Category: Gen, Humor, Angst, AU, wing!fic
Spoilers: Through It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
Series: Playing the Angel - While Sam and Dean continue fighting to prevent the Apocalypse, Dean inexplicably manifests a pair of wings. The brothers must work together to figure out what is happening and reverse the act before the changes overtake Dean completely.
Summary: Dean's situation stinks. Literally.
Word Count: 2,481
A/N: This series is obviously AU, but will follow show canon as closely as possible. Most stories can be read as stand alones, but it might make more sense together. I may occasionally post out of order.Some stories will sway more humor or crackfic, while others will sway more drama/angst. This short fic follows after The Genesis Variant.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke and co. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This is for entertainment purposes only; no financial profit has been gained from this story. This story is not mean to infringe upon the rights of the above-mentioned establishments.
Sam shifted his weight in his seat, trying to ignore the stares of the other customers as Dean collapsed into the booth across from him.
"Waitress said she'd be with us in a minute," Dean said, sliding a frosty-topped mug to Sam. That was all he said before his eyes were roaming towards some other pretty girl in the bar.
Sam took the mug, but kept his attention on his brother. He was Dean today, for a change, though Sam wasn't sure how long that would last. "You should lay off the spell work," he muttered.
Dean frowned. "What? You want people to see the wings in all their glory?"
"No, but you're starting to abuse it."
"No I'm not."
"Dean, yesterday you walked into a pub as David Hasselhoff."
He laughed. "That was good."
"It's not good." Sam sighed and slid the mug away. "I don't know if you realize how serious this is."
"Serious? Dude, you're not the one with the friggin' wings."
Dean's eyes darkened, all the usual mirth wiped clean from his face. He glared at Sam, holding his gaze, before he grabbed his mug and started to chug down the amber-colored beer.
Sam knew that this whole ordeal was difficult on Dean. Carrying the weight of something terrifying and supernatural wasn't easy. Sam knew this from experience. But pretending like nothing was wrong was useless. He had denied the demon blood in himself for a year. While he could never accept it, at least he had learned to embrace it for good. Dean needed to get a grip so they could focus on finding Lilith again.
"Look, all I'm saying is that maybe we should lay low for a few days, and you can lay off the glamour spells. Maybe try Castiel again."
"Yeah, because he's been immensely helpful so far," Dean muttered.
There was no disagreement from Sam on this part. They had been out of Dixville for two and a half days now and no matter how many times Dean tried to reach Castiel, he didn't answer. The angel was missing.
Dean shifted in his seat again and muttered, "Could've at least gotten seats at the counter. I got no room."
Sam leaned forward and lowered his voice. "This morning your invisible wings hit a ten year old in the nose."
A guilty look passed over Dean's face.
"And we never know how long the glamour spell is going to last. I'm just saying it might be safer to keep your public appearances to a minimum."
"I'm not staying locked up in some motel room."
"Yeah? Take a look."
Dean pivoted his head, taking a quick scan of the bar. The occupants on the next two booths kept stealing uncomfortable glances in their direction, and even some of the diners who walked by would stop and stare, before hurrying off to their tables.
Slowly, Dean turned his body back to face Sam. "Why the hell does everyone keep looking at us?"
"Because you smell."
Dean's eyes widened and he leaned back. "What?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Your wings. They're starting to stink."
"Stink? Like how?"
"Like a bird cage stinks."
Dean cringed, but not before he took a whiff at the nothingness to his right side. "I don't smell," he mumbled, but the agony in his face told a different story.
"We have to do something about it," Sam said. "You know it."
"I can't fit all the way in the shower!"
"I know." Sam had nearly slipped and cracked his head on the toilet the night before in the pools of water Dean had left behind. "But your wings are full of blood, dirt, grime, sweat, and who knows what else." Sam made a face, recalling the drive over to the bar, and how desperate he had been to crack a window. "It's gross."
"Well, what am I supposed to do? I can't make them go away, and it's not like I'm taking a freakin' birdbath."
Sam leaned back, a small smile touching his lips, a smile that didn't leave Dean feeling very confident. "What?" he asked.
"I have an idea."
