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With heaps of thanks to Merry and Giddy!

Kings and Queens and Jokers, Too
by astolat

They got the trickster for once and goddamn all in Boise, managed to circle him with silver and salt and stake him all the way down to the ground. Afterwards Dean wiped off his forehead and told Sam, "This calls for steaks and beer."

"This calls for a shower first," Sam said, which Dean had to agree with. They did that and hit the biggest fanciest steakhouse Clive B. Arker could afford on his platinum Mastercard, both of them with hair still wet and glossy and slicked back, and maybe that was it, because the hostess looked at them and gave them what Dean called the professional non-homophobe smile and took them to one of the fancy romantic booths in back.

Dean rolled his eyes. Sam just shrugged with one shoulder back, and they sat down and ate two porterhouses with all the trimmings, and apple pie for dessert. A white-haired businessman at another table kept glaring at them. Dean licked the last of the pie from Sam's fingers and sat back, wondering what the hell was the guy's problem.

They headed out the next morning for a haunting in Kansas City. Dean flipped radio stations along the road over and over, feeling weirdly dissatisfied. "Hey, this one," Sam said, and Dean paused long enough for it to stick. He had a vague feeling of something being wrong, but it faded after a little while.

He was still singing under his breath when he stopped for gas and snacks, and the cashier snorted and said, "You come and go, huh? I bet. Condoms are in aisle five."

"Excuse me?" Dean said, eyes narrowing, and Sam let go of his hand to grab his arm instead and haul him out of the store.

He'd just about let that go, and then after Sam signed them in at the motel that night, the clerk glanced at them, grinned, and slid across a key with a giant brass heart keychain on the end that opened the door to the goddamn honeymoon suite.

"Seriously, dude," Dean said that night, and gulped a breath. "What the hell?" He shifted his weight a little. "Are we giving off some kind of vibe?"

"I don't—know," Sam said, his breath coming out in short little grunts. He grabbed Dean's thighs and hitched them up a little higher on his sides. "Is it—that—big a deal?" He moved some, and okay, there, that was it.

"I just don't get it," Dean said, lying back and putting his arm behind his head. "Why would anybody—come up—with—that—"

Sam wasn't paying attention right then. He had his teeth set in his lower lip and his eyes shut. Dean looked at his face affectionately and rubbed Sam's hair back off his forehead. He felt awesome, too awesome even to be pissed off at people jumping to dumb conclusions.

They wasted the spirit the next day and celebrated by going out to a bar downtown. It took a while driving around to find a place that looked good, and the only one Sam liked too was a dance place with a line, but the bouncer waved them right in, and it turned out to be pretty fun. Except then Dean got his ass patted by five guys, and one even started whispering in his ear, until Sam came out onto the floor and pulled him back to the bar. "Dude, we picked the wrong place," Dean said.

"The chicken is good," Sam said, and held him out a skewer. Dean stole some of Sam's drink, too—man, coconut was awesome. Sam nudged him onto a bar stool, and Dean leaned back against the bar, spread his legs wider to give Sam more room between them, make it easier for him to slip the buttons on the fly.

"You guys want to keep that up, there's a room in back," the bartender murmured, leaning over with a refill. "You eat and drink free all night if you go for at least fifteen minutes."

"Huh," Dean said. That sounded pretty awesome, though he didn't get what the hell he and Sam were supposed to be keeping up. Sam shrugged and was game, so they went and checked it out: it turned out to be a crazy sex suite, with one-way mirrors all over the room, a velvet couch and five sizes of vibrators and some weird-ass thing hanging from the ceiling Dean didn't want to know how you used. There was also this padded gym horse type thing, just about waist height, which was actually pretty comfortable to get bent over, and a thin flat wooden paddle, and ten kinds of oil.

For some reason, maybe just for being good sports about the joke, they got a standing ovation when they came out, and the bartender said, "You guys don't pay for anything here the rest of your lives," which would've been more awesome if they hadn't been an hour away from closing at that point. But whatever, Dean felt so boneless he could barely walk, he wasn't going to complain.

