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i like your moxie, sassafras!

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SPN: "Dark Water" (birthday fic for greenapricot!) (Gen, PG)
the arch of the eyebrows gives it away
Happy birthday to greenapricot, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Winchestercon. In honor of your day, here's a little gen piece. I hope you enjoy, sugar! (My thanks as always to janissa11, whose beta work is invaluable.)

Sam's down there, down where the water's gone from green to blue to dark. There's a murderous ghost down there, too, and he's never let danger get between him and his brother. Dean takes a breath and dives in.

Once he's wrapped his head around going to a school with uniforms and coming back to Pastor Jim's every day, Dean knows what he has to do.

"Sammy," he says, nudging his brother's foot a little until he lifts his head from his book. At least it isn't Encyclopedia Brown anymore; that phase had been incredibly annoying, and Dean had never figured out if Sammy was messing up the dumb jokes to make fun of Bugs Meany or if the kid really hadn't gotten them.

"Whaaaaaaaat," Sammy says, dropping his head right back down when he sees it's just Dean, not Dean with Dad behind him.

"Listen up. This is important." Sammy still isn't looking up. "It's about school."

That gets his attention.

"We're going to have to eat cafeteria food."

"So?" Sammy just doesn't get it. Part of Dean is glad that his brother can still be so innocent, but he can't really keep awful truths from the kid for too long.

He tries to break the news gently. "Don't eat anything that has the word 'surprise' in its name, okay?"

Sammy just rolls his eyes, but Dean knows that one day, he'll be glad to have such an awesome brother.

He sees a flash of movement out of the corner of one burning eye and darts after it.

"Why aren't any of the good imaginary things real?" Sammy asks, sounding so heartbroken that Dean holds off on popping the cap off his beer and getting shitfaced.

"Hey," he says.

"Goblins and werewolves and sirens exist. Why can't, I don't know, fairy godmothers and magic carpets?"

He can't lie to the kid, and that leaves him with pretty much nothing to say. Sammy is getting kind of big to cuddle, but he goes willingly into Dean's arms. Dean kisses his temple, buries his nose in his brother's hair and smells gunsmoke. Sammy just lets out a shuddery sigh, like when he's thinking about crying but hasn't gotten around to it yet.

Dean braces himself for tears, or maybe a request for a story or a song, but they don't come. Sammy just falls asleep like that, heavy and warm, and Dean finds himself telling him a story anyway.

The pressure hammering against his head is getting more and more agonizing. Going back to the surface for a gasp of air feels like cheating somehow but contending with nature and the unnatural means he'll take what he needs and get the job done.

"Dean!" Sammy says like he wouldn't trade his big brother for a genie in a lamp; the kid looks like he's about to cry.

The office aide who was sent to fetch him takes one look at the situation unfolding in the nurse's office, sniffs, and slams the door behind her. Dean's got no time for her. He looks briefly at Nurse Freddy and steps between her and Sammy. "What's the matter?" he asks.

"I fell down at recess and Miss Marcy made me go to the nurse," Sammy starts, pointing to the shin that Dean knows is a vivid mess of bruises under his corduroy pants. His voice drops to a whisper so low Dean can barely hear it. "But I didn't wanna go 'cause the B-R-O-O-Z-E is from a G-H-O-S-T, not stupid kickball."

"Yeah, okay, but what's with the waterworks and the screaming?"

Sammy's face darkens. "She kept saying she was gonna take somethin' from me."

Dean swings around to glare at her. "Yeah, you," he hears Sammy say from behind him.

"Honey," she says, putting her hand on Dean's arm. "I'm just trying to take his temperature."

Dean almost laughs in relief. "Sammy, it's okay. She just has a different way of doing this." He sweeps away Sammy's bangs and puts his hand on his forehead.

Sammy seems to get it, but then his face screws up as another thought occurs to him. "But that's dumb, Dean. My leg is hurt. Why's she need to take my tempachur?"

Nurse Freddy sounds like she's about to laugh. "Standard practice, honey," she says, and Dean gets that; he knows all about routine.

"Just open your mouth and make her day a little easier, Sammy," he says, and Sammy obeys, shooting her one last suspicious look, and squeezing Dean's hand tightly.

It's not like he has a photographic memory, though there are a few wild nights he wishes he could recapture with that kind of clarity. And it's definitely not like he spent the hundreds of days Sam was gone on a couch in a frilly robe, clutching Sam's baby album and a handful of tissues. It's just that, yeah, he remembers stuff about Sam, has a whole bank full of memories that come to him at odd moments of the night and day, and it's kind of nice.

