New scene featuring my OTP, this time NC-17. This is the one where the supernatural intrudes on the boys' lives (so my apologies to the four of you who voted NO! - and only NO! - in my poll). As always, I owe many thanks. To monkiedude for helping me figure out who Ben was; to janissa11 for suggesting this pairing when I was moping over Ben and also for giving this scene a thumbs-up; and to gekizetsu for insisting that I wasn't stepping on her toes with the combination of ideas found in this scene. And to everyone who comments on these scenes; I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who's made happy by these boys. Thanks!
scenes one and two
"So," Dean says as he opens, as he gives around Ben's fingers, his voice thready and his breath hitching despite his casual words, "if you see a big black truck following you around, or if a big white guy with dark hair, dark eyes, and a beard starts stalking you, don't worry about it. I told my dad about you."
His fingers lose their way but Dean's stay settled on his shoulders. For Dean to tell anyone, let alone his dad - that's huge, and he goes kind of crazy in response. He flushes hot, then cold, and ends up staring dumbly down at Dean, who's frowning frustratedly as he grinds down on Ben's hand, trying to get the rhythm going again. "What - what did you say to him?"
Dean knows what he's asking and grins up at him. "I didn't get all poetic or anything - he'd've tried to exorcize me. Just told him who you were." Dean draws his head down and kisses him, long and thorough, and he remembers to get his fingers moving again, to press and stroke the way Dean likes. Dean arches up and keeps himself open when Ben finally thrusts in.
"If you really want to know," Dean murmurs, after he's come all over his own stomach, between wet, hard kisses, "you make me feel . . ." and Ben gets lost looking at him, at the way Dean shines, steady and vivid and responsive, and Dean somehow manages to look mischievous even when he shouldn't be able to think, let alone speak, and whispers, ". . . well-fucked."
Ben comes with a shout or a laugh and when he can finally see Dean again, he realizes that what Dean really looks like is well-loved. He kisses Dean once more and hides his smile against Dean's warm neck.
"Still on 95?" he asks, tucking the phone between his shoulder and his ear so he can start chopping onions.
"For the rest of my life," Dean groans, not sounding upset at all. "Guess I got to be careful not to stay in any more family-run places. Motel 6, here I come. Whoo."
"Oh, stop it. You know you're glad you can stay sort of close to home."
"Anything is 'close' when my baby gets going," he hears Dean say, can imagine the fond pats Dean's giving the dashboard and steering wheel. "Hey, you don't belong to one of those dumbshit Polar Bear clubs or anything, right?"
"Why should I go outside to freeze my ass off when I could do it in the comfort of my own apartment?" he cracks. "Why, what's up?"
"Nah, nothing." There's a pause. "Exit's coming up. Gotta go."
"Hey, Dean," he says; "love you."
"That's what they all say."
"Who's 'they'?" he plays along, his eyes watering.
"All the boys I let into my pants."
"Jackass." He dumps the onions into the pot and starts pressing the garlic.
Dean's words and a phone call from his parents crowing about Jaya's Lincoln Center debut make him, stupidly, homesick, and he mopes around for a few days before deciding that what he needs is to breathe in the tang of ocean air, inhale the scent that defined his childhood summers.
He takes the T from the clinic and gets out to the beach. Sunset is long gone, but a few stubborn pink streaks still linger in the nearly black sky, and he shivers in the cold, feeling calm instead of lonely. He tips his head back and breathes it all in and starts to walk.
He remembers the suicides he'd run in the sand while Jaya lazed back with a book, the two of them reuniting in the saltwater, hair plastered flat against skin that glowed browner than usual. It's not homesickness, not really; he just hasn't been face-to-face with his sister in too many years.
He rounds the curve of the beach and sees a blazing bonfire, two homeless people sleeping near its warmth. He's about to turn around and leave them to their sanctuary when he realizes one of them is much too close to the fire; he runs over and sees the flames licking at her crumpled body, and he knows she's dead. He turns to the other person, lying utterly still, and he feels sick and dizzy when he pushes aside the odd wrappings covering his face and sees that it's Dean.
Dean won't wake up, though his heartbeat is steady and strong, and Ben cannot bring himself to let go. He should be pulling the dead girl away from the fire. He should be calling for help. But he just keeps looking at Dean's still, pale face, the only thing the firelight lets him see in this vast darkness. A light rain starts to fall, muting the humming he's been hearing since he neared the fire, and Dean's eyes finally open.
"Ben," he says, his voice ripped to shreds. "Help me burn her."
It's not a girl at all. It's female, a tight necklace of blood where Dean slashed her throat open nearly distracting him from the gills he finds under carelessly scattered lank, rough hair. Her skin is like fine-grain sandpaper, and not even the orange of the fire can mask its greenness, now that he's really looking. She's got claws and sharply inhuman teeth, row upon row, tiny and deadly and bright white. He and Dean drag her into the flames, and Dean searches her tangle of hair for something bright and shining that he pulls free with a snap. She burns quickly, settling into dust, and they watch it happen as the rain patters against the crowns of their heads, Dean still kneeling and Ben standing next to him.
