When Dean was younger, they rarely had enough money for hotel rooms; credit cards weren't quite as profligate with their offers back in the '80s, or maybe their father had still been trying to balance the hunt with the kind of life he'd once lived, the kind of man he'd been before fighting evil to the death became more important than mainstream morality.
Instead, the car was their home most nights. Dad would stretch out as best he could across the front seat, while Dean and Sam curled up together in the back, and they'd fall asleep to the buzz of fluorescent streetlamps in whatever parking lot or rest stop they'd parked in for the night. He could still remember bracing his feet against the car door and wrapping an arm around Sam, tucking him in tight and safe so that even if he wriggled around in his sleep--Sammy'd been a restless sleeper as a little kid--he wouldn't tumble off the seat. It was a good memory.
It hadn't been too long after that that he and Sam had outgrown the backseat, of course, and they'd had no choice but to take rooms in whatever dive their father thought they might almost be able to afford that night. And then shortly after that Dean was old enough to babysit Sam by himself, and their dad would leave for the bars and pool halls early in the evening and bring back cash enough that they could stay in hotels that didn't smell of piss and vomit or have weird, disturbing stains on the sheets.
Dean was pretty sure that the only reason Sam looked down on the hustling and the credit card scams was that he was too young to remember what life had been like before them. He didn't ever remind him, though, since Sam's complaint about never having a normal childhood suddenly sounded a lot more reasonable when he considered some of the places they'd slept in. Sam really didn't need that kind of ammunition.
Dean had gone back to sleeping in the car himself when he'd started going on hunting trips alone; not all the time, but whenever the podunk town he was staying in didn't have any vacancies in its one hotel or when he drove in too late for check-in, the Impala was an easy, reliable option.
He tried to make more of an effort now that Sam was on the team again. If Sam was going to have nightmares and be unable to sleep for half the night, at least the few hours he did catch ought to be in a real bed.
Sometimes, though, that just wasn't possible. "We there already?" Sam mumbled sleepily when Dean pulled off the side of the road and backed up until they were separated from the highway by a stone barrier.
"No, I'm just falling asleep at the wheel, here. Let me nap a couple of hours and we'll be on our way."
"I could drive a bit," Sam said, and then yawned widely.
"Yeah, because you're definitely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed," Dean said. "We'll just take a short nap, and then we'll be set to go. It's not like we're in a huge rush; if we drove straight through, we'd get to Rio Verde around six in the morning, and that's way too early to be banging on people's doors."
Sam yawned again. "Yeah, okay."
"Front or back?" Dean asked.
"Whichever," Sam said, though he was already opening up the passenger-side door and climbing into the backseat.
"You want me to get some blankets out of the trunk?"
"Nah, I'm cool."
"Okay. 'Night," Dean said, stretching out across the seat. He curled one arm under him for a pillow and rested the other on the knife in his pocket and breathed out slowly.
There was silence for several long minutes, and Dean had decided that Sam was asleep again already and was just beginning to drift himself when Sam said, "Hey, remember when we used to sleep in the backseat of Dad's old Pontiac when we were little?"
"I remember. I didn't think you did."
"I think that may be the first memory I have," Sam said contemplatively. "You always hung onto me so that I wouldn't fall off the seat."
--except that once, right after they'd left Lawrence, and before Dean realized that Sam would pitch himself over the edge in his sleep, and Sam had gotten a palm-sized bruise on his thigh from falling on the floorboard, but Sam didn't really need to be reminded of that--
"I remember one time I woke up from a nightmare, and I had to pee really badly, but I was too scared to move. I just knew that I was going to pee my pants and then Dad would be disappointed in me the next day. But then you woke up less than a minute later, and you asked if I was all right, and after I explained, you got out of the car with me and waited until I'd finished and then we went back to bed."
"I'd forgotten about that," Dean said. Their father must have woken up when they'd opened the car door--even then, his instincts had been finely attuned to the hunt, whether as hunter or prey--but he'd never let on. The two of them had crept out to the line of woods in silence and supposed secrecy, and he'd stood guard over Sam with a cocked Colt .45 and stared down the darkness and whatever might lurk within it.
