Dean leaned against the railing on the little porch on the back of the beach house he was currently staying in. The porch led out to a small sundeck and he was already contemplating all the kick-ass parties he could have on it. Sipping his coffee he looked out over the small bay that attached to the beach the house was on and he had to admit to himself that this was a pretty sweet deal.
Maybe, if he was completely honest, Sammy had been on to something here. He knew his little brother and Bobby were just waiting for him to get bored (was pretty sure they had a bet going) and even though Dean had been inclined to agree with that he was starting to think that this might be it for him. Might become something he could call his home.
And wouldn’t that be something? Dean hadn’t had a home besides his beloved Impala since mom died. Chasing Yellow Eyes, ganking the supernatural in general, yeah there hadn’t been much time to try and build something and for a long while Dean had had himself convinced that he didn’t want anything either. He had tried a little that time with Cassie but that obviously hadn’t panned out but now…
"Maybe I’d even bring a girl back here, huh?" he smirked out at the calm ocean. "Bet chicks’ll dig the shit out of this place."
Should perhaps work on that talking to himself thing. Man, he hadn’t even been living here for a week yet (hadn’t even completely unpacked his one and lonely duffle bag) and he was already starting to behave like a damn hermit. Next thing he knew he would be Bobby junior over here.
But no, that was exactly why he wasn’t living with his surrogate uncle (let’s be real: surrogate dad).
After everything that had happened Bobby wanted better for John’s boys. After being on the road for all of their lives, after fucking finally getting Yellow Eyes and in the process stopping his demon army plot, after witnessing dad’s soul kicking ass all the way through Hell and getting his ascent to Heaven, after all that Sam had put his foot down.
He wanted to go back to Stanford, wanted to honor Jess’ memory by finalizing his studies. And, apparently, his future happiness depended on Dean getting out of the hunting business too because he had begged and cried for Dean to come with him. And Bobby, the shit, had fucking agreed.
The old man had told Dean that it was too late for him, he already had his whole net of hunters that all depended on him and he was anyhow too old. But Dean, on the other hand, Dean could go on and make something of his life. Or could at least get a goddamn vacation.
And you know what? A vacation sounded like it wouldn’t be so bad. Kicking his feet up on a beach somewhere and eat a pie or two. Watch a football game and pretend to be into it but secretly just enjoying a chance to shout about something that wasn’t life-threatening. Sexy times with some hot cougars who pretended they wanted his help with fixing something around the house but just used it as an excuse to parade around in miniskirts that were totally inappropriate for their age but still sexy as fuck.
Okay, Sam had frowned disapprovingly at that last thing (but Dean had seen Desperate Housewives and no one could take that image away from him) but his brother changed his tune pretty fast once he realized Dean was agreeing with him.
So that was how Dean had found himself driving all the way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Palo Alto, California in the middle of the summer heat, all to make it in time for Sam’s last minute applications.
Crashing in Sam’s dormitory was obviously not an option and even though Sammy wanted to get an apartment it would be some time before he could afford it, especially since he had to focus a lot on his studies and not a job in the beginning.
So Dean had ended up bumming around the Stanford Inn just because it was close but man was it expensive. Sure, there was a whole lot of college boys he could hustle for some quick bucks but he felt uncomfortable doing so not knowing who could become one of Sam’s classmates. He spent a few nights with a couple of different women but that wasn’t something he could keep up and even though one of them wanted him to move in after only two nights together he had a feeling it was because she needed someone to share the rent with and since he had no money that was just a cluster-fuck waiting to happen.
Then Bobby had called with a tip and that was how Dean had ended up maxing out every single credit card they had (including a new one he had applied for just before they left Bobby’s) to buy himself a beach house off the bank not far from Watsonville, California.
The house was a small two-bedroomer with a modest kitchen/living room and only one bath but Dean was ecstatic. There was even a small basement which was accessed from outside, big enough for some storage and tools. The old man who had lived in it before (a Mr. Adam Hubert) had died peacefully in his sleep and had no living relatives so the bank had taken the house and was desperate to sell it. Apparently just because of the guy croaking there no one wanted to buy it.
