intently at the bank across the street.

"Let's get some food, Dean," he said, watching an old man shuffle down the sidewalk. Dean hums in agreement. The sun is slanting down in the sky, late afternoon, and Sam's stomach rumbles, reminding him he hasn't eaten since breakfast that morning in the truck stop, one of the thousand Truckers America that dotted the country, the ones that Dean always, always made a crude T&A joke about, along Interstate 70.

They head back to the motel, Sam vetoing Dean's idea to eat at the extremely seedy looking bar that is right next to the motel. The bar that was, apparently, at one time a house. Sam wants some decent food and says so. Dean pouts a little and Sam knows Dean will go out later, head to the bar, have a few beers, maybe pick up a girl to fuck against the leather seats of the Impala.

He feels his appetite wane a little at the thought and pushes it aside. They head into the lobby, the same bored looking girl sitting behind the desk and reading a glossy magazine. She sighs when they ask about where to eat and tells them all the good places are up on 'The Hill' and then begrudgingly gives them directions to a few restaurants and the mall.

They head back out, climb in the Impala and then take a left, onto Route 56. It takes about five minutes to get there, Dean doing about seventy along the twists and turns of the four lane bypass. Sam watches the houses fly by, some of them decrepit and ready to fall over, some of them actually resembling homes. The scenery changes, turn into trees and bushes and then they make the big looping turn onto 219, take the exit for Geistown and Elton.

They find a burger joint in the same shopping center as the Super Wal*Mart and head in, Dean swinging his keys around in circles on his pointer finger. They order some burgers and fries, Dean scooping a handful of peanuts out of one of the many boxes and find a table close to the counter. Dean shovels the nuts in his mouth and Sam shifts, uncomfortable as he watches Dean lick salt off his lips. He grabs the cups they were given when ordering and heads over, filling Dean's to the brim with regular Coke, his own with diet.

Their number is called while Sam is fiddling with lids and straws and he grabs the paper bag, stopping to get some ketchup on his way back to the table. He sits the bag down and Dean tears into it, tossing Sam's burger at him and then shoving about eight fries in his mouth at once.

"Dude, gross," Sam says, unwrapping his own burger and taking a bite. Dean opens his mouth, displaying the now mashed up fries in his mouth. Sam makes a sound of disgust and Dean closes his mouth then laughs, before swallowing.

They eat for a bit in companionable silence, a chubby toddler in the booth behind Dean waving at Sam, round cheeks splitting with a huge grin when Sam waves back. Dean gives him a puzzled look then half turns and smiles at the little girl. She waves at Dean and he smiles and she laughs and Sam is tempted to groan. Doesn't matter what age they are, he thinks, as Dean turns back around, licking his fingers instead of using the napkins Sam got. Dean can charm any female.

Dean finishes his burger in record time then starts picking through his fries, eating all the soft ones and leaving the crunchier ones for Sam. He finishes with his own fries, starts to pick through Sam's and then speaks.

"So, what'd you find out, Sammy my boy?" He smears a fry through the huge puddle of ketchup in front of him and then chews loudly. Sam puts down the rest of his burger and wipes both his mouth and hands on a napkin before answering.

"Ten miners were killed, but only four of the bodies were recovered. Those four are buried in Grandview Cemetery, not far from the Inclined Plane." Dean nods as he steals more of Sam's fries. "Bad news is, the other six were never found so their bodies still have to be in the mine."

Dean grimaces and finally decides to use a napkin, wiping at his mouth and then tossing it down on top of his burger wrapper.

"Shit. So we have to fucking find a coal mine in the side of a mountain? One that collapsed over a century ago? Just fuckin' peachy."

Sam sighs. "I managed to find some old land surveys. I have a general idea of where the mine's located, at least."

Dean arches a brow. "Define 'general idea,' Sam."

Sam shrugs. "Have it narrowed down to a quarter mile stretch of the trail, near the bottom." He watches Dean frown and sighs again. "Sorry, Dean. Not much else I can do. Records are sketchy at best. Apparently they had another flood in the thirties here, after the big one back in 1889, and they lost a lot of archives."

Dean huffs out a breath and then sits forward. "Okay, well looks like we're visiting Grandview Cemetery tonight."

Sam nods and picks up his burger before setting it back down, his appetite gone.

...

They go back to the hotel and putz around the room for a few hours. Dean opens the weapons duffel and arranges the guns on his bed, oiling and cleaning them methodically, just like Dad had taught them years ago.

Sam props himself up against the headboard and pulls his laptop onto his legs, checking his e-mail, then Wikipedia for information on the Allegheny Portage Railroad and information about the Lemon House in nearby Cresson. He thinks maybe if they can wrap his hunt up fairly quickly, he'll convince Dean to go. Knows Dean wants to go but won't allow himself the luxury.

But if Sam asks...

They wait until about ten that night and then head out into the mostly deserted town. They find the cemetery easily and Dean whistles through his teeth as they pull in through the ornate gates and cement urns filled with flowers, stopping the car just inside.

