Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, or the characters or plot contained therein. I do, however, own this really neat messenger bag that I bought on sale for two bucks. Now I just have to find neat trinkets and stuff to put in it...
A/N: This one just came outta nowhere. I'm glad it did, though. Wouldn't let me stop writing until I had it all down. Unbeta'd, so mention anything you find that might be off. Be forewarned; there be swear words here. Because, ya know, it's Dean. And even as a ten-year-old, I think he'd swear like a sailor (as long as John wasn't around). ;)
Summary: Wee!chester. --While John is away, Sam asks Dean a very important question about a school-mate and He-Man. Dean... answers.--
"Jimmy Prentiss said He-Man was a fag." Had Dean been drinking something, it would've likely come spewing out his nose the second those words left his little brother's mouth. But he wasn't, so the most he could muster was a choked gasp that quickly morphed into a cough as he covered his mouth with a loose fist. Just as he was about to start panicking about what the hell he should say to that, the follow up question came; a perfect right hook outta nowhere that all but had him laid out. Metaphorically speaking. "What's a fag?"
It wasn't what he said- well, okay, it was definitely that, too- but there was also the way he'd said it. So innocent, and curious. Like he wanted to just whip out his dictionary right there, and study the origin of the word to somehow find a deeper meaning.
"It's, ah..." Dean paused in the middle of the sidewalk, looking quite intently at the area just above Sam's left shoulder before glancing down at his shoes. How did you answer that question when it was asked by your six-year-old brother? He'd always been as honest with Sammy as he could, given their situation. Would this be a conversation better had with their father? Probably, but he wasn't gonna be back until Monday, giving the little hellion a full two days to bug the shit out of Dean about this non-stop.
Sighing and rolling his eyes, Dean resigned himself to his decision, and turned to start walking again.
"...Dean?" The voice was hesitant, but still unabashedly curious as he fell into step beside his older brother.
"First of all, Jimmy Prentiss is a fuckwad." Dean felt that this was a solid opening to the speech that would soon follow: a) because he got to use the term 'fuckwad' (and dad wasn't around to bitch him out for it), and b) because it was true. Jimmy Prentiss was the kind of kid that even his own parents didn't like. The kind of kid who'd probably end up on America's Most Wanted. "Don't hang out with him anymore, alright?"
The look Sammy was giving him spoke of confusion, and maybe just a bit of anger at being told what to do.
"You're too nice for him." A quick silence in which Sammy smiled. "Plus, he's probably, like, diseased, or something." The giggle didn't escape Dean's attention. He reached out to ruffle the younger boys' hair, but Sam ducked expertly away. Quiet settled between them. A couple blocks straight ahead, Dean could see the sign for their motel reflected dully back at him in the bright sunlight of the spring afternoon.
"But, Dean, what's a-"
"I'm getting to that!" He took Sam's hand, tugging him gently across the street when the light turned. When they reached the other side, Dean squared his shoulders, and faced his younger brother. "It's a really mean word to call a gay person."
Sammy tilted his head, eyes cast downward, seeming to consider it for a few moments. He opened his mouth again, but before he could say anything Dean had already rolled his eyes (he was beginning to notice a pattern here) and started talking. "A gay person is like, a boy who likes boys, or a girl who likes girls."
The response was almost immediate. "But, Dean, I like bo-"
"I mean to date, Sam. Like- idunno- fall in love and shit."
They stood on that corner for what felt like hours, discomfort seeping away from them at a snail's pace. Finally, Sam stopped chewing on his lip in consternation long enough to utter, "But He-Man isn't gay."
And Dean really, really didn't know what to say to that. He'd been running on fumes up until now and, frankly, he was outta gas. "Nope; probably not."
"Why does Jimmy think it's bad to be gay?" Now Sam looked to be on the verge of tears. Dean knew that, at it's core, it was because Sam wasn't quite grasping the concept. (Which Dean counted as a good thing, but not understanding was like Sammy's kryptonite. Kid wanted to know freaking everything.)
"I don't know either, kid. Sometimes people can be assholes. Sometimes they don't need a good reason." The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, shoulders slumped as he told his brother an unfortunate truth that most people had to learn the hard way.
Sammy frowned up at him, those puppy dog eyes ripping him to shreds inside. He straightened almost immediately, a half-assed grin finding it's way to his lips. "C'mon. I'll make you pancakes for dinner."
As they turned to hurry back to their current 'home', Sam's confusion lifted like a fog, and his smile lit up the air around them. Dean couldn't help but smile too.
"...what's a 'fuckwad'?"