Dean didn't like this idea. He went to adjust his tie, but stopped, remembering he wasn't actually wearing one. With a sigh, he dropped his hand and glanced down at the illusion he'd created with the glamour spell.
At least it was convincing.
The two of them walked inside one of Middletown's smaller indoor public pools. Sam walked to his left, carrying a large case. Dean carried a case of his own. Neither carried paper, documents, or anything remotely business related, though today was one of the few days Dean wished they were.
Sam reached the counter first.
"Can I help you?" asked the receptionist.
Sam reached into his suit jacket and revealed his ID. "I'm Agent Hetfield and this is my partner, Agent Ulrich, from the Department of Environmental Health." He motioned to Dean. "We're here due to some complaints about your public pool, and we'll need to take a look."
The young man turned pale. "Uh, you're gonna have to speak to the manager."
Dean watched the man scurry off into another room. He vaguely wondered if he was just a squeamish person to begin with or if Sam wasn't kidding about the stink.
"This is a stupid idea," Dean said.
Sam was staring at him, and for a second, Dean didn't think he'd heard him. "You're going to need to stop them from doing that," Sam told him.
Dean frowned. "Stop what?"
Sam's gaze tracked from Dean's back to the wings that remained hidden behind him. Dean thought he saw a flicker of uneasiness in Sam's eyes but it quickly disappeared, just like every other emotion Dean tried to read off his brother.
"The noise," Sam finally said, keeping his voice low. "Every time they flap I can hear them. Other people can hear them."
"Huh." Dean hadn't even noticed this time. He wondered if he hadn't noticed other times too.
He decided he didn't really want to find out.
Dean just shrugged off the comment and leaned against the counter. "Hey, I handle those things pretty damn well for only having them a few days," Dean said. "You try dealing with 'em."
Sam rolled his eyes and turned away, only to abruptly straighten when a woman started toward them. Dean cleared his throat and did the same.
"I'm Dana Monroe," she said, extending her hand to Sam, then Dean. "I hear there are complaints?"
"Several," Sam said. "My partner and I need to check out the pool area to make sure it's up to code."
"No complaints have been brought to my attention."
"Seven people have contracted a water-borne illness in the past four days," Sam said. He motioned to the case in Dean's hand. Dean patted the side. "We just need to test the pH levels in the water and run a few other tests."
She crossed her arms. "I'm going to need to see a permit."
As usual, Sam was prepared. Dean tried to focus on keeping the wings still while Sam charmed the woman with his legalese. After a few minutes of back and forth, finally she consented and allowed them private access to the pool.
They opened the doors to the poolroom, and after confirming no one was inside the pool or the adjoining changing rooms, they locked the doors. Now it was time to get down to business.
Dean loomed over the edge of the pool, watching the still water. He couldn't help but remember that one time, after he'd finished up a job on his own in Louisiana, that he and the local fisher's daughter had gone skinny-dipping in her friend's pool. That was awesome.
When Dean glanced up, he saw Sam on the other side of the pool, unraveling a long hose by the wall, and he looked pissed. Then again, Sam never looked anything but pissed. Dean thought he would have gotten used to it by now.
"We don't have forever. I could only get the manager to agree to thirty minutes."
Crap, that wasn't long. Dean sighed and nodded, walking the distance to close the gap between them. "The glamour still working?"
The spell Bobby had given him was becoming less and less effective. Dean found he now had to use it several times a day, when just a couple times had done the trick before. It wasn't like he was big on spell work--spells reminded him too much of witches and Ruby--but he'd started to wonder if a guy could build a tolerance to that kind of thing. The last thing he needed was for Bobby's spell to stop working before the wings went away.
And they were going away if it was the last thing he did.
"Okay, let's get it over with," Dean grumbled.
Sam hooked up the hose to a water spout on the far wall. As the rubber started to swell from the water, Dean went to undo his shirt and tie, cursed when he remembered--again--he wasn't wearing any, and instead shucked off jeans, socks, and shoes, and shoved them in the large case he'd brought. Inside was an extra change of clothes in case Sam had bad aim.
He looked down. He still looked like he was wearing a full suit and tie. Too weird.
Dean leaned over and, with a shove, slid the case across the tiled floor to Sam.
