Title: The Waiting Game
Category: Gen, Drama, Humor, AU, wing!fic
Spoilers: Through Heaven and Hell
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: Castiel offered a temporary reprieve for Dean, but Sam can't help but wonder what might be next.
Word Count: 1,004
A/N: This series is obviously AU, but will follow show canon as closely as possible. Each story can be read as stand alones, but it might make more sense together. I may occasionally post out of order.
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.
Something had happened in Union, Kentucky.
Sam wasn't sure what it was, but ever since Anna had reclaimed her grace and burned away, Dean hadn't been the same. Even more worrisome was the thought that maybe he never had been the same.
It could be any number of possibilities. Dean's time in Hell, finally coming back to haunt him. Alastair. Uriel and Castiel's betrayal. Their threats. The ease in which they were willing to kill Anna. The unspoken wing issue. Out of all the options, Sam couldn't single out just one.
Dean was driven. But what was driving him? Sam was almost afraid to find out.
His brother reached across the table and picked up another slice of pizza, letting it dangle over his mouth, while clicking through different sites on Sam's computer. Sam started to regret letting him use it.
"Dean, that's your third one."
"There's plenty left." Half the slice disappeared into his mouth just like that. "Help yourself."
Sam shook his head. He'd already had his fill. "Not third slice. Third pizza."
"What can I say? I'm a growing boy."
Normally, Sam would have teased him, maybe asking him, growing into what? Today, it didn't seem appropriate. For three days straight Dean had been packing away food, more food than he'd ever seen Dean consume in his lifetime, without complaint or groans for Tums late into the night. If Sam was the delusional type, he could convince himself that Dean needed fuel for all the jobs they'd taken nonstop since Union. They'd been working their butts off dealing with ghosts and other spirits all the way up the East coast. The energy had to come from somewhere.
Sam knew it was a lie, and there were only so many lies he could take on a daily basis. Dean's condition wasn't one of them.
"Don't you think that's a little much? Even for you."
Dean was already on the fourth slice. "I'm hungry. What do you want?"
"You to stop eating for five seconds."
The pizza slice hit the tray for all of five seconds before Dean grabbed it and started munching again. "Happy?"
Sam sighed. The food issues weren't going anywhere tonight. Besides, he had other things on his mind.
True to his word, before everything had gone to Hell over the Anna situation, Castiel and his potion had put an end to Dean's wings. While they all knew it was a temporary fix, Sam had to admit it was nice at first. Dean wasn't always squirming or complaining, and when he'd had the wings, he used to let them out at night, which made sleeping tough, especially for Sam who had to deal with the unconscious flapping as Dean rested, whereas now they both had some peace after a job was done. Dean went out more, scratching as many itches as he pleased, which gave Sam some much needed non-Dean time. Things were almost normal.
But like all lies, they eventually start to crack, and Sam's concern had begun to chip away at Castiel's "solution." How long would it last? Castiel wasn't high on his list of potential allies at the moment, and he sure as hell didn't trust him near Dean after all the threats he'd received. Who knew when the wings would come back, or if Dean would be able to regain control of them, or if something even worse was going to happen. Sam felt it in the pit of his stomach. Something bad. Something bad was going to happen and he wasn't sure if he could stop it.
These were the moments where he wished he hadn't cut things off with Ruby. Just that extra bit of strength…
"Bingo," Dean said, snapping Sam back to the red and white checkers of the pizzeria. "This one over in Penn State. Goblins and college chicks."
"A job made especially for you."
"There is a God."
"Or at least something to feed your sick habits."
"One man's sickness is another man's joy."
Sam snorted. "Get that off a fortune cookie?"
"Hey, don't knock the source." Dean pushed aside the now empty pizza tray and shut the laptop. Without warning, he tossed Sam his car keys, but instead of fumbling, Sam caught them with ease. "Start her up. I'll be just a sec."
And in an instant, any sense of normalcy Sam might have been feeling evaporated. Dean was back at the counter, ordering another pizza, and some kind of side. Sam had this random image in his mind of some slimy monster ripping through Dean's stomach, like from Alien, and zipping across the room, well fed and well nourished.
None of that happened, of course, and moments later, Dean sauntered over to the table, giving Sam an evil look for taking so long. It was obvious he was starving for more, inching to be back on the road again, on another job, ready for the hunt.
Sam wasn't blind to the fact none of these hunts had anything to do with demons.
"You gonna stare all day? I mean, I know I'm irresistible but…"
Sam made sure to glare at him before he grabbed his laptop and headed out to the Impala. Through the windows, he could see Dean waiting at the counter for his order, flirting with one of the girls behind the register, and sucking on some kind of candy.
Once, on a nature show Sam had watched as a kid, he had learned that creatures would stockpile food or eat a great deal before they got ready for their next metamorphosis. In humans, it was as simple as a growth spurt. With other animals, it could be a complete change.
As Dean strolled out of the pizzeria, face half in the brown bag on top of the pizza box as fingers rummaged for a new treat, Sam wondered what could be the next step for a person with wings. More importantly, Sam wondered just what could be done to make sure that next step never happened.