The large expansive graveyard is impressive even in the dark. "Dude, this place is fucking huge," Dean says.

Sam rolls his eyes, even though Dean can't see him. "No shit, Sherlock."

Dean reaches out without looking and whaps Sam across the chest. "You better know where these fuckers are buried."

Sam pulls a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket. "I'm not your trusty sidekick geek boy for nothing, ya know."

Dean turns and smiles brilliantly at Sam as he takes the paper. "So you finally admit it, huh? No use fighting the inevitable."

Sam swallows down the urge to taste Dean's smile and nods, turns his head to stare out the open window, the air chilly. Easier said than done, Dean, he thinks as Dean puts the car back in gear, on his way to the Prospect section.

...

They're back at the room by four. Easy salt and burn. No security to speak of, the earth was fairly soft, thank god, and no angry spirits came around to try and stop them. Which just made Sam more certain that the ones causing the problems on the trail were not the ones who had properly been laid to rest.

But they still had to err on the side of caution.

Dean tosses his jacket into the corner of the room and groans, face and neck smeared with dirt. He starts to strip, tossing both his shirts on top of his jacket, and Sam feels his face go hot.

"Dude, I'm covered with fuckin' inches of goddamn grave dirt. Shit always smells so nasty," Dean grumbles, sitting in the rickety chair to tug off his boots. Sam watches his muscles ripple in his arms as he undoes the laces and pulls his left boot off, wiggling his toes in his grimy sock before starting work on the other foot.

Sam feels himself start to harden in his jeans at the sight of his brother taking off his damn boots, like he does after every other hunt. Sam half turns towards the bathroom, then turns back towards Dean, then turns back again before mumbling something about a shower and practically running into the tiny room, slamming the door shut behind himself.

...

Sam jerks off in the shower, trying to block anything remotely resembling his brother completely from his brain. He thinks of Jess going down on him in the stacks at the library at Stanford, the one girl before Jess who had let him fuck her in the ass, Sarah - hell, even Madison, remembering how he bit and fucked her ruthlessly.

But as his climax builds, the image in his mind shifts, as it has for awhile now, to that of Dean, open and panting and spread beneath him. That's all it takes and Sam is coming, biting his lip to muffle the whimper that escapes, hand slapping wetly against the dirty grout and tile. He stands there in the tepid water, blinking slowly, watching as his spunk slowly circles the drain. He finally shakes himself out of the stupor his climax has knocked him into and washes, mind fuzzy. For once, he's grateful for the lack of thoughts crowding his mind.

He towels off and brushes his teeth, makes his way out into the room where Dean is sitting, watching an infomercial about knives or some other ridiculous bullshit. He grunts at Sam and Sam grunts back, both of them worn out from digging up four graves in one night. Sam grabs a pair of clean boxers and a tee out of his duffel and pulls them on, eyeing the bed, then the laptop, then the horizon outside of the window, which is slowly turning shades of pink and orange. He yawns and decides to do a bit of research before sleeping; making sure his mind is as tired as his body.

He studies the land survey again while Dean showers and marks off the area he suspects the mine was located in on a map of the area they'd purchased at Wal*Mart. He bites at his fingernails while he does so, mentally taking inventory of their equipment and then making up a short shopping list for the next day. They don't hike often, thank god, but enough that Sam knows they need more supplies than they have.

Dean comes out of the bathroom wearing a pair of threadbare, damp boxers, and running a towel over his hair. He flops onto his bed, and his towel hits Sam full in the chest where Sam's twisted on his side to put the laptop and notepad on the nightstand. Sam snorts indulgently and gets up to toss it back into the bathroom.

When he turns back around, Dean has his arm up behind his head and is channel surfing, looking relaxed and a bit tired. "So, we going hiking later, Sammy?"

Sam nods and turns out all the lights before flopping onto his own bed, lacing his hands over his stomach. "Yeah, need to hit the Wal*Mart or something later. Haven't been hiking in awhile, gotta get some shit." He yawns, his jaw popping, and Dean sighs.

"Alright." Sam can hear him shifting around on his bed a little and then he stops, clears this throat. "So. While you were in the shower, I was looking some stuff up, think I found a hunt. After we're done here."

Sam feels his hackles raise at the hesitation, the slight tremor in Dean's voice. "Oh yeah? Bit early for that, isn't it, Dean? I mean, considering we don't know how long it's going to take to find these miners' bodies... you really think we should be lining up another job?"

He sits up, turns to face Dean, who is sitting Indian style on his own bed, picking at the sheet beneath him. "Well, just, doesn't hurt to be prepared, Sam. Not like I have a lot of time, here."

Sam's stomach twists, quick and ugly at the reminder. "I know, Dean. And Bobby and I are working on it."

Dean sighs and avoids both Sam's eyes and his statement. "So this hunt. It's not far from San Francisco-"

That's all he gets out before everything Sam's been biting back the past few weeks pours out of him, violent and loud. "Goddammit, Dean! Quit mentioning California!" His tone is low, but he's standing between the beds now, chest heaving and hands clenched.

