It was the crime statistics count in the annual state report that got them interested in Hawkesville: murders and suicides and assaults had all jumped for the last three months of the year. That was weird enough, but after they dug a little deeper into the local newspapers, Sam noticed that the divorces and weddings were up, too. It was baffling, like nothing they'd ever heard of before. The journal was no use, no history of haunting in the town, and even Ellen and Ash came up empty.
"Screw it," Dean said, slamming the latest useless book closed, and instead they did it the hard way, retracing all the victims' steps until they had something like a pattern, lines in Crayola markers on their map leaving one open spot in the middle, deep in the woods, and they loaded up on everything they could think of and went hunting.
It turned out to be a Doctor Moreau wannabe veterinarian who'd thrown a little spellcasting into his breeding program. Now the town had its very own little band of cursed mutant hoodoo skunks living in the woods around the nutjob's cabin, except when these things sprayed, it left a psychic stink instead of a physical one, brought all sorts of things crawling up out of people's heads. Still, they weren't so much monsters as they were pests, and the babies were cute little fuzzy things mewing and curled up around each other in a nest of torn rags and scavenged newspaper.
Sam stood next to him, waiting. Then he said, "Dean?"
"What?" Dean said, staring down at them, the handgun cold and heavy by his side.
"What are you doing?"
Dean looked at him. Sam stared back, blankly. Dean tried and failed to come up with something, anything, quick, but it was too late, Sam's eyes were going wide, and he was starting to grin. "Shut up," Dean hissed.
"I really don't think we can keep them," Sam said, gently, the little fucker.
"Fine," Dean said, "you kill them, then."
Sam went into the front room of the cabin, where all the fucked up equipment was, and came back with a bottle of chloroform and an empty garbage bag, a big bulky leather glove on one hand. Sam bent down and carefully started putting the baby skunks into the sack.
"Dude!" Dean said. "You're like, about to poison a bunch of kittens."
"Okay, Dean, so what do you want to do, leave them to starve?" Sam said, sitting back on his heels and glaring. "We already killed the rest of the pack, and the ASPCA ain't going to take skunks, aside from the fact that oh yeah, they grow up to turn people psycho."
There wasn't an answer to that. "I'm going outside to keep watch," Dean muttered, stalking up the stairs, and that was how he found out they hadn't got all the pack, and hey, turned out they left a pretty good physical stink too, after all.
"Okay, Dean, just—whatever you think of doing, you've got to tell me first," Sam said, hovering about two inches away. He sounded like somebody talking through a bad cold.
"Dude, back off," Dean said. He felt fine, aside from the fact that he couldn't stand to be within fifty feet of himself, which sucked out loud. He sat down on the toilet lid and glared at his boots, his goddamn good hiking boots, eighty bucks of cold hard cash and broken in just right. If that asshole hadn't already hung himself, Dean would have kicked his fucking head in for this. "Most of those people were probably already psycho to start with. I'm not going to shoot myself in the head."
"Fine," Sam said, "but seriously, if you start having weird feelings—"
"I want to shoot you in the head, but that's not weird, that's justifiable homicide," Dean said. He stood up and shucked off his jeans to join his shirt on the ground. He turned the tap. "Jesus, fuck, why can't we ever stay in a place that has decent goddamn water pressure?"
"Yeah, you're doing great, Dean, real calm," Sam said.
"Dude!" Dean snapped, "I got skunk-sprayed! I've got a God-given right to be pissed, so quit fucking with me."
"Okay, okay!" Sam said, soothing and shit, and goddammit, Dean really did want to pop him one, except that would prove him right. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Yeah," Dean said. "Catch." He tossed his boxers into Sam's face and watched him splutter and yell, which made him feel loads better. He grinned and stepped into the shower. "Throw all that shit out for me," he yelled over the curtain.
It took all four mini-bottles of shampoo and conditioner and three micro-bars of soap to kill the smell. Once the worst of it was gone, Dean could suddenly smell chloroform: Sam was parked on the other side of the shower curtain on his stupid fucking suicide watch. The smell made him remember, he couldn't help it; all those tiny helpless bodies, one by one, going into that bag—
"Dean?" Sam said, warily, through the curtain. "Dean, are you okay?"
"M'fine," Dean snarled, rubbing his hand across his face. "Dude, you stink too, you need to get in here soon as I'm done."
