Characters: Dean, Sam, John, Missouri
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Five Powers Dean Doesn't Have
Sammy was used to weird things. His family hunted demons, and ghosts, and other things. When he was nine, Dean had a pet ostrich for two and a half days while they were in Kentucky; at fifteen Dean invented a game that involved staples, pellet guns, small explosives and sewer rats. On any given day he had fifty-fifty odds of finding his brother in a mini-skirt running around the motel room trying to figure out where his favorite bra was. To this day John still doesn't know about the exploding shrapnel rats.
This though, this was a new kind of weird.
Sammy stood in the doorway with his father hovering behind him, eyes unable to move from the scene in front of them.
Dean sat on the bed, naked but for a pair of jockeys, male as the day he was born, two anatomy books in front of him and a stomach distended like a woman about to give birth to twins.
"Didn't I tell you to always use protection?"
"Dude. That's not funny, dad."
"What the hell did you piss off this time?" Sammy still remembers the last time Dean angered the wrong thing, for some reason it was him and not his idiot brother who ended up with the bad B.O. and temporary seizures.
"I'm not pregnant; I just faked it."
"I was on my way to nab that..." Dean's hand waved through the air, as if trying to prompt his brain to remember the word he was looking for. "...Tentacle thing and I got pulled over."
"So you decided that pretending to be pregnant would be a smart idea," John asked warily.
"Please tell me you were at least a girl then."
"You two could be a little more supportive, you know?"
"Why are you still pregnant?"
"Can we not use that word? I'm not pregnant, I'm... distended."
"Do you even know what that word means?"
"Sammy, be nice to your brother."
"Yeah Sammy, be nice to me you bitch."
"Dean. Your stomach?"
"Right. Okay so I knew I had to get to the tentacle thing quick and I couldn't afford a lecture on speeding or a ticket or anything, right? So I pushed my stomach out and did my thing. But I kinda had to shift my organs around a little to make it look more realistic. And now I think they're a little tangled up." Sammy couldn't help the slightly hysterical laughter that spilled out of him.
"What do you mean," John's hands rubbed at his eyes, "they're tangled up?"
"I mean that every time I cough, I piss uncontrollably. So I'm pretty sure my bladder is stuck somewhere between my left lung and my stomach."
"So you're sitting on my bed of course."
"Well yeah, I'm not gonna sit on mine. I have to sleep on it tonight."
"Did you at least get the squid demon taken care of?"
"Yes. And it tried to molest me."
"I told you to--"
"I know, I know. And I sealed up all my... places. But... I had to seal up my nose! And my ears too! And it... slimed all over me."
"You sure you aren't pregnant?"
"Sammy, leave your brother alone. Why don't you go get some ice from the machine?"
"Because I don't want to?"
"Do you want to eat tonight?"
"Fine. But if I miss Dean giving birth I get to drive the car from now on."
"You're fourteen. No."
"I'm not pregnant, jackass!"
Sammy grabbed the empty ice bucket off the table and left his father and brother to the anatomy books.
Dean often complains that the complete lack of sex is going to drive him to suicide.
Touching someone makes Dean see their death.
Not even Dean can keep it up after watching someone get disemboweled in a freak chess accident.
So Dean does what he and Sammy refer to as "the Rogue thing;" he covers up as much skin as he can almost all of the time in an attempt to avoid the movies that play in his head when he bumps into random people on the street.
He touches Sam as often as he can though; he even refuses to wear gloves because it makes it harder to "casually" touch him.
He has spent entire days walking hand-in-hand with his grown brother. He bitches about it almost constantly ("Just hold my hand, bitch.") and usually appears as if it's the last thing he wants to do but he sucks it up.
Dean started learning how to ignore his pride after the first time he saw Sam's bloody corpse, neck bent too far backwards, sharp bones jutting out of ripped flesh, laying next to him on the side of the road somewhere in the middle of the night.
Two and a half months and the image hasn't changed.
Dean still gets a sick feeling in his stomach every time he lets Sammy drive.
Sixth Sight -- Ghost Whisperer
"Hi my name's Jeanie, I'll be your waitress, can I interest you in our Saturday Blue Plate Special?"
"Well that depends," Dean flashes her his most "sincere" smile. "If I get two, will you eat one with me?"
"I," Jeanie starts, clearly flustered. "I, we're not allowed to goof off while working."
"Oh come on now, you wouldn't be goofing off. You'd be keeping a lonely young man company and trying to entice him to spend more money on this fine establishment."
Jeanie bites her lip and Dean seals the deal.
Dean buries himself under the pillow and tries to ignore the loud banging noise in his head.
"Mister, please? I know you can hear me, please?" Dean looks out from under his pillow, glancing at the small girl outside the circle of salt. Her face presses against the unseen barrier like a little kid looking inside the window of a toy store.
"What do you want kid?"