Dean looks up at him and frowns. "Sam, it's just... time is running out and you gotta start making plans, man, for after... for after." He pauses and Sam grits his teeth so hard he swears he can hear them creaking. "I don't want you to hunt solo after I'm gone." He smiles at Sam then but it's empty, not warm. "You need someone to watch your back. Want to know you're gonna be safe."

Sam wants to throttle Dean but settles for hauling him up by his biceps and shaking him. He can feel his nostrils flaring as he hisses out, "Shut the fuck up, Dean! I'm going to save you!"

Dean snorts and hangs limply in Sam's grip. "Well, if you don't-"

Sam means to shake him again, yell and scream at him that he won't let the hellhounds take him, but what he does next surprises even him. He can tell by the noises Dean makes when he smashes their mouths together that he's shocked Dean, too. He puts everything into the kiss, his aggravation, his need, his fear, his despair; everything - and though Dean struggles at first, after a few moments he starts to kiss back, mouth slick and willing against Sam's.

Sam moans and then slips his arms around Dean's waist before pushing him until they both fall backwards onto Dean's bed. Dean grunts into Sam's mouth when Sam lands heavily on top of him, but Sam doesn't move, just continues to kiss Dean, memorizing his taste, every detail, remembering what drives Dean nuts, what he likes.

Sam's cock is hard in his boxers, and can't remember feeling such an urgent need to come - not since his over-sexed teenage years. It's overwhelming, one of the best things Sam has ever felt. His pulse is loud in his ears, and it's good, so good - almost the same adrenaline rush he gets after a successful hunt, a crackling energy that roars through him.

It's not surprising that kissing Dean elicits the same intensity. It feels right, and Dean tastes like everything Sam's ever wanted, but never given himself permission to have: he's dark and hot like a burning shot of whiskey; sweet and heady like sugary-sweet cake frosting, the kind that's so good it makes teeth ache.

Dean makes a noise in the back of his throat and Sam makes an answering one, noticing that his hand is low on Dean's stomach. He pulls back then, until their lips are barely brushing, watches Dean's eyes - glassy, blown wide - slowly open. Sam slips his fingers below the waistband of Dean's shorts and Dean's eyes flutter shut again as he arches his hips and moans. Sam's fingers wrap around Dean's cock and he bites his lip at the feel of Dean's erection, a bit damp and so fucking hard that he feels his own balls throb in response.

Sam rubs his finger against the tip of Dean's dick, collects the drop of pre-come that he can feel oozing out of the head, and starts to stroke slowly, Dean shuddering against him. He pulls back to watch the emotions flutter across Dean's face as his hips arch into Sam's touch. He catalogues every response, every groan, every flutter of movement, storing it for later, intent on making sure that Dean will never doubt that he wants this, that Sam knows him, in every way.

It doesn't take long before Dean is grabbing at Sam's arm, teeth worrying his lower lip. Sam bends down and bites Dean's earlobe and starts murmuring again, low, how he's going to save him, never leave him, that it's the two of them now, just the two of them, always. Dean lets out a low groan, his eyes popping open to meet Sam's. Sam's breath catches at the naked longing and fear there, before he's distracted by the way Dean is moaning his name as he arches and then comes, hot and sticky, all over Sam's hand and his own shorts.

Dean lays there after coming, looking fucked out and gorgeous. His features are lax, chest heaving and skin flushed while he murmurs encouragement to Sam as he scrambles to get his own dick out, pulling down Dean's underwear and then rutting against Dean's hip frantically, his dick smearing through Dean's come. Sam snarls and bares his teeth and knows it won't take long, can't take his eyes off of his fucked-out and naked brother beneath him. He feels the orgasm burst inside of him when Dean cups his neck and urges him, softly and urgently, to come, that it's okay. Sam whimpers Dean's name and spills helplessly, hips stuttering into his own come where it's laying thick and messy on Dean's hip and lower stomach.

They lie there for a few minutes, Sam panting, Dean brushing a hand over Sam's hair, and then Dean pulls at Sam's shirt in an obvious effort to get him to take it off. Sam shrugs out of it and Dean uses it to clean them up before balling it up and tossing it on the floor. Sam presses his face into the damp space between Dean's neck and shoulder and feels sleep tugging him under. He distantly thinks they're going to have to talk about this later, and doesn't look forward to confessing to his older brother that he's in love with him and that he wants to make this a regular thing.

That's his last thought before sleep claims him.

...

Sam wakes hours later, sun streaming in through the ancient curtains and Dean holding back said window treatments, dressed and sipping at what Sam assumes is coffee. Sam must make some sort of noise because he turns, face carefully shuttered and closed off. Sighing, Sam stands up and stretches, back popping audibly. Dean turns back to the window, black tee taut across his shoulders.

"Something big's going down 'cross the street, Sammy. Whole shitload of fire engines and cop cars. Figure we can go down as soon as you get your gigantic ass showered, see what's up and then head to the store," he turns to watch Sam, guarded, and anger starts to bubble in Sam's chest.

