This fic contains NO SPOILERS for episode 2x21 and onward. It does have slight spoilers up to 2x20, but I was completely unspoiled for the finale whilst writing it. (Still am, for the second half. Please, no spoilers in comments!)
As We Are So Wonderfully Done With Each Other (1/2)
Sam/Dean. Explicit as hell. 18,700+ words.
Warnings for sex-swap, incest, adult language and mucho melodrama. Fic's title is from Kenneth Patchen's poem of the same name.
Just a note -- this fic was written five years ago (as of 2014) and is very much a product of the Supernatural fanfic culture of the time (as well as the author's relative youth and knowledge). It was written primarily as a reaction to the glut of "genderswap" fic being posted in 2009, and as a result, this fic borrows heavily from older fandom tropes and plays fast and loose with issues of sex and gender identity. It's pretty fantastical and a bit melodramatic, and is not at ALL meant to reflect real lived experiences of trans and/or genderqueer people. In the interest of internet archival, I'm leaving the fic online in its original form, but I wanted to take a moment to provide context and acknowledge (and give you a heads up) that the fic definitely has its problems. If you choose to read on, I hope you enjoy -- otherwise, thanks for stopping in, and I hope another fic (or vid) of mine will interest you instead.
They're in Georgia when it happens. Figures. Dean has always hated Georgia. He hates the roads, how the dirt churned up beside the lanes is an eerie blood-red, he hates how poison-green kudzu is choking out all the trees. The sun shines too brightly and the air is too thick.
So really, it figures it'd be something in Georgia to totally screw them over.
They're cleaning out an undead coven on the outskirts of Savannah - and really, talk about making a pact with the Devil, they'd had contracts drawn up and everything - when Sam suddenly falters in the middle of slicing some zombie witch's head off.
It takes Dean a second to notice, because some other zombie witch is coming at him with a pencil - a pencil? A freaking sharp pencil - and Sam is covering him. It's only when another witch almost gets in a shot at Dean's shoulder that he realizes that Sam is no longer covering him; that Sam is on the floor, unconscious, maybe worse.
The rest of the coven doesn't last long. Not after Dean sees Sam on the floor.
So it's only minutes before Dean makes it to Sam's side, holding his breath, hoping that it was just a freaky vision or maybe Sam got brained by a lamp, anything, brain injuries aren't as bad as all that, just let Sam be okay.
He flips Sam over, checking his pulse. And Sam's okay.
That's the first thing Dean notices, checking the steady rise and fall of Sam's breath just to make sure, then he notices the rest. For one thing, Sam seems shorter. And Sam's clothes don't quite fit anymore; his T-shirt is hanging loose at the shoulders and stretches oddly across his chest.
It takes Dean a moment of staring to get it.
Sam has boobs.
In fact, Sam's boobs aren't the only thing about him that's girlish. Dean can see the little things, now. Changes in muscle structure, in girth; the way Sam's features have lightened, almost opened out on themselves, causing him to look distinctly more feminine.
"Shit," Dean swears, and he looks around, stupidly, for anything that might have done this. All the witches are dead. He doesn't know what else to do.
Sam is starting to stir, and Dean doesn't know what to tell him when he wakes up. Um, dude, you're a chick, doesn't quite seem to cover the enormity of the situation.
Sam moans. "Ow. Shit."
"Um," says Dean.
Sam's eyes flutter open. "Dean?" And hell, even Sam's voice is different. That's just not right.
"Dude," says Dean. "You're a chick."
Sam just looks at Dean confusedly for a moment, then looks down.
"Oh," says Sam.
"I'm calling Bobby," says Dean.
Bobby promises to call them back as soon as he knows anything. Dean and Sam gather up some of the spell books that the witches were using and take them back to their motel room to look over. Sam keeps wincing and has a tendency to overbalance, cursing under his breath when he thinks Dean won't notice.
"Sam, just sit the hell down," Dean snaps finally.
Sam grumbles, but sits. If Dean hadn't been looking for the wince, he probably wouldn't have noticed it.
"What is it," Dean says. "Are you hurt?"
Sam looks at him like he's an idiot. "Uh, Dean? All of my bones have shrunk, my chromosomes have been completely rearranged, my hormones are probably out of whack, and, oh yes, somebody gave me a freaking vagina. So I'm a little bit sore, yeah."
"Right," says Dean. "I knew that." He ignores Sam's eyeroll, and goes to get some Ibuprofen from their supplies. Sam takes them with a groan of appreciation, then flops back on the bed, sighing.
"You need anything else?" Dean, after a moment's hesitation, grabs hold of one of Sam's legs and starts to massage his calf, like he would if Sam got a charley horse. It's strange, for a moment; Sam's leg feels different than it usually does, smaller maybe, or more compact. Sam's jeans are loose and bunch up around Dean's hands.
Sam's grunt of approval is sign enough to Dean that it's helping, though, so he works at the calf until Sam nods jerkily, then he switches to the other leg.
"God, Dean," Sam murmurs. "That's really helping. Thanks."
"No prob, bro," Dean grins, then he moves up past the knee, starting to knead at Sam's thigh. Sam jerks under his touch. "Whoops, sorry."
"No," says Sam. "No, it didn't hurt. Keep going."
Dean casts a glance at Sam's face, but Sam is just staring at the ceiling. Shrugging, Dean goes back to his work, digging his fingers into the muscles of Sam's leg.
Sam makes a soft noise, and Dean suddenly realizes that his hands have made their way to the base of Sam's thigh. Sam has let his leg fall open a few inches, sprawling loosely and making it easier for Dean to access - well, - everything.
Dean suddenly flashes on what Sam had just said: a freaking vagina - and he gives Sam a brief, manly pat on the thigh before drawing away. "There you go," Dean says, trying to ignore the fact that Sam, as a girl, smells really fucking good up close.
"Thanks. Can you hand me -- I should look at some of those books, figure out what did this," says Sam, but his voice sounds tired and faraway.
"Nah, man, don't worry about it," Dean says. "I'll start going through them while you grab some shut-eye, okay?"
"Okay," says Sam, and between one second and the next, Sam falls asleep like that, his - her? - legs askew, face smashed into the edge of a pillow. Dean just stares at Sam for a minute, in this new (and hopefully temporary) body, and he wonders.
