Using the stealth he had picked up in Purgatory, Dean carefully made his way down. He didn’t want Sam to see him until he had figured out what he was feeling; he didn’t want to accidently hurt Sam.
The moment Sam came into view, Dean was unable to move as he drank in the sight of Sam resting on a rock. He could make out small drops of water falling from Sam's hair onto his chest, and Dean wanted nothing more than to lick them off of Sam. Sam always managed to take Dean’s breath away, but the sight of him with his bare chest glinting in the sun with water droplets rolling down his muscles and his tail shimmering beneath the water... he wanted nothing more than to gather Sam into his arms and kiss him senseless. Now, normally it would be the sight of Sam half naked that would stop Dean in his tracks, because that is a sight he likes to take his time viewing. And it was in part that, but the bigger reason was the sun shining off of Sam's… tail?
Dean hadn't meant to shout, but the last time he saw Sam he did not have a tail.
The last thing Sam had been expecting to hear was Dean’s voice, after a year of him missing. It wasn’t a surprise then that he was so startled by Dean's shout that he fell off the rock and into the water.
Pure worry coursed through Dean as he watched Sam's head disappear beneath the waves.
"Hang on Sammy! I'm coming!" Dean shouted as he kicked off his shoes and began stripping as he raced for the shoreline.
Dean had his jacket and shirts off and was working on his pants when Sam's head popped back above the water.
Sam couldn't breathe. He was sure that once again he had been dreaming - Dean was gone, and until he could find a way to get his legs back he was useless in trying to find him.
“Dean? Is it really you?” Sam asked as he blinked up at his brother and wondering if he had finally lost it. It had been so long since he last saw Dean, he wasn’t sure if he had finally lost his mind due to his wall still being down and the memories of the cage still haunting him.
"Sammy." Dean could see the war in Sam's eyes, see how his little brother so badly wanted to believe that it was him, but knowing he had been tricked before. Wading out into the water, Dean didn't care that he was getting his jeans wet; it had been too long since he last saw Sam and he wasn't about to let him get away. “I’m real Sam, and I’m back.”
A choked sob escaped Sam’s lips and suddenly him having a tail didn’t matter as he closed the distance between him and Dean and clung to his brother. His Dean was back and that was enough for him.
Dean felt more than heard the shuddering breath that Sam took as he buried his nose into Dean’s neck and just breathed in his scent.
“I’m here Sammy, and I’m never leaving you again,” he promised as he tilted Sam’s head up and, dreaming of what had kept him sane in that hell, finally tasted those lips.
The moment he felt Dean’s lips against his own, Sam melted into his brother’s arms and never wanted to leave them (even though he knew that would be impossible given his condition). The kiss was everything Sam had dreamed of and more. Dean’s lips were softer than he’d pictured they would be after being gone so long.
It had been too long since they last kissed and Sam didn't stop the soft sound he made as Dean's lips moved over his. Letting his eyes flutter shut, Sam melted against Dean, safe in the knowledge that Dean was home and he would never hurt him.
Up until his hug with Jody, the last human touch Dean had known was making love to Sam the night before they went to confront Dick. Honestly, there had been times that he didn't think he would ever get home to Sam.
Dean's hand tangled into Sam's hair; he would never say it out loud, but he loved Sam's long locks, loved how he could tug Sam's head back so that he could mark up Sam's neck. Dean had forgotten about the tail he had seen on Sam until his hands drifted down and rested at the top of what should have been Sam’s ass; only this time, instead of flesh he felt scales against his hands.
Three things ran through Dean's mind.
Sam was half naked.
Sam was wet.
Sam was a merman.
'Two out of three isn't bad. And Sam is rocking that tail.' Dean's eyes trailed up and down said tail. 'I wonder how merpeople have sex?'
"Stop perving on me." Sam could see the lust building in Dean's eyes and he wasn't surprised that Dean found his tail hot. Sam loved it when Dean would look at him like that, just not now. He was a merman.
Sam might have bought that if Dean looked sorry.
"You're hot with legs or a tail. But I do miss those long legs of yours, the ones that would wrap around my waist as I thrust into you. The little sounds you would make for me." There were few things Dean loved more than teasing Sam, to get his little brother to beg for his touch.
It was no secret that Dean was an ass and leg man, and Sam had both.
A tiny whimper escaped Sam's lips; he knew what Dean was trying to do, and even though he swore he wouldn't let Dean affect him, Sam was getting turned on.
A calculating look entered Dean's eyes, one that had Sam on guard.
"What?" Sam asked wearily.
"How do you have sex?" Dean mused out loud.
"That is something you will never find out!" Sam huffed out, crossing his arms over his chest and turned around, well, as best he could with a tail in shallow water, even though he hated to be out of Dean’s arms.
Being in Purgatory had made Dean hard - he had to be to survive - but being reunited with Sam, it was easier than he thought to let go. Grinning, Dean moved through the water until his chest was pressed against Sam's back.
"Come on Sammy, you can't tell me that you aren't just a little curious?" Dean whispered in Sam's ear as he wrapped his arms around Sam's waist, resting his hands above Sam's tail.