A couple of days later, Sam spotted them a hunt a few towns over, what looked like a nest of vamps. They got there and found the vamps weren't so much killing people as getting creative: they were working on converting a whole food-supply chain, of people who worked the night shift at the local blood bank.

"Quit the screaming and listen," Dean said, when they had the whole nest locked up. "You're not killing people, so we're not gonna kill you if you don't make us. But you guys can't force this on people. If you can talk somebody into doing it, it's up to them if they want to sign on. But you keep grabbing people and making them, and we'll come down here and take you all out."

The vamps quieted down after that, and then the leader said, "Agreed," cool and British, and when Dean and Sam started backing out, he stepped up to the barred door and said, "What about you?"

"Uh, what?" Sam said, eyebrows rising.

"We could use men like you," the vamp said. "You know how hunters think—you could help us avoid drawing their attention, their anger."

"Yeah, what you mean is, we could help you take them out," Dean said.

"You could be young and together, forever," the vamp said, not bothering to deny it. "The mortal pleasures you enjoy now are nothing to what they would be, with the vampiric mating bond between you."

"Dude!" Dean yelled. "We're brothers!"

The vamp shrugged. "We do not judge."

Dean was for wasting them after all, but Sam took the lighter fluid away and dragged him out of the cellar.

"What the hell is wrong with people," Dean said, stomping back towards the car.

"Well, I think that guy was a vampire, Dean," Sam said.

"So? That's not a goddamn excuse," Dean said, slamming the door. They stopped for the night after they'd put a good four hundred random miles between them and vamp town, and Dean told the clerk murderously, "You even ask me if I want a king, I'm not going to be responsible for my actions."

"No—no problem," the clerk squeaked, and shoved a key across at them. Dean fell out of the bed three times during the night. Sam fell out twice.

"Man, these beds aren't even queens, they're like, full-size," Sam said, handing him the shampoo while he ducked his own head under the shower.

"Tell me about it," Dean said, still pissed off. "This place sucks."

"At least they've got body wash and lotion," Sam said, and after Sam used up most of both bottles, okay, Dean was ready to agree that made up for it some. They went and had pancakes in the Denny's across the street, and Dean felt mellow enough he didn't even get annoyed that the waitresses kept looking at them together and whispering.

Bobby called them that afternoon: he'd gotten in a whole box full of talismans, stuff they needed on the road more than he needed at the junkyard. "Yeah, we'll be there tomorrow," Sam said. "Thanks, Bobby."

It wasn't a rush, so they stopped for the night and played a little friendly pool at a bar, not hustling, just having a good time, until a couple of truckers decided to get personal and sat down along the table and started making comments that got less and less easy to ignore. Dean finally lost patience and straightened up and smiled at them, tossing his pool cue on the table. "You want to repeat that?"

"What's the problem?" the trucker said. "You don't mind being called a fag, do you? That's what you are."

"Long as you don't mind being called a guy about to be pasted to the floor of this bar," Dean said.

Sam drove them back to the motel, because Dean's knuckles were busted and all swollen up, grabbed all their stuff and shoved it back in the trunk, and just kept going towards Bobby's, lecturing the whole way. "You can't let people provoke you like that, Dean!"

"Dude, that guy had it coming to him," Dean said.

"That guy can afford to get picked up and spend a night in the drunk tank," Sam said. "What difference does it make if some trucker thinks we're gay?"

"I don't care what he thinks," Dean said. "I care he was looking to insult me."

"So he was trying to piss you off, and you gave him what he wanted," Sam said.

"Only if what he really wanted was to lose a couple of teeth," Dean said, cheerfully. Sam was still a little annoyed when they got to Bobby's, around seven in the morning, though Dean felt pretty strongly by then he'd made it up to Sam plenty, hands-free. But even annoyed, Sam parked him at Bobby's kitchen table and made him coffee and went for the first aid supplies while Dean told Bobby the story.

"I swear to you, it's like we're cursed or something," Dean said to Bobby, after Sam had taped up his hands. They'd woken Bobby up a little early, and he was squinting his way through his first cup of coffee, bleary. "Everywhere we go, people just keep goddamn assuming—"

Bobby was starting to wake up, his eyes getting wide open and staring at them, a weird expression on his face, and then he broke in on Dean and said, "If this is some kind of joke, it ain't funny, so quit it."

