A/N: The prompt was Teen!Dean on acid, Sam has to talk him down from a bad trip.
Sam's lying on the couch sucking on an ice-cube, trying to decide which is worse, being so cold that your fingers fall off, or so hot that the only thing you can do is lie on the couch and suck ice cubes. Right now he's leaning towards hot… it's gotten to the point where he'd almost trade a pinky for a cool breeze.
He hears a thud in the kitchen, figures Dean must be home. Fuck Dean. He'd left early that morning to go swimming, wouldn't take Sam no matter how much he begged, and Sam's still pissed at him. He never lets Sam come with him anywhere, even when he's just going to the lake and it's four thousand degrees out.
He hears a familiar high-pitched cackle and rolls his eyes, can't help but smile a little. Sam pretends to dislike Ray Montagne, Dean's newest best friend, a tall, skinny kid with a Mohawk and weird holes in his earlobes, but really he sort of thinks he's cool, and funny, though he hates it when Ray calls him Deanita, which apparently means "Little Dean" in Spanish, which Ray doesn't speak. Dean doesn't like it either, chuffs Ray on the back of the head and says "Little Dean" sounds like a nickname for his dick, not his little brother, and though Sam really wishes Dean wouldn't compare him to a penis, he kind of has to agree with him on that one. But Ray's pretty smart, though he hides it, and besides the nickname he's nice to Sam, talks to him like he's a grown-up instead of Dean's thirteen year-old kid brother, takes him seriously. So he's okay in Sam's book.
Sam pushes himself to his feet and pads into the kitchen, prepared to whine about the heat and see if he can get Dean and Ray to spray the hose on him to make up for leaving him behind this morning.
Dean looks up when he comes in, and Ray goes, "Oh, shit."
"Sammy," Dean says, eyes wide, and there's something about them that makes Sam pause, do a double-take. His pupils are HUGE, obscuring almost all the green, and they track Sam strangely as he comes into the room.
"It's so fucking hot," Sam says, throws himself down at the table across from Dean, their crappy half-dead kitchen chair squealing a little underneath him.
"Like soup," Dean says, makes a weird motion like he's parting the air with hands. "It's like the air is made of soup."
"Yeah," Sam says. Weirdo. "Soup."
"Dude," Ray says from across the room, and he and Sam both glance up to see Ray gripping the shiny handle of the refrigerator with this wide-eyed, amazed look on his face. "Dude, I think your fridge is breathing."
Sam laughs, though he doesn't really get the joke, but Dean is up and at Ray's side, arms crossed over his chest, examining the fridge.
"Holy shit," Dean says, reaches out a tentative hand. "I never… it's like… it's like…"
"It's like everything is alive," Ray says in awe. "It's like… it's like the whole world is connected and it all has the same rhythm, like, we're all breathing at the same exact time."
Dean doesn't say anything, just puts a palm flat to the white belly of their busted, fifties-style refrigerator, leans his head on the back of his hand and closes his eyes.
Sam, watching at the kitchen table, looks from Ray to Dean, trying to figure out what's going on. As he watches, Ray slithers to the floor and cocks his head, stares at the ceiling.
"Why do they keep humans in houses?" Ray asks. "Like, we're always covered. We wear clothes, we have roofs, we drive little boxes around… what are we trying to protect ourselves from?"
"Lots of stuff," Dean says suddenly, looks up from where he's leaning against the fridge, opens his eyes. "Lotta stuff, man. There's… there's a lotta shit out there."
"Dean," Ray says. "Dude, I can see your words. They're like… I can see them. Like, in color. You're green, man, did you know that? You're one hundred percent a green person. And a little bit of purple. Green and purple. Mostly green. But some purple. It's…" Ray waves his hands, frames Dean between his thumb and pointer finger. "It's everywhere."
Dean moves back to the kitchen table, slow and careful, like he really is moving through soup. His pupils are even bigger, if that's possible, and Sam feels this irrational panic for a second. Black eyes, acting freaky, this shifty, weird look on his face – he's gotta check. Better safe than sorry.
"Hey," Sam whispers from across the table, and Dean looks up. "Christo!" Sam hisses.
Dean just blinks at him, eyes going all sad and his face falling. "Sammy?" he asks, opens his mouth, looks like he wants to say something else but can't quite. So he says, "Sammy?" again, in this little, questioning voice.