"Yeah, sure," Sam says, grabbing some clean clothes out of his duffel. "Gimme twenty."

Twenty-five minutes later, they're standing on the sidewalk in front of the motel along with a small crowd of curious onlookers as rescue workers carry a body bag from the hiking trail to a waiting ambulance. Dean is standing about ten feet away, talking to the girl from the lobby. Sam sniffs into his crappy cup of coffee, watching Dean leer and the girl simper in response. He turns away and stares at the slow afternoon traffic along the road when it gets to be too much, only looking back over when he hears the clomp of Dean's boots on concrete.

"Get any information?" he practically sneers, and instantly wants to smack himself. Dean eyes him weirdly for a second and then kind of shrugs, gestures towards the hillside.

"Found another body. One of the people who've been missing. No I.D. yet, but I'm willing to bet none of the guy we salted and burned were behind this. So, looks like it's nature hike time for us." He pulls a pack of Trident from his pocket and pops a piece in, chewing loudly before turning and looking at Sam again. "Police'll probably be crawling all over the damn place the rest of the day, so we might as well head to the store, grab what need then take the rest of the day off, head over tomorrow bright and early."

Sam frowns, figuring Dean probably has a date set up with Little Miss Front Desk. He sighs and drains that last of his coffee from the paper cup.

"Alright, let's go."

...

The trip to Wal*Mart only takes them about an hour. Dean stops at a McDonald's drive-thru on the way back into downtown, shoving fries indeterminately straight from the bag into his mouth. He pants a little when they burn his tongue and Sam finds himself questioning his sanity because, instead of being appalled, all he wants to do is lean across the bench seat and lick salt crystals from his brother's lips.

They unload their purchases into the room when they get back to the motel and once inside, Dean spreads out on his bed with the rest of his fast-food, hogging the remote and forcing Sam to watch the crappiest daytime television known to man. Sam makes a face and sits down at the rickety table, firing up the laptop just to occupy himself. They manage to co-exist in relative silence for the next half-hour, barring Sam's inner seething and the smacking, obscene noises Dean makes as he devours his Big Mac.

Sam manages to push down his annoyance at how Dean is ignoring whatever happened between them last night and how pissed he is at everything until Dean turns on the porn. Normally, Sam doesn't really care; they grew up in close quarters, it's not like they don't know about each other's proclivities and preferences. But after what transpired between them, Sam just can't take it and slaps the laptop closed, snapping at Dean as he does so.

"God, Dean, do you fucking mind?"

Dean raises an eyebrow, one hand tucked into the waistband of his unbuttoned jeans. "Um, no, I don't, Sam. Jesus Christ, what crawled up your ass and died today, huh?"

The fact that Dean is intent on just glossing over the fucking amazing orgasms from the night before makes Sam's eyelid twitch with frustration. He stands up and flicks the TV off on his way into the bathroom. He ignores Dean's yell of indignation and spends the next half-hour clenching his teeth against the cold water in the shower and trying to will himself to not throttle his brother.

Or fuck him into next week. It's a toss-up as to which is the more likely outcome of the day's events.

...

When Sam emerges from the shower, still toweling off his hair, he catches sight of Dean doing what can only be described as primping in front of the mirror above the dresser. He's wearing a clean shirt and, Sam sniffs and feels his stomach sink. He's wearing cologne.

"Going somewhere?" Sam says, voice full of venom. Dean turns and looks at him like he's suddenly grown an extra two heads.

"Um, yeah... Figured might as well go over to Jerry's next door, make friendly with the locals. Jesus, Sam, is it your time of the month or something? All damn day you've been snappin' at me and glarin' and just being a bigger bitch than normal." Dean looks honestly incredulous as to what Sam is so clearly upset about and Sam feels the thin tether holding his anger in check snap.

"You really wanna know why, Dean?" he asks, crowding Dean against the dresser, noting with interest that instead of going wide with fear, Dean's eyes are actually dilating. He presses closer until the water on his damp towel starts to seep into Dean's jeans. "I am pissed because I jerked you off last night and then came all over you and this morning, all of today?" He grinds closer, lets Dean feel his sudden erection. "You've been acting like nothing's changed."

Dean swallows, throat audibly clicking, eyes darting down and around but never meeting Sam's piercing gaze. "S-sammy, man, come on, it was just a-a fluke-"

Sam grabs Dean's biceps and gets in his face, panting, shaking him a little until Dean's eyes meet his. "No, it fucking wasn't, Dean." And then he slams his lips down onto Dean's, forcing that wide mouth open. Dean struggles for a moment, hands scrabbling against the cheap wood of the dresser before finally wrapping around Sam's waist - hands curling in and fucking clinging, and that's it, Sam's gone. He groans into Dean's mouth, licking and sucking at Dean's tongue, dragging him over towards the bed and practically throwing him down on the mussed covers. The burger wrapper left over from earlier crinkles as it's pushed aside.