"I'm not leaving you alone until this stuff wears off," Sam said.
"Then I guess you're getting in here now, because I'm not staying in the same room with you while you smell like that."
"Uh," Sam said.
"You're such a fucking prude, Sammy," Dean said. "How'd you deal with showers at school? I swear to God."
"I'm not a prude!" Sam said. "I have a hard enough time fitting in these freaking box showers alone, there's not room for me with your ass in there, Dean!"
"Uh huh," Dean said, feeling better again. "I promise not to look, Sam-my," he sang, and Sam muttered something that sounded like "asshole," and started rustling around in the background.
Except then Sam actually got in the shower, and he hadn't been lying about the space issue. "What the hell did we feed you, anyway?" Dean said, ducking to the side to avoid an elbow. "Watch where you're putting those things."
"This was your idea! Did you use up all the soap?"
"There's some left," Dean said, handing him the last bar. He turned around and leaned against the back wall of the shower. "Come on, wash my back."
"What?" Sam said. "No!"
"Quit freaking out like I'm after your maidenly virtue," Dean said. "I can still smell the stuff between my shoulders, I can't reach." Sam muttered some more. Dean waited until Sam had gotten his hands planted firmly, spread out over Dean's shoulderblades, thumbs on the line of his spine, and then he peered back over his shoulder and said, "Dude, are you really washing my back?"
Sam's hands froze. "I hate you," Sam said.
"I'm kidding!" Dean said. He waited until Sam started moving his hands again, then he added, "Seriously, that feels great."
"Um," Sam said, freezing again.
"Come on, keep doing that," Dean added, letting his voice get kind of husky.
"Are you screwing with me?" Sam demanded. Dean cracked up. "You're such a jerk," Sam said. "This is what's in your hidden depths, figures." He put a hand on Dean's neck, pushed him against the wall, and scrubbed his back hard and thorough with the other one, and whoa, damn, it really did feel good. Dean relaxed against the cold tile and sighed out, noisily. Wasn't like Sam was going to know it wasn't just yanking his chain.
He goosed Sam while Sam was bent over washing his hair, and towel-whipped his ass after—Sam had a seriously fine ass, come to think of it—so overall the night was back in the win column by the time they got out of the bathroom. "You know, I bet a lot more people got sprayed than showed up in the statistics," Dean said. "It's not doing a damn thing to me."
"I'll remind you that you said that soon as it wears off," Sam said, muffled, toweling his hair. Dean grinned and tripped him flat-faced onto the bed, pinning his head down in the folds of the towel. "Dean!" Sam yelled, arms and legs waving around like an unhappy bug. Dean parked himself across Sam's thighs.
"Sorry, Sammy, I just can't help myself," Dean said, and licked a stripe up the back of Sam's neck. Sam made a weird noise behind the towel and squirmed, but he wasn't going anywhere with Dean's hands braced against his shoulders, keeping him down. "You like that, baby?"
"Oh God," Sam said, in a small appalled voice that was the most hilarious thing Dean had ever heard. He shifted forward and settled his cock right between Sam's thighs. He got his knees planted on the outside and pressed Sam's legs in tighter. Sam said, "Dean. Dean."
Dean was grinning so hard he thought his face was going to crack. "Yeah, Sammy?"
"Dean," Sam said, low and steady, "seriously, just stop a minute and think about what you're doing."
"I'm thinking," Dean said, nuzzling him. "I'm thinking about it plenty." Hard not to, with his dick snugged happy and warm right up behind Sam's balls, and Sam's thighs shivering and tight around him, all soft, and Sam's voice wobbling like that. Sex and fucking with Sam's head, it was like two awesome things that were even more awesome together. "Come on, you're loving this, right?" He slid his hand between Sam's belly and the mattress and got Sam's dick in his hand. Oh yeah, Sam was into it all right, long thick beautiful wood all for him.
"Dean, please," Sam said, except he sounded miserable, all twisted up, and goddammit, Sam just couldn't enjoy anything.
"For Christ's sake, Sam," Dean said. "Can I fuck you like we both want me to, or do you want me to stop and let you lie here and cry about it?"
Sam swallowed so hard Dean could feel it through his back. "Stop," Sam whispered.