Then Dean draws the covers up over Sam and gently nudges Sam's head onto the pillow. Sam makes a noise and curls toward Dean's hands, tugging the blankets closer in sleep. Dean hasn't seen Sam sleep curled up like that since he was fourteen.
Dean just looks, and looks, and then he turns away and goes to brush his teeth.
Dean doesn't have any luck with the books, but there's a ton of them, and he's at least managed to narrow down the pile of possibles. He calls it quits for the night around 3am, sprawling face-down on the bed and trying to ignore Sam's soft sleep-noises.
When Dean wakes up, Sam's already been awake for a while. Dean catches him coming out of the shower, desperately trying to keep the skimpy motel towel wrapped around his torso. Dean blinks down at Sam's long, girl-shaped legs, his eyes catching on the curve of Sam's calf and the pale, soft skin behind Sam's knee.
Sam's squawk of indignation snaps Dean out of it, and he gives Sam a shrug. "Hey, man, just admiring your new goods."
"You're so gross," Sam mutters. Sam is blushing bright red, and it takes Dean only a moment to realize that the flush on Sam's face was there even before his curse-given chick body got ogled by his older brother.
"Me?" Dean said, knowing just what Sam was up to in the shower only minutes before. "I'm just looking, dude, you're the one who's taking it for a test drive!"
"Oh my God, shut up," Sam moans, and he stomps past Dean and pulls some clothes out of his duffel. While Dean is still watching, Sam gives a grunt of frustration and lets his towel fall to the floor, giving Dean a flash of familiar tanned skin and unfamiliar curves before it's at least partially concealed by a white T-shirt. The shirt hangs awkwardly and loose on Sam's shoulders, and the worn fabric does nothing to conceal the shape of his high, firm breasts.
Dean swallows hard and tries not to think about what Sam must have been doing in the shower, tries not to think about Sam's long, strong fingers and brand new girl parts and the way the two things would fit together.
He's used to watching Sam, he's been doing it all his life for one reason or another. At first it was take care of your brother and then make sure he stays safe, protect him at all costs, Dean, and then, almost unwillingly, it turned into Dean's gaze on the twist of Sam's forearms at sixteen, Sam's broad shoulders at eighteen. Dean had grown accustomed to Sam's body and the ways in which it could capture his attention, the ways that Sam could stick Dean's heart somewhere in his esophagus with a single word. Part of that was brothers, sure, but there was something else there, too.
But Dean was not prepared for this: his brother's form twisted into a woman with smooth skin, a killer ass, and brown hair that fell sharply over intelligent eyes. Dean would find that body mesmerizing enough without Sam inside it; the combination of the two trips him up, makes him keep staring past the time he should have looked away.
Dean gives a silent sigh and, with the strength of much better men, he makes an effort to stop drooling over Sam's predicament. Really, couldn't the witches have made his brother an ugly chick?
Sam pulls on a pair of boxers and pushes his hair out of his face, then picks up one of the coven's books, already slipping into deep-research-mode. Dean sighs and goes to get some breakfast for carryout. This may take a while.
"So, I was thinking," says Sam, "We should probably wait around town until we hear back from Bobby. If we need to get anything from the coven, anything we may have overlooked earlier."
"Yeah," says Dean, and they stick around. Sam is wearing his old clothes, now baggy, with his jeans cinched up tight on the first belt notch. If Sam had shrunk in height any more it would have been impossible, but the arrangement will work until Sam's back to normal again.
On the fourth day of Sam being a girl, they've both grown tired of tiptoeing around each other and being cooped up in their tiny motel room. Neither of them have had any luck finding out what spell did this, and while Dean's feeling rather pissed about the whole situation himself, Sam's oozing frustration from every pore. Dean had to stop him from throwing one of the books against the wall earlier, and when Sam's in a book-harming mood? You know things are bad.
Dean can tell Sam's about to start practicing biblio-mutilation again, which Dean really doesn't want to be near - those paper cuts are nasty fuckers - so he stands up and announces, "I'm going out."
"Thank God," says Sam, and stands, unconsciously crossing his arms in front of his breasts. "Me too."
Dean blinks, but goes with it. "Okay," he says. "Let's go, then. There's a bar just up the road --"
Sam shakes his head. "Uh. No, I'm gonna - go somewhere else. Have fun, though."
"Oh." Dean nods, not really getting it. Maybe Sam wanted to go to a 24-hour library or a laundromat or something. "Okay."
When Dean gets back, slightly drunk but mostly just exhausted - who knew that sitting around for days could be so tiring? - Sam isn't back yet. Dean slumps on the bed, turns on the TV to watch some infomercials. It's another forty minutes before a taxi pulls up outside and Sam gets out.
When Sam comes into the room, Dean is a little too distracted by his brother's disheveled appearance to make any comments about the lateness of the hour, or even joke about his brother getting some - because damn if his brother didn't get some. Dean stares.
Sam says "Uh," and scratches his neck self-consciously. His lips are red and bitten, his hair is even worse than usual, and there's lipstick smeared across his collar, how cliché -
"You got some hot lesbian action and you didn't invite me, Sammy?"
"Oh my God, I hate you," Sam says, flushing bright red, and then he shuts himself in the bathroom.
Dean pounds on the door. "Come on, you can tell your big bro. Was she hot? Dude! I can't believe you just went girl-on-girl on me, man. Way to go!"
"Shut up, Dean!" Sam shouts through the door. "You're such a perv."
Dean just laughs. Way to go, Sammy.
A week after Sam turns into a girl, Dean calls Bobby. Before Dean can even ask, Bobby says, "I'm working on it."
"But have you found anything?" says Dean.
Sam's starting to get edgy and frustrated with his new body. He keeps bumping into things and misbalancing, impatient with the unfamiliarity of his shape and body weight. He and Dean can't even go hunting to blow off steam, because Sam would have to train and get used to his girl body before having a hope of holding his own against any nasty critters. Dean had suggested that they could go through some exercises, but Sam just shook his head, said he wouldn't be in the body long enough to worry about it. Then he went back to research, despite the fact that neither he nor Dean had any idea what spell they were looking for.
That had been two days ago.
And even worse, Sam has given up on the modesty of the first few days and is starting to just drop his towel and walk around naked everywhere. Dean's starting to get a complex. It was bad enough when Sam looked like his really hot kid brother; Sam looking like a really hot - and naked - chick instead is just messing Dean up. Nobody wants to pop a boner over their brother-turned-sister all the time, especially not when said sibling is liable to punch said Nobody in the face if he catches said Nobody staring at his ass again.