Dean just stares up at him as Sam flicks the towel off, startled eyes dropping down to Sam's crotch and widening a little. Sam can't help the smirk, nor can he help the twitch his cock gives when Dean licks his lips. He reaches down and circles the base of his cock, squeezing hard once and watching Dean's eyes shoot back up to his face.

"Get undressed," Sam orders, voice low and brooking no argument. He waits a second, and Dean only hesitates briefly before he's obediently stripping, wriggling around on the bed, throwing his clothes everywhere. Sam turns and digs out his half-empty bottle of lube and a condom and tosses them on the nightstand between the beds before kneeling between Dean's outstretched legs. Dean looks dazed, cheeks pinks and cock standing up, flushed with blood and leaking. Sam's mouth waters and his balls tighten at the sight; he knows he won't be able to take his time tasting all of Dean like he wants to, the need to be inside of his brother burning in his gut.

Later, he promises himself as he flips open the bottle of lube, drizzling some on his fingers. He'll lick and suck and bite every fucking inch of Dean's gorgeous body later. He bends down, tongue flicking out to taste the head of Dean's cock while his slippery fingers trace circles around Dean's hole.

Dean lets out a whine that sounds like Sam's name and Sam smiles to himself, takes Dean in deeper, and knows, without a doubt, that whoever Dean was planning on meeting at the bar is nothing more than a memory now.

As Sam slips another finger inside his brother while sucking on the head of his cock, he vows to make sure they stay that way.

Dean is writhing on the bed, hands clutching the pillow beneath his head, fingers white and teeth bared. His skin is slick with sweat as Sam opens him up, fingers scissoring and stretching. Sam mouths at his cock, keeping him on the edge, and when he feels Dean's balls tighten up, he pulls back, fingers sliding slickly out.

Dean's eyes pop open, the green of his irises all but obliterated by his pupils. Sam grins as he rips open the packet, slides the condom down over his cock. "Gonna fuck you, now, Dean. Gonna fuck you so good." He runs a soothing hand down Dean's flank, fingers tracing the hot skin of Dean's hip, digging into the groove there a little as the blunt head of his dick brushes against Dean's opening.

He eases in slowly, petting and stroking Dean like one would a skittish horse. Dean bites into his lip so hard a tiny speck of blood wells up and Sam bends down, sucks it into his own mouth before sealing their lips together as he bottoms out. He knows how this feels from where Dean's at now, experimented a bit in college with other boys and Jess, and pulls back, stays still, knows how it can feel so overwhelming and almost too good. He lets Dean adjust to the feeling of being almost too full, knows the exact moment it goes from being too much to not enough - can see it in the lines of Dean's face, can feel it in the tiny hitches of his hips.

Sam's thrusts are slow and steady as he starts to move, his skin already covered with a film of sweat as Dean writhes beneath him, Dean's cock a hard line trapped between them. Sam blinks back the sweat stinging his eyes and leans down, mouthing at the salty-slick skin of Dean's neck, worrying his ear lobe with his teeth.

Dean hisses and digs blunt fingertips into Sam's shoulders, hard enough Sam knows he'll have bruises tomorrow. He smiles into Dean's skin at the thought of being marked and starts to murmur, voice rough and low with exertion.

"God, Dean, so hot like this, all for me, mine, all mine," Sam says as he continues to nip at Dean's ear. Dean whines and clenches tighter around Sam, making Sam thrust just that bit harder, deeper inside of him. "Never gonna leave you, Dean. Always going to stay, always going to be here. C-can't leave you, Dean."

Sam pulls back, watches as Dean turns his head to the side, eyes clenched shut tightly as if Sam's words were physically hurting him. Sam knows what Dean's thinking, knows Dean thinks that this, them, what they have is temporary because everyone Dean has ever loved has left him, including Sam. Knows that's why he didn't say anything this morning, even made a date with a girl. Figured he'd give Sam an easy out, protect Sam like he's been doing his whole life. Equal parts of Sam want to smack him and kiss him, for being such a dense idiot. Sam swears silently to keep telling him until he believes Sam, but until then, Sam does what he can.

Which is lean down and kiss Dean, force his mouth open under Sam's, kiss him, deep and hot and messy. Until Sam prays, hopes, needs that Dean can taste the honesty of his words. And realizes he means every last one of them.

...

Sam wakes the next day to a steaming cup of a coffee and a naked Dean wandering around the room. He feels his dick twitch with interest but forgoes trying to coax Dean back into bed with him, knowing Dean has to be sore since he himself is feeling well-fucked and loose. Plus, the coffee smells fucking amazing and he knows they have better things to do than stay in bed all day and fuck.

But oh how tempting the idea is, especially when Dean turns around and smiles, cheeks pink with whisker burn and maybe a bit of a blush, Sam can't quite tell. Sam smiles back and holds up the coffee cup.

"Thanks, man, smells awesome." He takes a sip and wants to moan as the taste of a dark roast with the right amount of milk and sugar burst across his tongue. Heaven. "God, fuckin' tastes awesome, too. Where did you get this?" He takes another sip and stands up, licking his lips.

