He stood on the roof of the Bunker as it neared midnight, ready to cast the spell on the wing contraption. Dean checked over the ingredients and re-read the words for the thousandth time. His watch went off with the alarm for midnight. He silenced the alarm and started the spell, the words rolling off his tongue easily, the power of the spell gathering as soon as the herbs in the vessel ignited. He poured the burning mixture over the wings wondering again how they weren’t going to just burn up when there was a flash of familiar green-gold light and the wings levitated off the tile roof under his feet. He grabbed at them before they could float off on their own and strapped them onto his own back. He could feel something attach itself into the muscles of his back, like it was spreading the muscles apart, setting in deep hooks so his body could control them. There was no blood, though it seemed like there should be, instead there was a whole lot of pain.
He grimaced and steadied himself to jump off the roof. “Here I come, Sammy, ready or not.”
He plummeted face-first towards the ground, but then the wings extended, caught the air and what do you know, the wings worked, they actually fucking worked! He practiced turning and changing his elevation up and down, getting the hang of controlling something his muscles weren’t used to. After a few minutes he felt like he had got the hang of it, like his body always wanted to do this, soar and dip and dive through the air. All those flying dreams he’d had over the years, and now he was finally doing it for real.
After a few hours the fun had worn off, flying was so much harder than he had thought it would be, and it sure wasn’t all smooth gliding and soaring. Finding Sam was harder still, even with the dragon locater. He had wrapped the amulet’s cord securely around his wrist and it steadily pointed in one direction, north-east, only varying by a few degrees. So that had to mean that Sam was on the move.
Dean was surprised that Sam wasn’t clear across the country by now. He first saw him about fifty miles away from the Bunker. They were somewhere in those hills that had the limestone caves that they’d never had the time to explore. He was absolutely beautiful, the dark leathery wings seemed polished as they caught the sunlight and he dove through the low clouds, elegant and powerful. The rest of his body had been transformed, he even had a long tail now that ended in a wicked barb.
The enormous thing flying below him was all dragon. But somehow it was Sam too. There wasn’t any doubt of it, the amulet tugging hard at his wrist pulling him towards his brother, who was a dragon.
Dean tried his best to catch up, but Sam ducked and dived, eluding him. It was almost like he knew he was being chased. Sam would have to know that he’d come after him, right? He called out Sam’s name, loud and pleading, hoping there was some part of his brother left inside the dragon he’d become.
Beat of wings, beat of heart, rhythm of the world turning beneath him.
No fear, no worry, just the hunt.
Something, no someone follows him now.
He is no longer the hunted he growls to himself.
Turning in a wide arc through the clouds he tricks his pursuer.
Coming back underneath it, ready to go in for the kill.
He had lost sight of Sam in the clouds a few minutes ago but he wasn’t too worried. He was guessing Sam was probably denned-up in one of the caves he knew were down below. Finding the right cave would be the problem. He flew back and forth over the scrubby forested hills, searching the ground and the skies for signs of his brother.
My brother, the dragon sounds like a good kid’s book title he mused, attention wavering for a moment picturing Sam drawn like a dragon in a children’s book. A whooshing sound of large wings snapped him out of it, just in time to dive out of the way. Sam tore past him, screaming that awful cry he’d made back in the tunnel where they’d saved the girl. The rough end of his tail raked across Dean’s cheek cutting it deeply.
Dean dove down through the sky after his brother and followed him into one of the well-hidden caves. He bounced off the narrowing tunnel walls and landed as quietly as he could manage. He pulled the crank to fold up the wings behind him with a shuffling clack. He could hear Sam’s footsteps and strange noises in a cave room up ahead, a muttering growl that almost sounded like words. He approached quietly readying the spell that would supposedly stun a dragon. Everything in him hoped for it to work, to knock Sam out long enough to get that dragon soul out of him.
