Genre: Gen (pre-series)
Category: Fluff/ humor
Word Count: ~1700
Rating: PG-13 (some naughty words)
Summary: Dean never gives up, never gives in and never, ever quits. But when it comes to this, he really should.
A/N: For Dean's week over at spn_bigpretzel
“Alright, Bitch … Where’d you put ‘em?” Dean asked … okay … more like growled in a menacing manner while his voice barely contained a dark fury towards his younger sibling.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sam replied coolly, raising the remote and changing the channel on the TV without looking at Dean.
“You know what I’m talking about, ass monkey. Where are they? Tell me now before I have to kill you.”
Sam shrugged then flicked off the TV, totally unmoved by his brother’s threat, “I dunno … you must have misplaced them.”
“Oh … don’t even –“ Dean grumbled while proceeding to tear the room apart. He looking under the beds, inside the trash can, on top of the drawers, under pillows and even in the toilet bowl (if he had found them in there, he would have committed fratricide right on the spot), but they were nowhere in the room.
“C’mon … I know it was you, Sam. Where are they?” Dean demanded, his voice edging towards hysteria and violence.
“I didn’t touch them, Dean. I swear.” Sam shot back defensively, “You know I hate those damn things, but I can’t make you quit – that’s up to you.”
Dean ground his teeth together as he glared at Sam and took a seat on the bed. The little shit might only be 17, but there was a high probability that he would never live to see adulthood – or lunch, for that matter if he didn’t get his hands on –
Dean felt something shift in his back pocket.
He reached his hand back and slid it into the pocket then let out a sigh of relief once his fingers made contact with the object stashed in there.
Sam didn’t even have time to bitch at him before Dean was out the door, slamming it shut and pulling out one of what he liked to think of as his ‘little peace makers’, setting the end of it alight with his zippo and sucking a deep inhale of smoke into his lungs.
Ahhhhh … he thought, letting the nicotine swirl into his veins and relax his muscles, Now that’s the shit ….
Sure … Dean knew this was bad for him and he knew he should quit. Dad didn’t like it and threatened to knock his ass into next Wednesday if he caught him with them again and Sam certainly was vocal about his distaste for his habit, but dammit … it felt good and sometimes there wasn’t enough of that feeling to go around.
So yeah … he smoked. So what? It wasn’t like the things were going to kill him overnight – hell … he was more than likely to die a bloody death at the hands of some evil creature before these things hurt him.
So … Even with all of his disapproving looks, whiney nagging, and leaving pamphlets about smoking cessation with all of those pictures of blackened, scarred lungs on his car seat, Sam could just go fuck off.
Dean wasn’t going to quit.
Even if it meant sneaking out to buy the cigarettes behind his father’s back and dousing himself with liberal amounts of cologne to cover the smoke that lingered on his clothes, it was worth the moment or two of relaxation they gave him.
Besides … with his leather jacket on and a cigarette hanging from his mouth he looked pretty damn cool and dangerous in a way that made girls swoon around him – kinda like –
“You know you look nothing like James Dean, right?” Sam suddenly announced, bursting into Dean’s thoughts. He poked his head out of the door before he stepped outside and approached.
“Oh shut up, you damn harpy. James Dean was awesome.”
“He’s also dead, Dean. Which is what you’re gonna be if Dad catches you with those.”
“Yeah well … Dad’s not here and the only way he’s going to find out is if some asswipe tattles on me.”
“Or he smells you.” Sam pointed out.
Dean blew out a puff of smoke into his brother’s face, “Bite me.”
Sam planted on a classic, bitchy face, and wafted the smoke away. ”Right … if I did that I’d probably get a lethal dose of poison from all of the Old Spice you pour on.”
Dean knew his brother probably had a lecture against the dangers of cigarette smoke sitting on the tip of his tongue that he wanted to repeat, but he wouldn’t have come outside and exposed himself to the second-hand, carcinogenic fumes unless something was up.
“Dad called. He wants us to go and see a guy who knew the ghost he’s hunting back when she was alive.”
“Joy.” Dean grumbled sarcastically, dropping his cigarette to the ground and mashing it with his foot. “Fine … let’s go.”
Sam gave directions while Dean drove. They ended up at a nursing home at the outskirts of the town and Sam followed his brother to the reception desk to ask where they could find the guy they needed to see.
