The Glamorous Life
Summary: Dean’s infected by an incubus. Complications ensue. Dean/many others; Sam/Dean. NC-17.
Disclosures: At least as many issues of consent as you’d expect. There’s also non-incubus nonconsensual sex. And, according to Thuvia, it’s a weirdly happy story, go figure. Thanks to betas thuviaptarth , giandujakiss , and geekturnedvamp .
Read the whole thing as one file.
That was how long they’d had Dean. Sam knew, in a distant corner of his mind that wasn’t taken up with other things, that he shouldn’t be counting, that it was fucking with his judgment. But the count went on nonetheless.
It began with a hunt as random as any of the other post-non-apocalyptic missions.
Men and women in small towns clustered around a sixty-mile radius of Des Moines had been complaining of draining dreams—some would admit to “disturbing,” which meant erotic—and then turning up dead.
Dean loved the idea of hunting an actual succubus so much that Sam had needed to restrain himself from smacking Dean for the constant tasteless jokes.
At the bar outside the fourth town, Sam had been focused on the off-duty sheriff’s deputy, gently extracting the details. When he’d turned back to their table, Dean had been gone.
After all they’d been through in the past few years, there was zero chance that Dean had just run off to get laid by some corn-fed apple-cheeked girl. But succubus-knapped—yeah, if you got your sustenance from sexual energy, Dean had to look like a Super-Sized Happy Meal.
So now Sam was searching frantically for some extra bit of information, some way to make sure what kind of succubus he was looking for, out of all the varieties. He’d started with the standard types, but couldn’t pin anything down. There was Poco Bawa or a lidérc. Might even be a boto; the Chariton River was freshwater, and who’d think to look for a Brazilian import in middle America? But both men and women were afflicted, and the boto was supposed to go after women only.
The most likely thing was a European sex demon. Before Dean’s disappearance, he hadn’t worried much about it. They’d been planning on a basic exorcism—the classics all responded well to a good exorcism—but now he read in Sinistrari that incubi had no dread of exorcism and no reverence for holy things.
He planned to investigate their attitude towards shotguns.
Once he found it, that was, which was his other problem. They’d already plotted the deaths on a map and found no pattern, mystical or otherwise.
Bobby had told him how to gin up a protective amulet, but hadn’t been able to help on the location. And yeah, when he got Dean back there’d be time to kick himself about not getting the protective amulets before starting the hunt; right now, guilt was worse than useless.
Sam checked his computer to make sure that sundown was over. If he fucked this up because of some cloud between him and the sun, he’d have to wait another day, and that wasn’t going to happen.
Reassurance complete, Sam stared down at his bowl of water and salt, surrounded by the intricate charcoal drawings. Dean had made him promise not to do witchcraft any more, like if he didn’t put Ruby’s teachings to use then what Ruby had done to them could be forgotten. But what Dean didn’t know would fill a hunter’s journal, and anyway this was only witchcraft, not exercise of demon powers. Any evil Sam was doing was purely human.
Carefully, he added the hairs he’d taken from the collar of Dean’s jacket. They were light enough that they didn’t break the surface tension of the water, floating in a pattern that looked like a rune that Sam almost remembered studying once, long ago.
He raised his knife and carefully cut across the back of his forearm, the least inconvenient place for the results he needed. The blood dropped down, coating the hairs, swirling into the water until the entire bowl turned as black as a demon’s eyes.
After a minute, little flashes of light started to appear in the water, yellow and dim like fireflies at dusk. One at a time, then several, and then the black water snapped to white like someone had reversed all the colors in the world.
“Dean,” Sam said, and the bowl filled with his brother’s face. His eyes were only half-open, but Sam could see by the slight movement of Dean’s lower lip that he lived.
“Show me who has him,” he continued, and got a view of a dining room table, eight people around it. The first one he looked at redefined beauty; the next wiped the first from his head, and on and on. He almost reached out to touch the surface of the water, just to be closer to them, before he remembered himself and pulled back, sickened and even angrier. Multiple incubi and succubi: no wonder no pattern had been apparent.
“Where?” Like a slideshow, he saw a door with a number on it, then a driveway, then a street, but he had all he needed, and he swept his hand across the black sigils on the floor, smearing them into nothing more potent than coffee grounds.
This was a much better way to work than having to talk to anyone else.