Dean began saying the words out loud in the strongest voice he could manage. The whole flight there he’d been practicing the strange phrase, it had begun to feel like clockwork catching and biting on his tongue. With one last deep breath he stepped into the cave. Sam must have heard him coming because he instantly lunged at him. Hands that were now claws, outstretched before him, sharp curved nails reaching out to kill. Sam was screaming an inhuman cry that shook Dean to his bones. He kept saying the words though, like a mantra he had put all his faith in, because that’s what it was. The only way he’d get Sam back were these words and what came next.
He reluctantly put one hand on the hilt of the sword stub tucked in his waistband. Dean dove out of the way to avoid Sam’s attack and finished the words of the spell. A green-gold mist appeared in a bubble around Sam’s enormous dragon head, his eyes rolled up showing their whites and he fell to the ground like a marionette with its strings cut. Dean caught his brother’s head at the last moment before it had a chance to hit the cave floor. He shuffled Sam’s and his own wing tips out of the way and sat cross-legged with Sam’s head cradled in his lap.
He scrabbled at his waist for the small iron cauldron with fingers still stiff from the cold. Unclipping it, he set the cauldron on the cave floor next to a completely limp Sam. Still holding Sam’s head in his lap, he yanked up the remaining tatters of his brother’s shirts to reveal his chest. Even beneath the dragon scales the skin was still marked with the scar of where his anti-possession tattoo had been. With a shaking hand Dean drew the dragon symbol on Sam’s cold skin with one of Cas’ feathers. He watched as his own blood soaked into Sam’s skin incredibly quickly, it was like his brother’s body had needed it to survive.
After a few moments where Dean thought nothing had worked, Sam screamed that dragon cry again, his whole body gone rigid, but his eyes were still closed. Sam wasn’t just waking up, he was fighting inside himself against the dragon soul.
“C’mon Sammy, kick the asshole out, I know you can do it,” Dean said, hands gently moving over the scales covering Sam’s head where his hair should be. He knew it was all up to his brother at this point, but if anyone could kick a dragon soul out of his mind it was Sam. He’d kicked the Devil himself out, so he could do it, he had to.
Sam screamed one last dragon cry and arched his back almost past the point he should be able to. His wings and tail unfurled on last time and disappeared with a puff of yellow-green steam. A stream of chartreuse colored foggy mist exited his mouth in a high-arching gout that seemed to be magnetically pulled back down into the waiting cauldron. Dean slammed the lid on it once all of it had been contained.
In his lap, Sam moaned weakly, his eyes fluttered open looking up into Dean’s. “Dean?”
“Welcome back, Sammy,” Dean said, leaning down to brush a kiss against his forehead, one hand carding through Sam’s wind-tangled hair. He couldn’t believe how much it meant that Sam’s hair was back again so that he could have a chance to touch it.
Sam’s bare arms came up around him and held him there, his fingers clutched in Dean’s jackets like he was holding on for life. Dean held his newly transformed, naked brother. He was filled with thankfulness that there were no wings or tail in the way, except for the wings still on his own back.
Sam slowly removed the remaining bits of the original clothes he’d been wearing. He pulled on the new clothes Dean had brought for him, thanking all the deities that his brother had thought things through enough to be prepared for his nakedness. They walked out of the cave together, Dean supporting Sam the whole way with an arm firmly around his waist. Sam breathed in huge gulps of the cool night air, so fresh after the rankness of the cave.
“Shit,” Dean said, stopping them both abruptly. “We’re in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.”
“Guess you can come back and pick me up with the car later,” Sam said with a laugh when he realized that Dean was now the only one who had wings. He wasn’t too thrilled about having to let go of Dean so soon though. Not now that he was finally back in Dean’s arms, feeling more himself than he had in years.
“No way am I leaving you here in the middle of the night. What if you turn back into a dragon or another one comes?” Dean pulled Sam in closer.
Sam let Dean hold him, reveling in the closeness, in Dean not wanting to let him go. He turned so he faced Dean and wrapped Dean up in a his own arms. “Think you can hold my weight with these things?” Sam asked, tugging at the wings on his brother’s back.
