Spare Time

A/N: 684 words. For [info]ros_fod.


Sam held out his hand. "Give me that."

"Get your own." Dean shrugged Sam off and turned a little, so he could keep filling in the protective symbols stenciled on his bare arm. The beast they were up against - some kind of demon pig thing; Dean wasn't really sure what it was called - was supposed to be disoriented by the markings, which would hopefully leave them enough time to kill it. He and Sam, not being up for the traditional tattoos, had opted for Sharpies. Now they sat in the motel room with their shirts off, drawing the symbols on and waiting for dark.

"I have my own. Mine are finished, and they definitely look better than yours."

"Hey, I can do this, okay?" Dean glared at him.

Sam glared back, and then lunged for the pen. Dean tried to slap him away, but Sam was a little nimbler for not having been up all night vision-trancing with the shaman, and Dean was soon penless. Sam smirked at him. "Give me your arm, dork."

Dean rolled his eyes and held out his arm. "You're an ass. You know that."

"But I'm an artistic ass," Sam murmured, leaning over Dean's arm and tracing lightly over the lines Dean had already done. As Dean watched Sam work, the markings and symbols gradually shifted from patchy, blurred scrawl to stark images that even a pig demon couldn't miss. In his head, he grudgingly allowed that maybe Sam wasn't totally wrong about this, and stopped watching him so intently. He really was tired.

The shaman had been a weird old bastard, Dean mused, as Sam's fingers brushed against his arm. When Dean had left in the morning, the markings traced over his arm had burned a little. He had scratched at them, and the old man, bent over a cup of coffee, eyed him assessingly.

"You will go to the fight with your brother," he surmised. Dean nodded - he'd said he wouldn't be going in alone. The shaman nodded back, smiling a little, like he knew a secret.

"Something I should know?"

The old man shook his head, sipped at his coffee. "Nothing new - not for you."

Too tired to argue, Dean had picked up his gear, thanked the man, and left. It was weird. Dean hated when people kept secrets, especially when it could mean the difference between going into a job prepared, and going into a job and dying horribly. Secrets were bad for them, generally, and yet he wasn't really sure he wanted to know what the shaman had meant. Something in his demeanor - something almost smug - had put him off about it.

Now, in the hotel, he jerked awake. Sam was hovering over his shoulder, pen flickering. "That's my job," he said, smiling wryly down at his brother.

Dean scowled at him and blinked, rubbed his eyes with his free hand. "Aren't you done yet?"

"Oh, yeah," Sam answered. "I finished your tattoos an hour ago. But you fell asleep."

"What?" Dean batted his hand aside and swung up from the bed, only to be confronted with his reflection in the mirror. His arm was covered in the tribal symbols, and they slid up his shoulder and neck, over his chest. They were well done, flowed into each other with - really - an artist's grace. And, in block print about an inch high, the phrase "Sam Can Kick My Ass" was scrawled over his stomach, just below his ribs.

"You are dead, little brother."

Sam was already grinning. "That's not what your stomach says..."

The next several minutes of chasing around the hotel room after each other cost the hotel a lamp, but when Dean finally pinned Sam against the bathroom counter and beat his shoulder pink, he decided it was worth it.

He would rethink that later on, when the battle with the demon pig thing ripped his shirt to hell, and the group of people they were trying to save all got treated to a billboard advertisement of why brothers sucked. But that's another story.