Because his remaining psychic powers were a fuckload less reliable than his balkiest shotgun, Sam didn’t bother squinting and pointing. He fired the consecrated round straight into the forehead of the incubus who answered the door, then shot another in the shoulder as the first one fell. They were still beautiful even with the protective power of the amulet.
He fired his left-hand gun at the motion he sensed off to his side, then finished off the shoulder-hit one, a vision of soft hair and blood. Turning, he fired twice more, heart and gut, and that was three down. The fourth came at him with a fireplace poker, of all things, but then they couldn’t be used to defending themselves with anything other than their own glamors. Sam put the poker-wielding succubus down with a head-tap, checked quickly for anything moving on the first floor, and bolted for the stairs. They might be keeping Dean in the basement, but he was betting on these monsters going more for bedrooms.
Unfortunately, the gunshots had fucked up his hearing, and so he couldn’t rely on the absence of detectable sound upstairs.
Sure enough, there was a succubus in the first room off the hallway at the top of the stairs, scrabbling at the window as she attempted to force it open enough to escape. He shot her between her shoulders (perfect curves of bone, hair shining like molten silver) and didn’t wait to watch her fall.
Motion at the end of the hall—two of them, incubi, hands raised and cowering, mouthing some words like ‘please’ and ‘don’t hurt us.’ Sam’d seen that before when evil creatures knew they were trapped. Mercy was for humans. And Sam wasn’t exactly human, so he fired three times more and they were still.
He kicked in three doors before he found Dean. Dean was tied naked to a bed with a quilted pink comforter, surrounded by ruffles and fake flowers—how he’d hate that, Sam thought. He’d probably pretend that was the worst part of the whole experience, and Sam would let him get away with it because really, what else was Sam supposed to do?
Sam stuffed his right-hand gun in the back of his jeans and approached the bed.
A screeching, clawing weight landed on his back, ripping at his neck. The thing hissed and he smelled burning flesh, but the thong holding the amulet parted as he spun around. He heard it thunk against the floor.
She was the most stunning creature he’d ever seen; she smelled like cherries and sunshine, and her eyes were foxfire-green. She was cradling her injured hand in her other arm, looking at him beseechingly.
“Sweetheart,” she said. “I’ll take care of you just like your brother.”
Sam blinked. His thoughts ran as slow as blackstrap molasses. Dean was on the bed behind him. Sam could be on that bed too, with the succubus. He frowned; he was pretty sure there was something wrong with that scenario, but then again Dean hadn’t looked like he was in the mood to make fun of Sam, and the succubus could take them both on at once, no doubt. They’d never tried that, for reasons Sam couldn’t quite remember at the moment.
A threesome sounded pretty good, actually. Sam backed up until his knees hit the bed. The succubus watched him, her eyes so big Sam could have fallen into them, deep as the ocean and twice as cold.
“Come here,” he suggested, making his voice as inviting as possible. He was out of practice with seduction.
“Why don’t you put that down?” she cooed, sugar syrup.
He looked at the gun in his hand. True, guns didn’t give him a hard-on, not like they did for Dean. “Sure,” he said, and put it on the end table. The twisting required to do so brought him closer to Dean, who was stretched out, his wrists secured to the headboard. Sam raised an eyebrow, because Dean always warned against letting any girl do that, but apparently he didn’t practice what he preached.
He could smell Dean, a day and a half of nonstop rutting, like a concentrated elixir of Dean’s usual post-sex smell, which Sam knew from a thousand late nights and early mornings, Dean stumbling in bowlegged and self-satisfied, tomcat-proud. Dean with his inimitable way of convincing girls that they should look past the terrible manners and the worse pick-up lines for the promise of a sexual rollercoaster. Dean, whose lips were open just a little, slack and ready to take whatever someone was prepared to give him.
“I’m gonna take such good care of you, baby,” the succubus said, sliding onto his lap.
Sam turned back to her as her nails scratched down his arms, stinging into welts.
“Yeah, I don’t think so,” he said, grabbed the gun from behind his back and fired it through her chest. She blew off of him like she was made of paper.
On second thought, a threesome sounded more distracting than sexy. He turned back to examine Dean more closely.
Dean’s eyes were closed. Not even the sounds of the fighting had roused him, which meant he was deep under. Sam didn’t see any blood flowing, though bruises mottled his arms and upper thighs.