"Sorry," Sam says, embarrassed, but no less confused. "It's just…" he trails off as Dean slides a hand across the table to hover in front of Sam's face.
"Dude," Ray says. "I stepped on a spider yesterday."
Dean drops his hand, swings his head slowly around to look at his friend. "Woah."
"Yeah." Ray is flat on the ground now, hands raised up towards the ceiling, doing something weird with his fingers. "I did it… I did it on purpose. 'Cause it jumped on me. But I'm never doing it again, man. It's just fucked up, you know? Like – it's not my right to kill anything. Can you imagine being a soldier? I mean, can you imagine shooting a gun?"
Sam darts a glance at Dean, who is sitting frozen in his chair, face gone a little pale under his tan and the sunburn across his nose.
"Even spiders," Ray continues. "No way, man. Never again. We're all connected. It's not my right to kill anything, even bugs. Fuck, no. Never again."
"Dean," Sam says, because Dean is clutching the edge of the table, looking like he's trying to keep himself from flying away. What the fuck is going on? They're acting so fucking weird, and their pupils are blown, eyes bloodshot, and…
"Hey," Sam says, realization hitting like a lightning bolt. "Are you guys on drugs?"
Neither of them answer, and then Ray says, "You're cool, right, Sam?"
What's he supposed to say to that? He tries, but he doesn't know if he succeeds. "I dunno."
"Yeah, you're cool. Dude…" Ray glances at Dean, who nods a little. "We just dropped the best acid I've ever taken in my LIFE."
"Acid?" Sam asks. "Like, LSD?"
"Yeah. Holy shit, it's so fuckin' intense."
Sam sits back, digesting this information and trying to remember what he knows about LSD. Hallucinations, he thinks. The Beatles.
Dean still hasn't said anything, and Sam looks over at him. "Dean," he says. "You okay?"
Dean looks up like he's startled to see someone else in the room with him, swallows, blinks.
"Deano's not a big talker when he's tripping," Ray says.
"So you've done this before?" Sam asks, trying to figure out if he disapproves or if he thinks it's cool. It's a little scary to think of his big brother on drugs, though he knows Dean smokes weed, has learned to recognize the signs when his brother comes home at night and raids the fridge for anything he can put in his mouth.
"Yeah," Ray says. "You're gonna love it, Sam. When you're old enough."
Sam kind of doubts that.
"Sam," Dean says, smacks a hand on the table. Both Sam and Ray jump.
"What's up, man?" Sam asks, keeps his voice gentle, because Dean looks a little skittish, and Sam learned in D.A.R.E. that people on drugs freak out sometimes, and Dean looks like maybe he's freaking out a little.
"The spiders," Dean says, swallows and glances at Ray.
"He killed the… spider."
Ray's attention has wandered back to the ceiling, and he doesn't say anything, so Sam says, "Yeah, he killed the spider. But he says he's never gonna do it again."
Dean presses his lips together, and even though he's seventeen, he suddenly looks eight years old. "Sammy," he says, like it's the only thing he knows for sure how to say. "We. Do that."
"Do what, Dean?"
"The spiders," Dean whispers. "Killing."
Sam gets a little chill despite the heat of the day, and he looks at Ray, who's still not listening. "Hey," he says. "That… what we do, it's different."
"Dunno," Dean says, shifts his eyes down to the table, traces some weird pattern on it with his finger. "Sam… you're just a kid."
"So are you, man."
"No," Dean says, then, "yeah. Sometimes." He wiggles his fingers on the tabletop, looks agitated. "Christo," he says under his breath, to no one, or maybe to himself. "Christo, christo, christo."
Suddenly he shoves back his chair, startling Sam, and stands up. "Ray, dude," he says. "Hey."
"What's up, man?" Ray asks lazily from the floor.
"Can we…?" he asks, waves his hand at the door. "Outside, man. I… want… I need…" He rolls something invisible between his fingers, touches his mouth.
"You need a smoke," Ray finishes, and Dean nods, looking relieved. "Okay, man," Ray says. "So let's go outside."
Sam almost gives his usual "you're-gonna-kill-yourself" anti-smoking litany, but he thinks maybe now is not the time, not with Dean already looking so tweaked-out, talking about spiders and shit.
