Disclaimer: As per usual, I own nothing Supernatural.
Author's Note: What's to say, really? It amused me. Let me know what you think.
"Hi, what's your name?" he kneels down and asks the little girl before him.
"Donna, that's a pretty name." He smiles, small and charming. She lets loose with a grin of her own, all teeth and joy.
The bed squeaks when he sits, not just the box springs, but the frame itself. What a dive. He perches on the corner and looks up at his younger brother, scrunched face and sticky fingers. "Come on," he says and bites back on a laugh. He gestures to the floor in front of him. "Have a seat."
Sam crosses the room in no more than three strides and sits down on the stained shag carpet. His face is still contorted in that way that makes him look as though he's about five seconds from tears. Dean looks down into his brother's dark mop, at the spot where long fingers continue to pull and prod, kneading the dull pink substance even further into his hair.
"Is that your mom over there, Donna?"
She looks back behind her, feathery blond hair flying over her shoulder as her head twists quickly before coming back to him. An emphatic nod.
"And who's that with her?" he asks, pointing to the stroller at the woman's side.
"My brother. His name is Mikey."
"Knock it off," he says, batting Sam's sticky fingers away. "You're only making it worse."
He stops, lets his hands fall to his lap where he can stare at them hopelessly. "Just get it out," he says meekly. And Dean starts picking.
But it's no use. Sam's once beautiful hair has devolved into a mass of goo.
"You got a comb or something?"
"Yeah." He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a little blue comb. He hands it to Dean and thinks back to the time, only hours ago, when he could run its strong sharp teeth through his wavy locks, gliding softly through, correcting every tangle, guiding down every wayward hair. "Here," he says with a sigh, already fearing those days are long since gone.
Dean grabs the comb, positions it directly above the sticky mass and attempts to pull it through. Just like old times, he thinks, remembering when they were young and it somehow became his duty to free his brother's head of knots, comb and pick and pull and struggle with a whiny crying baby of a boy between his legs.
"Ow!" he shouts out, his hand flying to his head.
Dean knocks it away with a smirk on his face as he continues to tug away. Some things never change.
Then again, some things must.
"You like your brother?" he asks, leaning back on his heels. She simply shrugs her shoulders. "Yeah, I know how you feel."
"Sometimes he makes me mad," she says, thrusting her fists to her hips.
He smiles crookedly and winks. "I definitely know how that feels."
"Who would do this?" he asks to no one in particular. His voice is wavering, just at the brink of either tears or shouts, though he knows not which. "I mean, really. Who would even do something like this?"
Dean shakes his head. He is nearing the point of concession. "Well, Sammy," he says, letting the comb drop to the bed, "I guess that's just what you get for hanging around kids."
Sam whips around and looks at his brother with a gleam of utter anger in his eyes. "Whoever did this," he starts through clenched teeth. "Whoever did this, was no kid. This is…evil." He turns back around and begins picking at his sticky fingers.
Dean's eyes go wide in mock trepidation and he drawls out, "Okay," before leaning back on the squeaky bed and saying, "Evil or not, I don't think it's coming out."
And with that, the first tear is blinked out and rolls freely down Sam's cheek.
"You see that guy over there, in the booth?"
Donna nods quickly, her eyes jumping back and forth between the man talking to her and the one sitting by the window reading the paper. "Yeah."
"That's my brother. And I totally know what you mean. Sometimes he makes me mad too. Really mad."
"One time Mikey spit up on me," she says in a conspiratorial fashion.
And this time he nods. "Yeah, I've been there too," he says, flashes of times long since past going off behind his eyes. He looks at her seriously. "It'll only get worse."
"It can't…you have to…Dean," he sputters, staring up at his brother, from his knees on the filthy motel carpet, "Please. You have to fix this. You have to fix me."
"Sorry, Champ," he says as he rises from the bed, swings his leg over Sam's hunched form and heads for the bathroom. "There's only one thing I can do. Only one way I can fix all this."
Sam wipes away a few stray tears with the back of his hand and straightens up. "Anything," he says pleadingly. He waits, still hunkered down by the corner of the bed. He waits and listens as Dean rustles around in a bag, dropping things onto the counter, letting them clatter to the sink. He rummages for what seems like an eternity before emerging from the bathroom, something in tow, hidden behind his back.
"Don't worry, Sammy," he says, his voice thick with faux sincerity. But Sam is too lost in his despair to notice. "Everything will be all right."
And Sam, knowing his brother like he does, knowing that he may be the only person on the planet who would gladly give his life for him, do anything for him, believes his words.
"When you get a little older, your mom'll make you do all kinds of things for him. Watch him, babysit. You'll probably have to make his lunches and walk with him to school. He'll always want to tag along with you and your friends. And he will always embarrass you around them."
She looks at him seriously, sternly, her smile nothing more than a memory. She is entranced by his story, his claim of what her life will become.
"You'll teach him how to ride a bike, and when he falls and scrapes his knee, he'll run to your dad and cry, say it was your fault because you let go too soon. Well, you know what, Donna, you're supposed to let go. That's how he'll learn."
She nods slowly, taking it all in. Yes, you're right, she thinks, that's the only way he'll learn
"And when you have to feed him, give him dinner, he'll never want what you make. Nooo, he'll ask for… no, demand, something like Lucky Charms. And you'll give it to him, because you're a good person, you know? Even though you really wanted the Lucky Charms, but will you even get a bowl?"
He stops, waits for her response. Cautiously, she shakes her head.
"No, no you won't. Because you're willing to sacrifice. Even if it means no cereal for you and a sugar high for him and a stern talking to from your dad when he finds out that Sammy's still up after midnight, bouncing off the walls."
"Mikey," she corrects.
"Right," he nods. "Mikey."