His wrists were ringed with welts, half-scabbed over, where he’d struggled against his bonds. Trust Dean to fight, even with a roomful of sex magic projected at him. Sam almost smiled—Dean had probably mouthed off, too, something about how hot he was even without magic and how jealous that must make them.
He wasn’t wrong.
Sam knelt on the edge of the bed, examining the knots binding Dean’s hands to the headboard—somebody’s pantyhose, which was actually pretty hard to get out of without a knife or scissors. Dean’s skin was a little cool, but not much different than normal. In the dimness, it was hard to gauge his color, but again there were no obvious problems.
The skin on the inside of Dean’s arm, that smooth stretch between the wrist and the crook of his elbow, was displayed by the position. Sam was fascinated by it, enough to run his fingers down from the nylon circling Dean’s left wrist, over the faint traces of veins and the occasional freckle, past the bend of the elbow and over the bicep to where the first scars broke the line of Dean’s skin.
Dean twitched, a little, trying to move away from the ticklish touch, but his eyes didn’t open.
“Dean?” Sam asked, but there was no answer.
Sam remembered himself and, hastily retrieving the knife from his ankle sheath, cut Dean’s hands free. His arms flopped loosely down, and Sam hurried to arrange them more comfortably, a move that brought his hands to Dean’s chest. He paused to feel the rise and fall of it, but frowned when he saw the faint marks of bites, and the streaks of what could only be dried semen, marring Dean’s skin there.
He needed to take care of Dean. Quickly, he stripped off his shirts, nearly tearing the undershirt in his haste to have them all off.
He had to put the knife down to get his jeans past his thighs, but he’d hear anyone coming, so it was okay to leave it by the side of the bed.
Dean twitched again when Sam knelt between his legs and moved them up and back, opening Dean to him. He didn’t make a sound until Sam pushed in—he was still so slick from the incubi who’d been before Sam, and Sam’s jaw clenched in reflexive anger even as he was grateful there was no need for further preparation. When Sam finally, finally got home, his balls up against Dean’s ass, Dean grunted and moved his hands up to press feebly against Sam’s chest, his eyelids fluttering wildly.
“Shh, it’s me, it’s just me, it’s Sam,” Sam said, then repeated it until Dean’s lips formed his name and Dean relaxed, letting Sam cover him, letting Sam write over every thing the monsters had done to him. He felt amazing, even better than he looked, sweet and slick, every inch of skin Sam managed to touch winding him up further. Dean pulsed his hips up and down, all he could do in his position, and it was perfect, just the right amount of friction. Dean’s cock swelled, pressed between their bellies, and Sam had to pull back and watch it, so gorgeous as it curved back towards Dean, the swollen veins darker than the rest of his flesh. Sam wished he could bend himself enough to suck it while seated inside Dean, but he had to settle for using his hand, sweat providing the only lubrication, watching the gleaming pink cockhead appear and disappear back into his fist as he jacked.
Dean groaned and his cock pulsed, only a dribble. Sam wanted to give him so much more, but it was Dean, under all the foreign and unwanted marks of his captivity, and he was quickly overwhelmed, gasping out his own orgasm into Dean’s scarred shoulder.
Sam had a list of other things he wanted to do, but not in this bloody room. He’d get Dean back to their own room, wash him off, get it all gone.
Sam redressed in a hurry. As an afterthought, before he picked Dean up from the bed, he picked Bobby’s amulet up from where the succubus had flung it.
And vomited all over her corpse when he realized what he’d just done.
Sam kept it together getting them out of the house, just a guy helping another half-conscious guy get into a car, nothing to worry about if you were watching the neighbors. Dean whimpered most of the way there, Sam whispering nonsense that didn’t seem to comfort him at all. When they got to the car, Dean slumped down in the back seat bonelessly, one untied boot dragging down into the footwell, the laces damp and dirty from when they’d gone through a shallow puddle from the lawn sprinklers.
He couldn’t make himself look at Dean’s face.
Each stop light was a struggle not to break down, his knuckles corpse-white on the wheel, his fingers aching, as if even the car knew what he’d done to Dean and didn’t want his hands anywhere near it.
There was blood in his mouth. It was a relief, replacing the leather-and-citrus taste—no, he wasn’t going to think about it. Even with the amulet, he could still feel how right it had seemed, how obvious. God, he wanted to stop the car and do it all over again, desire sweet as lead running through his veins.