It's when Dean tries to stand that he finally sees what's throwing off Dean's equilibrium.
Dean is shivering, and Ben's traitorous fingers keep fumbling the keys, stopping them from reaching the safe haven of their apartment. The door finally swings open and he hooks his arm around Dean's bare waist to guide him inside, but Dean keeps locking his knees in silent protest. It suddenly occurs to him what the problem is, and he lets go of Dean long enough to dart inside and sweep the salt off the doorframe.
Dean still looks wary but take a step forward. His wings shift uneasily as something pushes back against him, denying him entrance. "Need a sigil," Dean whispers, sounding wearier and wearier each nanosecond. "Ink on my skin." Ben digs in the backpack hanging on the hook by the door and comes up with a marker and hands it to Dean. "Has to be you," Dean says, closing his eyes.
There's no time to argue. He wants Dean inside as soon as possible, away from others' eyes, safe and warm in bed. He uncaps the marker and Dean turns to present his back. "Between the wings," Dean directs, and he positions the tip above Dean's dappled skin. "Close your eyes and concentrate," Dean asks, and pauses before starting off with, "one long downstroke, now."
He puts salt back up on the doorframe while Dean collapses in the bed, falling uneasily on his side and crushing one of the wings underneath him. Dean groans and sits up straight, and lets Ben check his vitals. Dean's body temperature is low, and the breath he's panting out against Ben's hands is cool and wet as the air swirling around a mountaintop. He kisses the top of Dean's head as he checks Dean's pulse and Dean tilts his face up to look at him. He gets dizzy from looking into Dean's eyes, the green of the irises undulating like waves in ocean water. He closes his eyes and kisses Dean, hard, and feels Dean's arms like bands of iron around him. He holds on to Dean.
He can feel Dean murmuring something into his mouth, and he makes it out after a few repetitions. "Sorry," Dean is saying, trying to pull free.
"No," he says. "No."
"I'll figure out what she did. I'll figure out how to change back," Dean says, his voice still sounding used up, this time with an edge of desperation.
He wants to tell Dean it doesn't matter, but he knows that it does, that Dean needs to believe he can reverse whatever that thing did to him. He's never seen Dean at a loss before. Something icy slides down the back of his neck, and he twists to see a trickle of blood dripping from Dean's clenched hand. He pulls back and opens Dean's fist, finding the bright coin the thing had woven into its hair slicing open Dean's palm. Before he can dress the wound, it closes up on its own, leaving a blisteringly hot, raised white scar behind; the humming sound around them gets louder while Dean regenerates.
Dean looks as shocked as he feels, and they look at each other with determination, recognizing the necessity of documenting everything about Dean to narrow down the search for an answer. Dean plucks at one wing and Ben the other. "Nothing," Dean finally reports, after they've lifted and run fingers through the dense softness of pale-gold feathers, exactly the color of Dean's freckles. "Not a lot of sensation in them. Don't think they'd hold me up, either."
"Lie back," he says, wanting to investigate the way they've insinuated themselves into Dean's musculature. But when Dean is settled trustingly on his stomach and Ben runs his hand across the ink to the spot where the left wing meets Dean's broad and supple back, it refuses to stay still, shifting like water in a balloon. "They're not . . . attached," he says, prodding gently, fingers growing firmer as they skate across Dean's familiar skin. "Can you control them at all?"
Dean shakes his head, then rolls over just enough to look at him over his shoulder and gets one hand around his wrist, pulling slowly. "Ben, please," Dean says, raising himself up on his knees and Ben lies in the cool spot Dean's vacated, and lets Dean strip them both. Dean spreads his legs and sinks down on him, the wings spreading to their fullest length, and starts to move; his hands move wonderingly over Ben as if Ben's the one who has transformed, who's been stripped of his everyday self and replaced with alien splendor, something blindingly beautiful. No. That's wrong. That hasn't happened to Dean either. This is still Dean on top of him, just a Dean hurt by something evil, and his hands hold Dean's hips a little tighter.
"I need to call my dad," Dean says when dawn breaks.
"Your stuff is still in the car," he reminds Dean, wondering briefly if there are feathers all over the backseat; "use my phone." He tosses it over, and Dean stretches long and lean to catch it. Dean dials and raises the phone to his ear and lets out a pained yelp, dropping the phone back on the bed.
"Feedback loop," he grits out, and Ben snatches up the phone and hits redial, crossing the room and cursing the cramped dimensions of the apartment.
"This is John Winchester." There's no sleep in Dean's dad's voice, just a hint of impatience.
"This is Ben Mahar."
Now there's something sharp in that deep voice. "Did Dean not check in with you?"
"No, sir, he's here. But whatever that thing was that he was hunting, it did something to him."
"I need to speak with my son."