Dean had just scoffed friendly when the bank man had asked him if he was afraid of such things (but had of course scanned the whole house with his EMF-meter) and had happily signed the papers when the money had been exchanged.
Looking back at it now Dean couldn’t believe his fucking luck. The house had even been cheap enough to leave him with a substantial amount of money. Sure, he had given a hefty bit of that to Sam but what he had left would definitely give him time before he would have to get a job.
The house was a little out of the way, about an hour out from Watsonville (which meant he was almost two hours from Sam but that was an okay distance), but he was sure he would be able to swing an honest to God job there anyway. He loved driving Baby so he was sure the commute wouldn’t be a problem.
If he was perfectly honest he loved how tucked away the house felt. To get to it you had to drive at least ten minutes on a gravel road through a thick forest and that was after you’d gotten off the CA-1 and driven on some smaller roads.
Then there was the bay. The only way to access the very small bay was by going around the house or trek through the forest, there were literally no other paths. Surrounding the bay was the forest and, closer to the ocean, cliffs that hugged the bay, forming almost a complete circle. It was really something to behold.
Yeah, best part was definitely the privacy. If someone came by boat he’d hear it (unless they were rowing, he supposed, but he knew the ocean was rough outside of his little bay) and if someone came by car he would probably hear it too. So okay, someone could technically sneak through the forest but who the hell would do that with no hiking trails available? No, as Dean saw it this was secluded enough for him to swim naked and maybe have beach sex, he’d always wanted to try that.
Yeah, Dean thought as he stood on the (his!) porch, sipping his coffee, this would be the start of a great life.
Just grazing his second week anniversary Dean had settled in pretty well. The money he had left from scamming the entire credit card industry would probably last him about two months more (at the most) and that was plenty time to slack around and also to find a job.
So Dean did just that, bummed around just for the fucking fun of it.
He made semi-daily trips to Watsonville and filled his pantry, bought a fridge to put in the small basement because the fridge in the kitchen was of the extremely small kind that barely fit one Ben&Jerry.
He also took the time to get a new phone (anything to completely get out of the hunting loop) and set up a bank account. Just so some hunter wouldn’t make a connection one way or the other he put the account under Dean Smith, same as Sam had decided to change his last name to Wesson.
He struggled for a while between deciding if he was getting bored or not but eventually settled on not. Instead he bought a DVD-player for the TV he had gotten when he had bought the rest of the furniture and with the player he got the first season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and figured there was no time like the present.
The house had been excellently taken care of so there was really nothing that needed immediate fixing. The plumbing and electricity were great and Dean had been told by the realtor that handled the bank’s sales that the stove had been newly installed. That was great, Dean had always wanted to learn how to cook properly. So just for the heck of it he started watching cooking shows during the day while trying to copy what they made.
The only downside so far was that there wasn’t any Internet but it was okay, Dean had splurged on his phone and gotten one of those fancy kinds that got a little Internet on it. He was still figuring it out but it was enough for him.
The TV only got basic cable but with his DVD he felt like he was set on the entertainment front. And if a few Busty Asian Beauties managed to sneak into his basket when he shopped at the gas station on his way to Watsonville then no one was the wiser (except the pimply teen managing the counter but Dean only smirked confidently when the guy blushed at the sight of the skinmags).
As a way to keep fit he had taken up jogging on the beach (which was horribly exhausting) and he swam on some days. But while he knew how to he wasn’t the strongest swimmer yet so he kept close to the beach. It was fine, though, because for the first almost 300 feet the water was so shallow that if he stood on the ground it only reached as far as his shoulders.
That was great, though. The water in the bay was always calm but as soon as he closed in on the mouth of the bay he could feel the undercurrents lick his legs. The ocean floor dropped rather drastically after those 300 feet and Dean imagined that the water was pretty strong just outside the cliff mouth.
He was fine in his shallower end, though. The water was warm and clear, a kind of green-blue that was almost see-through on sunny days. He dove under a few times and saw mostly smooth stones, seashells, and driftwood. Some algae floated by on occasion and once he had seen a very small fish paddling by. It was calming, he thought, and he put snorkeling set on his shopping list. He didn’t think he’d be too into diving but swimming and looking down would be nice.