He ached in places that definitely did not need to ache, Dean realized as the pressure in his bladder forced him towards consciousness.
He opened his eyes and saw a wet patch on the pillow where he’d drooled. He wasn’t tied up any more, which was an improvement, and he was in a generic motel room, which was another and more significant improvement because it meant that Sam had come for him. He pushed his head and shoulders off of the bed and looked around, but Sam wasn’t anywhere he could see, which was less pleasant.
Still, the room wasn’t covered in blood or any other sign that Sam was in trouble, and it was probably for the best that Sam wasn’t around to see Dean wince and flop around like an eighty-year-old, hobbling from the bed to the bathroom.
He felt weird, more than just fucked-out, electricity crackling under his skin. Antsy, but not in any shape to run or even walk more than ten steps or so. It truly sucked that tripling the amount of sex he’d had in the past six months left him feeling like a sick old man, plus after the first couple of hours it all blurred together, so it wasn’t even like he had six months’ worth of new, fun memories. Even awesome orgasms could get hard to pay attention to after a while, who would have thought.
He was still filthy, so he started the shower as he pissed, and by the time he maneuvered himself over the side of the tub the water was hot enough to sting his skin.
There were a couple of weird burns on his arms, like someone on fire had grabbed him, but other than that and the scabs around his wrists there was nothing obviously wrong with him.
The whole thing had gone on about a day too long to qualify as fun, but that which does not kill us blah blah blah.
He wasn’t looking forward to the post-game with Sam, who always looked so tired now. They’d done everything Azazel and Dad and Heaven had ever planned for them, and even managed to get it in the right order so the world didn’t end, but they were still zigzagging across the country, traveling salesmen of the bizarre, and Sam no longer suggested that he wanted more.
Dean couldn’t tell him to quit hunting, mostly because he was afraid of why Sam might say no. He wanted to think that his brother still knew how to dream, and as long as they didn’t talk about it, he could pretend that it was true.
There was a distant pounding. Maid at the door, most likely. He fumbled until the water shut off, grabbed for a towel—no need to show off the goods and drive the poor girl crazy with what she wasn’t gonna get—and limped out to tell her to skip this room for today.
Sam cursed when he saw the housekeeping cart outside their door. He didn’t remember putting the keep-out sign on the doorknob, more fool he. He didn’t think that he’d left anything too obviously illegal in plain sight, but Dean didn’t need to deal with explaining his bruises to some stranger.
Except that when Sam pushed the door open, the housekeeper was bouncing on top of Dean, her skirt hiked up to her waist, her head thrown back like she was doing cheap porn, face anonymous in ecstasy. Dean’s hands rested loosely on her upper thighs; he was staring up at her like he’d been concussed. Sam felt the first hot spike of jealousy subside as fear replaced it.
“Dean!” he yelled. Dean turned his head slowly and blinked. The housekeeper didn’t even twitch in Sam’s direction.
Incubus venom, Sam realized, and cursed the shame that had kept him from shoving Dean under the shower. Dean must still be contaminated with it. Sam hadn’t bothered to take off the goddamned amulet, so he hadn’t fallen victim after the first time. He’d assumed that he’d just been reacting to the succubus’s spell, but they’d certainly had Dean long enough to cover him with whatever it was that they used to seduce.
From what he’d read, and what he remembered feeling himself, a victim would injure him or herself trying to get back to the incubus if the sex was interrupted, and as awful as this was Sam thought that grabbing her would make it worse. Sam turned away, cringing, until he heard the poor girl cry out and slump down on top of Dean.
Almost immediately, she started making confused noises. And then as she staggered to her feet she saw Sam and really started freaking out. Sam ended up backed up against the wall, using his terrible Spanish to say reassuring things that she probably didn’t even hear, much less understand, as she tugged at her clothes and fled.
It was worse than he’d thought, because what if she called the cops? Dean didn’t force her, not conventionally, but she didn’t consent either. Oh shit, he’d left Dean, pretending that they needed supplies but really running from the knowledge of what he’d done, and so the girl was his fault too.
He couldn’t spare guilt for her, could only add her to the tally of people he’d harmed by his carelessness. He had to focus on what she might do next. Probably she wouldn’t report them, but probably wasn’t good enough. Not these days.
“Sammy?” Dean asked, with an urgency that suggested he’d said it a couple of times already.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Sam told him.
