"Mind if I sit here?" A male voice startled fourteen year old Sam Winchester from the book he was reading. The teenager had been sitting at the counter in a small but busy coffee shop waiting for his brother Dean to pick him up.
As usual, his older sibling was late.
"Uh-" Sam glanced around and not seeing Dean, shrugged. "Sure," and then returned his attention to the book. A half filled cup of coffee sat on the counter in front of him – normally he would have ordered a soft drink as his father did not like him drinking coffee, but since it was his brother picking him up, he figured he was safe indulging in his secret passion.
Dean wouldn't tell on him. It was a brother thing.
The man ordered his own coffee and didn't say anything for a few minutes but the hunter-in-training felt his gaze. Lifting his head slightly, he saw the stranger was watching him and the man gave him a friendly smile when he caught Sam's eye.
"Well howdy," the guy greeted and stuck out his hand. "I'm Arthur."
Sam hesitated briefly, his ingrained 'don't talk to strangers' upbringing momentarily blindsided by this fellow's blatant friendliness. He took a minute to assess the man before accepting his hand, grimacing slightly at the stranger's sweaty palm. The boy gave a small smile in return but didn't offer his name.
The guy looked old enough to be the Sam's father. Frumpy looking, complete with a wrinkled suit that screamed door-to-door salesman and a shiny bald spot on the top of his head, Arthur was the epitome of boring.
"I'm sorry," Arthur smiled and Sam noticed he had very thin lips, "I didn't get your name."
Without batting an eye Sam offered, "Dean."
"Dean-" the man nodded, almost dizzying the teen with his now too wide smile. "I like it. It's a nice name."
Sam gave him a weak smile and then looked back down at his book.
"So Dean, you from around here?" Arthur asked, taking a sip from his coffee.
The boy shifted on the stool, not wanting to talk to this guy any further but being too polite to say so or to just up and leave. Sam tried to pretend he didn't hear him.
Arthur just spoke louder. "Sooo Dean. You from around here?"
"No," Sam didn't lift his head. He hoped the guy would take the hint even as he mentally grumbled at his brother to hurry up already.
"Me neither," the man continued and Sam sat back in exasperation. Did this guy never shut up?
"I used to be married, you know, until my wife took off with a vacuum cleaner salesman," the man prattled determined to keep up this conversation with the teen. "Can you imagine? A vacuum cleaner salesman? What? An encyclopedia salesman wasn't man enough for her?"
Sam looked at Arthur in disbelief the question rolling off his tongue before he even realized what he was doing. "You sell encyclopedias?"
The man almost swallowed his whole head with a grin and Sam knew he had just made a big mistake. He had shown interest… there would be no stopping Arthur now.
Eighteen year old Dean Winchester was in a pissy mood. Not bad enough that he had found a grey hair this morning but just now, on his way to pick Sam up, his beloved Impala had gotten a flat.
So running over twenty minutes late, Dean had finally arrived at the coffee shop to pick up his brother. He was hot, sweaty and cranky but at least his car was happily rolling again on a full-sized spare. The thing had been a bitch to get out of the trunk though…
He spotted the dark head of his kid brother right away. Sam was sitting on a stool at the end of the counter and he started over, frowning slightly when he noticed that the kid was not alone, and whoever that guy was, he was certainly animated that was for sure.
Really in no particular hurry now that he was here, and feeling in a mood to torment, Dean took a seat in a chair behind the two, his back to Sam and listened. His curiosity was piqued – what in the world could the guy be talking to his brother about?
And then when he heard, he choked down a strangled laugh and hunched his shoulders. 'Oh this should be good', he thought and leaned back just enough to listen.
"Encyclopedia's are very interesting actually," Arthur continued. "Most people now a days don't consider their value, being much more interested in having the internet do all the research for them. But tell me, honestly, is there nothing like the smell of a piece of paper? Or the feel of knowledge at your fingertips just waiting for you to caress its secrets – to gently arouse a primal response?" He reached over and touched Sam's hand as he lowered his voice and leaned over towards him. "You know what I'm talking about don't you, Dean?"
Sam swallowed uncomfortably and moved his hand slightly. This guy was starting to creep him out. Where was his brother?
Arthur stared intently at the teen and the young hunter realized he was waiting for an answer so he took a tentative sip of the coffee and then managed. "I guess."
"I knew it!" the man gloated as he sat back triumphantly. "I knew it. I took one look at you sitting here all by yourself and knew you'd know exactly what I was talking about."
'Okay.' Sam thought, 'this guy is officially on my 'weird people I have met' list. Anytime now Dean…!''
Behind them, Dean was doubled over trying not to burst out laughing. His brother sure knew how to pick them – an encyclopedia salesman?
'Serves the little twerp right,' he grinned. 'For impersonating the Dean!'
He leaned back again to continue listening.
"So tell me," Arthur asked, lowering his voice and leaning in towards Sam. He glanced around to make sure no one was listening. "How long have you been doing this?"
The teen pulled back and wrinkled up his noise – this guy could definitely use a breath mint, "Doing what?"
"Ahhh," the man grinned, "I get it." He sat back and nodded, obviously very pleased with himself. "No problem. We're not doing anything- " he leaned back and said loudly. "Nope. Definitely nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zilch. Just two guys here, having a manly guy conversation. So… what about those Lakers?"
Sam shifted uncomfortably and reached for his book. Screw this. He'd wait outside for Dean. But the man grabbed his arm, stopping him. He whispered loudly. "So where do you want to do this?" His beady little eyes gleamed, making the young Winchester's skin crawl.
