Author: Regala Electra
Warnings: Sexual Content, Language
Summary: Where Sam is sixteen and Dean is not. Where Sam is twenty and Dean is thirty-three. Where Dean is forty and Sam is technically fifty. Where not even time can keep them apart.
Word Count, 1,541
Author's Notes: ignited complained about there being a lack of time-traveling fic. And I responded back with a snarky, "What there's no The Time Traveler's Brother?" You know at this point I should know better. So this fic is a take on The Time Traveler's Wife and while it has no spoilers for the S3 finale, it is influenced a little by my unspoiled theories. Also both Dean and Sam can travel in time. Again this is all Stef's fault. Also Stef says this story should be remembered as in which sam and dean jump back and forth in time and each other's pantaloons.
Dean's not like present-Dean. He's maybe a before-Dean, there's a scar missing from his wrist that he got a year ago. So he's a Dean who isn't twenty and his face is angular, hopeful and he looks at Sam and says, “Fuck. you're taller than me.”
“I'm sixteen,” Sam says, because they do this, give out their ages.
Dean quirks his lips, they look almost too big, like he still has growing to do in his face and he says, “Yeah. Me too,” and that's how Sam knows it's a lie.
They never like to put on clothes right away after they travel. It's like their bodies weren't made to be clothed but they dress out of necessity. Only wear layers for each other, pull off extra shirts when one of them, a before or an after shows up and needs to get something to cover up if they're out in public. They aren't mostly. They've learned to find the empty places in America, how to always stay undercover.
They keep identities in secure boxes, along with clothes and sneakers, everything that they'll ever need when a before or after shows up and needs something to wear for however long they're staying.
This Dean stays only the night, a night where Sam stretches naked underneath the wide open sky with Dean right by him as close as they’ll ever be. A night where Sam isn't teased (that much) for the condom and lube he's been keeping in his back pocket for too long, because Sam knows Dean's been keeping his own stash too. He's looked and found it, a secret for him for a time he knows will happen. Their future selves kind of suck at being mysterious.
Dean stretches over him and his breath is hot in Sam's ear, his voice slightly wondering, “This is always how it's going to be, from now on.”
Not for Dean it won't, he’ll have to wait nearly five more years but Sam won’t tell him that. For this Dean it’s only a promise of the future but for present-Dean, yes.
For Sam from here on out, yes.
Sam is twenty and at Stanford when he travels (always without warning when he's too stressed out), finds a Dean with haunted eyes, and this Dean, a future-Dean says, “Thirty-three,” and “Fuck. It’s you, Sammy.”
He jacks Sam off and doesn’t listen to Sam’s bitter words, the anger at him, telling Dean he should have done something, should have gone with him. Shouldn’t have let it fall apart.
Dean notices it before Sam does, that he’s going to go back and all he does is lick the come off his hand, eyes never leaving Sam’s face.
“See you in twenty.”
And Dean’s a bastard there, right there, because it could be twenty minutes or days. Sam knows it isn’t years because all the bitterness between them now won’t keep them apart forever, no way to keep his stubborn anger burning that long. But oh, it settles fierce in his heart and he hates Dean and stokes that anger.
Not enough time to let it burn out.
It’s hours actually, a nineteen year old Dean still shocked that Sam left and Sam fucks the before, sets something awful in motion as he fucks past-Dean into the mattress of his crummy dorm room. He hears the bed frame nearly crack and knows Dean won’t forgive him for that.
Dean’s staring down forty, winter still to come, some early November day.
Sam knows that because of the scar on his neck, a hanging that went wrong in the best of ways.
“Forty,” Dean tells him needlessly. “And you’re dead.”
“For now,” Sam tells him, pushes greying hair off his face, the thunderstorm’s still fierce and raging and if this was a different time, Dean would say something about Sam ducking 'cause he's the tallest thing out here.
“You haven't said.”
It's a long story and one not even a pair of time-traveling brothers could understand, unless they went through it together. Unless they go through it together.
“Shot you, myself,” Dean says, scowls then and the scar twists ugly with it. “Then I got kicked back to when you were eight and heading into that forest with the werewolf all on your own, not knowing what Dad was hunting.”