"Uh, Sammy?" Dean says, makes a come-on motion.
"You want me to come?"
They troop outside to the backyard, which is really just a fenced-in box of dirt and sparse grass, an old grill piled in one corner, a couple rickety lawnchairs.
They all drop into the chairs, and Ray leans his head back to look at the sky, goes off on how beautiful the clouds are, and how crazy it is that they're made of water, and other cloud-babble that Sam doesn't listen to in favor of watching his brother.
Dean spends a while flicking his lighter on and off, staring at the flame before he finally lights the cigarette in his mouth, blows a couple smoke rings that has Ray crowing in delight. Dean grins, then, and Sam relaxes a little, because he realizes that this is the first time he's seen Dean smile yet today.
The smile fades quickly, though, and Dean stares at the dirt in the backyard, stares at the grill in the corner, smoking silently and moving his feet around in a rhythmic pattern that sets Sam on edge.
He thought drugs were supposed to be fun, but Dean seems more nervous than anything else. Ray, on the other hand, is clearly having a blast, and it's like he's compensating for Dean's silence, because he talks almost constantly. Sam figures out eventually that Ray's not really expecting any answers.
It freaks Sam out a little, watching Dean wave his hands slowly through the air, or bring his cigarette up so close to his eye that Sam's afraid he's gonna get burned. Dean's never really out of control, but he seems completely unaware of himself, now, and it makes Sam feel… unsafe.
"How long does this last?" Sam asks. "Acid."
"Forever," Dean says.
"Six hours, give or take," Ray says. "We dropped it like, four hours ago. Went swimming. It was fuckin' awesome."
"Yeah," Dean agrees, smiles a little.
"Hey, I gotta pee," Ray says, pushes himself to his feet and ambles towards the door.
Dean drops his cigarette butt, looks at Sam as soon as Ray is inside the house.
"Sam," Dean says. "Don't take acid."
"Okay," Sam says, laughs a little. "What, you don't like it?"
"Usually," Dean says. "Usually. I like it."
Dean shakes his head violently, puts his hands on his knees and looks like he's concentrating really hard. "It's just you 'n me, Sam."
"What is, Dean?"
"Ray… he… kills spiders."
"I told you, he said he was never gonna—"
"No," Dean says firmly, stamps his foot a little. "He kills SPIDERS. We… we…"
"Oh," Sam says. "Right. We kill bigger stuff, huh."
"Right," Dean says. "Kill. With guns."
"Well, yeah," Sam says. "But… that stuff deserves to be killed. We kill things that are hurting other people." Funny, usually it's Dean giving Sam this talk. "We're helping people, Dean. Saving people."
"But," Dean says. "But. Killing."
"Yeah," Sam concedes. "We're killing evil things in order to save good things."
"What is evil?" Dean asks, and Sam groans, buries his head in his hands.
"Dude, I really don't think I can have a metaphysical discussion with you right now."
Dean looks crestfallen.
"Later, okay?" Sam says. "We can talk about this later."
"It's just you 'n me," Dean repeats. "Ray doesn't… he has no fucking clue."
"No," Sam agrees. "And… you're not gonna tell him, are you?"
"No!" Dean says, looking shocked. "He's… awesome."
Sam laughs. Dean smiles a little, tentatively.
"Listen," Sam says, and on a whim he reaches out, puts a palm on Dean's back. Normally Dean would shrug him off, but right now he just sighs a little, relaxes into it. "We kill stuff, yeah. But we do it to save people like Ray. Who would you rather keep alive, a werewolf, or Ray?"
"Ray," Dean says, snorts like it's obvious. "It's just… there's always a lot of blood."
Sam can feel Dean shudder under his hand, and he lifts his palm, starts rubbing circles, slow. Dean's back is a little damp with sweat, and Sam's palms are pretty damn sweaty, too, keep snagging on the worn material of his t-shirt, but he doesn't stop.
"Can't you think about something else?" Sam asks. "I don't think this is the best time to be thinking about this."
"I can't… I keep thinking," Dean says, makes a frustrated, unhappy noise. "I hate drugs."
"Good," Sam says. "Yeah, they're bad for you."
Dean puts his head in his hand, rubs his eyes, and Sam feels his chest constrict.
