“Why are you here?” Sonny asks gently, and Dean hates it. He hates the lie, the false offer of kindness. He knows what Sonny wants, because they all want the same thing.
Dean picks at his fingers. “I stole. End of story.”
“You stole peanut butter and bread.”
Dean shrugs, though his mind is racing. He has to get out of this, but he can’t. It’s his fault he got caught. His dad was right. They should’ve let him rot in the cell.
Sonny is looking at Dean’s wrists, specifically the angry red bands surrounding them, and Dean wants to yank them away and out of sight.
“Your old man do that?” Sonny asks.
Dean scoffs. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Dean looks up. “It was a werewolf.”
Sonny sighs. “Let’s get you something to eat, kid.”
Dean relaxes. Kitchens are safer.
After two weeks, he decides Sonny is too.
Dean shoots up in bed, breathing hard. He’s shivering, the cold enveloping his body. He’s slick with sweat.
He looks around, and realizes that he’s in the middle of a room of other sleeping boys. He’s overreacting.
He’s at Sonny’s. He’s not going to be hurt.
He still etches a ward against evil into the bedpost.
Dean hates bathrooms and bedrooms. He always brings silver when he has to be in one or the other.
In school, Dean climbs his way up to the top of wrestling team. After he beats Ogren, his friends come after him.
He’s practicing alone when they gang up on him and corner him. Dean pushes outward and kicks and hits but he’s not strong enough, he’s never strong enough–
He’s on his knees, and he doesn’t know why. He didn’t think about it. He doesn’t know why his body thought that would solve his problems.
“Please,” he begs, and they laugh at him before they attack again.
“Hey!” Another female voice shouts. “Leave him alone!”
The boys scatter and escape, leaving Dean with a black eye and a busted lip and a sore-as-hell body.
“You okay?” Robin reaches out to touch him, and he flinched.
She still gets the nurse.
He’s sitting with Robin as she gently strums her guitar, and they’re talking about what they want to be.
She says she wants to be free to roam. To exist.
“A mechanic,” he says.
“Sounds like hard work.”
“No!” he exclaims quickly. “No. When a car comes in, you get to fix her. Make her less broken, help her function. And then when she leaves, you’re not responsible for her anymore.”
Robin smiles. He returns it.
Then, “Have you ever kissed anyone?”
Dean is flustered. “Yes. No. I mean, I don’t just go around kissing people, but–”
She kisses him to shut him up.
She tastes like strawberries, and his body whispers to him, Safe.
Dean is at the store with Sonny when he stops walking.
The cosmetics aisle is next to the toy aisle.
His eyes linger on the nail polish display.
“You want something?” Sonny asks.
Dean shakes his head. “No.”
Sonny follows where Dean’s gaze was. “Son, it doesn’t make you any less of a man to like feminine things.”
“I said I don’t want anything.”
Sonny shrugs. “Alright.”
Dean finds bright red nail polish under his pillow.
He sneaks up to the attic to wear it. He poses in front of the window and likes what he sees.
His father would kill him.
The werewolves would eat him.
He washes it off.
Robin squeals and hugs him when he asks her to the dance.
Strawberries are safe. He likes them. He might love them.
Dean sees the car when he’s getting ready for the dance.
“If you want I’ll hold him off,” Sonny offers, but Dean knows the truth. Since he saw Sam’s arm hanging out the window of the Impala, saw his little brother playing with the toy, he knew.
I’m sorry, Robin.
“Thank you,” he tells Sonny. “For everything.”
He’s alone with his father.
Not safe. Run. Hide.
It’s his dad. His dad shouldn’t hurt him.
He clutches the hilt of the silver knife in his pocket tighter.
Time passes. He kills monsters, he saves people. Sam falls in love with a werewolf.
They’re both crying.
Sam takes a deep breath and walks out of the bathroom. Dean tells himself that they’re doing the right thing.
Madison is a werewolf. She was supposed to be evil. He’s seen them before. He sees them all the time.
Dean flinches when he hears the gunshot.
After Cassie and Layla and Lisa, Dean realizes that he destroys everything he touches.
So he pulls away. He knows that if it lasts one night, it’s safe.
He stays safe.
Later, Dean wonders what would’ve happened if he’d stayed at Sonny’s. With Robin.
It doesn’t matter.
He still believes in werewolves.