"Huh?" Dean said, blankly. He looked at Sam. Sam stared back, and they both looked back at Bobby.

"Bobby, what are you talking about?" Sam said. "We're not kidding, people really keep thinking we're—"

"No kidding they keep thinking it," Bobby said. "What're you doing?"

Dean still didn't know what Bobby was talking about, and he must've looked it, because Bobby leaned over and pointed at Dean's hand.

"Uh, I told you, I got in a bar fight," Dean said.

"You're groping Sam!" Bobby said.

"Huh?" Sam said.

"Bobby!" Dean yelled. "What the fuck, that's gross."

Bobby stared at them both and then said, real slow and levelly, "Where's your hand, Dean?"

Dean looked down at his hand again. He didn't get what the hell Bobby was hallucinating, his hand was just right there, attached to his arm, it hadn't gone anywhere. Then Sam slowly fumbled his own hand over and put it on top of Dean's, careful not to press too hard, and they were both staring at where Sam's hand was, on Sam's thigh, and that was the inseam of Sam's jeans under Dean's fingers, and that was Sam's dick right there against the side of his palm, and there was a warm comfortable spot on Dean's back where Sam's hand was resting under his shirt—

"Oh my God," Sam said, staring down at Dean's hand. "How long have—"

"Yeah, you boys nailed that trickster real good," Bobby said, dry as dust.

"That was in Boise," Dean said, staring at his hand too. It didn't seem to want to move off Sam's thigh. "We've been doing this since Boise?"

"What did we," Sam said, "in Kansas City, did we—"

Dean shoved his chair back as fast as greased lightning and got right up to his feet. "Later, Bobby," he said, and they were out the door and back in the car and Dean peeled her out without even noticing the sting in his hands.

They got a room with double beds at the nearest motel, and Sam went and spent the day camped out in the local library researching, while Dean sat with both his hands right where he could see them, in a bucket of ice, watching ESPN and playing all his own tapes over and over.

Sam called him from the library to let him know about the progress. His voice made inappropriate parts of Dean go liquidly happy, and somewhere about fifteen minutes into the conversation, Dean realized he was jerking himself off, and Sam was telling him in a low hungry voice how soon as he got back he was going to turn Dean over and lick his—

"Sam!" Dean managed to gasp out, and Sam stopped and said in a stifled, horrified voice, "Oh my God. I've got my pants open in the microfiche section."

"Just tell me you found something," Dean said.

"Yeah, a purification ritual, but—"

"No, no, no buts!" Dean said.

"—we can't do it until the new moon."

"That's two weeks!" Dean said.

It was worse now, because they could tell it was happening, if they tried, but they couldn't stop it. They held hands in convenience stores and restaurants. Sam nuzzled the back of his neck while Dean signed them into motels, Dean put his hand in Sam's pockets to get out his wallet for vending machines. They made out up against the wall in laundromats and traded blowjobs at scenic overlooks, and if they stayed in a motel room there wasn't anything they didn't do, for hours, in the showers, over the kitchenette tables, in the beds.

"And what the hell is up with it always being me—" Dean said, gripping on to the side of the queen-size to stay in, while Sam fucked him with deep, steady, horrifyingly awesome strokes.

"I think—" Sam panted, "I think it's because—subconsciously—you don't want the—the guilt of—of—oh."

"Dude, that's bullshit," Dean said, after, limp and half-hanging off the edge.

"Well, either that or you just really—" Sam began, drowsily, and Dean made a deliberate heave and kicked him out of the bed the other way. Thump. "Ow!" Sam said, a moment later, from the floor.

"That goddamn trickster just has it in for me," Dean said. "I swear we are gonna hunt that bitch down and make him—" Sam was already snoring, without even getting into his own bed. Dean fell asleep before he could finish the sentence, and woke up in the morning with Sam curled up over and around him, ready for action again.

The really bad part was it was pretty goddamn awesome, especially what it did for Sam. They'd been on the road four years now together. Dean had tried to talk Sam up to going back to school a couple times lately. Sam had just rolled his eyes and ignored it, but that didn't make hunting something he loved. He was good at it, he thought it was the right thing to do, he liked helping people, but he didn't get a charge out of it, day to day. Instead he got tired and cranky and bitched at Dean a lot.

