Summary: Being a virgin sucks, and not just because Sam isn't getting any.
A/N: Written for the OhSam Celebrating Sam Birthday Fanworks Event on LJ for the prompt word “Virgin”
“This is humiliating,” Sam mutters, not for the first time, as he scuffs his shoe across the stained motel carpet, ducking his head to hide the fiery glow of his cheeks.
“I need to be sure,” Dad snaps, in full hunter mode, sorting knives and guns into his duffel. Sam wonders if part of his bluster is to hide his own discomfort with the subject matter. Sam hopes it is. Dad should be just as uncomfortable as he is. “There's more on the line here than your pride. You need to tell me if you've done anything that could compromise this hunt.”
Sam folds his arms across his chest. Honestly, it would be really nice if the ground could just open up and swallow him right now. Anything other than continuing this conversation.
“Sam,” Dad growls, in a tone that warns of waning patience and makes Sam grit his teeth.
“Nothing, okay? I haven't done anything.” It's bad enough getting the third degree from Dad but does Dean 'ladies man' Winchester really have to be here while Sam explains that he's never even gotten close to losing his V card? At least his brother has the grace to feign ignorance to the conversation going on around him, offering Sam the privacy of a turned back and the pretence of being very involved in sharpening a machete. Dean hadn't been happy when Dad laid out the plan.
“With anyone,” Dad presses. Sam can feel his father's narrowed eyes on the top of his head, boring into him like if he stares hard enough Sam will break down and admit to sleeping with half the town. Sam glares at the carpet. “Because if you have and this thing goes after some other kid...”
“It won't,” Sam grinds out. The fact that Dad's having so much trouble believing him just makes this more embarrassing. Just because Dean's been hooking up with girls since kindergarten...
Sam can tell by the loaded silence in the room that Dad wants to keep pushing, just to make sure Sam is thoroughly humiliated, apparently, but Dean picks that moment to speak up.
“He's a virgin, Dad, move on already.”
Dad's lips purse together. He doesn't like Dean's tone but Sam couldn't be more grateful for it. Dean doesn't challenge their father often and, while Sam knows that that doesn't mean Dean always agrees, he wasn't expecting it now. The plan is simple, just embarrassing.
Dean returns Dad's disapproving look steadily and Sam realises with a jolt that Dean's not just unhappy about the plan - he's angry, holding himself tense and bristling under the surface, his mouth set in a thin line. The sight sends a thrill of fear down Sam's spine. Dad said he wouldn't be in any real danger but what Dad thinks of as real danger tends to differ vastly from the average person's definition, and what with the unexpected grilling about the status of his virginity, Sam hasn't actually given all that much thought to Dad's actual plan. Now he imagines himself standing alone among the trees, in the dark, waiting for a monster to close in on him. If Dean is angry, that means he's scared. And if Dean is scared...
Skin prickling with a growing apprehension, Sam shakes the thoughts out of his head. He won't really be alone. Dad and Dean will be nearby, ready, and he's not exactly helpless. Dean always worries about him.
Dad is still surly by the time they head out but Dean has packed up his fear neatly along with the weapons and slipped back into the role of confident, capable hunter. He ruffles Sam's hair after they slide into the Impala, and offers him a grin.
“Cheer up, Sammy. Normal parents grill their kids over their virginity, too.”
Sam just rolls his eyes. Normal parents don't want their kids to be virgins so they can be used as bait.
The woods are quiet. Eerily so, Sam thinks. He catches the odd rustle of small creatures in the undergrowth, the soft hoot of a far-off owl, but for the most part it's silent and Sam can't help but imagine the whole forest holding it's breath, like even the trees know that something unnatural has walked here, will walk here again.
Sam is cold, too tense to be bored, sitting restless and alert on the crumbling trunk of a long-fallen tree. A chilly breeze whispers through the leaves, making them shiver, and shadows stretch and fall as the moon dances between clouds. He's not far from the path, firmly in the middle of the area where the town's missing kids were last seen, and Dad and Dean are so quiet, so still, that he keeps almost forgetting that they're here. He has to force himself not to anxiously search out their hiding places to reassure himself that he hasn't been left alone. Dad would be furious if he gave away their positions because of nerves.
Time passes slowly, inching along, and after a few hours the monotony starts to cause lapses in Sam's concentration. A couple of times, he catches his mind wandering and has to force his focus to return to the present. If Dad notices him slacking off, he'll get an earful later, and extra training probably. That would be typical; he can't even play bait well enough for Dad.
Sighing, Sam folds his arms over his chest and runs his hands up and down his arms, trying to rub some warmth into his skin through his thin jacket. There's a spider to his right, spinning a web between the stick fingers of a branch jutting from the trunk Sam's perched upon, the silky strands glinting in the moonlight. Sam turns away from it and casts his gaze around the trees, searching for anything out of place in the darkness.