"You were a good big brother," Sam said sleepily, and Dean swallowed hard.
"I was a good big brother?" he asked, blustering. "You saying I'm not anymore?"
Sam snorted, not bothering to rise to the bait. "Come here," he said, the invitation clear in his voice, and weird as it was to hear Sam suggest messing around outside the privacy of their locked and shuttered hotel room, Dean didn't hesitate.
For a second, he wasn't sure the two of them would fit on the seat at all, but then Sam turned onto his side and pulled Dean down in front of him, 'til they were lying curled around each other chest to back.
"Watch your head," Sam warned, and yanked the door shut. He draped his arm over Dean's waist, hand pressed flat against his chest as if to feel for his heartbeat, and sighed.
If Dean had thought the backseat had been crowded when he and Sam had started to hit their growth spurts, that had nothing on this. Their legs dangled off the edge of the seat, tangling in the footwell, and Sam's body was warm and solid against his back.
Sam's hand slid down Dean's side to curve around his hipbone, then up to his chest, and back down--a series of slow, steady strokes that were almost more comforting than arousing. Suddenly Sam giggled. "Hey, Dean, is that a Bowie in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
And Dean burst into laughter and said, "A little of both, dude. A little of both." He removed the knife from his pocket and dropped it on the floor, and Sam's hand went immediately to the buttons of his fly like some sort of reward for good behavior.
Dean pushed his hips into Sam's hand with a stifled gasp; Sam cupped him briefly, his thumb stroking along the tented denim, before returning to the buttons. "Next time, wear zippers," he advised several minutes later as he slipped his hand into Dean's boxers, and Dean gasped:
"Yeah, okay," because as fun as it was to have Sam groping him while getting his fly unbuttoned, this was about a million times better.
Sam slid his hand up and down Dean's cock a few times while Dean shuddered into his touch, gasping his name and half-conscious endearments that might have embarrassed him if he weren't so far gone on Sam's touch.
Suddenly Sam stopped, pulling his hand out of his shorts. "Shh," he said when Dean grumbled in protest, and shoved Dean's pants and boxers down to his knees.
Dean shivered in the cool air, listening and feeling Sam unzip himself and push his own pants down, until Sam pressed warm and close against his back. His cock was hot and hard and damp on Dean's bare skin, and Dean rubbed against it.
Sam reached a hand around for Dean's cock again--fucking finally--and Dean shoved his hips forward into Sam's hand. Sam hauled him back with one strong arm, still jacking him off. His cock slipped damply between Dean's ass cheeks, and Dean shivered.
All of their supplies were in the trunk--not as if there were room for anything too complicated, anyway--but Sam slid his cock carefully along the crack, groaning low in his throat. His hand on Dean's cock sped up, all heat and dry friction, half-pain and pure pleasure all at once. His thumb slicked pre-come around the head of Dean's cock, without ever easing the rub and pull of his calloused palm on the sensitive skin of the shaft.
Dean moaned for him, just the way Sam liked it, and Sam's hips suddenly arched mid-thrust and then Dean's lower back was wet and sticky with come, which even after all this time weirded him out a bit. Still, it was hot enough that one more too dry tug on his dick had him coming his brains out, shouting some combination of "Fuck" and Sam's name and maybe the word "brother," though he'd deny that last one if Sam ever asked.
He lay in Sam's arms a moment, breathing heavily. He tried to tilt his head a bit to check out the stars, but they'd steamed up the car windows and he couldn't see a damned thing out of them. Sam's embrace was almost over-warm, but that didn't mean he wanted to give it up.
Still, they couldn't just crash as they were. He squirmed out of Sam's arms so that he could haul off his flannel shirt, which he used to mop them up, and then tossed it on the floor. Then he wriggled back into his boxers and jeans, not bothering to button the latter.
"What are you doing?" Sam asked, just as he placed his hand on the doorhandle.
"Uh, it's kind of crowded back here, in case you hadn't noticed."
Sam just wrapped an arm around Dean and pulled him back down. "It's okay. Go to sleep; I've got you." And, yeah, it was cramped, but it was also warm and safe and comfortable, so Dean did.