If he found something especially nice he brought it back to his porch but didn’t think he would do anything with it. It was simply nice to do pointless things for a change. Man, he was nearing 30 but felt like he was acting like an old man already. And the strange part was that it put a smile on his lips. Maybe the old dude that had croaked in Dean’s current bedroom really was haunting the place?
Dean laughed at the idea but spent the whole night awake and with his EMF-meter close at hand. He told himself he was simply too caught in Deep Space Nine to go to bed but was secretly glad that his trusted meter remained as silent as the day he moved in.
After another week of doing nothing and feeling awesome he started to worry that he should want to do something. Bobby told him he was being ridiculous (his exact words were: enjoy it, ya idjit. And don’t touch the booze or your bubble’ll burst) and that he should take up reading.
So on his next trip to Watsonville he went into a bookstore and picked up a fantasy series called The Belgariad because it sounded like a nice escape to a fantasy world that wouldn’t hit too close to what he had been doing.
Actually, Dean was pretty impressed with how easy it became for him to pretend that he didn’t know what could lurk under people’s beds. He had thought he would never get over it and would be out the door after a week at the most, hell-bent on saving people and hunt things. But to be truthful, the "family business" didn’t seem as important anymore. His family was safe and surprisingly that was more than enough for Dean. He supposed that if someone was in need of help right under his nose he would help them but for now he wouldn’t go out of his way to look for cases. Felt refreshing to have that decided.
Instead he started buying the newspaper from Watsonville to look over the job offers in it. Sure, he didn’t have an education but he was pretty handy. Dad had been a mechanic, maybe Dean could be too? He kept Baby running like a queen and that had to count for something.
Speaking of which, he got to thinking that he could buy a beaten up old car and spend his free time fixing it, for fun. There wasn’t much he needed to fix around the house but he supposed he could spend some time doing something with the spare bedroom. Right now it was completely empty, save some boxes his furniture had come in, mostly because he hadn’t really know what to do with it but also because he had only bought as much furniture as was strictly necessary.
He vowed to make it into a guestroom when he got a job and could afford the extra furniture. The night Sam spent in the house after helping Dean get settled he had had to sleep on the couch and while that had been fine for then Dean wanted Sam to feel like he had a place to stay when he came to visit.
And hell, maybe Sam would get a nice girlfriend and then they wouldn’t want to sleep out in the living room. Maybe even Bobby would get out of his house to come visit and he couldn’t just let the old man roll around on the couch, no matter how comfortable it was. And Dean wouldn’t give up his new memory foam mattress for anyone, he had already made sure that mattress would forever remember him and he wasn’t about to change that.
He was also thinking about maybe getting a boat and some fishing equipment and go outside of his bay to try his luck. Dean loved his red meat but fish wasn’t half as bad as he pretended he thought it was (spiting Sammy was fun, after all) and catching it himself felt awfully manly. Fuck yes, the possibilities seemed endless all of a sudden.
"That boat sounds nice." Sam told him one evening when Dean had told him about his musings. "Just get one with a motor, I don’t think rowing outside of those cliffs is smart."
"I hear ya." Dean agreed and stretched his legs out on his coffee table. The TV was on but muted, showing some game show. "Wouldn’t wanna get thrown in the water and drown or something."
"Or chomped on." Sam chuckled but his comment made Dean frown.
"D’you think there’re sharks around here?"
"I think there’ve even been sightings of Great Whites."
"Fucking hell." Dean muttered and took a swig of his dinner beer (only one once in a while, nothing at all like what Bobby was warning against).
"Don’t worry, though. I don’t think sharks go for little bays like yours, those cliffs might protect you more than we know."
Dean nodded to his empty living room. "It’s pretty shallow too."
They chatted for a while about sharks and Sam’s upcoming school start (Sam reassuring him how not nervous he was while Dean secretly knew his giant little brother was very nervous) and Dean loved how calm he felt. His whole body was relaxed against the couch, the sound of the gentle water eased in through the open doors that led out to the porch and the smell of the ocean was sharp but tantalizing.
