Sleight of Hand

A/N: 1337 words. WARNING: UNDERAGE. For Max. Beta by [info]cee, [info]tittakv and [info]lady_alatariel_.


Two boys raced around the back of the old Safeway and skidded to a stop, crouching down. The older of the two held a plastic bag close to his chest. "You think he saw us?" asked his brother nervously.

"I dunno, Sammy," he answered. "Just wait." They pressed up close to each other, catching their breath, old enough to be afraid, but still young enough to think it was fun, exciting. They were as small as they could be, trying to blend in with the concrete wall, the tall weeds, the gravel. One of them imagined he and his brother were Indiana Jones and his long-lost, never-in-the-movies brother Colorado Jones. (Or Montana, or Washington. It changed, depending on the state they were in.) The other was, in his mind, preparing the Jedi mind trick. We are not the guys you're looking for. Failing that, there was a flashlight in his pocket that would pass for a lightsaber.

Long minutes passed and nothing happened, and the boys began to relax. "Can we, Dean?" Sam smiled wide, a rare moment of excited glee.

Dean checked around the corner of the building one more time, and then sat back against the wall. "Yeah, I guess," he grinned. "If they ain't after us yet, they ain't gonna be."

The boys emptied the plastic bag out on the ground between them and picked out shiny, bright packages, tearing them open and stuffing the candy into their mouths. Shoplifting was an essential skill, one they'd been taught well. This was their first go at it on their own; their father had told them to get anything they wanted this time. Dean, wiping his hands on his jeans, lifted the black cassette tape from their spoils of war with a reverent touch. "Metallica's so cool."

"You know Dad'll never let you listen to it in the car," Sam warned around a mouthful of caramel. His prize, a paperback novel the size of Dean's wrist, lay among their new possessions. Dean couldn't say he liked it - Sammy read when Dad was in a bad mood, and then Dean had nobody to play with - but Dad always liked when they read books, so there wasn't much Dean could do except memorize the road signs and dream of when the world finally caught up to them and started handing out the medals for all the good they were doing. Cindy Crawford would pin them on.

The loot also contained a six-pack of batteries, three new toothbrushes and a bottle of intensely inferior cologne, for their father. They'd wanted to get him something better, but it was the only pocket-sized thing that hadn't been behind glass, and Dad had always told them never to lift anything behind glass unless they had to. Dean had wanted to try to charm the lady behind the photo counter into letting them see one of the cameras - Dad was saying lately that they needed a new camera - but Sammy'd asked what would happen if their first solo trip to the market came back empty, or worse, caught. They got cologne.

"Shut up," Dean ordered, tucking the tape into the pocket of his too-big second hand bomber jacket. His fingers touched the final item - a necklace he'd seen hanging on a display rack, a gold pendant on a black leather thong. They were only supposed to take one thing each, but there'd been nobody at the counter, and it was small. He left it in his pocket, for later, when he could take the tag off and rough it up some, claim he found it by the road. Sammy was the smart one, but Dean wasn't stupid. They devoured the candy in record time, grinning at each other and joking and grabbing in the grass for the ones they really liked. Finally there was just one red sucker left, and their fingers closed on it at the same time.

"Hey, give it. You had way more than me."

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

They tussled over it, Dean pushing Sam's head away and Sam trying to scratch at Dean's arm. Finally Dean wrenched the sucker away and tore the wrapper off, then licked a big, wide stripe up one side and smirked at Sammy triumphantly.

Sammy glared at him, outraged, and leaned in to lick up the other side. He sat back smirking. What're you gonna do now, you jerk?

Dean shrugged and popped the sucker into his mouth.

"Ew, gross!" Sam scrunched up his nose and pushed Dean's shoulder, but Dean just casually leaned back against the wall.

"It's not gross. You get worse from kissin'."

Sam snorted, disbelieving. "Like you know anything about kissing."

"More than you," Dean smirked. He pulled the lollipop out of his mouth and gestured at Sam with it. "You never even looked at a girl."

"Have too," Sammy sulked. "I bet any girl you kissed'd go running for the hills." Dean made a face at him, and Sam smiled, sensing he'd got a nerve. "Scarier than the widow reaver, even." Dean glared, and Sam grinned. "I bet kissin' you's like kissin' a polergeist."

Dean leaned over the scant foot between them and pressed their mouths together.

Sammy froze, feeling his ears go instantly red. Dean's hand was curled in Sammy's t-shirt, holding them close together, and his breath was hot as July in Arizona. Sammy curled his fingers in his brother's leather jacket, holding on tight as he could. Sammy'd loved that jacket ever since Dean found it in a Sally Ann bin and claimed it for his own. Sometimes, when Dad and Dean were out, Sammy'd try on Dean's jacket in the mirror, just to see. It never looked right, though - Sam was taller than Dean, and narrower. Sammy would check the window to make sure his father and brother weren't pulling into the parking lot, and then he'd curl up on Dad's bed with Dean's jacket and wait for the muted roar of the Impala. Sammy'd never exactly had a home, but he had a father and a brother, and that was pretty close. The solid feel of Dean up against him now was like the smell and feel of that jacket, but better, more, right there for him to take. They hardly ever got candy, and Dean tasted like eight kinds all at once. Sammy thought that was about right.

Dean never had kissed anyone before. He tried to impress the girls they ran into, and it always worked for a little bit, but then he'd say the wrong thing and they'd get spooked, leaving Dean standing by the car, waiting for his Dad to come ruffle his hair in sympathy. He and Sammy always practiced stuff together - lifting wallets, picking locks, charm and lying and all the stuff you needed to know how to do in life. It just seemed like plain reason: kissing was just like those other things - important to know how to do. So Dean opened his mouth like he'd seen on TV, and Sammy opened with him, letting him press inside. Dean tasted tootsie rolls, Sammy's favorite, and the sweet-salty taste he always had in his mouth when he woke up in the morning, curled up with his brother like a box of puppies. It was good, it felt like it ought to feel, and Dean shifted a little closer and pulled Sammy up to press against him.

They kissed languidly, shifting between shy and competitive. Heat built between them, in their stomachs and hands and necks, pulling them closer and closer. When they had to stop for air, Dean was sprawled out on top of Sammy on the ground, Sammy's head pillowed on Dean's arm. All flushed and shining eyes, Dean rested his head against Sammy's and caught his breath. "It's poltergeist, stupid."

"Shut up, Dean!"

"You shut up."

"Make me."

Dean did just that, and Sammy held on tight, feeling the leather in his fists.