C'mon Dean. Anytime man…
"In the alley? A park? My car?" When Sam looked at him like he had three heads, Arthur frowned as if making a sudden realization. "Or wait… a motel? Ah man, are you one of those boys who needs an actual bed? Shit. That always costs more."
Sam's eyes widened as slowly comprehension hit him like a knife through the stomach. He gasped. "Wait – no -" he shook his head, shock warring with denial. "I'm not like that, I'm not -"
"Oh thank God," the man sounded very relieved. "Cause I only got a fifty."
Dean almost hyperventilated trying to keep from bursting out laughing. The slimeball actually thought that Sam was a child prostitute!
It was hilarious. And the best part was that Sam, sweet, lovable, naive Sammy was only making the connection now.
Now that it had been spelled out in black and white for him…
God, he loved that kid.
The hunter's quick mind was already overdosing on the months of tormenting his sibling this would give him.
"I don't want your money!" Sam sputtered; the horror of what the man was thinking truly setting in.
"Oh good!" Arthur was truly overjoyed. "A freebie!"
All the blood drained from the teen's face as he slowly moved to stand up. "No," he denied. "No-"
"Wait a sec," now the salesman sounded annoyed. He stood too and reached out to grab Sam's arm. "Are you welching on me, boy? We had a deal. Now c'mon, let's go somewhere- " he glanced around a bit nervously. "Before we draw some unwanted attention."
Sam's eyes widened as he tried to pull his arm away. He continued to shake his head. "No!" he repeated, his voice shaking slightly, but Arthur just tightened his grip…
'Okay,' Dean decided as he heard the change in Sam's voice, 'fun time's over.' He only wanted to torment the kid, not have him traumatized… and then he heard his brother's terror filled next words and he was spinning out of his seat and on his feet in an instant.
"Let go of me!"
Moving quickly Dean grabbed Arthur's wrist and twisted it, forcing the man to let go of Sam. He felt a stab of guilt at his brother's relieved look – he hadn't meant for it to go this far.
"Get away from him." The hunter growled, protectively placing himself between Sam and his aggressor as the shorter man gasped and held his arm against his chest.
"That hurt!" Arthur whined.
"Good," Dean felt no remorse. "Be glad I didn't break it."
The encyclopedia salesman's eyes narrowed as they shifted from Dean to Sam and then back to Dean again. "Who the hell are you? His pimp?"
Dean snorted. "No."
"Oooh I get it," the other man retorted snidely, "you're his sugar daddy."
Sam was mortified. "Sugar daddy?" he somehow managed to squeak out, reminding his brother of just how naive the kid could be. Though Dean knew that was largely his and his father's fault as they kept Sam protected and sheltered… Apparently too sheltered though, it would seem.
"Never mind, Sam," Dean's tone was dismissive. He really did not want to go into this in a bustling restaurant. He'd explain… never.
"Sam?" Arthur fixed the younger Winchester with a nasty look. "You said your name was 'Dean'." He actually pouted. You lied."
"And you're a pervert," Dean snapped, his irritation heated by the lack of remorse this pig displayed at being caught. "My brother is only fourteen. That not only makes him way underage but that makes you a scumbag and someone I really don't have any time for." He turned to Sam. "C'mon, we're out of here."
"Hey. Wait," It would seem Mr. Encyclopedia Salesman was as stupid as he looked. "We had a deal. Him and me."
Dean tensed and slowly turned around to face the other man. His jaw tightened and he slowly flexed his shoulders and rolled his neck. His voice was low and deadly. "I am going to pretend I didn't hear that…"
"It's not fair," the pervert insisted, making the mistake of taking a step towards Sam. Dean's rapidly flying fist hit him dead center in the face, knocking him back against the counter. Around them everyone stopped to see what the commotion was about.
The incensed hunter leaned down low to the other man and growled. "I will pretend I never heard that." His glare intensified. "And if I ever see you anywhere around my brother again… they will never find your body." He paused to make sure his words were sinking in. "You got that?"
Licking his lips nervously, Arthur quickly nodded his head. "Uh huh. I got it." He risked a look at Sam. "Sorry."
Sam's face turned crimson, he nodded curtly, turned and practically ran out of the coffee shop, his book forgotten.
Dean straightened up, grabbed the book from the counter, finished Sam's now cold coffee in one swallow and then followed after his brother's retreating form.
He found Sam waiting for him at the car and slid the novel across the roof of the car towards the younger kid. Sam glanced up and caught it, his young face still flushed and Dean sighed.
"Sorry, Sammy," he said. "It wasn't supposed to be a big deal. I didn't think the creep was that – ah – creepy."
Sam stared at him for a moment and then snorted and closed his eyes briefly. He opened them up and scowled. "Can we just go home now, Dean? Please?"
"Sure, kiddo," the hunter unlocked the car doors and they got in. He started the engine and waited for Sam to put his seatbelt on. Sighing in resignation and trying to placate his twinge of guilt over what happened, Dean opened his mouth to say something else but Sam cut him off.
"Geez," the kid huffed. "Fifty bucks? The guy thought I'd sleep with him for a lousy fifty bucks?" Dean was surprised. "God, what turnip truck did he fall off?" :o
The older man just stared in complete surprise at his brother. Just maybe he wasn't as naive and sheltered as he thought…
His surprised morphed into laughter as Sam finished. "Fifty bucks would have only bought my name!"