"I’m…" Sam took a deep breath and Dean could practically hear the smile in his next words. "Thank you for doing this, I’m really happy right now."
"Yeah." Dean smiled widely too and leaned his head back against the couch. "Me too, little brother."
It took the supernatural barely three weeks (19 days, to be precise) to catch up to Dean. In retrospect he probably should have anticipated it much sooner but he had just been so happy in his bubble.
Dean had spent the morning sleeping in and the rest of the day in front of the TV mourning the fact that he hadn’t bought more than season two of Deep Space Nine when he was last in Watsonville. The TV-show was really roping him in and he would have to pace himself if he wasn’t going to end up watching it all much too soon.
With that in mind he had decided to take a walk along the beach after dinner. His jogging was going a little so-so and not only because he really didn’t like it but because running on the sand was hard work. Trekking through the forest might be nicer and besides, it was sweltering today so being beneath the shade of the trees could be nice. He had no particular goal in mind but thought that if he could find a way up to the cliffs it would be nice. He kind of wanted to climb them but there was no way to get close without swimming or, like he had in mind now, going through the forest. Bet the view would be worth it, though.
The slip of beach wasn’t that big so he didn’t have to walk very long before he noticed something lying half-way up on the beach. He frowned at the sight but continued at a steady pace, not really certain at this distance what he was looking at.
When he got closer it became evident that it was a person lying there. Dean judged it to be a man or a very broad-backed woman and the person was lying on their side, facing away from Dean, but the weirdest was how it looked like their legs were being swallowed by a giant octopus (or squid? Dean didn’t know the difference). His frown deepened and he hurried over, mind easily slipping back into that familiar space he went to on hunts but shit, he didn’t even know squids attacked humans.
"Hey!" he shouted as he closed in on the body but there was no response.
The person (man, Dean was certain now) was lying incredibly still, the water lapping gently at the tentacles surrounding the man’s bottom half. Dean could only hope the guy wasn’t dead, that would certainly put a downer on, well, everything.
He rounded the man when he got closer, focusing on his face but when he saw that the man’s eyes were closed his focus shifted to the rest of his body and he noticed several things.
Objectively, the man looked quite handsome with a strong jawline, high cheek bones, and pink lips. He had dark hair and judging by how dry and fluffy it looked Dean thought the man ought to have been lying here on the beach for a couple of hours at least. There really was no shade where they were, only open beach and a glaring sun.
Those were all things Dean registered in a matter of seconds but what made him recoil was the obvious gash on the man’s stomach and oh yeah, the fact that that wasn’t an octopus but that the man’s lower half was nothing but tentacles like some bizarre version of a mermaid.
That last part took him a little by surprise, to be honest.
"Fucking hell." He rasped and only then recognized the fact that he had jumped back and now sat on his rump in the sand, gawking like a fucking noob at the octopus-squid-whatever man.
But shit, this guy had a human-looking upper body and fucking tentacles for legs, like some kind of hentai fetish get-up and Dean didn’t even want to begin explaining why he knew about that. Those tentacles were just so…
Hold on, the guy was motionless and it looked like someone had taken a huge bite out of him. Something blue was seeping out from small puncture wounds that definitely matched a bite mark and part of his hand was covering what looked like a freaking hole in his stomach. Dean’s best guess was that that blue stuff was his blood and now that he looked closer he could see the sand beneath the man (creature?) was stained by it. Was he dead?
Dean gulped and inched closer. Why the hell had he thought he could get out of the supernatural loop? Fuck, he had gotten so comfortable he wasn’t even carrying a knife around, not even some salt. Let’s face it, he had become domesticated so fast it was actually laughable and fuck his goddamn life if he got killed by some octopus dude playing dead.
The man’s human part looked pale but Dean couldn’t hope to know if that was normal. The tentacles were almost the same color as the sand beneath him and the underside (oh God, that was two rows of suckers right there…) was almost white. Maybe that was normal or maybe he was bleeding out, Dean should really stop trying to play doctor here.
He pretended his hand didn’t shake when he reached out to place two fingers on the man’s neck. Hopefully the guy’s anatomy wasn’t that much different from Dean’s and he would be able to feel a pulse there (or not? Would it be better if he was dead after all?).