Maybe she won't come and they'll all trudge back into the motel room in the early dawn light, exhausted and frustrated and dissatisfied. Dad will be surly and snap at them both like the no-show is their fault, and Dean will be all 'yes, sir, no, sir', desperate to win back their father's approval in the wake of perceived failure, and Sam will be pissed off and exasperated with both of them for always replaying the same stupid routine after every botched hunt. It's enough to make Sam hope the monster shows up and tries to kill him.
His hand strays towards the dagger tucked into his belt. Dad said he shouldn't need it but he's reassured by its solid weight at his side, the smooth feel of it under his fingertips, as he makes sure it's easily accessible.
He's waiting to hear a twig snap, a rustle of branches or the crunch of dead leaves underfoot, but when she finally comes, it's completely silent. Sam is watching the spider, finished it's web building and now scurrying to hide and lie in wait for the next bug to fly into it's trap, when something on the ground catches his attention. He looks closer and sees a small green shoot pushing through the undergrowth, unfurling dainty white petals with unnatural speed. Within seconds, the ground beneath him is alive with blooming flowers.
Sam jumps to his feet, his breath catching in his throat.
She steps out of the darkness in front of him as though through a hole in the backdrop of reality. One moment Sam is alone among the watching trees, the next she stands before him, so pale in the moonlight that she seems to glow.
She's beautiful, ageless, both youthful and ancient at once, barefoot and draped in a simple white robe that exposes her shoulders and thighs. A blood red pendant sits in the hollow of her throat, striking against her porcelain skin, and a bracelet of wild flowers adorns her wrist, all impossibly fresh and bright. Her eyes are the colour of a cloudless spring sky, her hair a golden sunset falling in loose curls down her back, and her lips are pink and plump, curled into a smile as she looks Sam up and down.
Sam's heart is thudding violently inside his chest, instinctual fear of the unnatural being before him quickening his pulse. His hand reaches for the dagger automatically as he waits for Dad and Dean to make their move.
The Goddess cocks her head to the side and her smile spreads into a wicked grin, exposing all of her straight, white teeth. “Were you expecting someone?” she asks, her voice soft and teasing.
The bottom drops out of Sam's stomach, terror crawling up his throat. She knows it's a set up. She knows about Dean and Dad. Sam's eyes seek out the foliage that conceals his family, looking for the help that he already knows isn't coming. The shrubs are still and silent, betraying nothing. Did she hurt them? Are they even alive? His fingers tighten around the dagger, drawing it from his belt.
“Stay away,” he warns her, his voice coming out in an unconvincing croak. Fear for his family has him in a choke hold and his head is spinning with panic. This isn't how this was supposed to go down.
The Goddess looks entirely unconcerned by his dagger and his warning. “Why would I do that when you've so kindly walked into my woods and served yourself up to me?” She's so light on her feet she seems to glide across the forest floor when she steps closer. Sam stumbles backwards, bumping up against the fallen tree trunk, rough bark scratching against the denim of his jeans. Dad said that if anything went wrong he should run for it, that Sam's the only one the Goddess will target, and he and Dean can handle themselves. But Dad's supposed to be here and he's not, and Dean's supposed to be here and he's not, and Sam knows there's only one reason they wouldn't help him and that's if they can't. He can't just run away and leave his family out here, not when they might already be hurt, when they're already in trouble.
He hesitates a moment too long and something wraps itself around his ankles. A glance down reveals that the flowers at his feet have continued growing, blooming all around him, and vines have crept up from the foliage, slithering snake-like around his legs. Sam gasps and tries to kick them away, slashing at them with his dagger, but they just coil tighter until he can't move his feet an inch, rooted – literally – to the spot. The Goddess watches his struggle dispassionately.
“You can't escape,” she says, taking another gliding step towards him. She's so bright, it almost hurts to look at her. Sam squints his eyes against the glow and tries to breath through the fear. She's so close now, he can almost reach her with his blade...
The moment the thought forms, a vine wraps around his wrist, trapping his knife hand by his side. Sam tries to jerk away, scrabbling at the vine with his free hand, but more vines spring from the carpet of flowers, twisting around his arms and coiling tight, pressing the fabric of his jacket hard against his skin, and there's nothing he can do to stop the Goddess when she reaches for him.
“Don't touch me,” he snarls anyway, trying pointlessly to recoil. She smells like wild flowers and the scent grows stronger the closer she gets. By the time her hand, smooth and cold as ice, cups his cheek it has become overwhelming, cloying. Sam's head spins. His dagger drops from numb fingers. The trees around him shimmer like a mirage and, just for a moment, he thinks he feels her lips on his, right before the forest dissolves into darkness.