“Guess we’ll know in a second here,” Dean said, tightening his arms around Sam’s shoulders. With Sam wrapped up in his arms and legs, and Sam holding on securely around his waist, Dean jumped up into the sky.
It was a strange feeling being flown through the air instead of doing the flying himself. Sam liked how it felt though, safe in the protection of his brother’s body. He nuzzled his face into Dean’s neck and closed his eyes, concentrating on the familiar smell. Trying to forget ever having his own wings and the instincts of a dragon.
Landing on the Bunker roof, they didn’t separate for a long moment. Sam let himself stay in the circle of Dean’s arms, not wanting to step away, maybe not ever.
“Welcome home, Sammy,” Dean said, raising up on his tiptoes to brush his lips against Sam’s. His arms snaked up around Sam’s neck and pulled him down into the kiss. They lost themselves in the feeling, so achingly familiar but new again after all these years. There was so much that they had held back that it was almost overwhelming.
Dean finally pushed himself away with a groan. “I gotta get these wings off, before the sun comes up,” Dean said.
“Oh yeah, what happens at sunrise?” Sam asked.
“Uh—I’m pretty sure they’re permanent or something,” Dean said, digging through his pockets for the wing owner’s manual.
“What the hell, Dean!” Sam exclaimed, “Why would you risk something like that?”
“That might be the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day, and that includes all your dragon screaming,” Dean mumbled with a smile as he found the right page.
Dean crouched down over the ritual bowl and poured the ingredients into it, slicing into his hand yet again for the required blood. The words practically tripped off his tongue until the green-gold light flashed. He screamed as the wings unhooked themselves from his body, pulling their tendrils out of his muscles and ripping away from his nerve endings. He came back to himself cradled in Sam’s arms in a heap.
“You okay, Dean?” Sam asked, a gentle hand stroking against Dean’s cheek near a nasty wound. “You have a bad cut here on your cheek.”
Dean pressed into the contact and opened his eyes. “That was from your tail. My—the wings—are they?”
“Yeah, they’re gone, burned up into ash when they dropped away from your back.”
“Guess we’re not flying anytime soon again, huh?” Dean asked.
“I think I’m okay with that,” Sam said with a pained laugh.
They helped each other stand up and headed back down into the Bunker. It was awkward, not knowing what came next. There were so many rooms and they weren’t stuck in a one-room motel together. That had always made this part easier for Sam. He wondered if he should follow Dean to his, or what? Dean was still holding his arm, he hadn’t let go yet, but Sam wasn’t sure what that meant.
“I need to uh…go wash it all off of me,” Sam said, realizing then how sticky and gross he felt all over. No matter what was happening next, he needed to get cleaned up first.
“Okay,” Dean said with a nod, dropping his hand away.
Sam started walking towards the bathroom, to see if Dean would follow. “You coming or what?” Sam said over his shoulder, hoping that it wasn’t too soon, or too much, or who even knew anymore. Without a word, Dean’s hand was back on him, curving around his waist and steering him towards the bathroom.
They undressed each other slowly, carefully, running their hands over bare skin as it appeared. Dean was finally naked, all except for the amulet tied around his wrist when Sam picked it up and brought it to his lips. “What’s this here for?”
“It was how I found you, there was a dragon locator spell, had to charm something with it. I thought it might know how to find you, hoped there was maybe even a bonus left over from Chuck.”
Sam kissed at the cord wrapped around Dean’s pulse, tongue licking out at Dean’s skin and sucking on the amulet briefly, the familiar burst of brass on his tongue making his insides go hot and possessive. “I like seeing it on you again,” Sam said.
“Yeah?” Dean asked with an audible swallow.