Dean ground the heel of his hand against his temple. “Feel weird,” he said, sounding about ten years old. “That girl, she came in ‘fore I could tell her not to. I don’t—what’s going on?”
“It’s going to be okay,” Sam said, making his voice as gentle as if he were talking to a witness. Looking around, Sam saw towels puddled in the bathroom, and one discarded between the bathroom and the bed. Dean had tried to clean himself off before the housekeeper had shown up, which meant that the incubus venom wasn’t fully physical, or at least not soluble in ordinary water. With their luck, Dean was going to need some sort of full-on ritual cleansing. “Can you get yourself dressed?”
Dean blinked a couple of times. “Yeah.” His failure to object to Sam’s tone was as worrisome as the rest of it. He stumbled several times trying to get his jeans on, but Sam wasn’t going to touch him, so Sam kept himself busy packing the rest of their stuff and taking it out to the car.
When he returned to collect Dean, Dean hadn’t bothered to button his overshirt, and his boots were still unlaced. Sam swallowed. “Do you—do you need help with those?”
Dean stared down at his feet like they were part of a random show he was watching on TV. “Yeah, I guess.”
Sam knelt, looking only at Dean’s shins and the leather of the boots. If he didn’t look up, then maybe he could convince his body that it didn’t want more from Dean than to help him get dressed.
Dean made a small, pained sound when Sam’s fingers got within a few inches. Sam nearly fell over scrambling backwards, but Dean didn’t seem to be making any conscious connections between Sam and his assailants; he looked confused, not angry, and when Sam tried again, he just bit his lip and let Sam work.
“How’d you get me out, anyway?” Dean asked, as if his brain was slowly coming back online.
Sam’s heart nearly stopped. “You don’t—don’t you remember?” he asked. He tied a shaky knot, then moved to the other boot, half expecting Dean to kick his face in.
Dean grunted negation. “Remember bein’ tied down to that bed. They said a bunch of shit about—about hunters at first.” Sam froze, wondering how much of what Dean was concealing had been about him. Dean shifted on his feet and continued, “Then there was a lot of fucking. After a while I wouldn’t’ve noticed you blowin’ their heads off while they were doin’ me.”
Sam’s mouth worked a couple of times while he fumbled with the second knot. “That’s—pretty much what happened,” he said. He was a horrorshow of a human being, he knew that already, but it would have taken a saint to turn down a reprieve like that.
“Figured,” Dean said, and shuffled away, towards the door. “We going or what?”
Dean was still addled enough that he didn’t fight when Sam ordered him into the passenger seat, even though he’d been in exclusive possession of the driver’s side since Lucifer had risen. That had been his most overt reproach to Sam, and one he’d known had bitten deep.
But he was in no condition to drive, even his damn feet and shins suddenly feeling like they were on fire like some sort of allergic reaction to Sam’s touch, so petty revenge had to give way to rationality. At least that was Sam’s loudly expressed opinion, and Dean hadn’t worked up the outrage to protest.
His insides felt like they were all an inch out of place, everything just wrong enough to notice. He slumped against the passenger-side door, and if Sam thought he was cringing away from human contact, that was just Sam’s delusion (though knowing Sam’s guilt complex, Sam would’ve stopped to argue about the ‘human’ bit). The way he felt, crumpled and sodden-through, was enough to make him think that defeating Lucifer ought to have been the capstone of a hunting career and retirement would be justified. In other words, he was too old for this shit—at least, he was pretty sure that when he’d been twenty-two, being trapped for days with a nest of incubi and succubi would have been more enjoyable.
After a couple of hours on the road, his head cleared some. He still had only the fuzziest images of the past few days, which was probably for the best. His stomach wasn’t quite settled, but he started to feel more like Dean Winchester, badass hunter, and less like he ought to have little cartoon stars and planets floating around his head.
Sam insisted on driving them to South Dakota. That was brave, in Dean’s opinion, since they’d bankrupted themselves with Bobby with the craziness surrounding the aborted apocalypse. Sam pointed out that they didn’t know why Dean was still causing a reaction like he’d been dipped in incubus venom—something further confirmed at the first gas station they stopped at, where Dean nearly got pulled out of the car by a yuppie couple and they had to drive out fast. The food Sam had been buying was left abandoned on the counter of the attached mini-mart.
