prompt: Dean + cigarettes, sound & smell of rain
podfic: here by the illustrious lavishsqualor
a/n: Happy (belated) holidays, roguemouse! I haven't seen last night's ep yet, but I doubt this will contradict anything!
Sam is poking holes, and the memories shine through like rays of monochrome sunlight. Dean takes up smoking for two days like it's anything comparable.
He leans next to a nighttime flower box with a cigarette held between two fingers like he's a DI in a fifties detective film, highway and stars and all the swooping phone lines dipping in black and white. Sam's just wandering back from the motel office. He comes to a stop when he's near, hands in his jean pockets, flannel stretching at the shoulders, soft.
"How many of those have you had, Dean?"
"Just-" He holds up a staying hand. Sam purses his lips and his eyes follow the cigarette as it goes to Dean's lips.
They stand there, the rain picking up and blowing in sheets against the wood of the motel. They're well under the awning, but the smell's all there, that cold catch of wet pine and mountain dirt. A brief spray fans out against Dean's hand, his neck.
Sam's glancing at him, sidelong. Dean recognizes that look, he's seen it in the eyes of people they've hustled, and all manner of bad guys; Sam's about to jump him.
"You touch me and-" He will glue Sam's hands to a hundred beer bottles and give him the worst noogie of his life. Dean smirks at the thought.
"I can't believe you're smoking," Sam says again. "Is this because you've cut back on your drinking?"
"No, Sam, it's because the good people of Idaho support my freedom to choose to sit and have a goddamn cigarette in peace if I feel like it. And you are ruining my seven minutes of heaven, here."
"Whatever." And Dean is so glad to have this back.
"Also, how the hell do you know I was drinking more before? Is this another memory?"
"You know, to be honest, I mostly remember sex," Sam laughs. Only he could make it sound so self-deprecating. "Lots and lots and..." here he spreads his hands, "lots of sex. And violence."
"Sam-" Although Dean can't bring himself to say anything further.
Here's a problem: Sam has always been quick. He easily makes connections and fills in the gaps with leaps of logic that knot out like netting between facts. Anything Dean says or does now, it will remind Sam of something, there'll be some snag, and Sam'll just help it along, intrepid, stupid. Sam will uproot each and every one of his buried memories through free association and lucky hunches.
"It's really bad for you," Sam tells him, while this metaphor is blossoming out of control in Dean's head so he can't breathe. "Can't have you dying on me, again-"
Dean takes another drag. It goes to his head. Sam wrinkles his nose, then his forehead. Distaste and worry.
Then there's a moment of sudden clarity.
"You've never smoked. Don't know what it tastes like."
"Well, no, but-"
"I mean," Dean says. "It wouldn't remind you of anything this past year and a half-"
"I'm not smoking, Dean-"
It's enough. Dean flicks the cigarette into the leftward-direction, licks at his own lips, and jerks Sam in by the belt loops, quicker than you can say-
"What the hell, man?"
"Never done this before, either, have you?" Dean says. "Not gonna drag up some memory." He's working on a hope. It's possible this could send Sam ricocheting off into the distance, never to be seen again.
"What?" Their noses are brushing.
"This is untouched, unrelated."
"Of course it is, what are you talking about-"
But Sam's already figured it out, of course he has. He's already got his hands smoothing up Dean's forearms, rough from wrist to elbow, and he's leaning in a bit, eager. He's connecting things in his mind, realigning information and hints from their shared histories, and bingo - not a bit of it touches Hell or events thereafter.
Sam's solid where Dean has him by the hips. It's about as far from it as can be.
"I don't rememb-"
"Good," Dean says. "Now shut up, I'm making new memories here. Work with me."