Summary: A look at Dean's relationship with fire, from the inferno that took his mother to the one that brought Sam back to him.
Notes: Written for challenge #9, 'Starting Fires', at kaz2y5
After the fire took his mother, his childhood home and his father's happiness, Dean became convinced that it would come back for the rest of his treasures. He knew he couldn't protect his dad, he wasn't strong enough, but Sammy - he was bigger and stronger and meaner than Sammy would ever be, and he was determined to beat whatever tried to come between them.
Every night he wrapped himself around his brother and waited to hear the whoosh, the pop and crackle of hungry flame. He waited, and fell asleep waiting, and woke each dawn relieved to know they'd have another day.
When Dean was six, his father's buddy Jason left his Zippo on the counter in their trailer's tiny kitchen. Dean stared at it for eons - mapped the nicks and scratches, wear and tear, the grease and grime of years. He was fascinated.
Such a tiny cage for such a massive beast.
It was lighter than he thought it ought to be, but, when it slid into his pocket, it felt perfect.
Dean had just turned nine when he torched his first disinterred corpse. Dad wasn't happy about the fact, but he'd broken his arm in two places falling off the rectory roof and he couldn't feel his fingers.
Dean had poured out too much salt and used a whole can of lighter fluid, and then snapped the heads off thirteen matches in a row before he got one lit.
Watching the flames do his bidding was the most amazing rush.
He smoked his first cigarette at age thirteen, huddled with Marcy Stubbins behind the dumpster at the local burger joint. It tasted foul, like lost dreams and charred nightmares. She tasted better.
When he was nineteen, he sparked a conflagration that has never since shown a hint of burning out.
To this day, he has no clue how long his brother had been standing in the doorway of their bedroom, eyes and mouth wide open. It was only when Dean shifted on the bed to slide his free hand - slick and shining - down between his widespread thighs, that he had noticed. His eyes had locked on Sam's, his hand had tightened on his cock, stripping faster, harder, wilder.
Sam had come when he had.
It smouldered like a peat fire, deep beneath the surface of their every waking moment. They never spoke of it, acknowledged it - it was as though it wasn't there.
Its presence kept them both on edge, and slightly overheated.
They made a game of it - to see who could last the longest - but they never crossed the line, they never touched. The skin they stroked and teased was all their own - Dean scratching lines across his belly as he arched and came, Sam pinching tightly beaded nipples as he bit his bottom lip and dug his heels into his mattress.
When Sammy left for college, Dean was furious and frustrated and a tiny bit relieved. The urge to touch, to grab, to taste, to own, to fuck, had lived just beneath his skin for far too long.
Dean's not surprised that it's a fire that brings Sam back to him, twisted, broken, full of grief and fury, ire and hunger.
He knows the fire's in their blood; it's their destiny. It's what keeps them separate from the world, yet bound together, and he's waiting on that one, perfect spark.
Together they will burn so bright they'll overpower the sun.