Dean heads into the bathroom to brush his teeth, but not before he brushes against Sam, their naked chests sliding against one another. Sam inhales sharply and sets his cup down, digging some clean clothes out. Dean starts talking around a mouthful of toothpaste, spraying the mirror as Sam walks in and turns the shower on. He makes something out about 'front desk,' 'woke up early,' and maybe 'sheets?'

Sam just shakes his head and climbs in the shower, the crappy water pressure and uncontrollable temperature not bothering him this morning. He wets his hair and his eyes pop open when he feels a gust of cold air raise goose bumps on his skin. He gapes at the sight of Dean crawling into the stall with him. Dean, who for all his usual bravado, looks equal parts turned on and scared shitless. Sam, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, reaches out and cups his face, presses a kiss to his mouth and can feel Dean's hesitation start to melt away. He smiles against Dean's lips and licks against the seam of them with his tongue, groans when Dean opens for him, Dean's mouth rich with the taste of coffee and cinnamon.

They stand under the spray and kiss for a few minutes, Sam relearning Dean's taste in the daylight, and then Dean is pulling away, eyes alight with mischief as he sinks to his knees. Sam flails one hand out to brace himself against the tiled wall, feels all the blood in his body rush south, fill his cock near to bursting. Dean circles him with his fingers, jacks him once, slowly, and Sam hunches forward, mouth dropping open in shocked pleasure when Dean's tongue flicks out and gathers the droplet of pre-come at the tip onto his tongue.

He teases Sam with tiny licks and laps against the head before looking up at him, eyelashes spiky with water and hair matted down, and taking Sam deep inside of his mouth. Sam brings his fist to his mouth and bites down, eyes never leaving Dean's face as he blows Sam. He's tentative at first and Sam takes his hand, teeth marks visible on the back, and cups Dean's head, guides him and shows him. Murmurs soft instructions until Dean gets the hang of it, slurping and bobbing until Sam's hips are hitching into the hot, wet ecstasy that is Dean's mouth.

Sam starts up his litany again, promising never to leave Dean, that he'll always be there, that it's them against the world, that he's going to save Dean. He doesn't get as far as he did the night before though because Dean, the stealthy bastard, sneaks a finger back and starts teasing around Sam's entrance with it, dipping slowly inside as he sucks on the head of Sam's cock.

Sam jerks, grunts out Dean's name and bends forward even further as he comes, pleasure a shock along his system as he empties himself in Dean's mouth. Dean pulls away, sputtering, and the last couple jets catch him on the chin. Sam looks down, feeling hollowed out and dazed, rubs his come into Dean's skin. Dean watches him and Sam realizes Dean jerked himself off while blowing Sam, has already come. He feels his dick twitch in response and Dean smirks but neither say anything.

...

They spend the better part of the morning and early afternoon combing the hillside for the collapsed mine to no avail. Dean is frustrated and sweaty by the time they decide to call it a day and Sam isn't far behind him. Although, he has noticed a shift in Dean's behavior - the shower blow-job notwithstanding. Dean's always been a tactile person, better at actions than words - a doer, not a talker - and apparently in this, he is no different. All day long he's been brushing against Sam, a hand lingering on Sam's lower back as they got their gear out of the Impala's trunk, cupping the back of Sam's neck as he passed him on the trail at the end of the day, Dean's cheek streaked with dirt.

Sam knows if two older women hadn't hiked passed them at that exact moment, he and Dean might have very well ended up naked and writhing in the clump of bushes right off of the path. Dean turns around when he notices Sam hasn't followed and bellows something about using all the hot water at the hotel and Sam tries to find the irritation he'd usually feel at his brother's words, his taunting when he called Sam 'Sasquatch.'

It isn't there; instead, it's replaced by a warm feeling in Sam's chest, one he's never felt, not even for Jess. He smothers a smile and walks a bit faster, wanting nothing more at that moment than a shower and a bed and Dean beside him.

...

They're back on the hillside sometime after midnight, flashlights in hand, shivering in the cool spring night in their thin jackets. Sam hefts his pack higher on his shoulder and turns to watch Dean's progression behind him up the steep hillside: he's swearing and slip-sliding in the soft earth under his feet. Sam stifles a laugh. They've left the hiking trail, sticking close to the large wooden ties that make up the tracks for the Inclined Plane. The attraction is dark, the moon hidden by clouds and the air smells of a coming rain storm. Sam hunches his shoulders in tighter and shoves his hands in his pockets, dreading the hike back down to the hotel in a rain shower.

They're about halfway up, Dean cursing the whole way, when they find it. Sam, quite literally, trips over an old, warped wooden board, and when he shines the small beam of light at the ground, something seems off. He bends down and runs his fingers over the spot and finds a small hole. He calls out to Dean and within fifteen minutes they've uncovered a hole into one of the collapsed mine's tunnels.