At that point, Dean had to concede that they might find Bobby’s help useful. He was more worried that Bobby would find it simpler to shoot them (Dean to fix the problem, Sam to prevent him from destroying the world once Dean was out of it) than anything else.
The second time they needed to gas up, Sam gave Dean the anti-incubus amulet, hoping that would control it some. But instead, within seconds, Dean’s skin was red in a five-inch circle around his chest. Dean jerked the thong off and flung it back at Sam. The burn blistered quickly, and Sam wouldn’t go near Dean to treat it, so Dean ended up tilting his head back awkwardly and using the rear-view mirror to figure out how to bandage himself.
Well, that explained why Sam’s touch had felt painful instead of reassuring, like it should’ve.
So instead of coming along with Sam to watch his back, Dean crouched his aching body in the long grass by the highway, far enough back that nobody saw him, hot and itchy and generally pissed at the world, while Sam went in and filled up the tank. Sam brought back his favorite Hostess snacks, but Dean did not feel in any way compensated.
Bobby was wearing an amulet when they arrived. Dean fled to the garage anyway, mumbling something about detailing. Sam was just happy to see Dean recovered enough to remember that he loved that car more than was normal.
His fond smile didn’t last long. “What the fuck did they do to him?” Sam asked Bobby, once he’d laid out (almost) everything and Bobby had shown him the basic texts, none of which mentioned anything about contamination. He realized there was a whine in his voice, a pitiful request for Bobby to be the all-knowing father figure Sam would never ordinarily want.
Bobby’s glare suggested that Bobby was not comfortable with that plan either. “I got nothing for you, other than maybe to look for whatever cursed you with luck this bad.”
Sam breathed out through his nose and tried to think past the panic. “Maybe—” He turned to tug a book out from the middle of one of the stacks on the desk. He flipped to the relevant section of the Malleus Maleficarum. “Incubi and succubi can’t reproduce. A succubus could take sperm from a male victim, and an incubus could implant that sperm into a female victim. But that didn’t make more succubi or incubi, just made the kids deformed or produced a cambion—a kind of demonic mule. So how do incubi make more incubi? What if that’s what they were trying to do?”
“Vampires make more vampires by sharing blood,” Bobby said, tipping his head back in thought. “But swapping body fluids couldn’t be how these guys do it.”
“Not alone,” Sam said. “I didn’t get a good look at the room, but—who knows what kind of ritual they might have been attempting.”
Bobby sighed and tugged at his cap. “Shit, boy, I don’t know anyone with enough experience with sex demons to answer this one. All’s I can think to do is wait a week, see if it wears off.”
“And if it doesn’t? What if he needs to feed, Bobby?” Sam said it and immediately doubted his reasons. He remembered the tug of desire drawing him in, flaring even higher once he’d had his hands on Dean. He should know better than to trust anything that felt as good as what Dean had given him. The lust he still felt was a mirage, a trap. And still he wanted to walk right out to the garage and grab Dean for himself.
Bobby’s jaw firmed. “Incubus kills its victims, you know that.”
Sam shook his head. He couldn’t tell Bobby that he’d suffered no ill effects from—from what had happened with Dean, but there was other relevant evidence, even if he wasn’t sure how the girl at the motel had felt afterwards. “He’s eating. He’s sleeping, he’s doing everything a human does. He wouldn’t need to take a life’s worth of energy—”
“Do you even hear yourself?” Bobby demanded. “How many times do you morons need to act like the rules don’t apply to you? Wasn’t Lucifer enough for you?”
There was a lot Sam could have said to that, starting with the extent to which Bobby himself followed the so-called rules, and continuing on to the number of times Bobby got to bring up Lucifer before Sam tuned him out. “What about a psychic?” he asked instead.
“Might’ve used up your lifetime supply,” Bobby grumped.
“I’m still waiting for a better suggestion from you than ‘hope it goes away.’ When was the last time a problem like this went away?”
Bobby looked down, which was answer enough.
It took more than a week before Bobby found a psychic who’d even think about helping a Winchester. Dean spent the time fixing cars and hauling ass down to the panic room every time a customer came down Bobby’s driveway, to make sure Dean didn’t get close enough to trigger the incubus mojo, which Sam was calling a glamor. Dean was just calling it a pain in the ass.
He was trying very hard to conceal his increasing weakness.
