I. Sandusky, Ohio. Sam Winchester is five years old.
Sam talks to things that other people don't talk to. He thanks the grass for being cool and soft under his feet. He tells the birds their songs are pretty. He doesn't use his voice; he talks to them in his head. And sometimes they answer.
(Not with words. That would be silly. Birds don't know words. Grass doesn't know words. But they answer, all the same.)
It never occurs to him that other people don't do the same thing until the day Dean kills a spider in the bathtub. "Why didn't you just ask him to leave?" he asks.
Dean laughs like it's a joke, and it makes Sam feel inexplicably hot and angry inside. "It's not funny," Sam says. "You didn't have to kill him. You could have just told him to get out of our bathtub."
Dean rolls his eyes dramatically. "People can't talk to insects, Spider-Man."
"Not the way you talk to people, but you can tell them things. You know." Surely Dean knows. Dean knows everything. It's just one of those things everyone can do and you don't talk need to talk about, like the way you can un-focus your eyes, or feel if it's going to rain. Isn't it?
But Dean takes a long time to answer, and Sam gets an uncomfortable feeling deep in his belly. "No, Sam," he finally says. "You can't tell them things. They're spiders. People can't talk to spiders. Not normal people." Something about Dean's expression - a little angry, a little worried, a little frightened - makes Sam think people aren't supposed to talk to spiders. "I mean, you don't think you're really talking to them, right?"
"No, I know," he says quickly. "I was just joking." He doesn't bring it up again. He feels like he did something bad, something wrong, and he doesn't want Dean to look angry-worried-frightened at him again.