Title: Washed Weary
Warnings: Naked boys and schmoop. No spoilers
Word count: 2004
A/N: This was written for the square shower together on my schmoop_bingo card.
Summary: It's been a long day and Sam just wants to get clean and go to bed. Dean is unexpectedly helpful.
Being tired was one of those things that just sucked so much more when you were a hunter.
Sam jolted as the car hit a pothole, entire body still thrumming with wire-taut adrenaline even though his brain had started the slow slide into exhaustion a good half hour earlier. He shifted back down to the seat with a shaky huff, not even bothering to wince at the sucking snap-catch of his soaked clothes against the upholstery. The scenery flashed by in blurry lumps of lamplight and Sam dragged his attention from one flash of light to the next in a laughably poor attempt to distract himself from the bone-deep, aching weariness hanging off his entire body.
Jesus fuck, but Sam wanted to sleep for a week.
Black Sabbath was blasting out of the speakers at far too high a volume for so late at night and a glance to Sam's left found Dean ruthlessly awake in the driver's seat, hands white-knuckled around the steering wheel. Dean had stopped muttering about 'slime on the fucking leather' a good twenty miles back which was a clear sign that Sam's brother was just as worn out as he was. There weren't many things that could take the bluster out of Dean Winchester, especially when it came to his baby.
"Fucking finally," Dean said then, and Sam looked up to see the garish neon sign of their motel gleaming out of the darkness.
Dean pulled into the parking lot without bothering to signal, bitching the whole time. "Next time we take on the creature from the fucking blue lagoon, we're getting a closer motel."
And there was the sign that Sam had reached his own limit and then some: he was too tired to bother reminding Dean that a blue lagoon was a drink. And that this was the only motel in town. He hoped he'd remember to mock in the morning.
Silence percolated slowly through the fog in Sam's brain and he blinked out the window at the suddenly stationary world. They'd stopped.
Dean whacked him on the arm. "Come on, Rambo, let's get you inside."
"Shut up." Sam hauled himself out of the car, skin and clothes peeling free from the leather like he was pulling off a scab. Dean watched him over the top of the Impala; Sam could see the fatigue drawing Dean's face taut and thin. Sam slammed the door with a touch too much force and Dean frowned at him.
"Dude, don't take it out on the car just because you decided to go swimming in the haunted lake."
Sam ignored him and squelched his way towards their room. Mud oozed between his toes with every step. Inside his socks. Sam didn't think he was ever going to forget that sensation. "Dibs on the shower," he mumbled.
Dean's eyes rolled, a sickly mix of mud and gray blood dripping down from his temple with the motion. "Wow, that's a shocker. Shove over so I can get the damn door open."
Sam shuffled obediently away, resisting the urge to slump against the wall since he doubted even a Motel 6 would turn a blind eye to the kind of stain he'd be leaving behind. After a moment, the door opened with a click and a 'fucking shit lock' from Dean and Sam staggered in behind his brother, the last dregs of energy bleeding away and leaving him utterly drained. He wobbled to a stop near the foot of the closest bed, waiting for the world to swim back into focus.
From somewhere behind him, he heard Dean make an impatient sound. "Stop dripping on the fucking floor and get your gigantic ass into the bathroom, Sam."
"Mmm." Sam made the trip on autopilot, heavy with fatigue and the sticky cling of his clothes. He left them in a sodden pile on the bathroom floor, turned up the water until it was hot to the point of scalding and climbed in, eyes sliding closed and a contented groan echoing through his chest at the almost-painful batter of the water against his tired body.
He stood like that for several long minutes, some absent part of his brain longing for the days when he'd still been short enough to fit his head and shoulders under the spray. The steady barrage of water did remarkably little to shift the bloody grime from his skin and Sam sighed as he reached for the soap to do the job himself.
And then Dean was there, twitching aside the shower curtain to slide in behind Sam in a glide of slick, bare skin that would have been far more welcome if they hadn't both been liberally covered in monster guts and Sam hadn't felt three steps shy of catatonic.
"Dude," he said wearily, exhaustion clinging to every vowel. "M'tired."
Dean scoffed at him, pressing in close as he reached for something on the ledge. "Moron." His free hand nudged Sam none too gently in the side. "Bend over already so I can reach your stupid hair."
"Huh?" Sam said eloquently. Dean poked him again, with the edge of a shampoo bottle this time, and Sam hunched awkwardly, struggling to find his centre of balance in a too-small tub filled with mud and water and slime and Dean.
The smell of sandalwood invaded Sam's nostrils a moment before Dean's strong fingers dug into his hair, competent and firm as they worked shampoo through the gore. Sam's legs went abruptly boneless and he resisted the urge to croon at the heady sensation.
"Wha-?" he managed, eyes pressing into lazy slits.
"Figure it's the only way I'm gonna get any hot water tonight," Dean said, gruff-voiced even as his hands remained startlingly gentle. "And it'd be a pain in the ass if you drowned yourself in the tub."
"Thanks," Sam said, wincing a little when his tone came out far closer to honest than he'd intended.