Dean shines his light down in and they estimate the drop down at about eight feet. Sam goes first, being taller, even though Dean grumbles when Sam points this fact out. First his pack, then himself, and he grabs Dean's pack when it's handed to him. Dean is next, landing with a small thud and a rather loud expletive that echoes in the earthen tunnel. Sam kneels down and digs out the paper containing the mine's schematics, hoping to figure out where they are.

From his research, he has a general idea of where the collapse had occurred. He wasn't informing Dean that he was only about eighty percent sure they were near where they needed to be. Dean hated enclosed spaces like this and Sam tended to agree with him. Added to that were memories of Colorado and finding Dean strung up like a side of beef.

Sam's thoughts must have been reflected on his face. Dean lays a hand on his arm, gentle, eyes questioning. "You alright, Sammy?"

Sam nods and Dean gives him a quick smile, flash-bright, and they start heading off in the direction of the collapse. Or so Sam hopes.

It's quiet, eerily so, and the whole place reeks of wet earth, old rotting wood, and decay. It doesn't take them long to find the collapse. They must've come in on the side the miners had been trapped in, and Sam feels a dizzying sense of relief at how easy this is going to be and just how hard it could've been if they'd found another way in on the other side of the hill. The miners lay where they fell and Sam wonders about the way they came in, figures it hadn't been there when the mine had collapsed, but over time, erosion had opened up an alternate entrance.

Dean sets his duffel down and digs out the salt and accelerant while Sam does the same. Three of the miners are congregated on one side of the tunnel with two more half-buried in the rubble and one across from the other three, bones still wearing the tattered clothes that had been donned over a hundred years ago.

Dean takes the three huddled together by unspoken agreement and Sam takes the lone skeleton against the other wall. They might have to shift some rocks around to get the other two skeletons salted and burned and Sam knows it'll take both of them, prays they don't compromise the albeit already not-so-structurally sound mine. He sighs, and in no time, flames are scorching along the bones.

The smoke fills up the small tunnel and Sam curses himself for not having thought of that sooner. Dean has a bandanna wrapped around his face and he smacks Sam in the shoulder, holding out a blue scrap of fabric almost identical to the one he's wearing. Sam smiles gratefully in between coughs and covers his mouth with it, cursing silently when he catches some of his hair as he ties the knot.

Sam goes to his pack and starts to dig out more salt when he feels Dean tugging on his jacket. He straightens and as he turns to ask Dean what he wants, a movement a bit further down the tunnel catches his eye. When he focuses on it, the words die in his throat and he finds himself bending again, hands blindly fumbling for his shotgun filled with shells of rock salt.

There, about fifteen feet from where Sam and Dean stand, are two flickering men, garbed in tattered clothing, miner's helmets on their heads and giant pick axes in their hands, slowly advancing on them. Dean is bending down for his own gun when Sam brings his up and then suddenly, the spirits are gone. Sam turns to look at Dean and then all he can feel is a cold whoosh and he's being tossed through the air. His head snaps back violently, white lights exploding in front of his eyes, a loud rush of noise ringing in his ears, and then... nothing.

...

Dean's yelling at him. Sam briefly thinks there's an earthquake, too, but then he realizes he's the one shaking, not he ground. Actually, he's being shaken. He opens his protesting eyes and finds Dean's face above him, streaked with soot and dirt and worry. Dean's face crumples a bit, relief pouring out of him when Sam croaks out a rough, "Did you get 'em?"

Dean pats his cheek then smiles, shakily. "Yeah. Your huge ass being thrown into the rocks actually knocked their skeletons loose. Made it fairly easy to salt and burn them. But not before they tried to fuckin' hit me with their damn pick-axes."

Sam wheezes out a laugh and then realizes Dean's still cupping his face, warm, rough fingers stroking down his jaw line and over his cheeks. His eye fly up to meet Dean's and this weird look flits across his features when he meets Sam's gaze but it's gone almost immediately, his features shuttering before Sam can decode it.

And anyway, he's too busy in the next few minutes, what with Dean's tongue in his mouth and all. He makes a small sound of surprise when Dean leans down and presses a kiss to his lips, mouth needy and hungry, but Sam prides himself on being able to get with the program and fast. Dean whimpers into the kiss and then pulls back, tongue taking one last pass behind Sam's teeth, dragging out a small sound from Sam.

He's smiling, beaming even, and Sam finds himself smiling in response as Dean stands, all agile, lithe grace, before offering a hand to Sam.

"Come on, Sammy. Let's go back, take a shower, get your head looked at."

Sam lets the warmth from Dean's kiss and his affectionate tone warm him as they scrabble out of the mine shaft. He doesn't even notice the throbbing in his head or the cold splatter of the rain as they slip-slide down the hill, Dean laughing like a fool when he loses his footing and slides on his ass for about ten feet. Sam finds himself joining in at the sheer delight on his brother's face.

Once back at the hotel, they take quick showers after stripping off sodden, muddy clothes, Dean going first. Sam stands under the stream of water when it's his turn and prods lightly at his head, hissing when a sharp jolt of pain stabs through him. He washes quickly after that, hissing again when he gets to his hair. He stumbles out into the room, skin erupting in goose bumps at the chilliness of the air. He's still damp and wearing only a towel, but even that becomes unnecessary when he catches sight of Dean sprawled on Sam's bed, naked, eyes hooded, one hand lazily stroking his cock.