Sam wakes to humming, soft and melodious and a familiar smell of flowers that seems to fill his head with clouds. His eyes are closed and it seems too much of an effort to change that so for a while he drifts, the tune winding gently through his mind while the sweet scent invades his senses. It takes longer than it should for him to wonder where the sound is coming from, why he's lying on a bed of twigs and bark and leaves, naked.
Sam's eyes snap open. Naked? He laboriously lifts his head to look down at himself. Definitely naked. That's definitely not right. The drowsy, peaceful feeling the aroma induced evaporates and goosebumps break out over Sam's skin, though he's not sure if that's because of fear or cold. Small sticks and stones jab into his shoulder blades, the backs of his thighs, and the breeze trails icy fingers across his bare chest. He can't move, held down on the forest floor by vines that twist around his arms and up his legs and, with a sickening rush of panic, he remembers the hunt, the Goddess, Dad and Dean failing to appear.
Frantic, Sam tugs at the vines, jerking his legs, trying to twist his wrists to scratch at them with his fingernails, but it's useless. Normal vines might break eventually but these vines are touched by magic and Sam gets the feeling that they won't free him unless the Goddess orders it. Defeated, he lets the back of his head thud against the ground, closing his eyes against the sting of helpless tears.
The humming stops. Sam opens his eyes, unnerved by the silence, and jerks in surprise. The Goddess has appeared beside him without any crunching of the fallen leaves beneath her feet. She kneels beside Sam's head, one dainty hand wrapped around the stem of a silver chalice.
“Drink, boy,” she orders, her hand sliding under his neck, weaving into his hair and tugging his head up. She presses the chalice to his lips.
Sam clamps his mouth shut, struggling to turn his head while her grip threatens to tear out his hair, but the Goddess's strength is inhuman. Her hand releases his hair and slides over his throat to clasp his jaw, squeezing until Sam feels like his teeth will break and his lips part involuntarily. Wine, sweet and thick, spills over his tongue and immediately his surroundings fuzz. A strange weightlessness settles over him and when he tries to move, to turn his head away from the chalice, he feels like he's underwater, unable to manage more than a feeble tug at the vines holding his arms. Even his panic feels muted, distant and vague, but he manages to make a small sound of distress, spluttering when the drugged wine tries to rush down his throat around the noise.
The Goddess pulls the cup away, setting it aside, and dabs at the spilled wine on his chin with the hem of her robe, humming a soft, soothing sound. She leans in close and smooths his hair back from his forehead in a move that's deceptively gentle. Sam feels like he's moving in slow motion when he turns his head away, skin crawling.
“Be calm,” she says, still far too close. The scent of wild flowers that accompanies her presence is almost as intoxicating as the wine. “It is an honour to be my offering.”
Sam's tongue is clumsy, half-asleep along with the rest of his body but he feels better when he manages to slur out a “Screw you.” It reminds him of Dean.
“Hush,” the Goddess says. She leans back and picks up a rough, wooden bowl, barely more than a hollowed piece of bark, and Sam catches a glimpse of light green liquid inside. The Goddess sets the bowl on her lap and dips her fingertips into the concoction. She's humming again as she reaches out and traces her fingers down his face, leaving sticky streaks in patterns Sam doesn't recognise. The oil smells like fresh growth, like grass after warm rain, liquid spring. Sam pulls at the vines again but they just dig deeper into his skin, squeezing furrows into his wrists, and the Goddess's fingers trail down his chest, painting more symbols in graceful, practised motions. Sam shivers, his breath catching in his throat, as her hands move lower, ghosting over his stomach, then tracing along his hips, down his thighs. Sam swallows back a pulse of fear so strong his stomach threatens to revolt.
He's going to die. He can't move. He doesn't know where his dagger is, or what happened to Dean and Dad. Maybe they're dead too. His head is spinning, the treetops above his head swirling in a glitter of moonlight-dappled leaves, huge trunks looming all around him, and the oil is icy in the breeze that blows through the branches. He shudders, the Goddess drawing symbols on the soles of his feet, and a wordless moan of terror slips from between his numb lips.
“Hush now, boy,” the Goddess purrs. “The pain won't last long.”
Pain? Sam thinks dizzily, and then it hits, a blooming agony opening along his arm.
Gasping, Sam tears his gaze away from the treetops, lets it fall instead on the face of the Goddess crouched beside him. Her soft features have twisted, hardened. The blue in her eyes is blinding and a mouthful of fangs erupt from behind her pink lips. Sam follows the pain and finds her fingernails have stretched into claws and torn down his forearm, opening four deep gashes from the crook of his elbow to his wrist. As he watches, deep red blood wells up and overflows down the sides of his arm, thick and warm against his chilled skin. The vine slithers away and the Goddess takes his hand in hers, raising his bloodied arm to her mouth.