Sam didn’t answer, he just pulled Dean into one of the shower stalls and started up the water to as hot as he knew they could stand it. He answered Dean’s question with his lips and tongue and teeth, taking him apart under the cascade of water until Dean was left stunned and sated leaning against the tiles, his body marked with the signs of Sam’s possession and adoration. Sam couldn’t believe how beautiful his brother was like this. All mine again.
“I always was, Sammy,” Dean said.
Sam blushed because he didn’t know he’d said that out loud. It happened sometimes when they were in the middle of the passion, words were said, but they hardly ever commented. That meant Dean needed the words this time, another first time for them. “I know, Dean. I was always yours too.”
Dean wrapped his arms around Sam in an iron-strong grip, his biceps flexing as he turned them so Sam was against the tile wall. He sank to his knees and looked up at Sam. “Mine,” he said, biting at the jut of Sam’s hipbone.
Sam’s hand curved around the back of Dean’s head and brought him even closer. Dean’s hands clenched and flexed on Sam’s thighs, pulling them apart a little further to give himself room. He gently sucked Sam’s balls one at a time, licking behind them in that spot that always made Sam shiver. Then he slowly licked his way up to the tip of Sam’s hardness. Sam’s fingers shifted in Dean’s hair and his brother looked up again at him, lips wrapped around him so perfectly.
Dean’s eyes never left his as he sucked him in deeply. His tears from going too fast washed away in the shower spray.
“Dean,” Sam barely managed to say, grasping at the back of Dean’s head and holding him in place as he let himself go. The pleasure intensified with Dean’s groan at taking his release inside.
Sam pulled Dean back up and touched him everywhere at once, never wanting to stop. He kissed Dean, frantic for the taste of himself in his brother’s mouth again. He never thought he’d have this, and he’d almost lost it all, being a dragon, never coming back, never having Dean again.
Dean slowed them down, kissing him more gently, hands soothing circles on his shoulders and back, and Sam finally was able to relax.
“Sorry, thought I’d be like that forever,” Sam mumbled into Dean’s shoulder.
“What, a dragon?” Dean asked.
“No, not just that, but away from you,” Sam said, regretting saying the words out loud.
Dean looked at him then, serious and beautiful under the endless hot water, finally in his arms again. “Sammy, you’re never gonna be able to get rid of me that easily, you oughta know that by now.”
Sam couldn’t process that huge chunk of honesty so he just kissed Dean again, then turned off the shower. They toweled off and Dean let him bandage the cut on his cheek. Sam took the time to shave, and couldn’t help examining his skin closely in the mirror. He had to touch his cheeks and neck to make sure there were no longer any scales.
He came back to himself with Dean’s fingers caressing the skin and murmuring, “C’mon, let’s go to bed.”
When they headed down the hall to Dean’s room, Sam was still mulling over what Dean had said. Neither of them talked as they slipped under the covers on the sides of the bed they’d always taken before.
Sam found himself snuggled into the familiar space Dean left for him, head on his shoulder, arm over Dean’s middle, legs wrapped up and it was good again. Unbelievably good, and such a surprise he wasn’t sure it was really happening.
“Tell me what happened,” Sam finally said, “I don’t remember anything really after we went into that cave.”
“The dragon dude grabbed you and I stabbed him with the sword. I guess the dragon soul just took you over. I came to and you had wings and flew out of the cave, it was wild. There was one girl that was still alive, I got her out.”
“I must have a sign on me somewhere that says, open, come on in,” Sam said.
“That’s how I knew you could kick that dragon soul out, no problem once I figured out how. You’ve done it before with angels and demons, this was only a dragon.”
“It felt really different from that, maybe because of the physical transformation part of it. But being here now, I miss it, the flying. Do you?”
“I didn’t do it for as long as you, but yeah, I do,” Dean answered, “it was better than I’d ever dreamed it could be.”
“Wish there was another pair of those wings,” Sam said.
“Have you already forgotten what a bitch it was to get them off of me?” Dean asked.
“No, of course not, but I just…it would be fun to do that again, but with you, you know?” Sam asked.