Dean drags his mind away from the thought of Sam's ass in time to hear Bobby say, "I'm still going over some different possibilities." He sounds stressed, and Dean gets a weird feeling.
"But there's a way, right?" says Dean. Bobby doesn't respond. "I mean, we can turn him back, right?"
"You said the coven had some books?" Bobby asks. "If I could take a look at them, that could maybe help."
Dean looks over at Sam, his nose still buried deep in the books in question. "I'll ask Sam," Dean says. "Anything else?"
"The longer I spend on the phone with you, the longer it takes for me to find out what did this. I'll call when I know something."
"But - okay, thanks, Bobby," says Dean. Bobby just grunts acknowledgement and hangs up on him.
Dean asks Sam if they can send the books to Bobby. He expects a protest - these books are the only hope for figuring this out themselves , after all - but all he gets from Sam is a tired look and a nod.
They pack up the books and FedEx them to Bobby. Sam goes out again that night, but Dean doesn't ask where.
Finally, two weeks after Sam turns into a girl, Bobby calls.
"First, you've gotta understand," Bobby tells Dean, "I looked through all of those spell books you sent and then some. I've been looking for weeks."
"I know, Bobby," says Dean. That's why Bobby's always been their best hope for this; he knows his shit.
"And I don't blame you boys for not being able to find it," Bobby adds. "Hell, I nearly didn't. But I did, and I checked out everything else on this spell that I could find. So when I say what I'm about to say, I'm not saying it lightly."
Dean pauses, says, "Right. I know."
"There's no way," says Bobby.
Dean breathes. Sam, who is watching Dean's face intently, raises his eyebrows in concern for whatever expression Dean is making.
"The spell the witches used was set as a trap," Bobby says in his gruff, kind voice. "They set things up with a sort of, uh, psychic tripwire, so anyone who messed with their coven would get struck down by a curse. What curse it ended up being depended on a random set of factors, like distance from their altar and any other object they set up as an anchor. It also could have been tied to some of the witches themselves, it's kind of hard to tell. But my point is, there were about twenty different curses that Sam could have had instead of this, and there weren't none of them pretty. Do you understand me, Dean?"
"Yeah," Dean's almost laughing, because there's no way he's hearing what he thinks he's hearing. "Uh, when you say there's no way, do you mean -"
"I mean that there's no way to undo it. They kept good notes, so I know exactly how many safeguards are built into that thing that hit Sam. The witches didn't intend anyone to survive the initial curse, and frankly, I'm surprised Sam's body held up to the change. If he'd been a smaller man, he might not have survived it."
"But there's gotta be some way. Somewhere you haven't looked yet."
"Dean," says Bobby. "If I tried to break those safeguards, I'd probably end up turning Sam into a puddle of melted bone and tissue before I got anywhere close to the original spell. I got nothing. I only got this: you and your brother are both alive, and damn lucky. You should value that and let the rest go."
Let the rest go. His brother was now his sister, permanently, and Dean was supposed to just let that go?
"Let me talk to Sam," says Bobby.
Dean doesn't even realize he's clutching the phone, staring at nothing, until Sam snags the phone from his hand.
"Hey, Bobby," Sam says into the receiver. "Thanks for checking into things for us." He pauses, gives Dean an unreadable look. "Yeah, I think I've got a pretty good idea what you found."
Dean thinks he might throw up.
"No, it's going okay," says Sam. "Thanks for asking. Yeah, I know, Bobby. We know."
"Thanks again, Bobby. Have a good one."
Sam drops the phone back on the cradle with a clatter.
"Sam," says Dean, but Sam turns and marches into the bathroom. When Dean follows, Sam meets his eyes in the mirror.
"Well," says Sam, "I guess this is the new me, huh?"
"Prettier than the last version," Dean says, but the joke falls flat, dead flat, and Dean can't take it. "Hey, uh. You want to go check out that bar up the road? Or, uh, that place you went to the other night?" Dean feels like getting really, really drunk.
"Nah," says Sam. "You go."
"Hey, come on. It'll be fun."
"Dean," says Sam. He's -- she's just staring straight ahead, staring at her face in the mirror. "I really need you to leave me alone right now, okay?"
"Okay," says Dean. "Okay."
He backs out of the bathroom, and can only watch as Sam closes the door, closes him out.
Sam goes out and buys girl clothes the next day. She comes back laden with shopping bags and an odd look on her face.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a bra that fits?" she says, and gives a little shift, like maybe she's wearing one now and finds it uncomfortable. Dean can't help it, he looks, and yeah, Sam's wearing a bra. She's also wearing a plain scoop-neck tee, baggy jeans, and her hair is brushed back. She looks like a stranger, and at the same time, she looks exactly like Sam.
"You know," says Sam, and Dean realizes, too late, that he's been staring at her chest. "It's okay."
"Huh?" Dean squints at her, and has the feeling he's just missed something.
Sam sends him a stiff smile. "It's okay if you think I'm, uh, hot or something."
Dean almost chokes. "Jesus, no. Sam, you're my -"
He really doesn't even know how to finish that sentence, because Sam's not his brother anymore, is she?
"I'm just saying it's okay." Sam shrugs, sits on the floor, and starts to unpack her shopping bags, working on switching out the clothing in her duffel with things that'll actually fit. Dean watches her agonize for a moment over an old shirt that he knows is one of Sam's favorites; with a sigh, Sam tosses it to the side.
"Hey, don't get rid of that," Dean says. "You might have gone down about fifty dress sizes or whatever, but your shit'll still fit me."
"Yeah, okay." She tosses some clothes over in his direction: two flannel shirts, a few faded tees. A hooded sweatshirt, slightly ripped from the hunt before last.
Dean catches the sweatshirt, folds it absently. He used to pack Sam's clothes for him when he was a little kid and Sam couldn't figure out how to get things folded down into his bag. Sam would try, but eventually Dean would have to go over everything, folding it carefully so that everything would fit just so instead of spilling out over the zipper.
"Why would it be okay, Sam?" Dean looks at the folded sweatshirt for a moment, then shakes it out and tosses it over at his own duffel. "What the hell even makes you say that?"
Sam is silent for a moment, focused on pulling the tags off a plain white bra.
"I see you watching," she says finally. "And I know some of it's the whole, you know, how weird this is... but it seems like there's something else there, too. Maybe I'm wrong. I just, I want you to know that it's okay."