Sam will admit he can be shy around women and occasionally slow on the uptake when someone is genuinely interested in him but he knows a blatant invitation when he sees one.

He thumbs open the towel, lets it drop to the floor, and crawls onto the bed, bracing himself between Dean's outstretched legs. He runs a soft hand up the inside of one thigh, smiling to himself as Dean bites his lip and shivers.

"Don't you think I should have my head checked out?" he asks, smirking although his head injury is the last thing on his mind, all the blood in his body seemingly filling his cock to bursting. Dean arches an eyebrow at him.

"You really want me to stop and look at your boo-boo, Sammy?" He takes his hand away from his own cock and grabs Sam's hip pulling him close. Sam chuckles and braces himself above Dean, bends down and nuzzles at his neck.

"Naw, not really," he answers as he sinks his teeth into the side of Dean's neck, right above his pulse. Dean writhes and wraps a leg around Sam's calf, arching into him, cock dragging wetly against Sam's stomach. Sam shivers and pulls back, making as if to get up off of the bed, mind on lube and condoms, when Dean's hand on his arm stops him.

Dean looks sheepish for a minute before he drags Sam's hand back to his entrance, which is slick and stretched and... Oh, god, Sam thinks, hand circling the base of his cock, hard, to keep from coming at the thought of Dean opening himself up for Sam while Sam was in the shower. He bends down and presses a bruising kiss to Dean's lips, Dean letting out a surprised 'oomph!', and then positions himself, the head of his cock easily breaching Dean.

Sam pulls back, eyes tracing the familiar lines of Dean's face as he pushes inside, watching Dean's brow wrinkle then relax, that full mouth falling further and further open the deeper Sam goes. Once he's seated deep inside, he bends down, kissing Dean soft and sweet before pulling back, movements languid and unhurried. Dean wraps himself tight around Sam, arms and legs, head thrown back into the pillows as he moves with the pace Sam set.

Sam starts up his litany again, all his internal filters and barriers gone. His voice comes out low, almost broken-sounding, as he fights the climax building at the base of his spine. He noses gently along the edge of Dean's sweaty hair, whispering in his ear.

"I'll never leave you, Dean, gotta - gotta believe me. I'll never leave, you're all I have, you're mine, Dean. I'll always be here for you, please Dean, please - " He breaks off when he realizes he's pleading, voice strained.

But this time, this time, Dean brings his hands up, cupping Sam's face and kissing him, once, before pulling back to speak against his lips. "I know, Sammy. I know," he whispers softly, wrapping himself even tighter around Sam.

Sam cries out, feels the orgasm wash over him as he pulses inside of Dean, vision briefly whiting out before he collapses. It takes him a minute to worry about getting Dean off but then the stickiness on his belly registers and he smiles, slowly easing out and rolling to the side. Dean is already half-asleep and he doesn't protest when Sam pulls him close.

Sam falls asleep as the sun starts to peek through the curtains, a tiny smile playing on his lips.

...

They sleep all day and check out late then grab a quick bite to eat at a Wendy's, the afternoon sun a glaring presence as Sam takes the pickles off of his burger, handing them to Dean. When the car pulls out onto the highway, Dean's arm is slung casually across the back of the seat, fingers gently playing with the fringe of Sam's hair.

Sam smiles to himself at the action and how telling it is. He stuff some fries in his mouth and vows once more to not let Dean go. Just then, almost as if Dean's the one with the freaky mind powers, he looks over after coasting to a stop at a red light, eyes shadowed.

"Sam... I... Whatever this is, it's just gonna make it harder when I... you know..." He trails off when Sam glares and leans over to give him a swift, hard kiss.

"You leave that bitch to me. No one messes with what's mine."

Dean smirks at that and presses on the gas when the light turns green. "Well alright then."

He pops a tape in the deck, Zeppelin IV, and Sam taps his fingers against the dashboard as they head out, headlights turned towards the setting sun.

END





Author's Note: So this is totally unamaga's fault. Way back in April, we had a chat one night, about UST and Sam being the seducer. I was still high on pain meds from my oral surgery but started writing it the next day, flailing at Mel in e-mail and what-not.

So then I didn't touch it for about a month. Then! spn_50states came around and it hit me - I could use this fic and have it be about a hunt here in Johnstown, set after All Hell Breaks Loose. I would soon realize that was easier said than done. But after almost four months, it is complete, and I just want to thank unamaga for being this fic's surrogate mommy and even going so far as to beta-ing it.

The hunt is based off of this local legend, which I bent to suit my purposes. Everything else is real; The Inclined Plane, the seedy Towne Manor Motel, Grandview Cemetery and of course, The Allegheny Portage Railroad.

Title stolen from Imogen Heap's song 'Speeding Cars,' which has been this fic's working title since the beginning