This story came about today as I was munching on a few pieces of caramel-apple flavored candy corn at my desk at work. I'm not even that big a fan of candy corn--but the caramel apple flavor is good. (Darn it. It's NOT good for my diet.)
It's probably overly cutesy, but hey, the muse wants what the muse wants. And I just had to write it.
That being said, I hope y'all enjoy anyway.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related the awesomeness that is Supernatural. Kripke's the lucky bum there. I'm just having a little fun with the boys.
TWENTY-TWO PIECES A DAY
By: Vanessa Sgroi
"Look, Sam! Candy corn! Caramel Apple Flavored!" Dean Winchester grabbed a bag of the sweet treat and tossed it in the blue plastic basket his younger brother Sam was carrying, only to watch in dismay as Sam took it right back out and returned it to the shelf.
"Hey!" Dean's protest was highly indignant.
"Nuh uh. No way, Dean. I know you. You'll eat the whole bag in one shot. I've already let you have too much caffeine. And with the pain meds—no, I'm not having an intense sugar rush added to that."
"Aww, c'mon, Sammy. Injured here, ya know." The older Winchester gestured to his right wrist and hand which were encased in a brand spanking new, gleaming white cast. There were additional injuries hidden beneath the faded and frayed green t-shirt he wore.
"No. We just need to pick up a few things to get us through the next few days. Candy is NOT one of those things. Especially when you're supposed to take it easy and get some sleep. Besides I already caved on the double grande coffee you begged for like a half hour ago."
Dean turned his wide, limpid, glassy gaze to his brother's face and blinked slowly. Sam may have garnered a certain reputation growing up for his shameless use of puppy-dog eyes when he wanted to get his way, but truly Dean was no slouch when it came to this handy tactic. "Please?"
Sam huffed out a breath and reached for the plastic bag of candy corn. "Why am I falling for this? I shouldn't be falling for this. I should be more immune to it."
The older brother offered a lopsided, if not a little goofy, smile.
The tall hunter grumbled and turned the red bag over. "Okay, here's the deal. It says here on the back that a serving size is 22 pieces. I'll buy you the bag, but only if you promise to eat no more than 22 pieces a day."
Dean scrunched his nose and frowned. "But…"
"That's the deal or I'm putting them back. It's 22 pieces a day, Dean, not 22 pieces an hour." Sam actually felt bad for scolding his older sibling, but Dean was going to be bad enough being cooped up for a few days or more in the motel room while on strong pain killers. Adding rampant sugar highs to the mix would be next to unbearable. Sam forced his eyebrows into a sterner frown. "You promise?"
Eyes on the desired prize, Dean murmured "uh huh" and started to nod his head, only to sway a bit precariously.
Sam quickly threw the bag of candy in the shopping basket with the rest of the stuff already there and wrapped his hand around his brother's upper left bicep to steady him. "Whoa, easy there. C'mon, I think it's time we check out."
" 'kay." This time Dean's slow blinking was less affectation as abject exhaustion despite his earlier caffeine fix. He was quiet—too quiet—as they proceeded through the check out counter, speaking again just as Sam picked up the two supply-filled plastic bags. "Sammy, I don't feel so good."
A little unnerved by Dean's unusual candidness, the younger Winchester comforted, "Okay, big bro, I gotcha. We're heading back to the motel now." Sam rested a hand on Dean's shoulder, gently guiding him toward the exit.
Dean's next words were carried on a sigh. "My arm hurts."
"I know, Dean. You'll feel better when we get back to the motel and you can lie down."
The drive to the motel was done in silence with the hum of the tires, blending with Dean's shallow and hitched breathing, the only sound. By the time Sam pulled into the slot in front of their door, Dean had dropped into a light doze, his soft puffs of breath fogging a circle on the window. Exiting the Impala, Sam grabbed the bags from the backseat before proceeding around the car to the passenger door. Opening it gently, he wedged his body between the door and his brother, calling out, "C'mon, Dean, wake up—we're here."
Dean's eyes opened to half mast, and he looked around dazedly. "'ere?"
"Yeah, we're at the motel. Let's get you inside." He helped his sibling to his feet. "Can you walk okay? It's not that far to the room."
"Mmm hmm." Dean took a couple of unsteady steps before suddenly stopping. "Got my candy corn?" The words were hardly more than a mumble, sounding more like "go-my-can-cor".
Sam couldn't help it, he rolled his eyes. "Yes, Dean, I have your candy corn. Let's go."
Once in the room, the tall hunter pushed his older brother down on the edge of his bed before dropping the plastic bags onto the small table in the corner. Returning to the bed, Sam squatted down, unlaced Dean's boots, and pulled them off. He did the same with the socks. "You wanna change for bed?"
Tired, pain-glazed green eyes stared back, the dark circles ringing them emphasizing his pallor. "Huh?"
"Do you want to change—oh nevermind—let's just get your jeans off and you can crawl into bed." Sam waited for his brother to undo the button and drag the zipper down one-handed then grabbed the hem of each leg and pulled. Once the jeans were off, he tossed them in the corner near the table. "I'll be right back."
Sam grabbed a glass of water from the kitchenette and shook two prescription pain pills into his palm. Walking back to Dean, he held them out. "Here, it's time for your pills." When his brother hesitated, Sam huffed, "Don't you even dare protest."
Dean grunted but popped the two oblong pills onto his tongue and washed them down with a sip of water. After handing the glass back to Sam, he rubbed his free hand across his eyes. "Tired, S-Sammy."
"I know. Crawl in bed while I put away the stuff we just bought." Sam turned away from the bed and began emptying the bags. When he turned back around, arms full of groceries to stow in the kitchenette, he was surprised to see Dean still sitting in the same spot holding his hand out, palm up. "Dean, what're you doing?"
"Dude, I'm not sure that's a good idea. You just took the medicine and all."
His stubborn brother repeated his request.
Sam shook his head at his sibling's obstinacy. "Okay, fine." He placed the items he was holding back on the table and opened the bag of candy corn, counting out 22 pieces into Dean's palm. "Just don't blame me if you get sick."
"Why do they call it candy corn? Doesn't look like corn."
"I dunno, Dean. We'll have to do some research on that."
"Research?" Dean wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"Hey, how else are we going to find these things out, right?" He smiled as he was pretty certain his brother would never remember this conversation.
Sam kicked off his shoes and watched as Dean popped one of the small brown, red, and white triangles into his mouth, chewed it extremely slowly as if savoring every granule of sugar. Picking up the groceries once more, Sam padded into the little alcove to put them away. When he returned to the main room, Dean was stretched out full-length on the bed, on top of the covers. His eyes were closed. Happy his brother was getting some sleep, Sam sighed and moved to the table, automatically hitting the button to power up the laptop.
Having thought Dean was asleep, Sam jumped slightly at his call and looked over his shoulder. "Yeah Dean?"
"Here." Dean's eyes fluttered open, and he extended his unencumbered arm.
Sam got up and approached the bed. "What?"
Dean shook his arm. "Here. Take 'em."
The tall hunter held his hand out, palm up, under his brother's fist. Twenty-one pieces of slightly sticky candy filled his hand. He frowned in puzzlement.
Dean sighed and let his heavy eyelids slide closed. "We forgot to buy you some candy." He then drifted off into a deep sleep aided by the prescription pills.
Sam smiled and shook his head. Returning to the laptop, he dropped the sticky triangles down on the table then wiped his hand on his jeans. After connecting to the internet, Sam called up a search engine. His fingers flew across the keyboard typing out the item for which he was searching.
History of candy corn.
There was somewhere around 230,000 hits. He grinned and started reading. Dean might not remember that conversation, but Sam would.