Dean had figured Sam needed to get laid more often, but not just how much Sam needed it. Not that he would've volunteered himself for the job, but now Sam was smiling a lot, fingers tapping a little on the window, laughing out loud again a couple times a week, when that had shrunk down to practically an annual event. He was sleeping eight hours a night and putting on a little weight.

And all of that together meant the life of one Dean Winchester automatically got a hell of a lot better too. Besides, not that he was going to admit it to Sam, but he was kind of tired of the bar scene. It was like with every year the chicks got younger and the beer got worse and the conversations stayed the same, and Dean had kept on because what else was there? Now he could check out a movie with Sam, maybe stay in and read a book, play a little Nintendo, and some point that night he was going to have hot sex, without the negotiation-and-condoms dance, and in the morning he was going to wake up in his own bed and go have breakfast with somebody he, uh, anyway.

So apparently what'd been missing from their lives was incest, and Dean really hadn't needed to know that, especially when in six days, fourteen hours, and twenty-three minutes, they were going to get rid of the damn curse and it was going to go missing again.

The new moon rolled around on schedule, and they pushed the beds to the sides of the room and rolled up the rug and took the battery out of the smoke alarm. Dean set out the candles, and Sam got out his measuring tape and made sure all the distances were right, and they piled up the heap of sage and verbena in the middle, and Sam read the latin and Dean dropped in the match, and they leaned in and breathed the smoke until the fire went out, and Sam sat back on his heels and said, "That's it."
"Okay," Dean said, and they cleaned everything up, and they took showers, separately, and they went to bed, and Dean woke up with Sam snuggled up around him. Sam stirred and woke up, and they stared at each other. Sam's dick was hard and nudging up against Dean's. "So, that worked great," Dean said, and shoved down their boxers.

At least they had a better handle on the public groping now, although Dean didn't know whether that was because they'd gotten rid of part of the curse or if they were just learning how to work around it. He still wanted his hands on Sam all the time. Sam spent a week reading everything in seventeen libraries across five states, and then he came back to the motel at two in the morning and threw his hands up and said, "It should've worked, Dean!"

Dean rolled his eyes and kicked off the covers. "You still want to tap this?" It'd been a couple days since the last time.

Sam muttered low in his throat and pulled his shirt off over his head.

"Yeah," Dean said, and gave his cock a couple of lazy pulls, warming himself up until Sam finished stripping and got in the bed and took over. "So what do you want to do?"

"Maybe we need to do it at the full moon instead," Sam said, and reached for the lube.

They waited another week and tried it again at the full moon. The next morning they went to the diner next to the motel. "Aren't you sweet," the waitress said, putting down their eggs and bacon. They looked at their hands, laced together on the table, and Dean said, grimly, "We're gonna have to get help on this."

They called Bobby, because the fewer people ever knew anything about this, the better, and drove back to Dakota. Dean shoved his hands in his pockets as soon as he got out of the car, and so did Sam, and they stood uneasily outside the door until Bobby opened it and glared at them. "Well, get in here, both of you," he said, and sat them down at the table and made them chew on a bunch of crap, mint and lotus root and chamomile, and had them turn in circles, and bite silver, and sprinkled them with holy water, and finally he stepped back and huffed a low annoyed breath out. Then he went into the pantry and pulled out a box of thin sheets of wafers and said, "Open up."

"What is this, communion?" Dean said, but he put out his tongue, and Sam did the same, and Bobby swiped the wafers and tossed them down on the table: they were turning blue. "What's that mean?" Dean said.

"There's good news and bad news," Bobby said, turning to the fridge. He brought out a couple of cold bottles of Heineken and popped off the caps, and slid them across the table.

"Yeah?" Dean said warily, stopping his bottle.

"The good news is, you're not cursed anymore," Bobby said.

"So—what's the bad news?" Sam said.

Bobby looked at him. "You ain't been, for at least a month."

Dean drank the beer without stopping.

