Disclaimer: The only thing I own are the ridiculous situations in which I've placed these boys.
A/N: Not sure that this will satisfy those of you wanting Dean to get a job, but I hope those of you looking for Dean to get back into the dating world (Mandy – I'm looking at you) will get some enjoyment out of this one….
Sam didn't really notice anything much at first.
Of course, he's been busy with work, trying to put the finishing touches on a presentation his team's been working on, leaving him little time to pay attention to what his brother's been up to. It's taken most of his concentration just to make it through the day – working until 2 AM most nights, coming home to fall into bed (after making sure Dean's basic needs have been taken care of), only to turn around and do it all over again four to five hours later.
And despite the long hours, tedious tasks, and a few of his more annoying coworkers, he really does enjoy his job.
Loves the mental challenge, loves the stability, loves not having to worry about whether or not he'll need stitches at the end of the day.
So it's not surprising that it takes him a little longer than usual to catch on to the fact that his big brother's up to something.
At first, he'd just thought that perhaps Dean was scamming credit cards again, even though they'd talked about it, both of them agreeing that with their new lives and their permanent address such a thing would be unwise at best, downright stupid at worst.
Not to mention the ensuing awkwardness should Dean get busted. Sam being in the legal profession and all.
But then he begins to take note of the things he's pretty sure are new to their little world. Like the upgraded electric can opener, the previous one having crapped out a couple of weeks ago and Sam not having had the chance to replace it yet. And is that the food processor Dean's mentioned a couple of times?
And that's when he notices the significant increase in his brother's phone activity.
He's pretty sure Laura hates the phone; has heard her say those exact words (plus a few additional colorful curses) in fact on several occasions. And there's no way he can see Kelli's parents letting their six-year old anywhere near a phone, especially given her motor mouth and her penchant for divulging rather sensitive information. And although Dean has been getting out of the apartment more, Sam doesn't think there are that many more people that his brother would actually want to talk to.
So he decides to take matters into his own hands.
Dean's out in the kitchen, trying his best to figure out how to put together the makings for chicken salad (the food processor opening up a world of chopping and mixing that had previously been out of his reach, so to speak, since his injuries), while Sam's reclined on the sofa in their living room reading through the notes of his current project, when he notices Dean's phone begin its incessant buzzing on the coffee table in front of him.
He glances around, craning his neck to catch a glimpse of Dean, still safely in the other room struggling with the jar of mayonnaise.
Fairly certain that his brother won't be winning that particular battle with a screw top lid any time soon, he picks up the phone, swiping across the screen in order to pick up the call, raising the phone to his ear in an attempt to gain some insight into his brother's secretive activities once and for all.
And then quickly regrets his decision.
"Finally," says the breathless female voice from the other end of the line after his tentative "Hello". "Thought you'd never pick up. I've been desperate to talk to you all day. I just can't stop thinking about what you said last night."
Sam's eyebrows creep towards each other as he tries to figure out who's on the other end of the line and what she could possibly be talking about, his jaw dropping and his eyes widening as she rehashes last night's conversation for him in vivid detail.
By the time she's stopped talking, Sam can practically feel the skin of his face beginning to peel off from the intense flush of his face. He doesn't think there's enough Lysol in the world to disinfect his brain from the mental images the woman has burned into his head.
"Hey Sam?" Dean calls out, mayo jar held between his thighs as he wheels himself back into the living room in order to ask for his brother's help with the stubborn lid that's doing little more than piss him off. "Dude…" he trails off, his initial smirk at the expression on Sam's face quickly changing to one of wide-eyed horror as he hears snippets of the conversation drifting out of the phone that Sam's now holding away from his ear, fingers holding the phone carefully by the edges as if just its touch is enough to make him dirty.
A sentiment echoed by the female voice that continues to drift into the living room, her words of "dirty, dirty, girl" heard equally by the brothers.
"Hello?" comes the disembodied voice, her previous seductive murmurings taking on a more confused tone after her last words failed to garner a response.
Dean lets out a strangled yelp, quickly wheeling himself over to Sam, snagging the phone awkwardly between his stumps as he utters a quick "Can't talk now. Gotta go. Later," before dropping the phone into his lap and jabbing at the display with the end of his right arm in order to end the call.
The brothers stare at each other in frozen silence for a beat of a few moments, each one trying to figure out what to say to the other, Sam finding his voice first.
"Phone sex, Dean? Really?"
The older Winchester shifts uncomfortably in his chair, his glance sliding anywhere but up to meet Sam's eyes.
"Dude," Sam says, his initial tone of disbelief taking on a gentler edge, his big puppy dog eyes softening as he tries to see things from his brother's point of view.
His brother who used to have what one might call a very active social life.
Who used to take delight in working his pent-up energy and frustrations out on the fairer sex.
Who is now confined to a wheelchair, stuck in a body that no longer holds the same power over the female species.
So he guesses it kind of makes sense that Dean would resort to something like this, even though he still can't quite wrap his head around it.
"I know it's been hard, man," Sam says, trying to dispel some of the awkwardness still hanging in the air. "But if you're ready to get back out there, I'm sure there are more than a few women who would be interested. You don't have to pay for phone sex."
Dean gives his brother one of his "what the hell are you talking about" looks before his expression slides from confusion to outrage.
"No way, dude. I'm not the one paying," he says with a vehement shake of his head. "They're paying me."
