Anyway, it's a busy night for the Winchester boys here in my lj, what with Sam getting sexed up in "Sugar" and Dean having no shame when it comes to Ben here.
So, on with the scene!
The story that introduces Ben
scenes one and two
He comes home after class knowing there's plenty he should be doing, but he doesn't have the drive to tackle any of it right now. He's feeling a little lost. Not so lost, though, that he misses the huge black car parked in front of his building, shining like molten glass, with Dean tucked safely inside. Dean raises his head and smiles brightly, a twin to the grin Ben can feel stretching his own mouth joyously.
"C'mon, c'mon," he's already saying as Dean opens the door and swings himself out of the car. He gets one hand up to cup Dean's cheek, thumbing away the smear of dirt that clings to his skin. Dean closes his eyes and rests his forehead on Ben's for a moment before he grabs his duffel and locks the car up tight. They take the stairs at a brisk clip, Dean close enough behind to seem like a shadow, never tripping over him even when they're impossibly tangled. He opens the door to his apartment and turns his head, murmuring, "Hang on a sec," one foot keeping the door from closing on them while he rummages in the old backpack that hangs from a hook and functions as a utility drawer. He eventually comes up with his spare set of keys and he presses them into Dean's hand. "I know you can probably break in whenever you want, but I don't need my front door scratched to hell."
"So now I'm a homewrecker?" Dean asks, his lips quirking up in a shy-looking half-smile. "Never had anyone put quite that spin on it before."
He gets his fist in the leather of Dean's jacket and pulls him in. The duffel drops at their feet. He shuts his eyes and gets lost in Dean's soft mouth.
It turns out they're both pretty particular about what makes a good sandwich, and they end up making their midnight snacks side-by-side; Ben would tease Dean for taking mental notes but for the fact that he's memorizing the way Dean likes to layer meat and cheese and spread spicy mustard on his tomato slices. Dean's talking about his latest hunt, looking all lit up, and he listens as he watches Dean's hands, strong and scarred and beautiful; they're the hands of someone who is living in a terrible world but fighting to make it better. He leans in close and kisses Dean behind his ear, pulse beating strongly beneath thin and tender skin. Dean just turns and licks at Ben's lower lip. "Food first, then fun," he says, taking both plates and setting them at the kitchen table.
"I need a haircut," Dean grumbles the next morning. They knock shoulders as they get into the shower.
"I like it this length," he says, dumping the last of the shampoo on top of Dean's wet head, tossing the bottle over the stall door, and swiping some into his own hand.
"I already know what you think, Grabby," Dean says, tilting his head to keep shampoo out of his eyes. His amulet gleams brightly against his flushed skin. "I just don't like it this long. Makes me itch."
"You'll like my barber," he says, conceding the fight; "he's got a million and one stories." He scrubs his hair and looks at Dean.
"What?" Dean asks, the scar from his stitches visible under the layer of water slipping down his skin. All of his scars are highlighted by the play of water and light, and Ben needs to look away.
"Just wondering when you were going to start singing," he teases after he gets his throat back under control.
"Just so you know, I don't take requests," Dean says, launching into a rousing rendition of "Las Palabras De Amor."
"Feel free to shut up any damn time," Dean hisses, and Ben tries, he really does, but he just can't stop laughing.
"You look fine," he says eventually.
Dean gives him a dirty look. "Liar. Fuckin' Joe really went to town on me."
He runs his hand over Dean's too-short hair, the bristles tickling against his palm. "It'll grow back. Bet in a few days it'll be exactly how you want it."
Dean's quiet after that, and Ben peers at him as they cross the square. A big grin blossoms on Dean's face when they get inside the building. "So you're saying I have to stay inside your apartment for a few days?"
"That's right," he says, slapping Dean's ass; "you need to hide your shame."
"Too bad I've got none," Dean says. He unlocks the door and grabs Ben, tossing him on the bed. "Let me show you what I mean."
He already knew, from hearing about the grains of rice that Dean mixes with rock salt to keep the mineral from clumping as it's poured into hot, empty shotgun shells, that Dean's got a creative and unconventional mind. But the way he's rubbing his shorn head against Ben's body, scraping provocatively, his rough and callused fingers sometimes leading and sometimes following, proves he's a diabolical genius. Ben can hear himself moaning, and he wants Dean inside him, splaying him open, holding him spread out and frantic and replete with his scarred and golden body.
He arches up against Dean, biting his lip, and Dean keeps moving over him, through him, hot hands and strong hips bringing them closer together until they fit just right and Dean slides home.