He remembers Sam at that age, his bright eyes under that mess of hair. Remembers Sammy and his quicksilver moods, the way that silence would envelop him like a blanket when Sammy got lost in a book.

He remembers Sam. He dives back down, and his arms wrap around a little body. He breaks the surface with a gasp, Lucas held safely up to the light and air and the mother who loves him.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

Oh, I love it -- all the flashes of memories, and the way it connects to canon in the end. Very vivid.

Thanks, Marina! I'm very pleased you enjoyed this!

That was too cute for my own good. I love the nurse "taking" his temperature and his spelling so she won't know what he's talking about. (Esp. of bruise, oh god. *dies laughing*)

That moment with wee!Sammy makes me absurdly happy. Glad you liked it too!

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Those were good times, Mere. That was a lot of fun to watch with you and coo over how good Dean is with kids. Mmmmm, Dean.

Thanks so much for the kind words!

Aww, this was...meep. Perfect, methinks. Thanks so much for sharing.


N'awwwwwwww! Thanks so much!

gah. This is beautiful and kind of heartbreaking and I am not so secretly the biggest sap ever and this just. *dreamy sigh and hand over heart* It's really really lovely is what it is. Thanks so much, my dear.

Oh, shoot, was it supposed to stay a secret? D'oh!

So glad you enjoyed, sugar, and happy birthday!

This - got me. It really did. Loved every memory, the little things Dean's held precious. It certainly brought back the memories of my brother and I when we were little. I was just getting smooshie, when I read:

'And it's definitely not like he spent the hundreds of days Sam was gone on a couch in a frilly robe, clutching Sam's baby album and a handful of tissues.'

Oh Dean - perfect image! Pink and white frilly robe would that be?! Great line, and thanks for the whole fic.

Dean is very melodramatic sometimes, isn't he? Sweet boy.

Very glad you liked - thanks!

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Oh, I have several moments written out and/or dreamt up where Dean has to check Sam's temperature like that. I love these boys so much.


Sweet and smart, with a nice little surprise at the end. I loved the warm memories juxtaposed with the cold, dark water and danger. And little Sammy misspelling bruise--so cute! Happy Birthday to your friend and a great little gift for any reader.

warm memories juxtaposed with the cold, dark water and danger No, see, this is why smart readers are the very best. I don't think I'd even done that consciously, but it works.

Thanks so much for the lovely words!

Oh my! *wibbles* That one got me right in the heart. I love wee!Dean being all protective of his little brother and I love wee!Sammy looking to Dean to make everything right. That ending, wowee. Excellent twist.

I love how tangled up in each other they are, you know? That's just how they work.

Thanks so much!



OH! Oh, Dean is the best big brother and little Sammy with his broozes and this is too adorable for words.

These boys are going to be the death of us. I feel it in my bones.

Thanks for the sweet words!

I think I kind of whimpered a bit at the end of that. Nobody noticed, though. I'm not embarrassed really.

Hee! Just keep telling yourself that.

And thanks for the sweet words!

I think I'm going to cry.

This is just Dean and Sam and the love that Dean has for his little brother that is just canon.

The last line broke me, because Dean is for Sam what Andrea is for Lucas.

Gorgeous. Every single word of this.


Thanks, sugar!

...i was not expecting this to come around to dead in the water. excellent. i love all the flashbacks, all the times dean remembers looking out for his baby brother, whether sam appreciated it or not (sounds mostly like sam did, tho).

Though I am absurdly attached to Dean as big brother, there's no denying that Sammy's a stellar little brother. Thanks for reading!

I am such a sucker for Wee!Chester fic, and yes, these snapshots are precious and perfect and wonderful. Dean + kids = love, and while there's canon evidence that Dean sees himself in Lucas (and Michael), it's also great to see glimpses of how he also sees Sam in the kids they meet. Having "raised" Sam he's bound to get flashes of their childhoods.

it's definitely not like he spent the hundreds of days Sam was gone on a couch in a frilly robe, clutching Sam's baby album and a handful of tissues.

Tee-hee. Such a "Dean" thought. Great!

Aww, Dean and kids is enough to reduce me to a puddle of goo. He's just so . . . himself with them.

Glad you enjoyed!


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