Sam was used to turning his head away to avoid Dean’s table manners, so he didn’t notice that Dean could barely choke down a couple of bites at a time. Bobby was more observant, but he hadn’t said anything to Dean yet. The way Dean figured it, Bobby knew that any conversation about what Dean might need instead of food was going to go south pretty fast, and so Bobby was working his way up to the cold hard facts.
Because it was true: Dean felt the burning in his blood, telling him he needed to go out and fuck. He didn’t think he was an incubus, not really. He hadn’t gotten any of the cool powers like the ability to visit dreams or dematerialize, shit like that. But he had the need. It wasn’t hunger, not like he knew hunger. More like his skin was opening up, dissolving the boundaries between himself and the world, all that he was oozing out slowly until there’d be nothing left but a dried-up mannequin.
The amulets worked fine. He didn’t feel any pull towards Bobby or Sam.
But he was starting to wait for the noise of an engine as it roared down the lane to Singer Salvage. Bobby’d put the “closed” sign up after three days, but Dean still hoped, except when he remembered that he needed to hope for just the opposite.
So the psychic’s willingness to help out was a relief, if a double-edged one. Dean really should have gotten used to the pervasiveness of dread in his life, and somehow he never had.
This time, the psychic was a short guy, dark-skinned, with a California accent Dean caught from a room away when he was telling Bobby and Sam about his trip halfway across the country and updating Bobby with gossip about people Dean didn’t know. Dean finally remembered that he wasn’t afraid of psychics and went into the kitchen to join them.
“I’m Dev,” he said, smiling at Dean, and Dean stared at him for a second, because he barely looked old enough to drive, much less to diagnose Dean’s problem, but then figured he owed the guy at least a smile and a wave.
“Thanks for coming,” Sam said, shaking Dev’s hand with too much enthusiasm. “We really—”
“Yeah,” Dev said, with a trace of the acid Dean remembered from Missouri and Pamela. Might be that being a psychic enhanced a person’s cynicism, Dean thought. Most people, there was no way you wanted to be in their heads, and Dean didn’t need to be psychic to know that. “So, I don’t know how well I can work with this amulet on, but I’ll do my best. Do you think you can hold my hand, Dean?” Dean hesitated—just like that, in the middle of the kitchen, no candles or crap?—and then stuck out his hand.
Stung like a motherfucker, but nothing Dean couldn’t handle. Not that he really liked to think about it, but his pain threshold was different these days.
Dev winced, like he was picking up feedback, and Dean tried to relax and let himself leave the uncomfortably hot feeling behind. One real improvement of life over Hell was that, when you had an actual body, you could dissociate from it.
Dean drifted for a bit, until he felt Dev drop his hand, and then he blinked himself back to full attention.
Dev was biting his lip, giving Dean one of those sympathetic looks that were useless as fuck and twice as annoying. Dean could feel Sam’s anxiety, radiating from him like skunk stink. “There’s something tangled around you—in you,” he corrected himself. “It’s like—the mark on your shoulder, is that the mark they left on you?”
Sam and Dean looked at each other. There was little point in lying to a psychic, and Dev probably wouldn’t sell him to some angel-worshiping cult. “I’ve had that for a while,” Dean said. “Uh, it’s the mark of an angel.”
Dev frowned, not asking any of the questions Dean would have expected. “It seems like the incubus—essence, I guess—is concentrated there. Whatever they meant or didn’t mean to do, it’s sort of like some of their substance got stuck. And the mark is—well, your soul is also strongest there, so now the incubus essence is in you. I’m sorry, but I don’t see a way of getting rid of it.” Dean’s face must have shown something, and he hurried to continue: “But I’m not exactly an incubus expert. And that amulet does make it difficult for me to see what’s going on. There might be something someone else can do.”
Bobby took over the thank-yous, because it was pretty clear that the Winchesters were having enough trouble not shooting the messenger.
“Damn, I want a beer,” Dean said. He’d fled back to his room and Sam had given him all of two minutes before following. Sam recognized the tactic: Dean had given up on silence and was now ready to change the subject before there was a subject to change.
“I’ll grab one from the kitchen,” Sam offered, but Dean was already shaking his head. He sat down on the edge of the bed, his shoulders slumped under his too-big plaid shirt. He looked too pale, almost like he was wilting.
“Seriously,” Sam said, “it’s no problem—”
Dean looked up, his face grim. “I don’t want a six-pack. I want somebody to pour me a drink and I want to take it over to the pool table and make some money and then I want to get laid by a girl who doesn’t know my real name.”