Dean's cell goes off early the next morning, and Dean makes sleepy noises of protest and tries to bury his face in Ben's shoulder. Ben can feel drool on his chest and he eases out from under Dean to snag the phone from the kitchen table. He holds it next to Dean's ear and Dean growls at him before flipping it open. "H'lo?" he mumbles. "Hey, Dad."
He freezes. It feels weird to be in bed with Dean while he's on the phone with his father, ex-Marine and Boss of the World, if Dean's stories are anything to go by. But Dean's voice is rough only with sleep, not tension. "Boston. I'm still in Boston," he says, cracking one eye open and crinkling his nose at Ben, rolling on his side to make the sign for coffee now. He waits, and Dean opens his other eye and makes them as beseeching as he's ever seen, and he needs to remember that Dean doesn't believe in playing fair. He rolls out of bed, pulling the topmost blanket off and wrapping it around himself, and shuffles over to the coffeemaker and starts it up.
"What, again?" Dean asks exasperatedly into the phone, flipping Ben off as he tries to cover up his nakedness with the remaining bedcovers. "Guy's paranoid. It was probably just kids getting some late Mischief Night kicks out of their systems. Yeah. I'll take care of it, Dad. See you in a couple weeks, okay?" Dean ends the call and looks up, his hair rampant.
He's pulling on his socks because the floor's freezing when he hears a loud thunk against the door. Dean goes suddenly tense, but he just smiles and rearranges his makeshift toga. "Paper's here." He opens the door and scoops it up, yelling his thanks to Marjorie down the hall, who fetches his while she's getting hers from the lobby. He tosses it on the bed and heads back to the coffeemaker.
Dean's already pulling the paper apart, dropping the shiny inserts and sale pages at the foot of the bed with a nauseated look on his face. "Hey," Dean says, the front section resting on his drawn-up knees as he peels off the mailing label, "how do you pronounce your last name?"
"Rhymes with 'the car,'" he says, the old formulation he's had in place since kindergarten tripping off his tongue. It's clearly the best way to explain to Dean, who grins widely at the thought of his pretty baby waiting patiently on the street below. "Here," he says, pouring the contents of the coffee pot into a mug roughly the size of his head, and Dean wastes no time in throwing aside his phone and the remnants of the Sunday paper and reaching for it with the desperation of a baby bird. Dean's on his third greedy swallow when his phone plays its voicemail notification, and Ben takes the opportunity to snatch the mug back and drain it dry.
He dumps the mug in the sink and gets back under the covers next to Dean, who says, "Dad said he'd forward the guy's voicemail. You have to hear him - the guy's convinced his own shadow's out to get him now." He leans against Dean, who holds the phone between them, and hears Dean's dad's rumbly voice saying, "Son, get this guy off my back. Meet you in Philadelphia by the 24th." There's a click and then a new voice, thin and panicked and impatient comes through. "Mr. Winchester, it's Terry Coolidge. I've got another . . . problem. It's a poltergeist, I'm sure of it. I need you to get rid of it right away." Dean cuts the message off, rolling his eyes hugely, but Ben can't smile back.
He unsticks his throat long enough to ask, "Your last name is Winchester?" This has to be a coincidence, a joke. There’s no way this can be real. Dean nods offhandedly, frowning because Ben's not playing along. "You're Dean Winchester. You're Sam's brother."
Dean’s smile is all surprised delight, and he closes his eyes against it. "You know Sammy?"
He almost laughs, almost chokes, but just says, "Yeah." That whole delirious year, he never once thought of him as "Sammy"; given the way things ended, he supposes that's a sign of how little he knew him after all.
Dean's still waiting for some elaboration, so he tries to pull himself together. He thinks maybe he can do this if he chops it up into little pieces. "I went to Stanford."
"I'm in bed with a geek!" Dean groans, falling back against the pillows dramatically.
That throws him off a little and he fumbles his response. "Well, yeah. I majored in mechanical engineering."
"Really?" Dean sits back up, looking closely at him. "That's pretty cool."
"Yeah, uh, we met in a class, and -"
"If you're going to try to tell me Sammy was in any class that required math that can't be done with a solar calculator, save yourself the trouble," Dean says, looking spectacularly incredulous.
He wants to laugh at the picture Dean makes, gorgeous and naked and rumpled and puzzled, but his throat just tightens up again. "No. It was art history."
He has no idea how to tell this part. "And what?"
"And Sammy mentioned me by name? Had to be closer than just study-buddies." There's no realization in Dean's tone; he's still working the idea through from the other side.
"We were friends, and we were together for about six months." He gives it the old college try, and if Dean can't catch the layers of meaning, all the better.