Sam wanted to deny it, but on a few nights when missing Dean got to be too much, Sam had let his mind drift to wondering what Dean would do to get him to come in this form. But there was no way that Sam was telling Dean that.
But the truth was, he didn’t need to tell Dean; there was no one who could read him better than his brother could.
“Aww don’t be like that Sammy. It's okay to be curious, and I’d be more than willing to help you out,” Dean whispered in Sam’s ear.
Letting out a sigh, Sam knew that he couldn't win against Dean, not when he was like that, and he turned around to face Dean.
"What?" Sam asked when Dean's eyes stayed focused on his chest.
Dean's breath caught in his throat as he reached out shaking fingers and touched the bronze amulet sitting on Sam's chest. Forcing himself to look up, Dean could see the tears shining in Sam's eyes as he whispered, "You kept it."
Sam could see the emotions swimming in Dean's eyes and he gave him a watery smile.
"I pulled it out of the trashcan and kept it in hopes that someday you would ask for it back." The last thing Sam wanted to do was to cause Dean pain but he couldn't keep the hurt out of his voice.
"I thought I lost the right to hold it when I tossed it away. I was an ass when I did that. No matter what was happening between the two of us, I should have never tossed away the symbol of our bond. Can you forgive me, Sammy?"
"I already did. That was a rough time for both of us. Heaven and Hell were doing their best to rip us apart but in the end, they still lost, and we proved to be stronger than all of them." Reaching up, Sam removed the amulet from around his neck and held it out to Dean.
With shaky hands, Dean reached out for it and with a smile placed the amulet back where it belonged.
"Thanks, Sam, I didn't feel whole without it." He leaned in to kiss Sam again.
"Okay, why am I not surprised to find the two of you like this?" Jody would have been more shocked if she showed up to find Sam and Dean apart instead of walking in on what appeared to be Dean trying to seduce Sam.
Sam made to move out of Dean’s arms only to have him tighten his grip on him as he nuzzled behind Sam’s ear.
“Don’t hide baby boy, I want to see you.” Dean loved the shiver that coursed through Sam’s body.
“Are you sure it’s really him, Jody?” Sam couldn’t help but call out.
"It's really him, Sam. I wouldn't have let him through if it wasn't," Jody reassured Sam with a wink.
Dean let out a small growl as he promised, “I’ll let you run your own test on me later.” Loving the faint flush that appeared on Sam’s cheeks, he raised his voice. “Now that that’s settled, how about you tell me who did this to you so I can hunt them down and get a cure to turn you back. Not that I’m not loving the tail, but I really want my Sam back.”
Sam had known that question was coming, and he had no clue how to tell Dean how he had reached so low while he was gone that he had been on the edge of ending it all when he had gotten turned into a merman.
“Maybe you can get some answers, because I’ve tried and he’s been quiet about the whole thing,” Jody voiced from her spot and sent Sam a look with how displeased she was with the whole thing.
“Sam.” The moment Dean said his name in that tone of voice that held an edge of a warning to it, Sam knew that he was in trouble.
Dean refused to be swayed by Sam’s sagging shoulders and the puppy-dog eyes he flashed his way. He was not going to be moved, not this time. The pout that crossed Sam’s lips was almost enough to make Dean change his mind but this time he stayed strong.
Letting out a sigh, Sam knew that there was no way of getting out of this. Dean would not rest until he found a cure, and any information he could give him would help him in his quest.
“It was a witch. I was at the end of my rope. I had given up all hope of finding you Dean, and his taunts were driving me to the edge.” Sam didn’t need to say who ‘he’ was; Dean knew from the way he tightened his grip on him even more. “I couldn’t do it in Baby.”
It killed Dean to hear these words coming from Sam, to know that his baby brother had been so close to ending it all. He wasn’t sure what he would have done if he had come back to find Sam gone. ‘That’s a lie. I would have hunted down Death and begged him to bring Sam back to me; if he couldn’t then I would have joined Sam either by Death’s hand or my own.’ Dean had lived life without Sam and it had been a nightmare; he couldn’t do it again, he wasn’t strong enough. Dean was so lost in thought that he almost missed Sam’s next few words.
“I hit a dog.”
“You hit a dog? Were you okay? Is Baby okay?” Dean could see that Sam was fine, well as fine as someone could be, being a merman, but earlier would have been so much different and then there was the matter of his car. Sam’s lips pressed softly against his, stopping Dean’s worry for a moment.
“Yes, I hit a dog,” Sam continued once he was sure Dean was a little calmer. “The Impala and I were both okay, but I felt horrible about the dog and I couldn’t leave it to suffer.”
Dean knew that Sam wouldn’t do it; it wasn’t in him to watch anyone or any animal suffer.
“I know, baby boy, and I don’t blame you. Tell me what happened next,” Dean asked gently.