"Hey," Sam says. "Let's go back inside, put all the fans in the living room, and play cards." It's the only thing he can think of, but he feels like maybe if Dean can focus on something else, something repetitive, it'll keep his mind off... whatever he's thinking about. Monsters. Blood.
"Cards?" Dean asks, snorts.
"Yeah," Sam says, resolute. "C'mon, man."
Dean rolls his eyes, but lets Sam pull him up off the chair, follows him into the house.
Ray is back on the floor, this time in the living room, all the pillows from their couch surrounding him.
"We're gonna play cards," Sam announces.
"Right on," Ray says.
They end up playing Go Fish for the next two hours, because it's the only game where Ray and Dean can keep the rules straight enough to play for real. Sam gets painfully bored after the first two hands, but he keeps going, because he can see Dean start to relax, smile more, look at the cards with gleeful curiosity rather than horror. Besides, it's nice, with their six fans in a circle around them, and Sam's cooler than he's been all day.
As the drug wears off, Dean gets more talkative, 'til finally he's ribbing Sam about his shitty card skills in complete sentences, which is really nice to hear. Sam didn't realize how creepy it was to have a silent Dean until his brother started talking again.
Finally, Ray throws his cards down. "I can't play this fuckin' game anymore. Why the hell are we playing Go Fish, again?"
"'Cause Sam sucks even harder at poker," Dean says, and Sam scowls. It's great that Dean's feeling better, but Sam's not sure why that necessarily manifests itself in teasing.
"Fuck this shit," Ray says. "Let's go back to the lake. Grab some beer."
"You got your fake I.D. on you?" Dean asks. "I lost mine."
"You mean you left it at Gretchen's house and you're too chicken to go back there and ask for it."
"Fuck you," Dean says, throws his handful of cards at Ray's face.
"Yeah, I got my I.D.," Ray says, pushes himself to his feet. "Let's go."
Sam is silent as they get up, jostling each other and talking about how maybe they'll call up "the girls" and see if they want to come. Playing cards with two fucked-up seventeen year-olds isn't real high on his list of fun stuff, but it's better than being alone in this stifling heat, bored out of his mind.
"Hey," Dean says, snaps his fingers, and Sam looks up. "Sammy. You wanna come?"
Sam wants to play it cool, but before he can stop himself he says, "Really?"
"Yeah, man," Dean says. "I'll even let you have a beer."
"You're not legal either, you asshole," Sam says, but is scrambling to his feet.
"Get your shit together, let's go."
They walk the mile down to the lake, the late afternoon sun beating down red on their shoulders. Dean's still a lot quieter than normal, and Ray says they're mostly done tripping but he's still feeling the effects.
"There's still patterns overlaid over everything," Ray says, gesturing expansively.
"Yeah," Dean agrees.
They stop at Ray's house so he can grab some towels, and Dean's smoking a cigarette so he and Sam sit down on the front step to wait. Dean's still kind of out of it, trailing his hands through the air and squinting like he can see the wake they leave. Sam leans back on the concrete step, closes his eyes.
"Hey," Dean says after a moment of silence. "Sam, you shouldn't take drugs. Seriously. I really did not want… I mean, Just 'cause I do it doesn't mean—"
"I know," Sam says, irritated. "I'm not going to. That didn't exactly look like fun, this morning, Dean."
"Yeah," Dean winces, scrubs a hand through his hair, bleached sun-blond at the tips. "Acid's crazy. It's like… once you start thinking about something, you can't stop. It's just… I'm sorry."
"It's okay," Sam says. "I'm not, like, mad at you. I mean – I don't care. I think you're retarded, but it's not like I'm… I don't care."
Dean takes a drag of his cigarette, leans down to tighten the shoelaces of his beat-up sneakers. Sam looks away.
"That was a good call with the cards," Dean says suddenly.
Sam smiles a little. "Figured you needed something to concentrate on other than, you know."
"Yeah." Dean is silent for a while again, then he says, "What I said about… what I said outside."
"How it's… it's just you and me, Sam. And dad. It's true, you know?"
"Yeah," Sam says, swallowing a sudden lump in his throat. "I know."
Dean nods, squints off into the distance.
As far as Sam can tell, he doesn't ever take acid again.