1. There was something about the man crossing the road toward the Impala that said outraged father. Something in the way he walked, something in the way his hands clenched and unclenched at his side, something in the way he looked remarkably like the girl Dean had met in the laundromat late last night and gotten to know very well indeed while they were waiting for their clothes to dry.
As a general rule, Dean was long gone before this kind of problem arose but Sam had wanted to scan a few pages that might come in handy later on and that meant he was cooling his heels outside the library. A sitting duck for Daddy-dearest. No way to avoid him.
Big guy too. Probably ex-military – he carried himself like a soldier but the paunch and the hair said it had been a while ago. He was, however, very, very pissed. He had the kind of pale blue eyes that wouldn't have looked out of place on a husky.
"My daughter, Amanda," he growled stopping about an arms length away, "tells me she met a man last night name of Dean Collins. Says he was driving a '67 Impala." He nodded toward the car. "You wouldn't be Dean Collins would you?"
Dean smiled his best get out of jail free smile. "No sir, I'm Sam Collins. You'll be looking for my brother. Is there a problem?"
"I'd say so, yes. My daughter is a good girl."
"Yes, sir." As Dean recalled, his daughter had been very, very good. And damned near double jointed.
The pale eyes narrowed. "Your brother laid his hands on my little girl. Convinced her to enjoy carnal knowledge of him."
Enjoy carnal knowledge? Who the hell talked like that, Dean wondered. And there'd been no convincing; he'd barely made his interest known when she had her tongue wrapped around his tonsils and a hot hand down the front of his jeans. Now enjoy that was accurate.
"I am so very sorry, sir." Dean could do sincere. When his ass was on the line, he could do sincere remarkably well. "My brother hasn't been the same since he got back from his second tour in Iraq. I think he's just looking for a reason to go on. Your daughter probably represented all the fine young women his friends, his buddies, died to protect and so he..."
Letting his voice catch and trail off, Dean hand-waved the end of the sentence because "...and so he let her ride him like a carousel pony in behind the dubious shelter of a row of washing machines." would have wrecked the mood he was carefully constructing.
Daddy's expression was softening. "So this Dean is a soldier?"
"No, sir." He tapped his chest and looked mournful. "Medical reasons. Dean's the brave one in our family. Brave, honorable..." A faint self-depreciating grin. "Hell, Dean even got the looks."
"Now, Sam, don't be so hard on yourself." All the kick-ass was out of Daddy's voice and Dean relaxed a little.
"Yes, sir." Straightening, he squared his shoulders and shoveled on another load. "We're all so proud of Dean, sir. I know he'd never mean any disrespect to your daughter."
"I'm starting to think you're right, son. Where is your brother?" A glance around like they weren't the only two people on the street and Dean had been hiding behind a newspaper box the entire time. "I think I'd like to meet him."
"He's in the library, sir. My height, maybe a little taller. Blonde hair, high and hard. Walks with a limp – I don't think they got all the shrapnel out but Dean, he's just the kind of guy to throw himself between his team and a grenade. He's a hero, you know." Visibly pulling himself together, he gave a manly grimace to apologize for his emotional reaction. "Anyway, I'm sure he'd love to meet..." Oh crap, he'd forgotten the girl's name. "...the father of the woman who put meaning back into his life." Not to mention a kink in his back and a hickey just over his collar bone. "He's wearing..."
Daddy held up a beefy hand. "You don't need to tell me what he's wearing, son. Your brother is the kind of man I'd recognize a mile away. The kind of man I'd be proud to have as a member of my family."
"I'm sure Dean'd be thrilled to hear that, sir."
Jiggling the car keys in his pocket, Dean watched Daddy-dearest head up the library steps. As he reached the door, Sam stepped out and held it open so the older man could enter. Looking for Dean Collins, war hero, Daddy totally ignored the frowning young man with the floppy hair and the hoodie.
They were six miles out of town when Dean remembered. "Amanda!"
"Amanda?" Sam repeated wearily. "Do I want to know?"
After a moment's thought, Dean grinned. "Probably not."
2. Coach Anderson had been impressed by both his batting and his throwing arm but Dean needed permission from his father to play on his middle school's baseball team. It was easier just to avoid the coach for the rest of the season than to explain why he couldn't get it.
3. "So, Dean, I think we ought to..." Sam frowned as his brother attempted to slide under the Impala's steering wheel. "Dude, what the hell are you doing?"
"See the blond guy across the street?"