“I found a vet that was open and I took him in and begged for help. There was this woman there. She accused me of hitting the dog on purpose. I did my best to reassure her that I didn’t mean to hit the dog. Once I was sure that the dog was going to be okay I hoped to leave it with her and head out to my task, but she wouldn’t let me.” Sam couldn’t understand why that woman hadn’t let him do what he wanted to do until he’d realized what she had planned.
Dean was thankful for this woman he didn’t know. What he would have done if no one had been there to stop Sam from doing the unthinkable!
“I called the dog Riot, and Amelia was the vet who wouldn’t leave me alone. I couldn’t understand why until she kissed me,” Sam admitted in a small voice, looking anywhere but at Dean, as he knew what his brother was going to say.
Dean couldn’t blame the woman for wanting to kiss Sam - after all, he was very kissable - but Sam’s lips along with the rest of Sam belonged to him.
“She is a dead woman.”
“Whoa there, hotshot; before you go planning her death, maybe you should hear what else Sam has to say,” Jody called from her spot as she pinned Dean with a knowing look. She knew that boy, and he was very close to running off to hunt down this Amelia for daring to touch what was his.
The grumble that escaped Dean and the scowl that appeared on Dean’s face were adorable and Sam was very tempted to kiss him again.
“I pushed her away; I didn’t want anyone to kiss me but you. She was angry, so angry, and I should have known something was up... and the next thing I knew, I couldn’t move.” Wrapping his own arms around Dean, Sam knew that the next part would really piss off his brother. “Amelia was muttering something under..." Sam trailed off as he drifted into his memories.
Sam stumbled backward as a dizzy spell overtook him quickly. He clung to the table for support as he fought back the urge to be sick.
“What did you do to me?” he managed to get out as he tried to glare at Amelia, only to find that there were two of her.
A taunting smile appeared on Amelia’s face.
“Oh, nothing much - I just placed a spell on you. One that will turn you into a merman.”
Sam wanted to curl up and fade away. How was he suppose to look for Dean when he couldn’t leave the water and he had no legs? And with Bobby gone, he really had no one who could help him.
"The next thing I know, I'm waking up like this with Crowley standing over me in a bathtub." Sam finished his story once he came back from his memories.
"I knew that son-of-a-bitch had something to do with it." Now Dean really wished that he had buried his demon blade in Crowley's chest.
Sam wouldn't lie - he loved it when Dean got possessive like that - but sadly he couldn't watch Dean kick Crowley's ass over this.
"No, actually he wasn't. Crowley got me away from Amelia. We owe him."
The idea of owing Crowley anything left a bad taste in Dean's mouth, but he would do what Sam wanted, for now. But now Dean had another problem. He was torn - on the one hand, he wanted to hunt down the witch who did this to Sam; on the other, he didn't want to leave Sam. Not that he didn't trust Jody, but he had just got Sam back and he wasn't ready to leave his side.
Jody once again proved that she knew her boys.
"Dean, stay here with Sam. I'll go hunt this witch down. I'll even take your friend Benny with me." It was unspoken, 'if you trust him.'
Dean would be forever thankful that Jody had come into their lives.
"Thanks, Jody. Benny, can you go with her?"
Benny met Jody's eyes and he wasn't surprised to see steel in them; he knew that this woman was no pushover.
"I'd be honored if you would trust me, brother."
The moment the word ‘brother’ fell from Benny's lips, Dean felt Sam stiffen in his arms. He knew his Sam, and he knew well that he did not like the idea of someone else calling him brother; Dean felt the same way when it came to someone else calling Sam brother. He needed to do his best to reassure Sam that no one could or would ever replace him.
Jody saw the look in Dean's eyes and knew that the boys needed a moment alone.
"Come on, let's get going, bitey, we have a road trip. Oh, and keep your fangs to yourself because Dean might see you as a friend, but you come near me and I will rip them out before you know what is happening," Jody informed Benny with a smile on her face.
Benny raised an eyebrow, a smile tugging at his lips. He was going to enjoy working with Jody.
A chuckle escaped Dean's lips as he watched Benny follow behind Jody. He sure hoped his friend knew what he was getting into.
"I sure hope your new friend heeds Jody's advice." Sam knew that there was a little bitterness in his voice, but he couldn't help it - he had never learned to share Dean with others.
"You're so cute when you are jealous," Dean couldn't help but point out as he pressed himself closer to Sam, not that there was much space left between them. "I might consider him a brother, but he will never be you. There can only be one Sam in my life."
Sam's heart fluttered as Dean slowly stroked his cheek. He knew what Dean said was the truth; no one would ever be able to replace the other in their hearts, and Ash was right when he told them that they were soulmates. They couldn't live without each other.
“I’m going to fuck you into the mattress once we cure you and we won’t be leaving the hotel room for a week,” Dean growled out his promise.
Sam shivered not only at Dean’s promise, but at the heat in his eyes.
“I hope that you keep your word.”"Oh, I will, baby boy, and so much more," Dean promised as he tucked Sam in closer to him. The cool water lapping against his skin didn't bother him all that much; it had been a long time since he’d felt it, and to have Sam back in his arms he would stand in the middle of the dessert or a fire..