Author: vegakrist PM
Some things are awesome. Beaches are one of these things. *-Wellspring 'verse-*Rated: Fiction T - English - Family - Alec & Dean W. - Words: 2,338 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 57 - Follows: 5 - Published: 07-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5182743
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
THE ATLANTIC Ocean is really, really big. Alec takes it in with open-mouthed awe as Dean pulls approximately eight dingy motel towels out of the trunk. Alec sniffs the air. The air smells like salt.
"It smells like salt," Alec informs Sam.
Sam smiles and pats him on the head. "That's because-"
"I know why," Alec interrupts him. "I know why it smells like salt, Sam. I've just never smelled it before, is all." And he looks out at the white sand and the blue water and then back up at Sam, who's got his "my-name-is-Sam-and-I'm-a-sentimental-little-girl" face on. Alec takes a fistful of the man's shirt in hand, tugs on it, asks, "Have you ever smelled it before?"
"A few times," Sam admits. "It's better today, though."
Alec doesn't ask him why. Dean shoves a pair of cheap swim trunks into his hand, though, and does the same to Ben before herding them into the back seat with orders to change.
"It smells like salt," Ben says, trying to pull his Batman underpants off as discreetly as possible.
"It does," Alec agrees.
They pull on their trunks before getting out of the car and running onto the sand, where tiny sneakers are kicked off. The regret is instant. The sand is hot. Dean throws down a couple of towels, smirks as they jump on and dance around.
"That'll teach you to be overeager."
"Shut up," Alec tells him.
Sam is wearing shorts. Dean is not. Alec thinks about asking why when Dean falls onto another towel, manhandles Alec down to sit between his legs.
"We're pale and we have freckles. It doesn't mean we're any less handsome, but it does mean we burn."
Dean is quick and gentle and the lotion is cool against Alec's shoulders and back and chest and belly. And legs. And cheeks. And forehead. And-
"Are we done yet?"
"Mmm." Dean taps him on the nose with a lotion-smeared finger, kisses the side of his head.
"You're a girl."
"You're a Sam."
Sam protests beside them where he's going through the same suntan lotion process with Ben, but Alec doesn't hear him. Alec doesn't hear him because he just trumped Dean in an argument and he's so proud, he's gone temporarily deaf.
Alec gets to his feet, but Dean snatches a hand out and grabs him by the ankle, tells him to wait for his brother.
"But Ben's too slow."
"It's Sam who's slow. Don't blame Ben."
Sam's looking ready to beat the both of them, but it's Ben who says, "We're not slow. You just lack the appropriate amount of precaution." Sam's face smoothes over, and he smiles and finishes his ministrations, pushes Ben up with his gigantic hands.
Dean tells them not to go any further than waist deep into the water. Sam launches into a lecture about something called "stranger danger," but Dean slaps one hand over his little brother's mouth and waves the other, tells them to stay in sight and have fun. It's not every day clones get to see a beach, after all.
They head straight for the water, the hot sand prodding their little feet forward and Alec stays shoulder to shoulder with his twin, doesn't stray, matches him step for step because this is new and amazing and he doesn't want to experience it alone. They make it to the wet sand, successfully evading sharp, broken shells and the water crests over their feet, cooling and beautiful, and they sigh.
Ben kind of ruins it for a moment, when they're wadding carefully into the water. He says, "That poltergeist last night was really scary."
And Alec says, "Was not" even though his arms break out in goosebumps at the memory.
"Yes it was, Alec. The walls bled. Walls aren't supposed to bleed."
Ben huffs like Sam huffs and Alec wonders briefly if one day, he too will huff in such a way. The water is clear and he can see tiny fish swimming around his legs. He kicks out a foot, watches as the water splashes his twin's stomach.
Ben doesn't retaliate. He tells Alec, "I like this water better."
Alec knows what Ben's talking about. And he doesn't want to talk about it. "Everything is better as long as we're not there." And Ben opens his mouth to continue the conversation, but Alec spots something in the distance, a lone round boy on wet sand and he's making some sort of structure with the sand. "Let's go see what that kid's doing."
"Stranger danger," Ben protests, but Alec's got him by the arm and he's dragging him off towards the kid. There are a few people on the beach. Men and women and a few kids younger than Ben and Alec, but this kid...this kid is just about the same age. And he has a startlingly interesting physique.
The kid looks up with fear in his eyes, hides a plastic pail behind his broad back.
"W-what do y-you want?"
Ben cocks his head to the side, interest obviously peaked by this odd specimen of child. Alec smirks, because everything about this kid screams awesome.
"We wanted to know what you're makin'."
The kid looks dubiously at his creation, which consists of a few pathetic mounds of sand. Alec kind of wants to squish his toes in it, but he's not sure if that's what it's meant for, so he doesn't.
"Sandcastle." The boy's voice is quiet and timid, and tinged with disappointment. "S'not very good, I know. You don't have to tell me."
Alec opens his mouth, but Ben cuts him off. "We weren't gonna tell you that. Doesn't look much like a castle, though...M'Ben, by the way. This is Alec."
"You're identical," the boy informs them.
Alec nods. "We're well aware."
"My name's Howie."
Alec wants to laugh at the name. He really does. But Ben steps on his foot, so he doesn't.
"Can we help you make the castle?" Ben wants to know and Howie looks up and blinks at them, mouth falling open in rotund surprise. Alec has the urge to tell the kid how beautiful and sphere-like Alec finds him, but he has the feeling that would have an adverse effect. So he doesn't.
"You really want to?" Howie's voice is overcome with amazement.
Alec kind of wants to hug him, but he doesn't. Instead, he says, "Yeah, we do. Sandcastles rock harder than Jimmy Page."
Both Howie and Ben look confused by that, but Alec is pretty sure Dean would approve of such a sentiment. He falls onto his knees next to Howie. Ben does the same.