Sam leaned forward until Dean reached up and smacked him in the chest. "What?"
"Don't look like you're looking, man. Jeez, it's like you never tracked anything before."
"Am I tracking him?" Sam wondered, confused.
"No! You're looking at him!"
"Okay..." Rolling his eyes, Sam continued the exaggerated movement until he was staring out the side window, his head still facing more or less to the front.
"Ass," Dean muttered. And then a moment later. "Well?"
"Is he still there?"
"Yeah." He was standing by a newspaper box. Blond, mid to late thirties, wearing jeans and a jacket, completely normal looking. "Is he a threat?"
"Not exactly." Dean actually looked more uncomfortable than he already had, squashed down under the edge of the window. "One of the first hunts I went on without Dad, I cleared a poltergeist out of his house. Simple really but he was grateful because it had really been freaking his wife out and..."
The hand wave was telling. Sam sighed. "And you slept with his wife."
There was enough indignant protest in that single syllable that Sam believed him. "Fine you slept with his mother? His daughter? His dog? What?"
Dean's turn to roll his eyes.
"You slept with him?"
"He was grateful," Dean muttered. "And then after he was really grateful, if you know what I mean, and I couldn't get rid of him. He followed me out of town. Showed up at my motel room. He kept telling me I'd changed his life. I finally had to get him drunk and then sneak away after he'd passed out. Fuck, man, imps are easier to get rid of and you know how those little bastards cling. Thank God, Dad and Bobby were working on the Impala and I was driving the truck and what the hell are you laughing at?"
"Nothing. Not a... Oh no. He's heading this way."
"Shit!" Dean tried to squash lower and ended up with his face mashed between the steering wheel and the door.
As one brilliant green eye glared up at him, Sam laughed so hard he thought he was going to piss himself. "Dude, you should see... Oh man." He pulled out his phone and took a quick picture. "This is one for the album."
"You say that like it’s a bad thing." In spite of his position, the visible corner of Dean's mouth began to curve up. Then it stopped. He frowned. Grabbed the wheel. Jerked his head. "Uh, Sammy, little help here..."
4. Sam didn't tell Dean who'd given him the split lip and the scrapes on his knuckles but he told him why. Same old shit that always came with thrift shop clothes and a home address that put them one step below poor white trash. Same old shit that took a good shot a making Sam's life a living hell in every god damned town they lived in.
Dean didn't ask for a name. He didn't need to. He was a hunter so he hunted. He cornered the guy two days later behind the football bleachers during a Friday night game. Brad something, a senior, two years older than Sam. Not taller but bigger, almost Dad's size. The kind of guy who thought the other guy's pain was funny.
When he had Brad on the ground, when there was snot running from his nose and tears pouring out of both eyes, when all his bragging and bravado had been turned to begging, Dean heaved him back up onto his feet and propped him against one of the metal struts.
"You know who I am," he said, leaning close enough to be heard over the sounds of normal. "And I know who you are and for the rest of the time my family lives in this shithole of a town, I'm going to try to never see you again. If I do see you -- if you don’t help me out here by keeping a very low profile, it being a small shithole of a town – I might have to do some actual damage."
And then he smiled because as much of a useless waste of meat as this guy was, Dean could see Brad was smart enough to believe him.
Sammy'd still have to deal with thrift shop clothes and an apartment that smelled like bad cheese but at least he wouldn't have to deal with Brad.
5. Dad had been gone for almost two hours – Dean sometimes got the fifteen befores and the fifteen afters mixed up but he knew the hours and Dad had been gone for nearly two and that was one more than he said and Sammy wouldn't stop crying. He wasn't wet. He wasn't poopy. He wasn't hungry 'cause Dad had fed them both before he left.
Dean did everything he knew. He petted him. And he talked to him. And he sang to him. And he carried him. And he bounced him. And it was time for Speed Racer and that was Dean's favorite show and he was going to miss it because Sammy wouldn't stop crying!
Finally, he couldn't stand it anymore and he bent down over his baby brother propped up in the corner of the big chair and he yelled, "SHUT UP!" as loud as he could. And Sammy's eyes got really big and he shrank back and he looked scared, but he was finally quiet.
And when Dad came home and picked up Sammy – who hadn't made a sound since Dean had yelled at him -- and asked Dean if everything was all right, Dean said it was. But that night, when he stood on the chair in front of the sink to do his teeth, he couldn't look at his face in the mirror...