"Oh, fuck that," Dean said, and jerked Sam's cock until Sam was shuddering and pushing his hips up on every stroke, saying, "no, yeah, God, Dean," in a low desperate voice.
"Yeah, baby," Dean said, biting Sam's neck. "Come on, Sam, tell me. I know you want it, come on and let me," and he was starting to sound pathetic, all whiny-needy, but fuck he wanted it so bad; it was killing him not to just slide in there and take Sam where he needed to be, his dick rocking right there in the hot damp sweet hollow just a couple inches short of heaven. "Sam, come on, please."
Sam groaned and said thickly, "Dean," which wasn't a no, and then oh thank Christ, he let his legs ease open. Dean fumbled in the end table, fast, and then Sam was saying, "Dean, Dean, please, oh, oh God," voice rising sharply louder. Dean sucked on the back of Sam's neck while he worked the rest of his dick inside, and then he pressed himself all along Sam's back, Sam's sweat-slick miles of back, and fucked one moan after another out of him with long steady thrusts, Sam's muscles going to water under him. "Yeah, that's it," Dean said, burying his face between Sam's shoulders, so fucking happy. "Yeah, Sammy, come on. Come on."
"It's okay," Sam said really fast, as soon as Dean opened his eyes. "Dean, it wasn't you, all right?"
"Dude, you see some other guy around here who fucked you last night?" Dean said, yawning. "Come on, I want some coffee."
Sam's mouth opened and shut a couple times. Dean didn't bother waiting until he got around to actual sound, and went to hit the shower. He could still smell the damn skunk spray.
Sam kept darting looks at Dean over breakfast. Anytime their eyes almost met, he ducked his head fast and pretended to be poking at his eggs really seriously. Dean rolled his eyes and tilted his head back for a handful of fries. "Anything in the papers?" he said.
"Uh, what?" Sam said, jerking his head up.
"We're done here, right?" Dean said. "Bad guy's already dead, the things are toast—" he waved his hand. "Where to next?"
Sam stared at him. "Dean, we're not done, we have to find a cure for this."
"I'm fine, and nobody else is getting sprayed," Dean said.
"You are not—" Sam's voice rose sharply until he noticed how loud he was getting and dropped down to a hiss across the table. "You're not fine, and we're not going anywhere until this stuff wears off or we find a cure."
"Ah, whatever," Dean said. He was totally fine.
They went back to the lab to dig through all the wreckage. The psycho had burned all his papers and busted up his laptop before he'd checked out, so there wasn't a lot to collect, and most of that was covered with soot and skunk piss. "You're carrying that," Dean said. Sam just rolled his eyes and stuffed it all into a trash bag.
"We're going to have to pick up some solvents to clean this stuff off enough to read," Sam said, and dragged him to the local hardware store. Dean ditched him in the paint aisle and wandered outside to go hit the liquor store three blocks down, with a detour past the pet store where a couple of cute girls were standing outside the window making cooing noises.
Sam found him half an hour later, on the street. "I swear to God, Dean—" He stopped and leaned in frowning, trying to see down Dean's jacket.
"What?" Dean said, defensively, leaning back. Then he flinched; felt like someone had jabbed a needle right into his chest. "Ow, fuck!" He jerked his shoulders forward.
The kitten clawed a little further up his shirt and finally managed to poke its head out over his jacket.
"So, I know I'm gonna regret asking this," Sam said, after a minute, "but where did you get that?"
The door of the pet store slammed open, and a clerk came out looking up and down the street. Dean smacked Sam in the arm. "Move, move—" and ran for the car.
"You stole a kitten," Sam said, following Dean back into the motel room. He stopped in the middle of the room and repeated it. "You stole a kitten."
Dean yanked the curtains shut and fished the kitten out of his jacket and put it on the nearest bed. "Dude, this chick outside the store told me they put them down when they get to be too old to sell." The gangly kitten meowed and started making its way experimentally across the coverlet, pouncing on the lumpy unmade folds.
Sam put his hands on his hips and let his head slump down. After a minute he looked up again and said levelly, "Great, Dean. I'm glad you saved the kitten. What're we supposed to do with it?"
"He'll ride in the back of the car," Dean said. "He can be like, our mascot or something. It'll be awesome."
"We'll see how awesome you think it is when it pees on the upholstery," Sam said. "And I'm not buying food for it."
"Fine, I'll go buy some," Dean said.