He's only been doing this for a few weeks; had stumbled into it completely by accident when he'd been visiting some of his less-than-reputable websites. But he's already got a couple of repeat customers. Happy repeat customers.
Because Dean's good.
He's always known his way around women, although in the past it's usually been his body and his cocky self-assurance that had been the big draw. But he'd been no slouch in the verbal aspects of his interactions either, more than a few of his endless stream of women telling him what his sexy voice and lurid suggestions did to them.
In fact, Dean's wondered on more than one occasion over the past few weeks why he didn't think of his years ago. It's certainly right up his alley; easier than hustling pool. And much less apt to end in an ass-kicking. Although one of his kinkier clients has asked if he does that as well. It's also kind of helping him think about getting back up on the proverbial horse without the fear of rejection.
And while his body is definitely not up to snuff, he still has his voice and his years of experience.
And even though this doesn't give him anywhere near the same satisfaction as his previous hands-on days, it at least offers him some semblance of being a normal guy.
Something he hasn't been since his run in with the Black Dog.
Not to mention the fact that he kind of likes the satisfaction of knowing that he can help Sam out a little bit, help lift the financial responsibilities just a tad from his overworked little brother. Because even though he knows Sam loves his job and continuously reassures him that they're fine, keeps telling Dean that his job is just to keep getting his life back together, he's still the big brother.
Sam's unusually quiet for the next few days, a sure sign to Dean that his brother's brain is working furiously.
He'd just been hoping it had been occupied with his case at work.
He was wrong.
Because Sam has been busy pulling together a plan that's been loosely floating around in his head since Kelli's party. Something that will get his brother out of the house and hopefully ensconced in some activities a little more socially acceptable than his current gig. Not that he quite thinks Dean's doing anything wrong. In fact, the more he thinks about it, the more Dean's foray into the world of Phone Sex Operator makes total sense.
But he still thinks his brother's selling himself short, has some significant contributions to make to society in general and one little corner of their world in particular, and so he goes about making the necessary phone calls, pulling a couple of strings at work to get the appropriate clearances, and pushing a couple of questionably authorized forms through the proper channels.
The day all of the pieces finally come together, Sam ambles into the living room, having just gotten off of the phone with Tammy, catching Dean as he's trying to get Kelli's socks onto his arms, a low growl of frustration emanating from his throat as the little fuckers outwit him yet again.
"Here," Sam says, holding out his hand in order to help Dean get the socks onto his stumps.
"I can do it," Dean mutters, his face locked in a fierce scowl as he continues to try to use the ends of his arms to tease apart the opening of the socks in order to work them into place.
Sam has no doubt his brother can do it. He's proven time and time again that he can relearn the things that had at first seemed so daunting. It's just a matter of when. And if it'll be while they're still young.
But instead of forcing the issue, Sam just plops himself down on the sofa, trying to discretely keep an eye on his brother's progress even as he thumbs through the pages of one of the books Dean's been reading to Kelli.
"So, Tammy mentioned that Kelli's class is looking for some helpers," Sam says, doing his best to sound nonchalant.
"Yeah?" Dean replies, his focus still on the limp pieces of cloth in his lap. "You thinking about volunteering?"
Sam barely contains the snort Dean's question triggers. Because there's no way in hell he has any desire to be that close to so many six-year olds. Especially ones that call him a smelly Sasquatch.
Sam shakes his head when Dean finally hazards a glance his way, shifting uncomfortably on the couch, all of the sudden having second thoughts about putting this together without Dean's input.
Dean spares him another glance before giving his brother an eyeroll. "Out with it Sam. I know there's something rattling around in that pea brain of yours. Spill it."
"So I was thinking," Sam begins, which triggers a groan from Dean who's all too well aware of his brother's predilection for putting his thoughts into action. And that action is usually about him. And it's usually an action he'd rather avoid.
Like the first time Sam had decided that Dean was ready to go with him to the grocery store. It had gone okay until Dean's wheelchair had accidentally clipped the display of Campbell's soup, sending errant cans cream of tomato tumbling to the floor in a cacophony of clatter. Needless to say, Dean's been avoiding that store since. And Sam still can't look at tomato soup without cringing.
But a lot of Dean's moaning and groaning is all for show. Because he knows Sam really does have his best interest at heart. Even if he is a little weasel about it sometimes.
And he has to admit that although the idea Sam's detailing does kind of strike fear into his heart, it's actually kind of intriguing.
Because Sam's arranged to have Mister Dean read to Kelli's morning Kindergarten class once a week, maybe more if the initial couple of times go well.
He'd initially spit-balled the idea with Tammy at Kelli's birthday party, speaking with a few of the other parents before they'd left, trying to gauge their interest and comfort level with his brother.
And when he'd followed up with Tammy a few weeks later, she'd let him know that the kids in Kelli's class hadn't stopped talking about the birthday party for days, practically driving their respective parents crazy with requests for more Reading Time with Mister Dean.
So it had seemed like something that would be a sure win-win, assuming Dean agrees.
And of course Dean caves, after the requisite grumbling and expressions of disgust and disbelief over Sam's underhanded behavior, finally offering his begrudging agreement to join the class as their designated reader this coming week.
Because he's Dean Winchester.
And that's just the kind of guy he is.
To Be Continued…
A/N 2: Please drop me a line and let me know if you're continuing to enjoy this series. Feedback craved and ideas for future stories welcomed!