The skin under Dean’s fingers looked normal by human standards but felt a little stiffer, almost as if the man had something beneath his skin. Other than that it felt like what Dean had expected and his breath hitched when he felt a fluttering pulse beneath his fingers. Putting a finger under the man’s nose revealed a shallow breath too so okay, Dean wasn’t dealing with a corpse.
What was he dealing with, though?
Okay, time to stop being a goddamn moron and treat this like a normal hunt. Sitting back on his haunches he pulled his cell phone from the pocket on his shorts and pressed Bobby’s speed dial. He eyed the creature warily the whole time but other than the water moving his tentacles and the extremely slow seeping of the blue blood from the biggest wound nothing else moved on the creature.
Bobby answered after too many rings and Dean had already gone back to poking at the man’s neck when he heard the gruff voice on the other end.
"What the hell? Were you sleeping or something?"
"Might be that I was, boy." Bobby groused. "You better be calling about something important."
"Sorry, didn’t mean to wake the beast." Dean smirked but when his eyes fell on the very real beast in front of him he got serious again. "You know how we talked about how nice it was that me ‘n Sammy got out of hunting?"
There was an eerie silence on the other end and Dean took that time to gingerly lift the man’s upper lip. His canines were pointed, almost like fangs, but that was basically it. No mouth full of sharp knives or anything. Looking at the man’s hands he noticed that there seemed to be a short and thin webbing between the fingers (not even up to the first knuckle) but thankfully the nails were blunt so good, no claws either. Unless he could grow them like some supernatural creatures? Dean eyed the man warily.
"What have you done now, Dean?"
"Hey." Dean huffed and shifted to sit on his heels instead. "I was just minding my own fucking business over here. If anything this is Sam’s fault, he’s the one that’s always harassing me about exercise. Without that I probably would have spent the day on the couch, okay?"
Not entirely true but Dean resented being labelled the trouble-maker of the family, trouble found him! As evidenced by an octopus man right in Dean’s fucking face.
Bobby just sighed. "What’cha got, boy?"
"Uh…" what did he have? "Tentacles?"
Dean pinched the bridge on his nose. "No, I mean…" deep sigh. "I found this…creature on my beach. He’s—it’s—he’s half human, half tentacles. Like Ariel but no fish tail."
"Yeah." Dean nodded because Bobby’s confusion definitely seemed like an appropriate reaction. Too bad, though, because he had hoped Bobby would know exactly what this was. "So what do I do? Do I kill it? And with what? I didn’t bring anything but I guess I could stab it with the house key or something."
"Hold your horses." Bobby muttered and Dean heard him move around. "I know your daddy taught you to cut first and ask later but not everything supernatural is dangerous, there are actually things out there that could help us if we’d let them."
"I guess." Dean mumbled and looked down at the man. He did look kind of cool, maybe he would even end up being friendly? "But maybe it won’t matter. I think something tried to eat him because he’s got bite marks and he’s bleeding. He’s alive now but he might die all on his own."
Bobby hummed for a bit and it sounded like he was rummaging around his library. "I think you should help it not die."
"I can’t remember for sure right now but I know I’ve heard about this before. And I know at least mermaids have been known for being more helpful than harmful in the past so this could be the same."
"You… wait, mermaids are real?"
"Dean." Wow, Dean could almost hear that eye-roll. "You’ve been a hunter since before you knew what that was, when are you going to stop doubting it?"
"Just seems a little far-fetched." Dean muttered but looking down at the tentacles that curled in the water (only because the water was moving them, right?) he supposed he was being ridiculous. "So, what, being a hunter can mean saving monsters too?"
"Only if you’re a good hunter, Dean. Are you telling me you’re not?"
"I’m telling you I was out of the loop."
"Bo-ho, princess." Bobby mocked in that tone that made Dean sigh. "Do what you can to help that creature and I’ll call you as soon as I know more. Just be careful if it turns out I’m wrong. A good head-chopping’ll solve most things."
Dean nodded to himself and tried to recall where he had put his machete when he moved most of his hunting equipment from Baby’s trunk to his new bedroom.