"No way," Sam said. "I let you out alone you'll come back with a llama or something."
"Then I guess you're going shopping," Dean said, dropping onto the bed and stretching his legs out. He herded the kitten away from the edge, and it purred against his hand. Made him feel kind of better for the whole thing with the baby skunks. "Make it Fancy Feast."
The kitten proved he was awesome by peeing on Sam's bed while they were out getting the cat food and the litterbox. "Guess we're trading," Sam said, and threw all Dean's stuff off the bed.
"Guess we're sharing," Dean said, and tackled Sam onto it.
"Library," Sam said grimly, the next morning. He had a pretty spectacular line of hickeys starting under his ear and going down into the neck of his t-shirt.
"Dude, you get one more day," Dean said, sniffing his shirt from yesterday. "Then we're ditching this place. Man, all my stuff still smells like skunk. We need to hit Wal-Mart."
"You smell like skunk," Sam said, shoving his shoulder on the way to the bathroom.
"Didn't hear you complaining last night," Dean said, popping open another can of cat food. "Jeez, hang on a second," he said to the kitten: it was standing up with its front paws braced on the top of his boot, meowing. He bent down and gave it the can. Sam still hadn't come back with anything; Dean looked up and saw him braced against the sink, leaning over it with his eyes shut. "Hey. Hey, you having a vision or what?"
"No," Sam said, low. "Listen, Dean—"
"Come on, not this again," Dean said, getting up to grab his jacket. "I'm not fucking drugged!"
"When this wears off—"
"Yeah, I'm leaving now," Dean said, and went to wait in the car.
Research was even more boring when you were researching for something that wasn't a goddamn problem. Dean suffered for twenty minutes, until Sam got really into a book, then he snuck away. The librarian doing the shelving in the non-fiction section was cute, short with curves and glasses and that whole prim bun thing going on. "Need a hand?" Dean said, giving her his best grin.
She blushed a little, but she looked interested, and ten minutes later he had her up against the wall with the bun coming messily apart while he kissed her. "But, oh," she was saying, panting, "I'm, I'm working," faintly.
"Time for your fifteen minute break?" Dean said, sliding a finger under her belt buckle.
Then he was yanked off hard and slammed against the wall. "Dean!" Sam hissed, and the librarian turned bright red and took off around the corner.
"Dude!" Dean said, looking mournfully after her.
"I don't goddamn believe you!" Sam said, and hauled him away towards the doors.
"Aw, what's the matter, baby, jealous?" Dean said, smirking, letting Sam tow him out of the library. Bingo.
"Shut up," Sam said, shoving him into the car with both hands. He stomped around to the driver's side.
"Yeah, cause it's so wrong and all, I've gotta be high or something," Dean said, following Sam back into the motel room. "No way I could know what the fuck I want and just be going for it—"
Sam scooped the kitten up off the bed in one hand, without stopping, and went and shut it in the bathroom.
"Hey!" Dean said, then Sam turned around and grabbed him and threw him onto the bed. Okay, now that was more like it. Dean grinned and heeled off his boots. Sam was yanking his shirt up off over his head, furiously.
"I'm going to fuck you into the ground," Sam said.
"Oh yeah," Dean said, as Sam landed on top of him.
When Dean woke up the next morning, he didn't smell the skunk stuff anymore. He also had his brain back.
Sam stirred, next to him and on top of him and under him, depending on which body part you were checking on. He nuzzled at Dean's neck sleepily.
"Dude," Dean said. "Sam."
"Mm?" Sam said, licking at his jaw.
"It wore off."
Sam froze, staring at him with huge, horrified eyes. Dean looked away and quietly said, "I can't believe you did that to me."
"Dean—" Sam said, his voice cracking. " I didn't—you—oh God. Dean." He reached out a hand. "I'm sorry—"
Dean didn't look at him. "It's not going to be that easy, man."
"Dean, I'll—Whatever you need me to—" Sam stopped, abruptly. "Oh my God, you fucking jerk," he said, and slammed Dean flat to the bed.
Dean cracked up, even though Sam was wrestling him onto his stomach. "Aw, come on, Sammy, you owe me at least one wax job," he said over his shoulder.
"I'm gonna beat the crap out of you," Sam said, but he was reaching for the lube, so Dean was okay with that.
= End =
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