Dean stares at his hands. "Don't ever think that it's okay, Sammy. If I ever, uh, make you uncomfortable. Just tell me. I just don't know how to..."
Sam laughs. "You think I do?" She tosses the empty bags to the side and leans against the edge of the bed. "So, you have been watching."
"Yeah." Dean shifts, thinks, screw it, Sam already knows Dean's a horndog. As long as that's all Sam knows. "Yeah, I. I have. I mean, you do make a hot girl, Sammy."
Sam tilts her head back to stare at the ceiling. The slope of her neck is new and surprising. Dean looks away.
"Jeez, sorry," says Dean, defensive even though Sam hasn't said anything. "It's true. You expect a guy not to look?" Dean doesn't know how his voice can remain so casual; this whole conversation is burning in his gut, a slow ember of dread.
Sam says nothing for a long minute. Finally, she pulls her knees up to her chest and hooks her arms around them, resting her chin on her hands. "Can I ask you a question?"
Dean thinks No. Please, no. He says, "Yeah, sure. Whatever."
"Um." Sam closes her eyes. "Maybe, okay, this is weird. But did you watch me... before?"
Dean gives a sudden, disbelieving chuckle. "Um, what?"
"Before," Sam says, her face slowly turning red. "Or is it just, uh, because you're living with a woman now and sometimes you see her naked and it's kind of cool."
"You're not a woman, you're my kid brother."
"Don't you get it?" Sam shakes her head. "I'm both. I just want to know which --" she cuts herself off, and Dean has no idea where she was trying to go with that thought, and he doesn't want to know.
"Nah, Sammy," Dean lies through his teeth. "I know I might've always said you were a chick, but uh, back then you weren't really my type, you know what I mean. Plus, dude, the whole thing where we're related."
Sam's face closes up like one of those little origami puzzles, pinched up tight. "Right," she nods. "Well, whatever, I get it. Just, for God's sake stop staring at my ass."
She gets up then, probably to throw away the shopping bags, and Dean makes a show of checking Sam out, just to piss her off. Sam gives him the finger and a muttered "Christ, Dean," but she's smiling under that scowl, so Dean counts a win.
He waits till Sam's fiddling with something in the bathroom to bury his face in his hands, breathe out shakily. He knows the terror must be coming off him in waves; he's amazed Sam didn't notice.
By the time Sam comes back out, Dean's her big brother again, a little bit obnoxious and a lot horny but normal, with all those other thoughts folded away back to where they won't give anybody any shit.
Sam still goes out sometimes, comes back all mussed and smelling like sweat and cigarette smoke. She doesn't tell Dean where she goes, but Dean called her on her cell phone once and Sam answered right away, like she knew Dean might get all paranoid and try to check up on her nocturnal activities.
The one time Dean called, he could hear the sound of a bar in the background, people talking, some girl giggling near Sam. Dean had made up some sorry-ass reason for calling, something about not knowing where some of their notes were, and Sam had answered patiently, with that tone in her voice that said I know exactly what you're doing, you freak, so just hang up the phone and leave me to my hot lesbian encounters.
"Thanks, Sammy," Dean told her, and got off the phone right quick.
Dean supposes Sam's sex life makes sense, in a way. Sam is no longer a guy, which provides hours and hours of entertainment, Dean's sure - plus, no one can be that celibate for that long without building up lots of horny frustration. Dean can't begrudge Sam a bit of drunken shenanigans and a few one night stands, God knows Dean's partaken in enough of those himself.
And even the lesbian thing makes sense. Sam's still a guy on the inside, after all, and the packaging apparently doesn't change who you're attracted to. Sam even looks the part of the big, butch dyke, with her no-nonsense clothes and lack of make-up. Sam doesn't shave her legs and armpits, either, and Dean supposes most lesbians get off on that. He wouldn't know, not being a lesbian and all, but he's been known to maybe get off on that too. Not all the time, of course, but sometimes. If he's with the right chick, one that makes that coarse hair look like it belongs there, like it's so natural she couldn't be without it. Dean could dig that.
By the time Dean realizes that he's been thinking about Sam's pubes for the past ten minutes - dark, wiry curls that he glimpses as Sam leaves the shower or drops her towel, those curls hiding that dark space between Sam's legs, those soft pink glistening layers that Dean could just -
Anyway, by the time Dean realizes that he's been sitting there like an idiot with a giant hard-on for his brother/sister for the past ten, fifteen minutes, or, okay, maybe closer to half an hour - Sam comes stumbling back into the room, drunk and giddy off her ass. She smells like bar again, stinks of alcohol.
She flops onto the bed, legs askew, and blinks slowly at Dean. "You're up."
"Yeah." Dean thinks maybe he should make an attempt to hide his monster erection, but he doubts that Sam's in any state to notice his condition. He shifts and crosses his legs anyway, wincing at the chafe of his jeans. "Uh. You're back."
"Yup." Sam flops backwards, throwing her arms up over her head. "Dean. You'll never guess."
Dean smirks, ignoring the flare of jealousy. "Really? What was her name?"
Sam laughs drunkenly, raises a lazy hand and points at him. "No, really, you'll never guess," she says. "It was a guy."
Dean is already up and across the room, standing over Sam, before he realizes what he's doing. He wants to ask what this guy's name is, has vague thoughts of hunting the dude down and punching his face in, but Dean's voice has left him. Sam stares up at him, her eyes looking way too clear for the amount of wasted she is.
"What is it, Dean?" she murmurs. "Jealous?"
Dean takes in a harsh breath, leans down and plants his hands on either side of Sam's head. "What'd he do to you?" Dean asks. "Did you let him fuck you?"
Sam just gazes at Dean's face for a minute, then shakes her head no. "He bought me a drink," she says. "Kinky fucker. Wanted me to eat out his girlfriend while he watched."
Dean's arms tremble. "And?"
"I let him put his hand down my pants," says Sam. "Kissed his girlfriend." She scissors her legs suddenly, catching Dean in the knee and knocking him onto the bed, half on top of her. "Then I blew him off. He was an asshole." Blowing hot breath right in Dean's ear: "Reminded me of you."
Dean raises up on his knees, presses a hand to the seat of Sam's jeans. The denim is hot against his fingers, and she leans against the touch, catches Dean's fingers between her own and puts them at the waist of her jeans. Dean undoes that one metal button and pulls the zipper down, sees a flash of panties -- panties, for God's sake.