They make a sandcastle.
"HOW COME you're not wearing shorts?" Sam's teasing. Dean's not in the mood. He's busy trying to watch Alec and Ben with a pair of plastic toy binoculars. "And where'd you get those, anyway?"
"They were in the backseat. Alec must've lifted 'em."
"You say that like it doesn't matter."
"It doesn't. Not in the grand scheme of things. Lookit-" Dean passes the binoculars over to his brother. Sam frowns. "They're playin' with a fat kid."
Sam takes a gander into the distance. "You shouldn't be enabling Alec's unlawful habits, Dean. And don't say 'fat kid' like that's what makes it significant. They're making a friend."
"An acquaintance," Dean corrects him. "They won't be seein' him again after today."
It's a sad truth that Dean's been spitting out since Sam was all of five years old. Enjoy the other kids while they last. Don't get too attached. Pretty soon we'll be movin' on...
He thought maybe someday it would end. It hasn't. Pretty soon they'll be moving on. This is just a day's vacation, a moment of normalcy after a chaotic night.
"Last night was too scary for them," Sam says.
"Hence the beach."
"The walls bled, Dean."
Dean shrugs. The walls did bleed. They bled and they moaned and Ben got scared and backed into Dean, pulled Dean's arms down and manually wrapped them around himself. And Dean held him for about two seconds before letting go. He needed his hands free.
He wanted to hang on to the kid.
He says, "Sometimes walls bleed."
Normally Sam would snap that no, walls most certainly do not bleed, but this time he doesn't. This time, he's more intuitive than Dean likes and closes the subject, asks, "Why aren't you wearing shorts, Dean?"
"Because I don't do shorts."
"Why don't you do shorts?"
Dean responds with a handful of sand to Sam's face. "Gimme the binoculars."
Dean snatches the objects out of his brother's hand, lifts them to his eyes. "They're makin' a sandcastle. It looks awesome."
"I wanna buy their new friend a cupcake."
"You see? You're an enabler."
"He's not obese, Sammy. He's just adorably round. A cupcake is just what he needs." Dean maintains this defense even though he's pretty sure that Sam's right. Dean is an enabler. Alec's always stealing, and Ben's always clinging, and the last thing this kid in the distance needs is a cupcake. And still, Dean gives. Dean's always been giving. Dean's been giving since the day Mom got jerked to the ceiling and set afire. He says, "I don't like that you're implying their new friend shouldn't have a cupcake. He's just a kid. He should enjoy life. Cupcakes are an enjoyable part of life. Therefore, he should have cupcakes."
"Acquaintance. And you're the one who called him fat."
Dean hums. "Did I? I meant majestic. Just like you were."
"I was never-"
"You were chubby and majestic and I stole cupcakes for you all the time."
"I was not-"
Sam is interrupted when a giggling kid dives into his arms.
"What's so funny, Alec?"
"People who sleep too soundly."
"Yeah?" Dean asks. "What's so funny about them? I mean, unless you have some shaving cream...or a razor blade..." he trails off. Alec with shaving cream and a razor blade could end really badly. "You don't...do you?"
"No. I buried a guy in the sand, though."
Sam says, "I thought you were making a sandcastle. We saw you making a sandcastle."
"I did. Sometimes. I went between the sandcastle and the guy. He's buried pretty deep. You wanna see?"
"Can he breathe?"
"'Course he can breathe." Alec scowls. Dean laughs. "Do I look like a homicidal suffocatin' maniac to you?"
Sam snorts, aims an appraising look at the kid. "Maybe. It's possible. You could be."
Dean watches as his clone expertly pins his brother to the ground. Sam chuckles while Alec mutters dark threats that sound suspiciously like, "I'm gonna suffocate you" before brightening and asking, "Can I bury you in the sand, Sammy?"
Sam works a shoulder free, flips the kid so Alec's sitting back on his lap instead of his stomach. "Maybe later."
"Why not now?"
"Dean n' I want to see your sandcastle. Can we see your sandcastle?"
Alec beams, wrenches himself out of Sam's arms. He climbs to his feet and holds out two little hands. "You'll be impressed. It's structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing."
Sam and Dean get up and take the hands. Alec shakes them loose after a few seconds, saying it's totally not cool to hold hands with two guys on the beach, and he walks without contact for only a few more moments before leaping onto Dean's back.
"Piggy back rides are okay," he explains when Sam looks at him. "Piggy back rides are from the gods."
"Does this make me a god?" Dean asks.
"Maybe. I was created in your image, wasn't I? That was science, though. I don't believe in all that biblical shit."
"That's fine. Just don't tell your brother."
"Ben wouldn't care. He's not for all that biblical shit, either. He just uses it as a platform for his inspiration."
The conversation is too heavy for a day like today. Dean tickles the pads of Alec's feet. The boy giggles and tells him to stop.
"I like it here," Alec says, his breath tickling Dean's ear. "I like the beach."
Dean's glad. His kid's on his back and his brother's by his side and the ocean is pretty and calm and non-threatening. There aren't any walls. Nothing's bleeding.
"We made a castle out of sand!" Ben chirps when they approach, his eyes bright and green in the sun. His friend nods in agreement, round and pleased, and Ben smiles a toothy smile. His smile is scintillating.
Alec climbs down from Dean's back and points at the sandcastle. It's beautiful and Sam and Dean tell them so over and over again, point out minute details that are amazing and exaggerate their beauty until all three boys glow with distinct pride.
Dean wants to let Alec go on a shoplifting spree. He wants to cuddle Ben until the day he drops dead from too much cuddling. He wants to give the fat kid a cupcake. Enabling be damned.
Dean wants every day to be a day of water and sandcastles and no bleeding walls.