"Dean, this is a bad idea. A really, really bad idea."
"Don't get your panties in a bunch, Sammy. I have a plan." Dean decisively put his beer bottle on the table as he got up and walked to the front of the bar.
Sam sighed as Dean walked away. He should've been paying more attention when they pulled into the parking lot, but if you've seen one bar you've seen them all. Why would this one be any different? But the big "KAREOKE CONTEST" sign should've been a warning to Sam, particularly since they were dangerously low on cash and between credit cards.
Dean came back to the table looking far too pleased with himself. "This'll be great Sammy. Since we signed up so late we won't perform until close to the end. It'll give us a chance to size up the competition."
Sam didn't care much about the competition. "We? WE? I'm not signing with you Dean."
Dean looked affronted, "Of course not!" He took a swig of his beer and turned his gaze toward the stage. "I'm a solo act." Sam began to sputter in protest, but Dean ignored him. "All part of the plan, Sammy."
Sam sighed deeply again. There was no point in arguing. When it came right down to it, the need for cash outweighed Sam's dislike of singing in front of a crowd. He knew it and so did Dean. The best he could hope for would be that Dean hadn't signed him up to sing "I Touch Myself" or "I Enjoy Being a Girl".
Sam was surprised by the number of patrons of the bar who were really paying attention. The contest winner would be determined by amount of applause and there was a solid core of people in the audience who were taking their karaoke seriously and listening critically.
As the evening moved on, the crowd became rowdier and increasingly drunk. This was to the Winchester's advantage when some of the contestants took the stage and attempted to sing – the general lack of talent was made worse by the contestant's drunkenness. So far there was very little competition.
Then the blonde took the stage. She seemed to have a built in cheering section made up of two tables of mixed couples. There was a great deal of whooping and hollering before she even picked up the microphone. That was bad news.
It took Sam a few beats to pick up the tune of the music over the din of the crowd. She was singing Bonnie Raitt's "Something to Talk About"; unfortunately, she didn't suck. The woman wasn't the best singer in the world, but it was very clear she was singing to the object of her affection sitting about three tables away from the stage. It gave her performance a jolt of something personal and the crowd was eating it up.
When she was finished singing, not only did her cheering section applaud loudly for her, so did the rest of the crowd. They only got louder when she sauntered off the stage and planted herself in her boyfriend's lap for a very impressive public display of affection.
Sam turned to Dean, "We should just pack it in now, Dean."
Dean's eyes were narrowed as he watched the enthusiastic couple. "Don't worry Sammy, I've still got a plan."
Sam was beyond relieved when he walked off the stage He held his own singing "Livin' On a Prayer" – it helped that the audience jumped in and sang along - but there was no way it was a winning performance. Dean gave him a wink and slapped him on the shoulder as he passed by on his way up toward the stage.
Over the general babble of the crowd in the bar, Sam didn't hear the name of Dean's song when it was announced. He watched as Dean composed himself in front of the teleprompter, and was surprised to notice how still Dean had become.
Then Dean started singing; obviously the song had begun, but Sam couldn't pick up the words. He shook his head and tried to signal for Dean to sing louder. Slowly the noise level dropped as more and more people strained to hear the words Dean was singing. That's when Sam realized that Dean was a genius.
All night people had been singing loud, catchy, sing-along songs. Dean had picked a song that was counter to all of that. The song choice alone would make him stand out. But Sam also knew that Dean was counting on his good looks working on the audience that was predominantly female. By standing there at center stage and singing something totally off the beaten track, Dean had captured the attention of the crowd; now he had to win them over.
With the noise of the crowd dialing down, Sam began to catch the words Dean was singing.
I'd like to add her initial to my monogram
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?
Sam's eyebrows rose nearly to his hairline. He had no idea Dean could sing a ballad, let alone one written by George and Ira Gershwin. What the hell? As stunned as Sam was by this revelation of a new facet of Dean, there was money on the line that they suddenly had a chance of winning, so Sam turned his attention to the audience.
There's a somebody I'm longin' to see
I hope that she, turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me.
It shouldn't have been a surprise to Sam. He'd seen Dean turn on the charm for woman after woman. But seeing his brother woo a iroomful/i of women was something else. At table after table, women were leaning forward with these expressions of …something Sam couldn't quite put his finger on.
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who'll watch over me
This wasn't simply a matter of Dean making small-talk and flirting; he had to tap into something deeper, something truer, to sing the lyrics and make them work.
Won't you tell her please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
As the song moved into the break, Sam could see that the game was won. Even the blonde who was their biggest competition was sitting snuggled up to her boyfriend with a soft, romantic expression on her face and he leaned his cheek against her hair. Dean had changed the mood of the room with his song; the audience was eating out of the palm of his hand. Even the wait staff had stilled long enough to stop and enjoy the performance.
Sam sat back to enjoy the end of the song. It wasn't every day that he got to listen to Dean sing anything that didn't involve screaming or air guitar. All in all, it was pretty impressive.
Dean finished the song with one, last, plaintive line, "Someone to watch over me." The music ended and for one suspended moment the bar was silent. Then the crowd jumped to its feet; the talented blonde was clapping and cheering just as loudly as anyone else. Dean winked at Sam as he sauntered off stage. Sam settled back in his chair. With the contest won, he knew they'd still be in for a long night as the bar patrons vied to be that special "someone to watch over" Dean.