Dean shoves Sam's hands away and pushes himself up, goes into the bathroom and locks the door. He's still hard. Sam is saying something outside the door, something loud and brash and slurred, some drunken ramble about Dean's questionable parentage. Dean ignores her.
He doesn't come back out until Sam's long asleep, and then he just stands there and watches, like the crazy incestuous pervert he obviously is. Dean should have known something was up when Sam first started going out all the time. That's not Sam's territory at all, all that pointless fucking, that's Dean's job. Sam's just, messed up or something. Overcompensating now that she doesn't have a dick anymore.
Dean thinks about how Sam has changed, but this time he focuses on things other than the obvious. Now that he looks back on it, it's not just Sam's new tendency to pick up girls that's different - Sam's louder now, too. She carries herself a little tougher, a little brasher. When she and Dean go out together, she'll get up in people's faces, hustle pool. She drinks more. She, fuck, she drinks a lot.
Sam mumbles in her sleep, turns over. Dean wonders how tough it must be to try to learn a whole new place in the world, one where people not only look at you differently but treat you differently, too. People like your own brother, who you should have been able to count on, who should always take care of you, no matter what.
There's a sick feeling in his gut. Dean sits down on his bed and starts to rub his hand over his eyes. He stops when he realizes his fingers still smell like her.
They don't stop driving again for another three states. Their motel room is decorated all in varying shades of burgundy, like somebody killed a goat in the room, threw all the blood around, then just left it to dry. Lovely.
Sam's got her hand on the doorknob when Dean stops her.
"Sam," he says. "That's not you."
She turns around, gives him this incredulous look, like she doesn't even know what he's talking about. Dean doesn't buy it. Sammy's never been dumb.
"Just don't," Dean says.
Sam shakes her head. "It's not that easy."
She doesn't come back until four in the morning, staggering and swearing at the furniture. Dean jolts awake, hadn't really been all the way asleep anyway. He'd been waiting.
"Hey, that chair hasn't done anything to you," he tells Sam, but Sam's just gone, on her knees, retching helplessly. "Christ," Dean swears, and he gets up to help her.
"I can't, I can't," Sam keeps saying, and Dean has to practically carry her to the bathroom. When they get there, she pukes again, her thin shoulders straining against the toilet bowl. Dean rubs her back, wonders just how much she's had to drink and if he should start to worry about alcohol poisoning.
Sam finally stops gagging and looks at Dean blearily. She's pale and sweaty, and Dean hands her a wet towel to wipe her mouth with. She does so, then spits disgustedly into the toilet and slumps against the side of the tub.
Sam doesn't respond at first, and then slowly shakes her head.
"You need to drink some water," Dean says. He almost reaches out, wants to touch her, hold her, but then he thinks of how he would have treated the old Sam and keeps his hands off. "Sam, how much did you drink? Do you remember?"
Sam shakes her head again. "It's kind of ironic," she says creakily, "That it takes me being this," and she makes a swooping motion that Dean supposes to mean the whole being a girl thing, "to turn me into Dad."
Dean grits his teeth. "Don't be a little bitch, Sammy."
She looks up at him, all red-rimmed bleary eyes. "Kinda late for that."
"Dad was never like this," says Dean, and knows it's the wrong thing to say even as it comes out of his mouth. "He was never such a fucking mess."
"You didn't even see, Dean!" Sam yells. Her breath is rank and her face is too pale, and Dean flinches. "You didn't even know, not with either of us. Dad would get stinking drunk and you would just look the other way. I've, I've been doing this for weeks, and tonight you say stop?"
"So, what, you're just trying to get my attention? Thought you'd fuck a lot of girls and then puke all over me, see if I noticed you were having a tough time?" Dean's heart feels like it's being squeezed apart, hammering hard and frantic in his chest. "And don't you fucking talk about Dad. He wasn't a fucking drunk."
There had been a bad summer. One bad summer. It had been ten years since Mom died and Dad wasn't any closer to finding out who or what did it, and there'd been a bad summer. That was all, and it had never happened again. Dean's father was not a drunk, no matter what Sam thought, no matter what Sam had told all his shiny new Stanford friends.
"Even after he got himself killed, you still stick up for him," Sam says, and her voice is lethal, her voice is poison, and how could Dean have forgotten this, the last few months before Sam left for school and all the fucking silences and all the fucking arguments and no one ever looking at Dean, no one ever giving him a chance to make things better.
"Shut up," says Dean. "Shut up. You stupid fucking cunt," and he stands up, trembling, and leaves Sam on the bathroom floor.
In the morning, Dean wakes up to the smell of coffee. He inhales deeply and twists, trying to scent it out. For Winchesters, coffee means I'm sorry and forgive me?, and Dean is tired and doesn't want to fight, so he snags the cup sitting on the bedside table and does both.
"There's a haunting in Ohio," says Sam. She looks like shit and her hair is greasy, but she didn't die of alcohol poisoning after all, so that's something. "I thought maybe we could check it out."
Dean blows on the coffee to cool it. "You sure?"
"Yeah." Sam shrugs. "I mean, sure, new body, but. I need to figure out how to use this thing sometime, right?"
They start with some sparring drills, and Sam keeps turning green at every sudden motion, but she does okay even with the hangover. She's not ever going to be as good as she was - there's no way her new body weight can support the amount of muscle she had as a guy, for one thing - but she'll still be able to hold her own once she gets back in shape. At least the past few weeks have helped Sam grow accustomed to her new center of gravity.
After that, they hike out into the woods and do some target practice. Sam gets the hang of it quickly, and Dean wondered why they were so nervous about this, thinking that Sam could never be the same again. He's starting to get used to Sam's new shape, her new face and new everything. Sometimes Dean even forgets entirely, because out of the corner of his eye, Sam doesn't look that different... but then the angle will shift or a shadow will move across Sam's face and Dean remembers.
Dean dreams of Sam sometimes, the old, male version of Sam. He knows that logically, Sam is the same as he ever was, despite the various physical changes, but on those nights Dean still wakes up missing Sam so hard he can't breathe. He'll look at Sam in the next bed but it never helps, and Dean has to close his eyes and think of the Sam that was taller than him, the Sam that had a gentle smile and a wicked laugh, with wide, broad hands and a streak of morality a mile wide. He doesn't know if he's ever going to find that Sam again.
