Title: Imitation Ray-Bans, $10.99
Characters: Dean, Sam, John (gen)
Word Count: 905
Disclaimer: None of the Winchesters belong to me, alas.
Summary: John has a concussion, and Dean has to get him the right tools for the job.
Notes: This is for a prompt inniedarling gave me a few months ago. She gave me the words sunglasses and medicine and the boys' ages 7 and 11. Thank you to pheebs1 for the beta!
"Can I get some Rollos, too?"
Dean looked down at Sam who was already clutching a roll of Chewy Sprees and touching a pack of chocolate caramel candy with the tip of one finger. The kid had a thing these days for any kind of round candy that came rolled up in a tube of paper.
Dean shook his head. "Just one candy thing."
"Maybe Dad needs some Rollos?" Sammy's eyes pleaded, but Dean just shook his head again and looked down at the sunglasses in his hand. They looked adult-sized; Dean could only hope they would fit Dad.
Dean shook the bottle of aspirin in his other hand and glanced over his shoulder at the convenience store clerk. She'd been eyeing them up since they walked into the store, and he hated feeling her glare against the back of his head. He had a twenty in his pocket, but he felt like lifting those dumb Rollos for Sammy just to spite her. Too bad they didn't have time for any more trouble; it was only an hour until checkout, and Dad said they shouldn't stay another night.
Dad had come home from a hunt the night before, stumbling through the door with a cut up by his hairline and blood drying all down his face. By morning, the cut had stopped bleeding, leaving behind an ugly bruise and a knot that Sammy said looked like a tumor. He'd seemed okay as they packed up their things and got ready to go. Then they'd opened the door and walked out into the bright, clear sunshine, and Dad had groaned like he was being crushed by a car. He held onto his head with one hand and wrapped his other hand around the metal post supporting the motel overhang, his knees sagging toward the blacktop.
"Dad?" Dean had asked, hurrying to stand next to Dad's shoulder. When Sammy asked later, on the way to the store, Dean said he hadn't been scared, but he'd maybe been a little worried at seeing Dad's broad back curling in on itself. "You want me to open up the car for you?"
"I can't," Dad murmured, forcing the words out on a breath. "I can't drive like this." He turned around and lurched back into the room, and Dean followed, pulling Sam behind him with one hand. Dad slumped down onto the side of the nearest bed and rubbed his temples with his thumbs.
"Do--do you want me to drive?" Dean hadn't actually driven yet, but it didn't look too hard.
"Like hell." Dad's voice sounded stronger than he looked as he shook his head minutely. He moved one hand away from his forehead and rocked forward on the bed far enough to grab his wallet from his back pocket. He held it out to Dean and then returned to rubbing his head with both hands. "The med kit's out of aspirin, and I'm going to need some sunglasses if we're getting out of here this morning. Store about three quarters of a mile north on this road should have 'em both."
"Yes, sir," Dean answered quietly, pulling a twenty out of Dad's battered black wallet. He rolled the idea of his father in sunglasses around in his mind, but it wouldn't stick.
Dad always said sunglasses were for ladies and airplane pilots and yuppie assholes. With nothing more than the Impala's flip-down visor, he could drive straight west into the burning ball of the setting sun. But Dad also said that a man needed the right tools for every job, and Dean figured sunglasses could be tools, too.
"We'll be right back, Dad." Dean tucked the twenty securely into the left pocket of his jeans and slipped the room key into his right pocket before grabbing Sam's hand and heading out the door.
As soon as they were two steps away from the door, Sam tugged on Dean's hand and looked up at him with big eyes. "Is Dad going to be a pilot now?"
"Yeah, right." Dean rolled his eyes and kept walking. Sooner they got to the store, sooner they could get back.
"You can get some candy at the store, okay?"
"Can I get--"
"One thing. So shut up and think about what you're going to pick."
"Okay," Sammy agreed. He had a pout in his voice, but when Dean looked down there was a smile on his face.
When they returned to the room, Dad had moved from the bed to the table, where he leaned over a map sliding his finger across their route for the day.
Dean handed over the little plastic bag, and Dad opened the bottle of medicine. Once he swallowed down three of them dry, he pulled out his pocket knife and cut the tag off the sunglasses with one efficient snick. When he stood up and slid the glasses on, the dark plastic lenses looked alien on his face, and Dean could see Sammy's open-mouthed gape from the corner of his eye.
"Come on," Dad said, nodding his head and walking to the door. "Let's get going."
His hand glanced across the metal pole as they stepped out into the sunshine, but his legs stayed strong and his back straight. Dean kept his eye on the strange sight of the black glasses on his father's face as they drove off into the glittering day.