He's forgotten how sharp Dean is, at least with him. "Well, hell, isn't Sam just full of surprises," Dean finally says, his eyes wide and downcast. Dean's fingers are picking at the blanket haphazardly thrown over their legs. He doesn't know what to say, how to ask if this changes things for Dean, if running off is a Winchester tradition, if Dean still wants to stay. He's tempted to start the coffee machine up again, just to give himself something to do, but he doesn't want to be the first to move, to ease away from the warmth of Dean's flank kissing his. They sit in silence for uncounted minutes.
"You didn't know?" Dean asks quietly. He shakes his head even though Dean's still looking at the blanket instead of him. "Does it matter to you?" Dean's voice has almost disappeared, and the words seem more like a thought overheard than a question posed. He can't shake his head this time and Dean turns to face him.
The back of Dean's hand knocks against his. "Pretty much never had anything in my life that Sammy didn't call first," Dean says, trying to smile, but his clear eyes have dimmed.
"Turn around," he says in a rough whisper, waiting until Dean's facing the wall before wrapping his arms around him and drawing him gently back. He kisses the nape of Dean's neck and rests his head on Dean's shoulder, holding him close, and when Dean lies back down, Ben goes with him.
There's no jockeying for position in the shower or the kitchen.
Dean's gone quiet, to the point where he doesn't even protest when Ben unthinkingly distributes banana slices into both bowls of corn flakes. "You need milk," is all Dean says, and they sit at the small kitchen table uncomfortably.
He takes the bowls to the sink, freezing when he hears keys jingling in Dean's hand. He turns to find Dean looking at him uncertainly. "Are we still going to that thing?" Dean asks, and he's so relieved that Dean isn't just making a break for the door that he can't quite speak.
"Yeah," he finally says, and Dean shrugs on his leather jacket and waits for him by the door.
They get out to the street, blinking dazedly in the bright, cold sunshine and through the clouds of breath he can see Dean sweep his hand along the car like he would pet a cat to make it purr. It would be so easy for Dean to just get in his girl and drive off, and he knows it means something that Dean's letting him come along for the ride. He wants to kiss Dean, touch him, but he's not sure enough yet. But when he smiles at Dean, he gets a smile back in return.
The farmers' market is busy but not crowded, since it's cold enough to discourage browsing. It's nearly closing time; Dean had just put the car in gear and driven without asking for a destination, and Ben was content to sit beside him in the warm black space where Dean grew up.
Dean pulls up in front of the main entrance. "I didn't see a parking space, so I'm just gonna stay in the car." He can see that Dean's right, that there's nowhere big enough for this car, but he doesn't really want to get separated either. There's no way to say that, though, so he just nods and gets out of the car.
He's sifting through damp boxes of raspberries when he feels his phone buzz in his pocket. "Yeah?"
Dean's voice comes through low and lazy. "Try not to get just health food, okay? Pick up something a non-freak would eat."
"A non-freak such as . . .?"
"Me, the goddamn pinnacle of evolution." He can practically hear Dean's smirk through the phone, and he laughs, feeling the knot in his stomach loosen. Just for that, Dean's getting his sweet tooth indulged. He drops the raspberries into his basket and heads for the homemade chocolates.
He likes the smell of gun oil. It leaves a tang in the air, and Dean's hands move with a beautiful rhythm as he goes through the motions with each weapon.
He turns back to his textbooks reluctantly; he needs to know this stuff for the MLE. And worrying over a relationship three years gone isn't a solution of any kind. He takes off his glasses, rubs at his eyes, and starts to go through his notes from the first year, staying sharp with the coffee Dean keeps making.
Dean's packing up the guns just as his eyes start closing. They're quiet as they get into bed, and his "good night" gets lost on the smooth skin of Dean's throat.
He goes through his regular warm-up when he gets to the field, trying not to grin like an idiot just because Dean's in the stands. Rahul and Eleanor are quizzing each other on insertion points, and they pass him the ball, including him in the study session. "Last one of these until spring, I think," Rahul says, shivering in the sharp breeze. He turns his head to look at Dean, who gives him a casual wave while talking to a couple of girls sitting next to him on the bleachers.
He's just glad his knee has healed completely, that he can play soccer again; the game is his best outlet, and without it he knows he lets things fester in his head. He scores off a pretty pass from Nick and sets Eleanor up for an easy goal kick. He waits at halftime, but Dean's got a whole crowd of girls around him now, and it doesn't look like he'll be making his way to the field anytime soon.
The second half of the game is tight, possession being overturned every minute, no shots on goal attempted. When Jeff blows the whistle, everyone looks up in surprise that the time elapsed so quickly. He gets back to the sideline to find Dean standing there, girls hovering near him in clumps of two and three. "Ready?" he asks, and Dean just walks up and kisses him like the last few days never happened, like they're not in public, like he doesn't care what any of those girls has to offer. He opens his mouth and kisses Dean back.