Title: It Always Escalates

Rating: K+

Summary: Pre-series… A tag to 'Hell House'. My take on the Nair incident. (Dean- 19; Sam- 15)

Spoilers: Only up to 'Hell House'

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Thank God for Eric Kripke.


There were certain known facts that each member of the Winchester family understood and lived their lives by:

1. Never leave the house without at least a knife in your boot.

2. Though you may feel safe at night behind locked doors, you are never safe from the things that go bump in the night. Not even in your own house, motel room, car, or wherever it is you are sleeping that night.

3. It has been and always will be Dean's job to protect Sammy.

4. A bored Dean is a dangerous Dean.

And this was exactly what Dean was right now, bored out of his mind. It was a Friday afternoon and he had nothing to do except scratch at the plaster cast that was now encasing his left arm. He glared down at the offending appendage in disgust. This was the reason why he was stuck in a motel room in the middle of the day instead of hunting with his father. When they had come back last night from the hospital, his father had informed him that he would continue the hunt for the angry ghost that was haunting a Texan railroad by himself. Dean had tried to assure his father that he would still be able to do the hunt, even with a broken limb, but he had been given the patented John Winchester "I'm your father and you will not argue with me" glare, and the argument Dean had been mustering up died in his throat. His father just told him to stay here with Sam and wait for him to come back in a few days.

But Dean did not even have Sam to keep him company because his fifteen year old brother would rather spend his time in a boring class learning all kinds of useless crap. The only lessons that Dean felt mattered were the ones that kept you alive on a hunt. He would never be able to understand what his younger brother's fascination was with school or why he got so upset every time they had to move. Dean had always been happy to leave whatever hellhole school they had been stuck in during a certain hunt, or at least he had been before he turned eighteen. Now he never had to go to school again, which suited him just fine.

At this moment, though, Dean might have actually chosen school over the mind-numbing boredom he was stuck with in this motel room. Schools, at least, had really hot cheerleaders… and food, which Dean was currently out of because he had eaten everything four hours before. Then he had spent almost the whole morning flipping between Family Feud and Oprah, finally deciding to stick with Oprah because the hokey game show families were getting on his nerves. Dean would rather have his own twisted, messed up family any day than be one of those over enthusiastic idiots who spend forty minutes jumping up and down on national television.

Finally, when no other means of entertainment spontaneously popped up, Dean picked up the book that Sam had left on the side table. The cover had some dude on it and read "The Count of Monte Cristo." He could vaguely recall Sam mentioning something about it, but usually when Sammy gets going about his day at school, his own eyes glaze over and he only half listens. Most of it just goes over his head. School was never his strongpoint.

He read about two pages before he felt himself nodding off. This had to be one of the most boring books he ever tried to read. Tossing the book away, he stood and walked toward the bathroom. That was when he saw it. It was just sitting there, on the top of one of Sam's open bags, waiting for him. Leaning down, he used his good hand to pick up the small tube. Grinning mischievously, he got to work amusing himself.

Three hours later, he heard the door open from where he sat on the bed watching television. He watched Sam walk into the room out of the corner of his eye; the younger boy's over-sized backpack taking up more space than his own skinny form.

"Hey, Sammy," he called out, smirking when all he got was a grunt and a muttered "Don't call me Sammy" for a response. Sam was in one of his bitchy teenager moods, which seemed to be occurring more often as he got older. This was only going to make the moment even funnier.

Dean pretended his attention was solely focused on the television while he watched Sam put his bag on the floor and place his binder on the table. He sat in the chair and spent about ten minutes shuffling through the papers. Then, he picked up the book from where Dean had left it on the table. Sam held it in one hand for a moment, while he pulled out a pen and a clean piece of loose-leaf. Finally, he moved to open the novel's cover. But it wouldn't open. Staring down at the book, bewilderment contorting his expression, Sam turned it over in his hand. Then he tried the cover again. Nothing happened. Getting more confused by the second, he began tugging on the book. But it remained closed no matter what he tried.

Not being able to hold it in anymore, Dean began to crack up laughing. He looked up just in time to see Sam throw him the ultimate pissy look.

"Dean, what did you do?!" Dean honestly tried to answer, but each time he saw the outrage on Sam's face he just laughed harder. Taking large gulping breaths between chortles, he tossed Sam the tube of glue that he had hidden in his pocket.

