Title: We've Got Each Other
Challenge: Chart challenge, writer's choice
Characters: Dean, John, Sam (gen)
Word Count: 1078
Feedback: - constructive criticism welcome
Disclaimer: None of the Winchesters belong to me, alas.
Summary: Dean buys his first cassette tape
Note: I have very fond memories of buying my first two (vinyl) albums with my own money. I can't remember which was first, but they were Stray Cats Built for Speed (with "Stray Cat Strut") and Culture Club Colour by Numbers (with "Karma Kameleon"). I was about 8. I looked at the Billboard charts for 1986-87 and decided what wee!Dean might have been into. LOL Dean's choice here was not at all a favorite of mine, but I do remember it well from middle school. Anyway, this is total goofy fluff. Please forgive me.
We've Got Each Other
In the summer of '86, Dad had landed a hunting job that actually paid for once, a real peach. One of his contacts referred him to this rich old lady who was willing to pay good money to have the ghosts of her dead in-laws removed from her big, fancy house. She even gave them a place to stay, in a guest house on her property that was only 15 years old and not haunted, not even a little.
She was a nice old lady, really. She even sent her gardener over to hang out with Dean and Sammy while Dad took care of the ghosts, and he was 19 and really fun. When the job was done without a lot of furniture getting busted up or anything, she was so happy that she gave Dad a bonus and handed each of the boys crisp, new $10 bills.
Dean wasn't sure if he should take it, but Dad nodded at him, so he gave the lady his best smile and said, "Thank you, ma'am."
As they got into the car and drove away, Dad was in a great mood. Dean knew what he wanted to spend his $10 on, but he had to get Dad to take him somewhere he could buy it.
"Hey, Dad? Are we going to the store soon?"
"Hmm? The grocery store?"
"No. Like, a different kind of store. Or the mall."
"The mall?" Dad glanced over at Dean, smiling a little and shaking his head. "You've had that $10 for fifteen minutes, and it's already burning a hole in your pocket?"
"Well, I just…I know what I want."
"Okay, it's good to know what you want. What sort of store do we need to look for?"
"One that sells, uh, music and stuff. Tapes."
"Okay. Okay, well, I think there's a Kmart down the highway a little, and I need to get some new shoes for Sammy. How's that?"
"Thanks, Dad!" Dean bounced a little in his seat, excited. He'd never had his own cassette tape before. He liked most of Dad's music, but he'd heard something on the radio a few weeks ago, something new, and he wanted to hear it again. He hoped Dad would let him play it in the car.
"It's not some of that rap music, is it?"
"Okay, then. Sammy, what do you want to spend your $10 on?"
Dan laughed. "That's an awful lot of candy, son."
"Candy! Candy! Candy! Candy!"
"How about some candy and a toy?"
"Okay, I think we can do that."
Dean couldn't wait until they got there and he could make his purchase. Buying his own music with his own money…awesome. Finally, they got to the Kmart, and it seemed like it took Dad forever to park the car and get Sammy out of the back seat, and then Dean had to hold Sammy's hand as they walked through the parking lot.
As soon as they got in the store, Dean looked up and saw the sign pointing to Music & Electronics. Still holding Sammy's hand, he took off running for the back of the store, all but dragging his brother along behind him.
"Dean! Slow down!" Dad called out from behind him.
Dean slowed his run to a fast walk, and then he was there, in front of the racks of cassette tapes in their clear plastic wrapping and white plastic holders. Which direction did he need to go in? He looked at the closest tapes and saw "Go-Go's." Ignoring Sammy's whining protest, he took off down the aisle until he reached the B's. Bananarama--yuck. Bangles--ewwww. Oh! Here it is!
Dean grabbed the Slippery When Wet cassette from the shelf and examined the cover. Like spray paint…cool. Dean felt somebody standing behind him and looked up to see Dad looking at his selection.
"That's what you want to spend $10 on?"
Dean looked up and nodded, hoping that Dad wouldn't say no. "Yes sir. I heard two of the songs on the radio, and they're really cool!"
"Okay, well, I guess we'll find out. Let's go get Sammy his candy and LEGOs."
Dad was really in a good mood that day. He let Sammy get a big LEGO farm yard set that totally cost more than $10, and he even let Dean pick out a little Lego space set that wasn't a baby toy at all. Both of them got new sneakers, and Dad got a new pair of jeans to replace the ones that got clawed by the werewolf.
As they walked out into the parking lot, Dad held Sammy's hand, and Dean busily unwrapped his new cassette tape, keeping one eye on the packaging and the other on the ground in front of him. When they got in the car, Dean couldn't keep from bouncing in his seat in nervous anticipation. He wanted to take out Dad's Zeppelin tape and put his new one in, but he knew he should wait for Dad to say yes.
As soon as Dad put Sammy in the back and then got into the driver's seat, he looked over and nodded at Dean. "Go ahead and put it in if you want."
Dean ejected the Zeppelin tape and carefully put it away in the box at his feet. He took his new tape out of its case and pressed it into the slot. Synthesizers! Drums! Maaaaan, so cool. He heard Dad groan and looked over to see if he had to take the tape out, but Dad was still smiling indulgently as he pulled out onto the road.
The next day, two states away, as they listened to the tape for the sixth time, even Sammy was singing along in his baby voice.
"We've got to hold on to what we've got
'Cause it doesn't make a difference
If we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot
For love - we'll give it a shot"
Twenty years later, as Sam sat in the passenger seat rifling through Dean's box of cassette tapes, he stopped to chuckle over the old Bon Jovi tape again. "Dean, man, you had some shitty taste in music."
"Shut up. At least I didn't like Barney."
"Hey, that's not fair!"
Dean reached over and snatched the old tape out of Sam's hand, popped it into the stereo. Strictly for old time's sake.