The nurse behind the desk directed them to a set of doors that led to an outdoor patio, “There he is -- on the bench by the flower garden, “she said while pointing him out, “That’s where he spends most of his day.”
Sam offered his thanks to the nurse and Dean nodded before they passed through the doors and approached the white-haired man who had his back turned towards them.
“Jim Barlow?” Dean asked as soon as they were close enough for the man to hear them. The old guy turned around and Dean was taken aback by his ghastly appearance. The man was rail-thin, his wrinkly, leathery skin an ashen grey as it hung loosely over his bones. But, what really got Dean’s attention was the white tube strapped in place, sticking out of a gaping hole in his neck, and the nasal cannula stuck firmly in his nose connected to a green bottle of oxygen that sat nearby him.
Mr. Barlow glanced up and looked like he wanted to say something but then lifted a finger for the two brothers to give him a second. He reached into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a small device that looked a little like a mini-microphone to Dean. He attempted to turn it on and then proceeded to slap it a couple of times until a little red light came on. Once he appeared satisfied that the gadget would work, he raised it up and placed just under his jaw.
“I’m Jim Barlow.” The man spoke, his voice robotically amplified by the little device touching his throat.
Sam started talking to the elderly gentleman, trying to get as much information from him for their father’s hunt, but Dean had a difficult time joining in on the conversation. His attention lay squarely on the man’s tracheotomy tube as it bobbed up and down whenever he spoke.
Up and down … up and down … It was mesmerizing.
Sam finished up his questions and thanked the old man for his time. Dean finally snapped out of his trance when Mr. Barlow turned to him and used his robotic voice to ask him, “Son … can you move this damn can over there for me?” He pointed to the oxygen tank and then to the door leading back into the nursing home.
“Uh … sure …” Dean responded while the man pulled out his nasal cannula. He pushed the tank back up to the door then walked back over to his brother.
All the while, Mr. Barlow struggled to pull something out of his pocket and then smiled as he produced a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes, “Ah … not supposed to smoke these with my tank around … but I figure ... one or two a day can’t kill me any quicker than they already have.” He wheezed a congested laugh which quickly turned into a hacking cough that shook his entire frame. He put his little voice amp down and coughed heavily into his sleeve, hacking up a lung full of gunk onto his hospital robe.
Dean stepped back a bit and looked at his brother, who wore the same expression of disgust that Dean was trying so very hard to hide.
It was then that things truly got ugly. Mr. Barlow tapped out a cigarette from the pack and lifted it … not to his lips, but to the tube in his throat. He then lit it and inhaled deeply before taking the cigarette away and exhaling. Dean watched, frozen in place as smoke poured from the hole.
The old man turned and gave the brothers a ghastly, brown-stained, gap-toothed grin.
Dean thought he might puke.
Instead, Sam grabbed his elbow, “C’mon … let’s go.” Sam too looked as if he might lose his lunch and they both beat a hasty retreat from the nursing home grounds and back to the car.
Dean revved the engine and pealed out of the parking lot without looking behind.
Neither boy looked at each other or said anything until Dean was more than a mile away from the hospital and on the highway once again. It was then that Dean reached into his back pocket and pulled out his half-full pack of cigarettes.
“Dean … I don’t believe this … After seeing that guy back there and you’re gonna light up in the car of all places?” Sam started to whine, but Dean flashed his brother a darting scowl that silenced him.
Dean opened his window and tossed his cigarettes out of the moving vehicle without any regrets.
“Alright, Sammy -- that’s it … you win this time – enjoy your victory while you can.” Dean offered in submission. “I quit.”
Sam flashed Dean a satisfied smile that lit up his face and just about melted Dean down into a pile of goo.
“I may not live to be as old as Skeletor back there, but there ain’t no way in hell I’m ever gonna look like that guy … this face is too pretty for such a travesty like that to happen.” Dean grinned back at Sam with earnest sincerity that spoke of a promise to himself and Sam that he wouldn’t break for anything.
Sure … Dean wasn’t one to give up – to accept defeat and throw in the towel … No siree, Bob. But this one time -- and this one time only -- he was gonna be a quitting quitter who quits and he felt pretty damned good about it.