"You glued my book shut?" Sam yelled. "Why the hell would you do that?"

"I was bored," Dean honestly answered, finally calming down. "Besides I read some of it. It really blows, dude. And really, who cares about that Mount Christmas guy?"

Sam glared at him. "It's Monte Cristo," Sam said, in that geeky tone he always used when he was correcting Dean. "And that's not the point. First of all, it's not my book. It belongs to the school. Second of all, I have to write a book report on it this weekend and I can't if I CAN'T OPEN THE BOOK!"

Dean sighed. "Who cares? We're leaving town as soon as Dad finishes the hunt. It's not like you have to do it."

Sam just turned back to the table, staring forlornly at the book on the table. "You don't understand," he mumbled, pouting in his own way. Dean sat there for a minute. He almost felt bad for what he did and Sam was right, he didn't understand. But it was just a prank, he thought to himself. He'll get over it.

"Hey Sam, you want to go get something to eat?" he asked, trying to make amends for hurting his younger brother's feelings. But Sam ignored him and continued glaring at the paper in front of him. "Alright," he said, realizing Sam wasn't going to be talking anytime soon. "I'm gonna take a quick shower and I'll go to the store and get us some food."

A refreshing shower later, Dean was walking to the local convenience store to pick up some food. He had not even bothered trying to talk to Sam again. His younger brother had still been sitting in the same spot when he left, refusing to look up at him. That was okay though, Sam would have to forgive him if he wanted to eat.

The store was only ten minutes away. Every town they stayed in, Dean always memorized the routes to the closest food stores, hospitals, and bars. The three necessities for the lives they led.

He spent most of the trip enjoying the fresh air after spending all day inside, while at the same time surreptitiously checking out the local talent as they walked by. He was not a hundred percent sure, but a few times he thought he heard honking and whistling in the street behind him.

The moment Dean walked into the store he felt the eyes of the man behind the counter follow him around. Choosing to ignore it, in an attempt to keep attention off himself as his father had taught him, he instead focused on stocking up on supplies. He picked up a basket and loaded it with bread, bologna, cereal, soda, chips, a couple candy bars, and, of course, a six-pack. Walking back to the front of the store, he placed his food on the counter and allowed the clerk to ring it up.

"Aren't we all?"

Dean, uncertainly raising his gaze from the playboy cover on the rack behind the counter, saw that the clerk was staring at him. "Umm… What?"

The man just raised his hand and pointed. Dean turned his head and saw his own back in the reflection of the glass door of the beer case. The back of his leather jacket had white lettering on it. Pulling it off, which was a tad difficult considering his broken arm, he read 'Searching for the Perfect Man.' He scratched at it with a fingernail, noticing how it chipped off. It looked like it had been written in white-out.

Oh Sammy, he thought to himself. Now you're going to get it.

"Don't have to go searchin' far and wide now, Sugar," the man told him, leaning forward with a coy little smile on his face. The effect, though, was ruined by the fact that he had several missing teeth. Dean took a step back, grimacing slightly.

"Yea, uhh, I gotta go." Dean grabbed a hold of the plastic bags, filled with his purchases, and quickly made his exit, planning his revenge all the way back to the motel.


Dean woke up with a jolt at the sound of yelling coming from the bathroom, but he instantly relaxed when he remembered. Then, he smirked.

It seems that Sammy woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. But, in his haste to relieve himself, had not bothered to turn on the light and therefore did not realize that the toilet had been saran wrapped.

Chuckling to himself, Dean turned over onto his stomach to go back to sleep. His last thought before he slipped back into his dreams of hooters girl and wet t-shirt contests was that he hoped, for Sammy's sake, that he had at least had his mouth closed.

The next morning Dean woke to find his brother facing him in the adjacent bed. He was obviously asleep. If the loud snores coming from that direction did not clue Dean into that fact, then the sight of his little brother's mouth hanging wide open, with a little trickle of drool falling onto the pillow, did. He looked so much like he did when he was little, that Dean once again felt bad for picking on him. Sure, he had asked for it with the little stunt he had pulled with his jacket, but maybe Dean had gone too far.