By the next night, they're in Illinois. Dean has no idea where Sam's going tonight, and he doesn't care. He just says, "I'm serious."
Sam pauses, halfway to the door, and waits.
Dean starts to get up, then sits back down, not sure if he should approach her. He just knows that he wants this to stop. "And I know I haven't been any help, and there's all this weird shit going on, but I'm still your brother, okay?"
Sam grimaces at that, but Dean goes on.
"And I just, you know. I'm here. I've known you all your life, since you were a shitty little baby in diapers. And I'm telling you, you might be a chick now, but you're not the kind of chick that would steal someone's girlfriend or let a guy stick a hand down her pants. Or get drunk just to not, not, whatever. You're not like that."
"That's real poetic, Dean." Sam sighs and turns to face Dean, thumbs stuck in her belt loops.
"Whatever," says Dean. "I mean it."
"What kind of 'chick' am I, then? How would you even know?"
"Because. You're Sam," says Dean.
Sam's face softens at that, but she's still just standing there in the middle of the room, not leaving but not really staying either. Dean turns on the TV.
"C'mon, man," says Dean. "Let's order pizza and watch some mindless TV tonight. I'm sure there's some kind of Star Trek marathon or something that'd appeal to a big geek like you."
He pauses, adds, "Please." Not even really sure if it'll work, cause "please" has never stopped Sam before.
Sam's expression doesn't really change, but the corner of Sam's mouth smiles, just for a second, and Sam plops down on the bed next to Dean. "Geek?" she says. "I'm the geek, Mr. Obscure B-Movie Factoid Man?"
"What? No. Those are different," Dean insists, but he doesn't care that Sam's laughing at him, because she's here, and she's not going to go fuck some random girl (or guy) in a bar somewhere. She's staying here with Dean.
And it doesn't matter just why that's so important to Dean, because the only thing that matters is that when Sam laughs, she sounds like Sam again, and any time she spends with Dean is time that she's not out getting herself fucked up.
Sam settles in, punching her pillow into shape, and Dean flips channels until he finds an old rerun of Law and Order.
Sam's presence beside him is disconcerting at first, and Dean tries to remember the last time they've been in close physical proximity just as them, without anything hinky and weird going on, like Sam puking up her guts or like Dean's hand down Sam's jeans.
Dean thinks it might have been a long time, since before Sam turned into a girl, and he feels a little nauseous at the thought. Dean's been an asshole of a big brother, it's true, and he's not sure if Sam can forgive him for it. Or if she even should.
She thumps Dean hard in the shoulder.
"If I don't get to go out and get laid, then you don't get to brood," Sam says. "Got it?"
Dean smiles, despite himself. He can't fool himself that any of this will work out, knows that it could crash and burn any second, but at least that's a familiar feeling. "Yeah, got it."
They both know how the episode of Law and Order ends, but they keep watching anyway. As the next episode starts up, Dean feels Sam's gaze on him.
"Sorry," says Sam. Her voice is quiet. "I'm sorry."
Dean's vision blurs, just for a second, and he swallows. "Nothing to be sorry for," he says, and Sam just shakes her head and turns back to the screen. Two joggers find a body in a park, Jerry Orbach shows up and squints at the murder scene, and Sam falls asleep against Dean's shoulder.
They handle the haunting in Ohio, then the haunting in Maine, then they tackle an infestation of water monkeys near the Canadian border. Easy hunts at first, just so they can get their bearings again. Sam practices with Dean every day and it's like they're fifteen and nineteen again, working so hard to be good for Dad, to make him proud.
The parts where Sam ends up pinned under Dean, her breasts heaving against his chest, eyes full of angry sparks and something else that makes Dean's breath leave him, makes him hold her down a little more - well, that never happened when they were kids, but Dean has to admit he thought about it. Nothing happens; Dean makes his point, then he gets up and they try the move again. They do it until Dean's the one on his back, and then they do it a few more times for good measure.
Sam has to know this, and Dean has to know her -- get to know every part of her, relearn every piece. Then he'll be done, and he'll go no further.
Dean swears, no further.
Somewhere along the line, Sam gets her first period. Dean tells her he doesn't want to know anything about it, so for Christ's sake don't share the details, and Sam snorts and saves up the details until the next time Dean's trying to eat. Then it turns into Tampax 101 while Dean stares morosely at his fries.
"I have absolutely no sympathy," Sam tells him. "You're not the one bleeding from the uterus."
"Sam," Dean hisses, and Sam grins and steals Dean's fries.
A few minutes later, she says, "Hey."
And Dean would ordinarily have ignored Sam, but there's an odd tone in her voice, so he looks up.
"How long has it been since I've had a vision?" Sam asks.
Dean has to think about it for a minute. The visions used to come pretty sporadically, but over the past few months they'd settled into a routine. Sam usually got about one or two a month, not counting nightmares.
But recently... Dean stops. How long had it even been since Sam had a nightmare?
He meets Sam's eyes, which look about as hollowed-out and shocked as Dean feels. "Shit," says Dean.
Sam nods, wordless.
Sam shrugs. "Well," she says. "I am kind of a different person now. Maybe he can't see me."
It can't be that easy.
Dean calls Bobby, but Bobby doesn't know either, says "maybe" and then something about mystical signatures that Dean doesn't really follow, but takes to mean that Bobby really just doesn't know.
He asks how Dean and Sam are doing, and Dean tells him they're doing okay. It's not even a lie.
Sam shaves her legs, cursing and swearing under her breath the whole time. Dean can hear her through the bathroom door, and when she finally comes limping out, there are bits of bloodied toilet paper stuck all over her knees and ankles.
"I never knew it was that difficult," she says. "Chicks have it rough, Dean."
"Yeah. Whine, whine," says Dean.
They're investigating a nasty poltergeist in Texas, and Dean and Sam have to dress as IRS agents. Long story. But the short story is that they're in the midst of small town freaking Conservativesville, Texas, and Sam thought it might be a good idea for her to dress "business-casual" to fit in with all the Laura Bushes that work at the IRS. Dean had been ready to just dress Sam up in a suit and tie like they always had, but he's got to admit she had a point.
