Join me in wishing one of the best people on the planet - that's tenaciousmetoo - a happy birthday! Honey, for you, the boys in Brooklyn. I think you might recognize one of Dean's many complaints. Because I am a complainer, and that one was, I think, one of my best.
Title stolen from Carl Sagan and grossly misconstrued by me. Gen, PG, hazy on the time-frame, funny in patches, Sam and Dean in Brooklyn.
"We Are All Star Stuff"
The timing of the "Who Shot Rock & Roll" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was perfect, closing just after Dean's birthday, but Sam knew Dean would take one look at Tina Turner's face, shining with sweat and brightened by a thousand-watt smile, and miss the exhibition dates printed in one corner, just brushing the tips of her exuberant hair.
Anyway, the point was to get Dean to New York, to give him a taste of the high life, even if it took Dean an embarrassingly long time to make the connection.
Sam planned on holding that over Dean's head for as long as possible.
"Oh, no," Dean said, as Sam leafed through a Zagat Guide he'd found at the front desk of their surprisingly cheery hostel. "We're not going out for authentic food from, like, Zimbabwe, or anything like that. I want a burger."
Just because Sam couldn't imagine what the national cuisine of Zimbabwe was didn't mean that a completely ridiculous statement like that had to go unchallenged. "Dean," he said, exasperated, "being in New York, we could get home-cooked food from literally any country in the world -"
"Great," Dean said, smiling his creepy Magic Fingers smile; "I call America."
"You picked yesterday," Sam pointed out patiently; he heroically refrained from mentioning that Dean had eaten his weight in ground chuck and had left the place reeking of onions and ketchup, bloated and smiling, possibly because Dean had had his first night of untroubled sleep that Sam could remember. "It's my turn - don't you dare try to weasel your way out of it."
"Saaaam," Dean tried, annoyed in exactly the way a small child would be, unable to comprehend why the world didn't just accommodate itself to his rules.
"Shut up," Sam said pleasantly, trying to remember how much he had in his wallet; he had no desire to count out cash in front of Dean, to remind his brother of the responsibilities he'd shouldered alone for too many years. Was it too much to ask that he be allowed to treat Dean to a nice meal that didn't consist entirely of fat and cholesterol? He flipped through Zagat again, looking for anything with only a single dollar sign next to the name. "Let's go."
"Crapes?" Dean said incredulously. He dug his heels in, so Sam had to pull him by the elbow toward the little cafe, just big enough for about four tables and a blackboard full of specials.
"It's pronounced 'khrep,'" Sam said, remembering Jess shaping his mouth to teach him.
"Yeah, that sounds real appetizing," Dean said, just laying on the sarcasm extra-thick. "I totally want to eat something that sounds like you're hocking up a loogie just to say it."
"Again," Sam said, "shut up," smiling at the hostess to indicate that they would in fact be staying, despite the longing looks Dean was casting at the door. "Two, please."
Dean wasn't outright mutinous or even unappealingly sulky, just a little quieter than usual, but he perked right up when he saw that the point of a crêpe was all the good stuff you could squish inside it. "Oh, man, I could get sausage and cheese. Or that fancy-ass ham and cheese."
Sam just let him talk, smiling on the inside because he knew Dean was going to let the waitress pick her favorite for him and read something libidnous into it - it turned out she was a sausage girl, and didn't that just get Dean's eyebrows working overtime.
Sam was finishing off his chopped tuna crêpe when Dean got up, squeezed his way past the other tables, and headed for the back, towards the restrooms. Sam hurriedly beckoned the waitress over and paid the bill and a decent tip with exact change before Dean could come back and see money changing hands. He waited a few more minutes, draining his glass of water and then Dean's. It wasn't like Dean to have coaxed the waitress into an alley behind the restaurant, not anymore, but Sam hadn't seen either of them for about five minutes, so he was starting to wonder.
He was just about to head back there himself when Dean emerged through the swinging saloon-style doors that separated the dining area from the kitchen. "Are you okay?" Sam asked.
Dean quirked an interrogative eyebrow at him for a moment before his face smoothed back out. "Yeah, dude. Just - can it with the 'New York is the center of culture!' and 'New York is the greatest!' shit. What New York is, is small. That restroom was about a foot square. I had to ride side-saddle on that toilet -"
Sam hastened to cut Dean off before he could gross out the other diners with a comparison of the size of the dump he'd just taken to the bathroom he'd taken it in. "Okay," he said, "so -"
"So," Dean interrupted, patting his belly, "I cleared some room, and now you're going to buy me some pie."
Dean spent a solid hour lost in worshipful contemplation of Tina Turner's amazing legs. Sam caught his eye when he finally snapped out of it, and Dean ducked his head and blushed like a schoolboy. "No, I don't want to hear about your pubescent fantasies," Sam said before Dean could open his mouth, and Dean acknowledged the justice of that with a dirty grin.
"You could have maybe picked up some tips," was all Dean said as he moved down the hall to stand in front of photographs of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, and Sam rolled his eyes fondly at him.
He sobered as he took in Dean's earnest gaze at the rock gods, could guess that his brother was thinking of endless groupies on tours that spanned the globe, sure, but also of dreams realized, sharing the music that lived inside you with millions of people who couldn't get enough of it.
Dean had done the same things, with a gun instead of a guitar. He'd blazed his way across the country, saved countless people, and loved the ride. Sam smiled to himself. "You've seen a million faces, and you've rocked them all," he quoted softly.
Dean still heard him, though, and snorted. "Only you, Sammy, could look at James Brown and quote Bon Jovi."
Sam got him in a headlock and said, "It's not my fault you don't appreciate culture."
Dean laughed outright and said, "I'm just glad you didn't sing it. Come on, superstar. Let's get back on the road."
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.