"Can I come up there with you?" Tiny tears run down the ghost's pale and bloated cheeks. "Mommy's gonna be back soon and she'll be mad at me! I'm not supposed to go to the bathroom but I couldn't hold it in anymore and I wet myself and Ray said that if I wet myself anymore I can't have water, can I please lay with you, they won't be mean to me if someone like you is around."
Dean groans, crawling out from under the covers. He shoves a foot through the salt and then retraces the disrupted line after the girl climbs in. The bed bounces a little, telling Dean that the kid has been dead long enough to figure out how to touch material things.
"Hey kid, what's your name?"
"That's a pretty name." Sara sniffles a little and tries to burrow closer into him. A shiver runs down Dean's spine and he grits his teeth not to show it. "I'll help you before I leave, Sara, I promise."
"Yeah I got myself a wife at home too, been together since we could talk. Families lived on the same street, you know how it goes," Dean bluffs the older man. Shawn Cedric, husband to Kristen, ex-husband to Janet. Father to one girl, missing, age seven, and father-to-be of a bouncing baby boy.
"Yeah, I know," he smiles wryly and then swallows. He spends a few minutes working his jaw like he's trying to think of something to say. "You really think you can find her?"
"Aw now don't you worry about that. I'd stake my Becky's life on it that we're gonna find her alive and well."
"Thank you Officer Plant, that means a lot to me."
"Please, call me Bob."
"Didn't expect to see you here again," Jeanie smiles at him shyly.
"Well what can I say? I'm a sucker for good conversation and a pretty face."
"Sara," he asks again, louder this time. Sara looks up at him, thumb between swollen lips. "Hi," he smiles down at her. Her mouth curves up at the edges and her last two fingers, the ones not broken, extend in a tiny wave.
Dean swallows down bile and fights to keep smiling.
"Do you know what happened to you?" Sunken in brown eyes stare back at him blankly.
He tries again.
"Do you know," that you're dead, "where your mommy is?"
"Mommy's at work, that's where she is when she's not here."
"Do you remember who's supposed to be watching you?"
"Do you remember the last time you saw him?" Sara nods her head and sticks her thumb back in her mouth. "Can you tell me what happened the last time you saw him?" Sara slides her thumb into her inside cheek, slurring around it and, for a terrifying minute, Dean is reminded of Sammy.
"My tummy hurt really bad and I wanted my daddy 'cause he always made it feel better when it hurt really bad. I tried to hold it in but I had an accident and went number two. Ray was mad. He was yelling and screaming really loudly and then I got punished and when I woke up it didn't hurt anymore and Ray was gone."
Dean rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling. After a while, he brushes his hand lightly above the pillow, hoping Sara can feel it.
"Do you know what 'dead' means Sara?"
"Cedric house, Shawn speaking."
A quick and stuttered breath answers on the other end of the line.
"Cedric house, Shawn speaking." She's dead. "Hello?" She's dead. I don't know where your daughter's body is and I watched her cry for three hours when she realized she would never see you again.
Dean slams the phone down quickly and contemplates ripping it out of the wall.
"Three days in a row," Jeanie's smile is wide and easy. Trusting. Kind. Just what Dean needs. "You're gonna give a girl ideas."
"Pie's on me tonight, come on, sit down," Dean tempts her. She doesn't hesitate this time, just signals to another waitress and climbs right into the opposite side of the booth. His hands cover hers and he stares deeply into her eyes.
"So tell me Janet," she stiffens and his grip on her tightens, "where did you and Ray dump her body?"
Even at twenty-three Dean still has nightmares about The Fire.
His mama always tells him it wasn't his fault, He didn't have it back then and there was nothing he could've done. Samuel doesn't remember because he was just a baby when Mama Moseley adopted them, but Dean will never forget his daddy's face when he told him to take Sammy and run. It was the last time he ever saw him alive.
Dean still thinks it was his fault.
When the kids in school used to stare at him, and call him names, and make him cry because of his scars, Mama would tell him that the scars made him look different --a special kind of different. Then she would wrap him in a big hug, kiss him on the forehead, and send him off to make Samuel stop eating her candles (no matter how "yummy" they smelled).
Dean tries to ignore them, the children who still stare, the adults who whisper, and all the other people who try to deny his existence. For the most part it works. He doesn't flinch as much anymore and he rarely gets those weird shakes. It still hurts though, every whisper, every snickering cough still cuts him, makes him feel less and less human, makes him despise everyone else more and more.
Samuel doesn't waste energy hating the people who hurt Dean. Sure, he'll punch the shit out of some of them, but mainly just to teach them. Samuel considers it a much better use of all that energy to try and make Dean realize that he's the very best person on the planet. The fact that he believes this is true with every last fiber of his being helps him to prove his point.
Samuel stopped with the hate back in second grade when Dean told him he likes it better when he smiles.