"Just don’t go blabbing to other hunters before we know more."
"I’m not an idjit." Bobby spat and promptly hung up on him.
Well, Dean supposed he earned that with his stupid comment but they couldn’t be too careful. If this creature turned out to be one of the good guys he wouldn’t want the whole hunting community knowing about him. For one, Dean’s idyllic bubble would be destroyed pretty fast. And secondly, he had a feeling there were a lot of hunters who wouldn’t even have called Bobby to ask if it was okay to kill the man. Dean was actually a little proud of himself there.
"Okay." He mumbled and pocketed his phone. "Let’s get you back to the house."
Was it stupid of Dean to bring something like this into his safe-space? Probably. But even with how secluded his beach was Dean suddenly felt naked out here. He didn’t want anyone just stumbling through the forest on a hike and see the tentacles. And he certainly didn’t want to know if there were more of them out there and he was being watched.
That, plus he really wanted to wash the guy’s wounds and see if they needed treatment. And if he brought the man to his house he could lock him in and make sure he didn’t escape until Bobby or Sam came here and they could have a look at him together.
Wow… that seemed cruel even to Dean and he was glad no one was around to hear his thoughts.
His eyes narrowed when he looked down at the man. Unless having octopus tentacles meant the guy was a mind-reader too? How the hell would Dean know? With a sigh he resigned himself to finding out the hard way and instead he slipped out of his flip-flops and stepped into the shallow water.
Dean wasn’t an idiot, he knew octopuses (octopi? Damnit, Sam would know) needed to keep moist so this guy probably did too. And judging by his fluffy hair and mostly dried blood Dean could tell he had been lying in the sun for too long. The bottom half of his tentacles were in the water but Dean took a moment to splash the man’s entire body as best he could.
There, that was better. Now to carry him.
After tentatively reaching out and then recoiling at the feeling of how not slimy those tentacles felt (felt more like wet skin, so weird) Dean sighed to himself and went to roll the man to his back.
A small frown graced the man’s otherwise neutral features so either that hurt or he was just confused. Still alive, though, so that was good. Like this Dean could also see that the deep gash he had seen was already partly crusted over.
"Supernatural healing?" he mumbled and hoped so because that didn’t look like something Dean could just sew up and pour whisky on.
After fruitlessly trying to lift the man a couple of times (first bridal style but the tentacles were long and kept getting away from him and second in a fireman’s grip but man the tentacles were fucking everywhere) Dean huffed and put his hands on his hips, chewing his bottom lip indecisively.
He would probably need a gurney or at least a stretcher but where would he get that? He couldn’t (and wouldn’t) leave the man for as long as it would take Dean to drive to Watsonville to buy one. And where did they even sell those things? A hospital? That was a stupid idea.
What he did have was one of those beach chairs with the striped cloth for sitting on that were fucking death traps to try and fold and unfold. He supposed he could get that, fold it, make it as flat as possible and then drag the man back to the house. He was sure he would be able to carry him the short distance from his sundeck to his bathroom and then he could put the man in the bathtub. That way he could keep moist and everything.
Nodding to himself Dean set out to sprint back to the house and get his chair. Since the chair meant nothing to him and he didn’t feel any imminent threat of theft he had left it on his sundeck, which was good now, meant he was back under three minutes.
"I’m back!" he announced cheerily when he stopped by the unconscious man and immediately felt like a fool.
Thank God no one was around to hear him and even if the man had been awake he might not even understand Dean. Truth be told, though, Dean was getting a bit excited with this whole thing.
He just hoped Bobby called with benevolent news and that the man lived to see the next day.
He ended up having to stop two times on the short distance, both times because the guy’s tentacles kept slipping off to the sides and Dean got scared they would get caught under the beach chair. One of them already looked a little mauled and Dean didn’t want to make it worse. No matter what he did, though, the tentacles wouldn’t stay completely on the beach chair. They were simply too long.