But that was before Dean knew what a hassle it would be to get Sam dressed as a woman for real. Apparently business-casual for women means a skirt, and Sam had spent hours at Wal-Mart trying on different sizes and lengths. She came back muttering about how clothing manufacturers assumed that all women were the size of teddy bears. Or maybe she'd wanted to buy a teddy set or something. Dean hadn't really been listening. But hey, Sam's legs were really freaking long, and the thought of the skirt just reminded Dean of that fact all over again.
"What'd you shave with, a cheese grater?" Dean asks, and Sam gives him a withering look. She drops her towel and shimmies into her skirt sans underwear, and Dean has to distract himself by reading the motel's list of cable channels.
When he turns around again, Sam has already made her way to the bathroom and is trying to put on make-up. She's cursing again, a steady stream of litanies against not just clothing manufacturers but cosmetics companies, disposable razors, and the patriarchal system that insists on women having to paint their faces and doll themselves up like Barbies in order to be taken seriously in today's society.
Dean's heard Sam go on that same rant before Sam actually was a girl. Once, just as a test, Dean had tried Sam's rant out on some hot blonde number pretty much verbatim, and sure enough, Dean had the girl's number before he even finished saying women are expected to shave their legs, all for the pleasure of men? What's with that? Later, he'd found that despite her breathy yeah, I know, right?, the blonde herself shaved everywhere. Ironic. Dean didn't even know if she was a real blonde or not.
Right now, though, Sam wasn't gonna do herself any favors bringing up the patriarchy. Dean steps in, grabs the tube of lipstick from Sam's hand, and turns her face up to the light.
"Jesus," says Dean. "I thought you were afraid of clowns, not jealous of them."
Sam lets out a long-suffering sigh and rolls her eyes. "Don't talk about clowns. Just, don't." She points an accusatory finger at the lipstick in Dean's hand. "I don't even know how you're supposed to put that stuff on, man."
"I can see that. You don't look more girly and business-casual, dude, you just look more like a guy. Like a guy who can't put on make-up." Dean tears some toilet paper off the roll and hands it to her. "Here, wipe that off and let me do it."
Sam raises an eyebrow, but wipes the crooked maroon from her lips without a word. When she finishes, she plants her feet and puckers her lips, like she expects Dean to put it on when she's got her face like that.
"Jeez, Sam, don't be a dick about it," Dean says. He rubs his thumb along her cheek until she lets her face relax. Her jaw drops a little, mouth falling open. Perfect. Dean braces his hand and drags the lipstick along Sam's bottom lip, ignores the considering gaze she's got trained on him.
It's a little harder to do the top lip, especially with Sam flinching and making faces at the greasy feel of the lipstick like she's five, but Dean gets it on eventually. It still doesn't look quite even, but it's a damn sight better than it was before. Dean triumphantly hands the tube back to Sam, turning her to face the mirror.
Sam stares at herself for a second, stretching her wide mouth this way and that. Then she smacks her lips and turns to Dean.
"Do I even want to know where you learned how to do that?" she asks, her eyes twinkling.
Dean snorts. "Probably not."
She peers at herself in the mirror again. "Hey, can you do my eyeliner, too?"
"Uh, let's see." Dean throws the eyeliner at the back of Sam's head. "No. Have fun and try not to poke yourself in the eyeball."
"If I blind myself, it's your fault!" Sam tosses over her shoulder, but she picks up the eyeliner and presses her nose up to the mirror, squinting. Dean chuckles and leaves the bathroom, wincing in sympathy when the cursing starts up again pretty much immediately, mixed in with the occasional "ow!"
They'd start with the neighbors, Dean thought. Flash their IRS badges and strike the fear of God - or the IRS - into them, get them talking. Sam would pull her old doe-eyed routine, only this time with the help of two X chromosomes. They'd get a bead on this poltergeist and make a plan, take the fucker out. Just like old times. Easy-peasy.
On second thought, Dean really hated Texas, too. Maybe even more than Georgia. It was hard to say through the crippling pain and the blood and the feeling of his guts pouring out through his hands.
"Shit, shit, shit," Sam is saying in his ear, "Dean? Just hold on, man, we're getting you some help, you're gonna be okay, shit, Dean?"
"Sam?" Dean tries to say. His mouth is full of blood, and he's pretty sure Sam is crying, but he can't tell in the darkness of the basement. She's peeling his hands away from his stomach, and Dean wants to tell her to stop, his guts are gonna come out, but she's insistent, and it's easier just to let go.
He almost misses the shuddery breath that Sam lets out, something like relief. "Okay. Okay. It's not that bad, Dean, I swear. It's not good either, but you're gonna be okay, you're gonna be just fine."
She rips off her T-shirt and presses it against Dean's belly, puts Dean's hands back over the wadded fabric to staunch the blood flow, and Dean tries. He blinks, things coming into a little more focus. Sam's topless now, in just her plain white bra that's now streaked with Dean's blood. Her hair is wild and in her face, and she's looking at Dean like he's everything.
Dean opens his mouth, about to tell her so, but she's already looked away and whipped out her phone to call 911. And while Sam seems pretty sure that Dean's gonna live, Dean's not so sure, so he just lays there and concentrates on breathing in and out until the moment passes.
Finally, he can hear the distant strains of an ambulance siren. Sam sags like someone cut her strings, and she grips Dean's hand tightly. Dean decides now would be a great time to pass out, and does so.
On the bright side, though? They totally wasted that poltergeist.
After Dean's been in the hospital for three days, Sam starts getting really twitchy.
"Did that janitor seem odd to you?" she asks for the umpteenth time. Dean shrugs, too busy trying to keep his green Jello from escaping his bowl. Sam's been jumpy ever since Dean almost got eviscerated, which, yeah, Dean gets that. Even though it turned out to just be a nasty slice that hadn't nicked anything important, Sam still keeps looking at Dean like he's going to disappear.
At Dean's non-response, Sam gives an exasperated sigh and gets up, leaving the room without a word. She's probably going to go follow the janitor, make sure he's not whipping up demons in his mop bucket.
Sam comes back about twenty minutes later, her face white. "Dean?" Sam says. "We've got to get out of here."
Dean freezes, fork of Jello halfway to his mouth. "You're shitting me."
"I am so not fucking shitting you," says Sam. "We have to go now."
She fills him in when they're both in the Impala and a good few miles out of town, Dean's lap loaded up with stolen antibiotics and painkillers. Sam keeps tucking her hair behind her ear and looking in the rearview mirror, and it's really kind of making Dean nervous. He's still shaky enough from blood loss that he doesn't need anything else adding to it, but Dean knows that Sam must've had good reason to yank them both out of there, so he keeps his mouth shut.