They both fell into sleep before Dean could manage a coherent answer. But Sam knew if it was possible for them to fly together, Dean would bitch about it but then be completely into it. That was a nice picture to fall asleep to, the two of them flying next to one another, soaring through the clouds and a clear blue sky.
Beat of wings in unison, beat of hearts in time, rhythm of the world turning beneath them.
No fear, no worry, just the love of flying.
Someone flies with him now.
Partner, lover, a brother beside him.
Turning in a wide arc through the clouds they soar.
Following the spine of the low hills.
Sam was awake, which surprised him, he thought between reuniting with Dean and the dragon stuff he would be worn out. But apparently he was still on internal dragon-time, awake and pacing around the bunker like the world’s loneliest hatchling. He killed some time making tea in the kitchen and then stumbled back down the hall to Dean’s room. (Or was it their room now? That was a question for the morning maybe.) He sat at Dean’s desk and was adding some whiskey to his tea in the hopes of maybe getting a few more hours of sleep when he saw his name written plainly on an envelope in Dean’s writing.
He opened the envelope quietly, hoping Dean didn’t wake up for whatever this thing was, and the familiar pictures fluttered down onto the desk one by one. A young Dean and Mom, Dean holding him as a baby with Mom hugging them both stared up at him from the desk. He unfolded the binder paper and read the just-in-case letter Dean had left for him. A couple of tears fell onto the page blurring the ink before he wiped his eyes.
He stared across the room at his brother’s sleeping form, grateful all over again that he had a brother like Dean. Someone who was so damn stubborn he wouldn’t even give up when he’d been turned into a dragon. As much as his dragon-self wanted to hoard this gem of pure loving emotion, he knew that he needed to even the chick-flick scales somehow, so he pulled out a notepad and pen and started to write.
I can never say thank you enough for coming after me. If you hadn’t risked everything for me (again!) I’d still be a damn dragon. As fun as it was to fly, the whole time I was missing you, and home. What we have here together, or really anywhere we are, is the only thing that was left inside me. It was like a fixed compass point, it’s what drew me to the caves near here. I couldn’t ignore the pull to be near you, even as a dragon.
I read the ‘just in case’ letter you left me, and I’m sitting here while you’re sleeping in our bed. You’re so damn beautiful when you’re asleep, Dean, sometimes I just watch you. I know that you’ll say that’s creepy as hell and maybe it is, but it’s true, you are beautiful. And to answer your confession which I know we can’t say out loud (why is that again?):
I love you, Dean, you’re the reason I’m still here and human. Our life together, no matter whether you’re in my bed or not, is the only thing left worth living for.
Sam slowly tore the page from the pad and folded it into thirds, slipping it into Dean’s desk drawer with the photos on top of it. Dean could read it at some point in the near future and get a good mushy surprise.
“You comin’ back to bed, makin’ me breakfast or what?” Dean asked.
Sam was so surprised he almost dropped his tea mug, but steadied himself and turned to face his brother. “I was just finishing my tea.”
He stood and dropped the robe on the floor and climbed back into the warmth of his brother’s arms where he belonged. The comfort of it washed over him and he hummed with happiness. They were quiet for a while drifting in and out of a light dozing sleep.
“I wonder if we’ll still have flying dreams,” Dean whispered.
“If I do, I’m not going to be a dragon, that’s for damn sure.”
“You did have an awfully nice tail there,” Dean teased, slapping Sam lightly on his ass where the tail had been.
“What about my wings?” Sam asked, glad they could already joke about the whole thing.
“They were cool too, but I could have done without the claws.”
Sam dug his fingernails into Dean’s hip, scratching him gently. Dean chuckled and settled down into sleep again. Sam watched his brother’s face relax bit by bit, marveling again at his luck. That he got to have this again, improbable and inevitable, that was their life together. He sleepily gave up thanks to any and all deities that were listening and fell into a dreamless sleep. Thankful to no longer be a dragon, just a brother, a hunter, and a lover once again.