From head to the tip of the longest tentacle the guy was probably around nine or ten feet and the thickest ones were as thick as Dean’s upper arms, which he thought was pretty impressive. He didn’t know much about tentacles as tentacles go, though, but was pretty certain this man had some strong ones. He just wished they would stop looking so pale (or actually wished that he knew if they usually looked like that) because it kind of looked like the guy had lost too much of his strangely colored blood.
When he was finally back at the house he was a little winded. Man, dragging this guy all this way had been harder than Dean had thought it would be and he knew now that he had made the right decision getting the chair. He never would have managed to carry him and just looking at the three steps up onto his sundeck Dean felt a bit daunted. Not to mention that he had to get the guy up onto the porch and into the bathroom too. Good thing that was at least adjacent to the porch door.
He bent down to gather the man in his arms but stopped himself in the last moment, chuckling and shaking his head.
"Don’t be stupid, Dean." He muttered and walked over to open the porch and bathroom door first. "There’s usin’ your noggin’."
This time when he started pulling on the tentacles they actually moved a bit. Albeit sluggishly, Dean could feel them slide against his hand and he pulled back quickly, eyes darting between the tentacles and the man’s face. Might be that he was just waking up from all the dragging he had been subjected to.
Dean waited with baited breath but when nothing had happened for at least two minutes he started the process of getting the octopus man in his arm all over again. The guy was just as heavy as last Dean tried this but the tentacles moved again and two of them actually wrapped loosely around Dean’s arm.
He shuddered (surprisingly enough, not unpleasantly) when he felt several of the suckers attach and yeah, that was actually pretty helpful. Now he wouldn’t have to deal with the tentacles slipping out of his grip. Yeah, now he just had to focus on carrying the dude.
He staggered slightly but managed pretty well. Just had to pause when he had gotten to the living room but the bathroom was right there so he powered through and actually managed to put the man down in the bathtub very gently (even if it killed Dean’s back).
He rested the man’s head on the edge of the tub and had to rummage around the tentacles to get the stopper in the drain before he started the water. Just as he was switching over to use the movable shower head instead the tentacles started moving again, this time with more intent.
Dean gulped and kept his movements slow. As excited as he felt by this (for some fucked up reason, Dean was sure dad would have turned in his grave if he wasn’t already in Heaven) he did also realize the potential danger of this situation.
And fuck was he stupid too. He had been so focused on getting the man inside, helping him with his wounds, and keeping him moist, that he hadn’t stopped to equip himself with at least some kind of weapon. He should at least have gotten his gun for fuck’s sake.
Well, Dean supposed that if he died today he would deserve it.
So instead of jumping to his feet and running for his gun he sat by the side of the tub, letting the gentle spray of lukewarm water wash over the man’s tentacles and all the while keeping a keen eye on the man’s face.
As before, the man’s movements were sluggish but it was clear he was waking up. His eyelids fluttered and when he suddenly flashed his eyes open he closed them immediately, groaning a little. It was a deep and decidedly human sound and Dean found himself smiling softly. He had been known to wake up with a sore head one or two (or thirty) times himself so he was no stranger to the pain this guy was obviously feeling.
A slightly webbed hand came up to rub one of the eyes and Dean left him to wake up at his own pace. For now he focused on washing off sand and blood from the man’s tentacles and torso. Some of the blood came loose with only water but some was so dried in and crusted with sand that it would need a scrubbing.
The tentacles started moving for real now that the man was more conscious and it was hilarious listening to them attach and detach to the tub’s surface. The popping sound echoed a little in the bathroom and Dean smirked to himself. He didn’t know if the man was unconsciously feeling around himself (like how a human would pat his surroundings when he was unable to see) or if this was just how the tentacles always behaved. It was of course ridiculous to think of them as sentient because Dean figured that they were really just the man’s limbs but it kind of looked like they were.
Suddenly one of the tentacles landed smack dab on Dean’s arm and the man’s whole body froze. Yeah, that wasn’t the same material as the tub alright and Dean was pretty certain the guy could feel that it was flesh he was touching now.
When he looked up he was met with wide eyes again, this time directed at him. Wide, extremely blue, and frightened eyes.
"Hey." Dean said and tried to sound soothing. There wasn’t a sound in the bathroom except for the small trickle of water from the shower head. He cleared his throat. "I dunno if you can understand me, but I’m here to help you."