"The fucking janitor," Sam says finally, "The fucking janitor likes to watch FBI's Most Wanted after he gets off work."
Dean's stomach drops about five feet and to the left. "Did he -"
"Recognize you?" Sam gives a curt nod. "I followed him until he got on the phone, then I picked up the other extension. Heard all of it. They were kind of blowing him off - he sounded like an old hick, you know, like maybe he was just calling for attention - but they said they'd check it out. They said they'd check it out, Dean. Tell me I overreacted."
Dean leans hard against the passenger side window and stares at nothing.
"You know what else they said?" Sam laughs a little wildly. "At first, before the janitor started describing you? They said, it's probably not him. It's probably not him, because this Dean Winchester, he never goes anywhere without his brother. That's how you find him, they said. Sam and Dean Winchester, they're inseparable, they'll never split up, no matter how much trouble they're in." Sam shoots a look at Dean out of the corner of her eye. "That's when the janitor told them you were with a girl, a girl you kept calling Sam."
Dean closes his eyes. "Jesus."
"We're not splitting up, Sam," Dean says. He knows it's stupid, really fucking idiotic, actually, and it comes from the same part of Dean's brain that won't even entertain the thought of ditching the Impala, but it's more than that, too. He can't stand the thought of Sam being alone and unprotected. Not before, and especially not now.
Sam doesn't argue, just says, "We have to do something."
They stop at a drugstore. Dean is drawn to the boxes of platinum blonde bleach, keeps insisting that the Billy Idol look would totally work for him, but Sam just raises that eyebrow of hers and calls him "Spike" until he relents and goes for a darker shade.
A few hours later, Dean dyes his hair a muddy black in a dirty gas station bathroom sink, with Sam holding a hand over Dean's eyes and carefully rinsing the stuff out of Dean's hair so that he doesn't pull his stitches. Sam's hands are deft and her touch is warm, kind of like how Mom's hands were in that stupid djinn-induced fantasy, and Dean shies away from the weirdness of that thought.
"There you go," Sam says finally, and helps Dean rub his head dry with paper towels. Dean looks in the mirror, and he's not sure if he doesn't recognize himself because of the black hair or because his face looks like a goddamn corpse, all hospital-white with big black circles under his eyes.
"I look like a fucking Nine Inch Nails groupie," Dean snaps, and Sam just buries her face in Dean's neck and laughs and laughs.
In Michigan, Sam says, "You know, we could stop."
Dean just looks at Sam, the stubborn jut of her jaw, and wonders if she knows what she's asking.
He keeps driving.
Sam makes Dean grow his hair out, until it's just long enough to brush down over the faint, distinctive scars on Dean's forehead. Logistically it makes sense, but it drives Dean crazy to have hair in his eyes. Sam just laughs at him, points out that it's not even long enough to be in his eyes and that he should stop being a baby. Whatever. It itches.
Sam's own hair has grown out to her shoulders, thick and wavy, though she keeps it pulled back in a ponytail most of the time. Every day that Dean looks at her, his brother seems a little further away.
"You know, I meant what I said," she says one day.
"Huh?" Dean takes them around a turn on an old country road, and trees stream past outside the windows. It's night, that pitch black that comes right before the sky starts to lighten again, and Dean's brights don't cut through nearly enough of the darkness.
"That it's okay."
Sam doesn't respond. It takes Dean a good ten minutes to place that comment, connect it to Sam's first day of being permanently girl and how she'd said I see you watching.
Dean really doesn't know what to say. Thinks about denying it, but that didn't work so well the last time. So he just doesn't say anything.
After a while, though, Sam continues. "You know," she says, "When we were kids, I used to have these crazy wet dreams."
Dean doesn't want to hear this.
"I know you don't want to hear this," Sam says, "But it's there, and we're stuck with each other, and I think we need to face up to it."
"You don't know what you're talking about," says Dean.
"And I'm telling you that I do," Sam insists. "You might have only noticed since I changed, but. Since I was fifteen, Dean. Whether you like it or not. And if that disgusts you, then just pull over and let me out right now, because -"
Dean pulls over, and Sam, despite her brave talk, goes pale and still. "What are you doing?"
"Sam. There's no place on earth where this is right," says Dean.
Sam lifts her chin. "No? Then what do you call this place, Dean? Right here. Now."
And Dean gives up, he just. He gives up. Sam's mouth is burning hot, and she sticks her tongue in his mouth like she's got years of something to prove. She straddles his lap, her ass pressing against the steering wheel, and Dean touches her breasts, puts his mouth on her. She shudders against him, damp cotton and the warm scent of her musk filling Dean's nostrils as she rocks against him. Dean wonders how wet she is.
Somehow Sam wriggles out of her jeans, and Dean's fingers are buried deep in that wet heat, and he suddenly realizes this is not just any girl, this is Sam, and he kisses her, kisses Sam until he doesn't know where he is.
He comes back, though, just enough to shakily extract a condom from his wallet and hand it to Sam. She rolls it on him and sinks down, hips flexing as she straddles Dean's legs. She's tight, way too tight, and Dean is afraid he's hurting her, but she keeps going like it's a matter of pride, even though he can hear her groans and they sound more pained than pleasured. Finally, her brow evens out, her face clears, and something between the two of them shifts and then it's easy.
Dean can feel her all around him, and he wants to crawl into Sam's mouth, into Sam's cunt, and just never leave this place where he is surrounded, where he is loved.
Dean pants out a crazy string of things as Sam rides his dick, says shit about how beautiful Sam is, how gorgeous, how perfect, oh god, and he notices Sam's body getting more tense with each word out of Dean's mouth but he can't stop.
He comes, shuddering, and Sam kisses him on the forehead before she rolls off and falls back into the passenger seat. She slips on her pair of stretched, mutilated panties and presses her fingers to herself, feeling carefully between her legs like she's feeling where Dean's been.
Dean stares, and stares, catching his breath, then he pulls off the condom and pitches it out the window. Sam doesn't say one word about littering.
"Did you come?" says Dean, and he shocks himself, his own words send a flash of heat along his spine. Did Sam come. Not just that, he could make Sam come.
"Not yet," says Sam, and she smiles sideways at Dean, looks out the window at the stars.
"Soon," Dean promises, and he puts the car in gear and tries not to drive off the road.