Dean stretched and got off the bed, intending to dig into the food he bought yesterday. Maybe he'll call a truce when Sam wakes up. Walking past the bathroom, he glanced in and noticed that Sam had cleaned up. Good, because there was no way in hell he would have. That would have been disgusting.

God, he was starving. He had barely eaten last night because he was concentrating on what he was going to do in retaliation. It had been completely worth it, but still. Dean was not a person to skip meals. He pulled the cereal box off the counter and a bowl out of the sink. Placing the bowl on the table, he opened the box. As he began pouring, he yawned so wide that his eyes closed and tears sprang up in his eyes. He rubbed them away as he put the box back and sat down.

Picking up his bowl to eat, Dean looked down and found himself staring at a tiny ball of fur surrounded by cheerios. The furball moved and he found his eyes locked with another smaller, beadier pair. Suddenly his mind caught up with him and he screamed, throwing the bowl in the air and jumping back so fast that his chair flew out behind him. The bowl crashed to the floor and the mouse escaped, running away in an obstacle course of broken ceramic shards and tiny oat O's.

He could hear laughter coming from behind. And not just giggling or chuckling, but full-bodied, belly laughter. Dean turned to find his brother rolling on his bed, panting to bring in air around the constant cackling.

"You scream like a girl," he managed to gasp out.

Dean opened his mouth to yell, but thought better of it, and instead simply closed it. He just turned to clean up the mess and lure the mouse outside, a dangerous glint in his eye. Sammy wanted to play rough? That was fine. Big brother could play rough too.

They had barely spoken all day. Sam had spent his Saturday at the table, doing what Dean assumed was homework. Dean, on the other hand, attempted to clean his weapons in the morning, but found it to be impossible with only one workable arm. So he spent the rest of his time in front of the television, eating a bag of chips that he had thoroughly inspected for rodents. The tension between the two brothers was palpable, both waiting for the other to strike again.

But this time it was Dean's turn, and for once in his life he actually exercised the patience he was not aware he had. He waited all day to act. Night had fallen before he slipped into the bathroom, the bottle in his pants pocket. He pulled it out and read the label, 'Nair'. It was perfect. He had found the half empty bottle when they had first moved into the motel room a couple weeks ago. Dean did not know how long it had been there because this motel, like many of the other establishments they stayed at, did not seem to have the most thorough cleaning services. It didn't matter though. This was exactly what Dean needed.

He took Sam's bottle of shampoo, which sat on the tub ledge, and poured most of it down the sink. Dean left just enough to mask the strong odor of the Nair he poured in. Then, he put the shampoo bottle back on the ledge and the now empty Nair one in his pocket. Flushing the toilet for effect, Dean made his way back into the main room and plopped down on the bed. Only fifteen minutes later, Sam went into the bathroom to take his nightly shower. Dean waited on the edge of his bed, biting his lip in anticipation.

It wasn't long after the running water began, that Dean heard a loud, but muffled, "SHIT!" Then the bathroom door came crashing open and there stood Sam, with nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. He was soaking wet, water dripping in large puddles around him on the floor. The murderous expression on his face might have intimidated anyone else, but Dean did not even notice. All his attention was focused on his little brother's hair, or more specifically, the numerous gaping bald spots in his thick hair. Dean's gaze then traveled down until they landed on Sam's fists at his sides, where they clenched onto large chunks of his dark brown locks.

After that he could not help it. He fell back on the bed, his sides aching from how hard he was laughing. So hard, in fact, that he did not notice the fist coming at him until it hit him square in the face. Then it was just a flurry of fists as Sam continued to attack and Dean tried to defend himself with only one arm. The younger brother got in a few decent punches before Dean pulled him into a chokehold, and they both rolled onto the floor.

A sudden crashing sound caught both of their attentions. They looked up to find their father standing in the doorway, a weary expression on his face. The weapon bag that sat at his feet had obviously been the source of the loud noise. The two brothers pulled apart and dropped their gazes in shame. Dean lifted his one hand to his cheek, where he could already feel a large welt forming. From the corner of his eye, he could see Sam running a hand through his hair only to find it come back with a palm full of hair.

Without a word, their father just sighed as he walked past them. He went into the bathroom and slammed the door shut in his wake. They both stared at the closed door, the silence engulfing them.

"Jerk," a low voice called from the other side of the room.

Dean smirked. "Bitch"


A/N: That was actually a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please review