He sits back down on the bed and twirls his finger at Sam, directing him to turn around. He does so, turns and faces the door, tries to concentrate on the molding surrounding it, counting the smudges and scratches on the once white wood. The springs sound and the bed creaks as Dean leans over toward the bedside table.
Without Sam noticing, he unplugs the clock radio and fills the outlet's void with something else.
"Hey, Sammy, remember when I put that Nair in your shampoo?"
"What?" he asks through a slight sniffle. "Yeah, kind of hard to forget."
"Yeah, and you lost a lot of hair. Remember it went all patchy and shit?"
"Yeah, I guess, but, Dean, what are you…" He tries to turn around but his brother's hand falls to his crown and holds his head in place.
"And Dad said it couldn't stay like that. Something had to be done," he pauses, clearly reminiscing. "You started screaming and crying like a baby."
"And he made me hold you down, and you totally kneed me in balls," he stops and snorts out a laugh. "Dude, that sucked." The mattress squeaks again as he adjusts his posture and takes a firm hold of the clump on Sam's head. "Anyway, he was right, couldn't just leave it like that."
And without another word, the button is pushed, a soft buzzzz humming from the device in Dean's hand. Sam tries to pull away but his brother's grip is fierce. He manages to twist his way out, spring up and to his feet. But as he glances down his greatest fears are realized. He is too late. There, in Dean's hand, lies a huge swatch of dark hair.
"Let me ask you something Donna," he says, adjusting his awkward stance. "Do you have a…prized possession?" She looks at him oddly, her big round eyes confounded. "Is there something of yours that you really love, I mean more than anything?"
Her face splits into that wide grin again as she says excitedly, "My bear, Leroy."
"And do you ever let Mikey play with Leroy?"
"Mommy says I have to share," she grumbles, her smile fading to a scowl.
"I know," he says nodding. "It sucks, always having to share. It's stupid."
He looks at her again, something different in his eyes, in his demeanor. He's hiding something, or trying to keep it under wraps, in control. Anger. "What would you do if Mikey ever hurt Leroy, you know, ripped him or something?"
And then her eyes take on a cloudiness similar to his. They quickly move from astonishment to fear to down right rage. "I'd hit him in the face."
"What…Dean, what…" He is truly at a loss for words. Looking down at his beautiful hair, his crowning glory, his – what had Jess called it? – his security blanket, lying there, limp. Lifeless. Gummy. In Dean's hand.
The electric razor continues its hum, white noise filling up the spaces where words should be. "I told you, it wasn't gonna come out," he says, his face aimed at the floor.
"So you decided to shave my head!" Though he's found his voice, he still seems unable to move, his weight shifting from one foot to the other. In his mind he can see himself flying at Dean, leaping onto him and pinning him to the bed, driving his knees into his brother's ribs. His fists will pummel that smug face until they go numb.
But his body won't take the action his brain so desperately signals him to. So instead he stands. In silence, but for the buzzzzzing. And he stares at his fallen hair.
Finally, Dean looks up at him and says, as he switches off the razor, "It had to be done, Sammy. No other choice. Not this time. It was too deep in there." He pauses and sighs melodramatically. "It had to be done."
Ever so slowly Sam manages to raise his hand to his now bare scalp, run his fingers along the barren trail etched along the ridge of his skull. If he moves his hand to either side he can still feel his hair, still run his fingers through the thick strands. On his forehead the waves sit comfortably, just like they always do, just like they always have.
How can it be over?
He drops his hand, fingertips still sticky from the mess, and strides over to the outlet beside the bed. He pulls the plug. "I can do it myself," he says, voice thick with false bravado, murky from unshed tears. He traces the way from the plug back to the razor, following the length of the cord, slowly gathering it in his hands as he goes. Dean lets go, lets his brother take the shaver, and then watches as he enters the bathroom, gingerly shutting the door behind him.
He gazes at the little girl in front of him, takes in her newly tense and angry form. He shouldn't take this out on her, she's completely innocent. It's Sam who has to pay. "Donna? Do you like gum?"
He pulls a pack from his pocket and looks at her expectantly. "I'm not supposed to take stuff from strangers," she says, staring at the pack hungrily.
"Well," he says, "I'm Dean." He extends his hand for her to shake and she accepts. "And you're Donna. So see, now we know each other. No strangers, right?"
"Okay, great." He pulls three big pieces of gum out and hands them to her, figuring that'd make about the biggest wad her little mouth could handle. "Now, I'm gonna give you this and you can chew on it for a little while. But then, I need you to do me a favor, okay?"
She nods but he doesn't see. He's too busy staring down the man by the window, the one reading his paper, lost in oblivion.
As soon as Dean hears the razor turn on again he rises and moves to the door, presses his ear up against it, and strains to make out the stifled sobs he can just sense are being emitted from his brother.
He sighs and shakes his head, almost guiltily. Almost. It's true, Sammy's hair was his prized possession. But it'll grow back. In time, it will grow back.
His car on the other hand, his beautiful, broken, totaled car. Totaled. By a semi. While he was driving. Totaled and gone. His baby.
Of course it wasn't Sam's fault, not entirely. It was that damned demon. Evil, evil, demon.
But Sam was driving.
If only he'd paid closer attention. If only he'd gone a little slower. Or maybe a little faster. If he'd looked both ways at that intersection. If he'd just tuned into that damn psychic "gift" of his long enough to see the destruction that was to come.
He rests his palm to his head and listens to the buzz through the door. Sure enough, sniffles and sobs sneak out as well.
No. No, it isn't Sam's fault that the Impala is gone. It was a terrible, horrible accident.
Much like getting gum stuck in your hair by the little girl sitting behind you at a diner.
A terrible, horrible accident.