“Yeah, I remember that. Some crazy old guy with my brother's eyes screaming at me and telling me I needed to listen. That there are something things that shouldn't be—”
“Some things that shouldn't be done. Couldn't stop that power building in you, though, no matter what I did.”
“You finally did.”
“So what, Sam? You tell me the secret and doesn't time unravel? That's what you always theorized. Why we waited. Christ.”
Sam crushes Dean's mouth to his, digs fingers into Dean's sides, feels the old knife wound as he has for the past ten years, on and off, past and before. First touched it when he was eighteen and a thirty year old Dean didn't let him go.
Whispers against Dean's ear, “The good doctor's keeping me on life support. You’ll know what to do.”
Sam should let him figure it out on his own but that’s how Dean told him the story so Sam follows through, tells Dean too much and curses the both of them.
The last part of the ritual is barely a rustle of leaves, those deadly words left in the past as Sam leaves, time welcoming back to where he belongs.
He manages not to fall to the ground, catching the corner of the bed as he sees Dean, fifty-four and all stubbled, greying beard, entering their bedroom in the shuffling walk of the un-caffeinated.
“You did it then, huh?”
Sam is sixty years old and Sam and Dean are six months and four years.
If anyone looks at Sam, they’d think he’s still in his mid-thirties. If anyone looks harder, they’d be puzzled by the look in his eyes, far older than it should be. He’s seen too much.
Dean had to retire from hunting at sixty-three, bitching the entire time but there’s no other choice, no other way to keep him going any longer. He sleeps restlessly, waiting for time to slip-slide and Sam doesn’t blame him, after all Sam hasn’t needed to sleep since his final resurrection, lets time twist and turn on him, keeping track of the present only by the new wrinkles crinkling at the corner of Dean’s eyes, laugh and frown lines mixing together.
Sam can’t count it on his own body. His hair went grey, yeah, a little mix of magic and a whole lot of trauma but it hasn’t done much to affect the rest of him. Some people have mistaken him for Dean’s nephew, knowing that Dean Winchester never had a son. But Sam's body remains ready for each jump. Frozen in time if only figuratively.
This is the first time he’s gone back this far.
He refuses to accept the beginning as their end. When he returns, he and Dean are not alone.
Dean is sixty-four and sleeping, half-empty bottle of Jack at their bedside table. And Dean is fourteen, staring at his present-self in mild amazement.
“You survive,” Sam tells him.
Dean frowns at that. “How old are you?”
“Thirty-six,” Sam lies. “I wanted to check on you.”
Dean nods, as though it makes sense. Peers up at Sam’s face, doesn’t catch him in the eye. “We don’t go bald. Awesome.”
Sam doesn’t smile, doesn’t acknowledge it. “Take care of me,” he says and Dean understands completely.
“I always will, Sammy.”
Dean is twenty-nine and has a day left in the now but this is the then. Sam is twenty-two and Dean is so tired.
They fuck for so long that Dean wonders if his Sam (always his Sam but the Sam-of-his-time, that's what he means) figured out a way to send him here, to give him a stay of a few more years. Dean lets himself ask the terrible question of whether the past-Dean will understand.
He wouldn’t and two Deans would do something really fucking stupid like try to get out of this mess. There’s no way out. And if there is, Dean thinks the cost of it will be too much, for just him or for Sam, Dean doesn’t know.
“You’re not lying about your age?” Sam asks him and it’s amazing how much of that bitchiness has faded in just a couple of years. “Sure you’re not thirty?”
Dean shoves his overheated giant body away, grumbling. “Fucker, you’re gonna look like shit. Wait and see.”
Sam’s mouth twists bitter then. “I think I know, Dean. I saw how I’ll look when I’m thirty-six. Don’t be an asshole.”
“Can we uh,” and Dean swallows here, hates that he risks it. “Stay like this?”
“Um, yeah. I mean. Until one of us, you know—”
“Good,” Dean says and sets to trace every inch of Sam’s body, uses his fingers and then his tongue, and hopes somehow this will survive Hell.
Sam is twenty-five and it is one day past his birthday. Dean was twenty-nine and he’s in Hell.
Not for long.