"He can't get on the phone. He's not unconscious, his vitals are fine, just . . . he can't use the phone. But I'll tell you everything he's telling me."
He hangs up and turns on his laptop, looking for his digital camera. He photographs both sides of the coin in a series of shots, trying for as much detail as possible, but not much is visible; the water must have polished it nearly smooth. Dean balks when he turns the camera on him, but doesn't protest. His eyes radiate misery that comes through in agonizing clarity, each feather starkly outlined.
He sends the pictures to Dean's dad and turns back to Dean, who's sitting quietly on the bed in his faded black boxer-briefs, one leg tucked underneath him. "Dean," he says again, "love you," and walks over, stopping within arm's reach and looking down at Dean's fragile clavicles, at the mossy softness of his bronze hair.
"Do you?" Dean pleads, voice caught and quiet. The wings twitch.
"Yes," he answers, sitting beside him and letting his hand slip past the golden feathers and into the sweet, welcoming hollow of Dean's back.
"I didn't want you to have to see me like this," Dean confesses, keeping his eyes closed like he knows how disorienting they've become.
For once his hands are ahead of the game, smarter than his mouth, and his fingers are gentle as they trace over the scar on Dean's tricep, the place he once stitched up. "It's no different, Dean," he manages to say.
"Feels different," Dean murmurs. "That was one thing. This is - everything. Can't move properly, can't really see, nothing."
"Like everything's underwater, hazy. Just shapes and colors and motion, you know? Is this what it's like before you put on your glasses, all dreamy?"
"Yeah." Dean's hand covers his own where he's still rubbing tiny circles into Dean's arm.
"Wait," Dean says, sounding a little stronger, sitting up straighter, "where's that coin?"
He fetches it and hands it over, watching Dean's fingertips work gently over the coin's smooth surface like it's Braille. "I know this symbol," Dean whispers excitedly. "I know this." He flips the coin over and feels the obverse side, his eyes shut, concentrating; his hair is ruffled by the breeze the wings kick up as they flutter like they want to take flight. "Yes. I just need to call . . ." He opens his eyes and smiles. "Can you call? Ask Bobby for the ritual that would reverse an entrapment between the elements."
He smiles back and kisses Dean, hard and quick.
The ritual leaves scars on Dean's skin, shiny slashes that look like burns, but Dean doesn't cry out. Ben nearly does, just from watching, but he needs to stay sharp; this is all unfamiliar territory to him. The beach is quiet, deserted really, and the fire burning inside rings of salt and herbs is the only source of light and heat around. Dean's voice is steady, regaining its shivery depths as he continues, and Ben is surprised that it sounds less like chanting and more like just plain speaking, though Dean did say that it is the intent that matters most, more than cadence or pronunciation.
When it's done, the fire has burnt itself out, and the wings have evaporated, they're left only with the coin. They head back to the car, worn out. In the dim illumination of the interior light, Ben can see new burns on Dean's back, but his eyes are soft and whole again, and he's smiling. Ben tosses him the keys and Dean laughs in delight.
Dean is a whirlwind of energy once they're back in the apartment, calling his dad and Bobby, insisting he's fine and going over the fine points of the ritual; he's got the laptop open and he's typing as he talks. Ben doesn't interrupt, but he hitches Dean's shirt high enough to apply ointment to the burns, then turns away to start heating up the food in the fridge. Dean is bound to crash at any moment, having gone for so long without sustenance. He's feeling pretty shaky himself, and all he wants is Dean's warm body next to his as he falls asleep.
The ER isn't too bad the next day, busy but not overwhelming. He gets home to find Dean pulling a couple pans of spinach pie out of the oven and looking awfully pleased with himself. It turns out Dean's been busy with more than that, and he shares what he's learned as they devour most of the pie. "So. That was a siren."
Ben's wondering now if the Greek food is some kind of joke, a way to set the scene; Dean has a loopy sense of humor.
"Only I thought it couldn't be a siren, since they lure their victims into the water, not the other way around."
"What did you think it was?"
"No idea," Dean grins frankly. "Too many possibilities to narrow down, things that like to kill near water but not in the water." He scoops out more food for both of them and continues. "But this one had left a trail of bodies along beaches from Maine to Virginia, always men, usually young."
There can be no doubt that she saw Dean as simply the next in a long line, and he can't deal yet with how close she evidently came. "And that coin?"
"That's where I'm stuck. For her, it worked as a way to move between the elements of water and air, and she knew enough to turn it into a curse when she saw me. But I don't know who gave it to her; someone had to exchange it for his life. Too many people running around with that kind of know-how."
It's hard to believe that's true, when all of this sounds bewilderingly new to him, but Dean would know. He pushes his empty plate away. "You figure out anything else?"
"Nothing major," Dean shrugs.
"You didn't figure out how much I'd missed you like this?" Ben asks, and lets Dean tackle him into the bed, welcoming him back with open arms and an eager mouth.