The man cocked his head to the side and his tentacles started moving again. His blue eyes raked up and down what he could see of Dean’s body and unconsciously Dean straightened his back. He didn’t want to seem intimidating but for some reason he wanted to look like someone the man could depend on.
Which of course was ridiculous because the man weighed a ton but didn’t seem to have one ounce of fat on him. Yeah, Dean was pretty certain the man was ten times as strong as him. Distantly he wondered if he would even have time to get his gun before the man strangled him to death with his tentacles. He had to be faster than the guy on land, right?
"Help?" the man suddenly asked and scared the crap out of Dean.
"Yeah!" he said enthusiastically and sat up even more. "Do you speak English? I’ll help you."
The man shrank back when Dean moved too close and he curled his tentacles closer to his body. Shit, was he hiding or preparing to attack? Either way Dean seemed to have startled him.
"Help." The man repeated weakly and Dean nodded.
"Yes, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you." He sat back a little but reached for the gash on the man’s side. "Let me clean this."
The man started shaking his head and his tentacles went up to cover his stomach but he hissed suddenly and clutched his head in his hands instead.
"What’s wrong?" fuck, Dean didn’t know why he felt so worried but he did.
If this was a monster set on killing babies or something as equally horrifying Dean supposed he would have to kill it but so far it just seemed to be a hurt and scared octopus man and Dean felt strangely protective.
"I can see that, let me look."
The man recoiled when Dean gently touched the back of his hands but he couldn’t get far and the motion only seemed to make him a little queasy. He sat still while Dean examined his head and seemed more focused on not throwing up than whatever Dean was doing.
Dean found a small lump at the same time as the man hissed again and glared at Dean.
"Hit your head on something, huh?" Dean mumbled and sat back to pick up the shower head again but the man had it clutched in one of his tentacles.
He wasn’t looking at it but Dean let him have it all the same. Instead he leaned his elbows on the tub’s edge and calmly met the man’s calculating eyes. Man, those eyes were blue and fucking intense.
The man was obviously studying Dean to see if he was a threat and since Dean wanted to know the same he just looked back. The tentacles still suckered onto the tub and some of them were splashing in the shallow water but since none of them came up to choke him Dean dared smile at the man.
That seemed to take him off guard and he made a clicking sound before returning a tentative smile.
"Not that much for talking, are ya?" Dean’s smile widened when the man just clicked again, kind of chirping like a dolphin but really not. "Wanna tell me about that?" he pointed at the gash and the man looked down as if he hadn’t realized it was there. Didn’t it fucking hurt? Maybe that hit to the head had been harder than Dean had thought.
The man traced the gash, rubbing off the crusted blood and poked at some of the teeth marks.
"Looks like a shark bit you."
Dean smiled again, just glad the man knew some words. If he had been talking a whole different language (or maybe just communicated by those clicking sounds) this could have been more hassle than fun.
"Yeah, you know, big fish with many teeth?" he mimed at swimming and biting. "Or are they mammals?" Dean didn’t know but the man did seem to get what Dean was hinting to because he nodded.
"Shark." He made a growling sound that Dean was pretty sure no shark did and then mimed biting on his own, his sharpened canines looking more vicious than a second ago.
Dean nodded, even though this concerned him a bit. Sam had said he didn’t think sharks came this close to shore, where was this man from anyway? Or maybe a shark had managed to sneak close enough? Dean really hoped he would get some more answers out of the man later (and was really starting to hope Bobby would call back and tell Dean this guy was alright as monsters go).
"Well don’t worry about that now, I’ll help you." He smiled again and put a hand on his chest. "I’m Dean. Dean."
The man cocked his head again and Dean let him take the time he needed before realization dawned and he patted his own chest.
Dean nodded and motioned to the shower head but before he could tell the man to wash up, Castiel turned it and effectively sprayed himself in the face. He spluttered and slapped at it with his hands before he got the idea to lower the shower head again.
Dean threw his head back laughing as Castiel just sat there blinking for several moments.
"Well, Cas, I think we’re gonna get along just fine."