Samuel's always all Big Smiles, and Laid Back, and generally Goes with the Flow. He can charm his way into anything he wants and rarely wants more than to make Dean happy. Mama says it's got nothing to do with Samuel's looks, he's just too aware of his powers for his own good.
They share classes together at the community college and the three people who know who Dean is can't believe he and Samuel are brothers. Samuel always flashes his pearly whites at everyone and never stops talking, especially not in class. Dean wears hoodies year-round and hunches in on himself.
Dean doesn't talk much (smoke inhalation and burns on the throat) but on the odd occasion that he speaks his voice is always so small and low that he has to repeat himself to be heard.
But if you ask him about the scars, and you aren't rude, Dean has nine or ten stories he'll tell you. None of which are true and all of which were designed to make you either laugh or piss you off ("...so I was stomping on this autistic, quadriplegic baby right? Named Julia I think. Anyway all of a sudden her mother comes charging at me with kerosene..."), because Dean prefers anger to pity any day.
But if Samuel's around (which he always is) and doesn't have a mouthful of food (sometimes) then he'll jump to his feet and proudly tell about His Hero Dean: The Best Person Ever Made Anywhere, Any When.
Whereas Dean prefers to hide his scars, Samuel loves t-shirts. He'll proudly tells anyone who wants to know about the leathery discolored flesh on his arms, about how his big brother, who he always calls his hero in these stories, carried him from a burning house when he was a baby and then dragged him dead-weight from a burning car when he was six.
Sometimes Dean thinks Samuel forgets why the car was burning in the first place.
Dean wonders what he would look like without the burns sometimes, if he would look like Samuel or if they would look completely different, like they weren't even related at all. When Samuel dresses him in the morning and helps him change at night he makes sure to tell Dean that there's nothing wrong with him. Dean stares back from beneath long hair and skin grafts and sometimes he smiles.
Telepathy -- Shallow
Come on Dean, open up.
A petulant groan is the only response he gets.
Come on Dean, please?
Another groan forces it's way through underused vocal cords as Dean whips his head towards the window. John's eyes flash from the road to the rear view mirror.
Dean, listen to your brother.
Dean's face screws up into a twisted grimace and his hands climb the sides of his head, wrists pressing his ears closed and unsuccessfully trying to block out the phantom noise.
Please Dean, open for Sammy. Please?
A trembling lip and watery eyes turn back on Sammy. Dean's hands fly through the air as he signs "I don't want to" and "get away from me, asshole."
I don't fucking care if you don't want to Dean, you need to; it'll help the pain.
That earns Sammy a stubborn glare.
Come on, you're twenty-five for God's sake, stop acting like a retard.
Dean's fist slams into Sammy's throat and Sammy's gagging and choking and spitting out saliva and bits of chocolate and almond all over Dean's sleeve.
"Dean," Sammy whispers and the effect is instantaneous, John slams his hand against the steering wheel to get his attention and Dean curls in on himself and grunts and whimpers in pain. Sammy knows he'll get bitched at for it later tonight, and maybe even hit depending on how fucked up Dean still is later, but he's made his point.
Dean opens his mouth and Sammy feeds him the pills. They sit on his tongue and slowly dissolve while Dean's throat works as he tries not to gag.
Sammy finally gets the top of the water bottle pulled up and has to hold the bottle because Dean is shaking too hard to get a steady grip on it himself.
It's quarter to midnight and Dean's been asleep since eight. Sammy woke him up and half-dragged, mostly carried him into the motel room Dad got them around eleven.
Dean sleeps like he does every night; t-shirt, boxer-briefs, boots, earplugs, earmuffs, and mouth guard.
Sammy and John leave the door open and sit on the sidewalk in front of it and talk just like they do every night. John clears his throat a few times and scolds Sammy for talking around Dean. Sammy nods his head and apologizes and promises he won't do it until he does it again.
They talk for hours and hours, about nothing and everything and anything that comes into their heads. They use up their voices and go on and on until Sammy has to get himself a glass of water and then they keep going some more.
John tells Sammy about when he was a baby, back before everything. He doesn't talk about Mary, he never does, but he often tells him all about how Dean used to be.
Sammy knows that Dean used to help sing lullabies to him when he was a baby.
Sometime between three and four in the morning, after they've told all the jokes they've thought of since the last time and spoken all the random words that run through their heads and bounce on the backs of their tongues, they go back inside and lay down to sleep.
John sleeps nearest to the door, fully clothed with his favorite gun under his pillow.
Sammy shares a bed with Dean, t-shirt and tighty whities, mouth guard and boots.
Sammy sleeps and he dreams of a different life; a life where Dean can and does talk, where he and his father don't have to wait until Dean is asleep and dead to the world to speak, where they can talk whenever they want and as much as they want. A life where Dean doesn't have to be segregated from everyone and everything just to keep him sane.
Even in sleep Dean hears Sammy and pulls him closer, nuzzling his neck in silent apology and running his hand through his hair.