Oh. “We could—” He stopped.
Dean snorted and rubbed his hand across his mouth. “Yeah.”
Once again, Sam was dragged back to how good the sex had felt. Most of his life had been about the shit he didn't want to do, the few hookups he'd managed since Stanford blotting out the rest of his miserable existence for a short time. Ruby had been more punishment than pleasure until he'd been deep in the addiction. It was fucked-up, but what had happened with Dean had felt pure, physical and real. Now he knew better, of course, but the memory was so powerful, mixed up with the overwhelming emotions he already felt for Dean.
He couldn’t have that, but Dean--
“Why not?” Sam asked, surprising even himself. “It’s not like they’re not looking. We could go to that place out on Route 29, I could check it out to find the girls who just want to have a good time, bring one out and run interference with anybody else.”
Dean’s face seemed to collapse in on itself for a split second, then smoothed into an obvious mask. “No,” he said, and stood back up, heading towards the duffle with the knives in it.
Sam crossed the room and caught him by the arm. “What?”
Dean flinched away—Sam fell back, horrified that he’d forgotten that his touch burned Dean now—and kept going. It was only when Dean had the bag unzipped, his hands buried deep in its guts and his back to Sam, that he spoke again. “That really what you think about me?”
Sam stared at him, befuddled. Then he moved around so that he could see Dean’s profile. Dean’s face was tight and—the closest word Sam could find was disgusted. “I don’t understand. You said—”
“I didn’t say I wanted to make some chick fuck me!”
Sam just stood there. Eventually he closed his mouth. Dean hadn’t even gotten the knives all laid out, which meant he wasn’t serious about cleaning them. “Dean, since you were thirteen years old you’ve been lying to get into girls’ pants, and it’s been working. Now it’s easier, and you don’t want to?”
Dean’s hands stopped moving. A muscle in his jaw twitched. He wouldn’t look at Sam. “Lying when she knows you’re lying is—it’s different. You may not know it because I hide it so well, Sammy, but women have been known to say no to me. I never fucked anyone who didn’t say yes on their own, and I’m not looking to start now that I’m a walking, talking roofie.”
Dean’s hands weren’t still, in fact. They were shaking.
Realization hit like a truck—in fact, Sam might have preferred the truck: he knew how that one came out. Dean’s silences over the past few days, his unwillingness to meet Sam’s eyes, the way he’d babbled on about engines every time Sam tried to talk to him.
“Dean,” Sam said, carefully. “How are you feeling?”
“Fuck you,” Dean said and picked up a small silver knife.
“Do you need to feed?”
“Fuck you sideways,” Dean suggested.
“If you—” Suddenly the Route 29 plan was looking better, enough so that Sam considered knocking Dean out and bringing him along in the Impala. Maybe he could hire someone, coax her into waiting until Dean regained consciousness. Sam frowned, not sure what would happen if Dean were unconscious—would the incubus glamor continue on, unstoppable? “I’m not letting you starve to death.”
“We aren’t talking cheeseburgers here, Sam!” Dean nearly yelled, letting the knife fall carelessly. “Exactly what is it you expect me to do?”
“What if it hurts her?” Dean asked, soft now, staring at Sam like this was a test. And, Sam realized, it was, and Sam was for once entirely prepared to fail. “You say I need to feed, so what happens to the food?”
“The girl at the motel was fine,” Sam tried. Dean’s expression said exactly how convincing he found that claim, since they had no fucking clue what had happened to her, afterwards. “Even real incubi, they don’t kill, not at first.”
Dean shook his head. “I spent ten years being a monster.”
“What’s your great plan, then, Dean?” Sam demanded.
Dean shrugged. “Far as we know, the—whatever, the hunger—is just like the amulet,” he said. “No fun, but not gonna kill me.”
Three days after that, he didn’t get out of bed. Sam finally came to check in on him, and he pretended that he was just being lazy—that car didn’t need him, not today, can’t a guy take a day off?
Underneath, Sam could see the panic in his eyes. His skin was pallid except where it was too red, and he kept twisting in the sheets, blankets piled on him so that Sam could barely see the outline of his body.
Sam knew too much about what Dean’s body looked like, anyway.
After a fruitless debate with Bobby, Sam went to go do what needed doing.
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