"Please tell me you're wearing something," Sam said, his face knotted with disgust.
Dean slapped his hands on his legs. "Yes, I'm wearing something. Dude, let's just get this done."
"Okay. Tell me when."
He closed his eyes and imagined a long stretch. Behind him, he felt the wings unfolded on either side of him, reaching out and up as far as they could go. The stretch felt good after being cooped up inside tiny motel rooms and cramped diners for the past few days, and part of him wished he could just stay here and unwind for a while.
"The water might be cold," Sam warned him.
"How cold could--"
Dean stumbled as the stream of icy water blasted his back. He hopped as the water continued to jet towards him, smacking him with pressure on the wings and his back. His skin prickled with goose bumps, while the wings trembled from the onslaught.
"Less is more!" he yelled.
"Just deal with it for a few minutes."
The minutes took forever. What was worse was Dean was positive Sam was enjoying watching him suffer.
Finally, the jet of water pelting his wings began to ease until he felt no more pressure. He stood there, soaking wet, allowing the water to run in little streams down his arms and legs where they pooled on the floor. He used one of his bare feet to slosh some of the water into the pool.
When he turned, he saw Sam had already wound the hose. Dean walked to meet him. "Better?" he asked.
Sam made a face and handed him a towel. "Now you smell like wet dog."
Dean glared at him and snatched the towel. He ignored Sam's laugh as he started to dry himself off. He just wanted to dry off, get dressed, and get out. Maybe stay long enough to catch a peek at some of the totally legal girls entering the pool, but that would be it.
He smiled at the thought and gave the dripping wings a hearty shake. Upon hearing Sam's very angry groan, Dean just grinned all the more.
Dean grabbed his clothes and started for the locker area when he felt the room dip. Startled, he grabbed onto the wall, looking for a loose tile, handle, or anything he could use for support. There was a flutter around him, like the wings were spasming, hot and cold, light and heavy. The fluctuations in weight threw him and he nearly collapsed.
Somewhere, Sam was calling him.
Dean managed to push himself off the wall and stumble into the locker room toward one of the sinks across from the bathroom stalls. His knuckles went white as he gripped the lip of the sink. His head felt fuzzy, so fuzzy that he had to bow to the pressure, while his back felt oddly light. He squeezed his eyes shut.
If he had any more damn surprises…Dean imagined that he had suddenly grown spikes or a second set of wings or something worse.
When he opened his eyes, there was a ghost, a flicker of movement from the corner of his eyes, but before he could see what it was, it had vanished.
He turned around and searched the floor, the ceiling, and the spaces in between, only to find nothing. The wings on his back rustled in reaction to the tension in his muscles.
Maybe he was just seeing things. Maybe.
"Dean?" Sam's hand was on his shoulder. "You okay?"
Dean sighed. He hated Sam to see him like this, vulnerable and exposed. He wasn't supposed to ever see this side of Dean. It never should have existed in the first place.
His cheeks felt like they were burning.
He sniffed and straightened, ignoring the uneasiness he felt inside. "I'm good," he said. He glanced over his shoulder again, unable to shake the feeling he was being watched. "Just got dizzy from the heat."
Sam nodded, but didn't look convinced. "It could have been the shock from the water," he offered.
"Yeah," Dean said. That worked for him. It was the snap of cold water on his body.
Except it wasn't. He knew it wasn't.
"Let's go," Dean muttered, giving his shoulders and the wings a good shake before he picked up his clothes from the floor. "I've had enough of this place."
Sam finished packing up as Dean changed. He tried for subtle, peeking at Dean every few seconds to make sure he was okay, but based on the scowl he received each time, he knew he was failing at it.
At least Dean's glamour was still in effect. His illusion of a suit and tie looked unruffled and perfect.
But that illusion was just that--an illusion. And not even a forbidden spell could keep everything hidden from Sam.
Despite the glamour, Sam had seen something: light and shadow, dancing on Dean's back as if they were caught in some eternal struggle. He had only caught a glimpse for a minute, but that minute had told Sam enough. He knew that no matter how much they peeled back the grime, the dirt, and the stench of battles old and new, whatever had happened to Dean was continuing to happen, and they still didn't know why.
And no illusion in the world could change that.