Bobby offered to let them stay the night. "Separate rooms," he said dryly. "I'm not your keeper, but I'm not washing the sheets, either."

Sam stood up and said, "Uh, we're gonna go now," and grabbed Dean by the arm and pulled, and they got like hell.

Dean didn't say anything right away, too busy being horrified to spit. "It's bullshit," he finally managed to say, gravel rattling away as he hauled the Impala onto the paved road. "Bobby probably wiped us clean, and then his pH paper or whatever, messed up—"

"Uh huh," Sam said, rolling his eyes.

"Dude," Dean said.

"Dean, we've been sleeping together for a month," Sam said.

"It was so not our fault," Dean said.

"It really kinda was," Sam said.

"Fine, whatever, it's our fault!" Dean yelled. "It's not gonna happen again."

Sam shut up and dropped his eyes down to his hands in his lap, looking like someone had peeled the last three months of happiness right off him, and taken a couple extra layers of okay along.

"Dude," Dean said.

"I didn't say anything," Sam said shortly. He slumped against the doorframe, and turned his head away.

Well, that was just awesome. Dean stewed. How the hell did he end up as the bad guy? It wasn't like it hadn't been awesome for him too, but you didn't see him advocating the Flowers in the Attic lifestyle. Seriously, what was Sam thinking? They were going to go on holding hands and making out in the grocery store and getting laid four times a week—maybe five—

Dean grabbed the top Led Zeppelin tape and shoved it in for distraction. He was starting to depress himself.

Sam just stuffed his jacket under his head and curled himself up snugger against the door. He'd managed to get dark circles under his eyes in thirty seconds. Dean glared at him. A hundred miles of silence later, he got off the highway and pulled into a Friendly's for some food, without asking Sam. Too damn bad for him if he didn't want it; if Sam wanted to go on giving him the silent treatment, he could take whatever Dean felt like eating.

They didn't say a word to each other the whole time. Sam ordered a salad and picked at it. Dean vengefully ordered chicken fingers and a double patty melt with fries and the giant Reeses sundae that was about the size of his head. The waitress brought it to him with only one spoon.

Dean looked at his already-melting ice cream and looked at Sam poking a crouton around on his plate of lettuce. Then he forced down a couple of spoonfuls, but he had kind of lost his appetite.

He filled up on gas and got them back on the highway. It was dark already, getting close to eleven, but he didn't want to stop for the night yet. The stretch of the interstate wasn't lit, but the moon was still full, and he could go for a while. Sam blew out a sigh, and curled himself back up against the door. He didn't sleep; Dean could see his eyes reflecting the light.

"So what the hell do you want from me?" Dean said, finally breaking, after another hour. "You want to—"

He stopped. Sam didn't fill in the gap. Sam didn't say, yes, Dean, I want to keep banging you on a regular basis, and I want to hold hands while we go skipping through the daisies, and also I want flowers and maybe a ring, because that's just how much of a girl I am. Sam didn't say, I want to be happy. He just folded his arms over his chest and looked further away. "Are we stopping sometime tonight?"

"Whatever," Dean muttered, and yanked the car over three empty lanes to the exit coming up at them out of the dark, with a Lodging sign in front.

The motel was another four miles through unmarked streets, only the occasional blue sign to give him any clue they were still going the right direction. Dean shoved the car into park outside the front office and just sat there with his hands gripped on at ten and two. "We can't do this, Sammy."

They already had, Sam didn't say. He just opened the door and got out of the car. Dean threw his arms up and got out, and pushed into the office after him. "Goddammit, Sam, we are not gonna keep sleeping together!"

The clerk coming out of the back paused and looked between them and said, "So, uh, two queens?"

Sam looked at Dean.

All of it shoved into Dean's head at once: what Dad would've said, what Bobby was gonna think, what if other people found out; everybody in the world looking at them sideways and how much of a kick the fucking trickster would get out of it, and then he looked at Sam, standing there with his hair falling into his eyes and his shoulders slumped a little, lonely and worn down. It was like the taste of ten thousand nights of bar smoke in his mouth.

What the hell. He'd feed the son of a bitch a stake while he was busy laughing.

"Make it a king," Dean said.

= End =

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