"Jesus this shit is hard to get out," Dean said, ignoring him completely. Sam found himself feeling muzzily grateful for that. Dean's elbow jabbed into the small of Sam's back. "Less daydreaming and more washing," he ordered. "The water ain't gonna last forever."
They fell into a companionable silence, Dean a solid presence at Sam's back as they both scrubbed and scraped and rinsed. There was something strangely soothing about the whole process and Sam's brain felt like it had been packed in cotton by the time he'd washed off the worst of the gunk. A glance down showed that the complementary bar of soap had shrunk to half the size it had been when he'd begun.
Dean's hand curved round the nape of Sam's neck. "Duck," he said, palm exerting a steady, even pressure that reminded Sam of years of Dean washing his hair in motel sinks before Sam was old enough to do it himself. Water sluiced down Sam's face and neck as Dean's fingers threaded through his hair to rinse out the shampoo and Sam shut his eyes against the sting.
"There." The press of Dean's hand vanished and Sam couldn't quite stifle a disappointed groan at the loss.
"Sorry Sasquatch," Dean said, and it must have been the fatigue that made it sound so fond. "That's all you get. Now shove."
Sam leaned against the wall as Dean slid under the spray, the slick glide of skin against skin leaving fresh streaks of mud down Sam's ribs.
"You're lucky this is still hot," Dean muttered, squeezing out another dollop of shampoo and starting in on his own hair. Sam watched the muscles in Dean's back flex and pull and he reached out instinctively to touch, nearly dropping the soap when it skidded against wet, slippery skin.
"Dropping the soap," Dean said, in his put-upon voice. "Way to be clichéd, little brother."
Sam goosed him and chuckled at Dean's instinctive curse.
"Think you got that backwards," he said, free hand curving to fit around Dean's hip.
Dean jostled back against him. "Bitch. Either make yourself useful or hand over the damn soap."
"Jerk." Sam started scrubbing at the muck caked on Dean's back. It came off after a brief resistance and Sam noted absently that Dean had managed to avoid getting nearly so filthy as Sam had.
"Cause I didn't get dragged face-down through the swamp by a two-ton water snake," Dean said and Sam belatedly realized that he was apparently tired enough to start thinking aloud. Great.
He muttered an ineffectual 'shut up' against Dean's neck and went back to washing. Dean's back proved to be little trouble, though Sam got a little distracted when he stepped in closer to twine his arms round Dean's sides and wash his front. And okay, having a wet Dean in his arms was plenty distraction most of the time anyway, but Sam was more taken by the strange sort of contentment that was bubbling up inside him at the feel of his brother pressed against him for no particular reason, no adrenaline, fear or hunger to ease the way. Just them, at the weary end of a very long day.
Dean sighed at him, loud and exaggerated. "Geez, you're useless. Gimme." Dean's hand slipped through Sam's, fingers tangling briefly with his before Dean swiped the soap and shifted to take care of the rest of the slime. "You pass out and I'm leaving your sorry ass here."
Sam hummed in absent agreement, still enjoying the unusual calm of the whole encounter. The water was starting to go cold by the time Dean rinsed off the last of the soap and Sam blinked into the sudden silence as Dean shut the water off.
His brother flipped an imperious hand at him. "Out."
Sam's brain was still firing with enough cylinders that he remembered to grab a towel for each of them as he stepped out of the now-filthy tub. "Cleaning staff's gonna hate us," he said, passing Dean one of the towels and stripping water off his limbs with the other.
Dean shrugged, rubbing himself briskly dry. "Nothing new there. Come on, Sammy," he said then, catching Sam by one elbow and steering him none-too-gently out the door. "Bedtime."
"Dude," Sam protested, wincing as he glanced his elbow off the doorjamb. "M'not five anymore."
"No kidding. You bitched a lot less when you were five." Dean tilted his head at Sam and the smile he was wearing wasn't one Sam got see very often. He wished he was more awake to enjoy it. "Now shut up and go to bed."
Dean dropped Sam's arm and veered off towards his pack to dig out something to sleep in. Sam did the same, tugging on the first pair of clean boxers he found and ignoring the way they stuck to his damp skin. Dean was already sacked out in bed by the time Sam clicked off the light and he only debated for a moment before slumping down unceremoniously onto the mattress next to his brother and crawling under the covers.
Dean flailed. "The fuck? Sleep in your own damn bed."
Sam ignored him. He settled in behind Dean, tucked up and not quite touching. "No," he said, the sleep in his voice turning it into a growl. He slung a careless arm over Dean's hip, making no attempt to reel him in and risk getting turfed out of the bed. Just a point of contact. A connection. "M'not moving and neither are you. Deal with it."
There was a moment of silence. "I'm going to make fun of you about this forever," Dean declared, which wasn't anything even close to a 'no'.
Sam's eyes drifted shut. "Monica Keyes," he muttered.
Dean snorted. "That was like twenty years ago. And also, lame. You gotta get some new material."
"Mmm. Whatever." Sam rested his head against the base of Dean's neck, breath puffing out and stirring the hairs there. Night, Dean."
Dean's hand shifted and his wrist bumped against Sam's dangling fingers. Sam smiled into his pillow. "Night, princess."