The shotgun blast is deafening in the silence of the woods. So is the next one. Sam's ears ring and the Goddess jerks, twice, two bright red stains growing over the front of her white robe. She spins away from Sam, towards the source of the noise, with an enraged growl that sounds more animal than human. Her warped face is all teeth and glowing eyes, her muscles poised to spring to her feet as she shakes off the distraction of the bullets, but a huge shape charges from the darkness, slamming into her before she has the chance to get her bearings and knocking her to the ground. Sam sees the flash of moonlight on a blade and hears her scream, high-pitched and unnatural, tries to look but he can't lift his head, and his blood is so dark spilling down his arm, it's hypnotizing. It takes what seems like too long to register Dean's presence at his side, judging by how frightened his brother sounds when Sam finally manages to focus, only after Dean has pressed a hasty field bandage against his arm, the spike of pain stunning him back to reality.
Dean wants him to say something, is babbling a stream of pleas and reassurances while roughly patting his face, leaning over and pushing Sam's hair back to inspect his pupils, all while keeping steady pressure on his wounded arm, which throbs in time with his heartbeat.
“D'n,” Sam slurs, squinting as he tries to figure out which image of his brother he should be focusing on. He wants to ask for his clothes. Not being naked seems almost as important as not bleeding to death – this is all going to be humiliating later when he's sober enough to appreciate it – but his mouth won't work properly. His eyelashes keep dipping down to obscure his vision and keeping his eyelids open is enough of a struggle. Luckily, Dean seems to read his mind because as soon as he's cut through the remaining vine on Sam's wrist, he strips off his outer shirt.
“Up we go, kiddo,” he murmurs as he pulls Sam into a sitting position, carefully feeding Sam's arms through the sleeves while Sam lolls bonelessly against his shoulder, trying not to pass out. Dean's shirt reaches his thighs, which is still a little indecent for Sam's liking, his hands lost in the too-long sleeves, but he clutches it to himself gratefully nonetheless, curling his injured arm protectively against his stomach.
“Better?” Dean asks.
“Mm.” Sam nods clumsily, his face smushed against Dean's chest. The trees are still swirling sickeningly and he doesn't want his brother to let him go. Everything outside of Dean's arms is confusing and frightening; he doesn't know if the Goddess is still alive or not and he feels hopelessly vulnerable with the drugged wine stealing his strength and turning his thoughts to sludge. All he can think is that he wants out of this forest. He wants to be far away from trees and vines and flowers. And he wants Dean to never, ever leave him alone again.
“Where'd y'go?” he asks, voice muffled against Dean's chest. He tries to convince his hand to grasp onto Dean's t-shirt – he needs something steady, something reassuring to ground him and calm the lingering sense of horror – but his fingers won't work. Thankfully Dean chooses that moment to adjust his grip and pull Sam even closer, wrapping him up firmly in his arms like he understands exactly how Sam feels.
“We got in a fight with plants, dude,” Dean says, sounding abashed and incredulous. “And we lost.”
Sam huffs out a breath of a laugh at how ridiculous that sounds, even though the vines hadn't seemed at all funny while they were pinning him to the ground. He wonders if Dean and Dad dealt with the same thing or if the Goddess turned some other foliage against them.
“Is she gone?” Sam asks.
Dean shifts a little, looking over his shoulder. “Dad got her,” he confirms. “He's, uh... making sure she can't hurt anyone else.”
Sam listens and gradually becomes aware of the sounds coming from behind them. The Goddess's unearthly shrieks have stopped but the crunch and squelch of a machete striking flesh is enough to convince him that he doesn't want to look. Instead, he burrows into Dean, light-headed and dizzy, his arm throbbing, and closes his eyes against the swirling scenery.
“We should get out of here,” Dean says, jostling him a little. Sam whines at the attempt to keep him conscious. “Your arm needs stitches and you're, like, in shock or something.”
“Not shock,” Sam mumbles. “There was something in the wine.” His words are all slurring together and he's not sure if they're at all decipherable until Dean leans over and picks up the abandoned chalice, sniffing at it suspiciously. Sam can just catch a hint of it's sweet smell from where his head's tucked under Dean's chin and it makes him even drowsier. His limbs feel like lead, weighted down, and even the throbbing of his slashed forearm dulls as he breathes in the heady aroma. He sinks further into Dean's arms, swiping clumsily at the oil on his face, prickling icily in the breeze, and thinks that sleep... sleep sounds really good...
Dean frowns, scrunching up his face at the wine's scent, and tosses the chalice aside in disgust. He shakes his head at Sam sympathetically. “Geez, Sammy, you really need to get laid.”
Sam's pretty sure he laughs before he passes out.