(as always, no ownage, no money made, no insult intended. these ficlets probably work better if you listen to pat guadagno - don't let us get sick, and woven hand - last fist.)

-

-Tangerine-

It's october, and it's raining buckets, but tonight they're not digging up things long-buried, not freezing their fingers off on icy shotgun barrels, not bleeding. No, tonight Dean stands in Bobby's kitchen, elbow deep in hot water, scrubbing out the chili pot. After dinner, he made sure to complain obnoxiously about being stuck with the washing up, earning himself an exasperated 'Dean' from Dad and a smug grin from Sammy, but the truth is, he quite likes doing dishes. The quiet contentment of seeing tangible results, or whatever.

He's not telling Sammy that, though. He doesn't like it that much.

Bobby's chili might be food for gods, but judging from the way it sticks it's also probably distantly related to superglue, and the man is anal about his chili pot. Dean never ever wants that lecture again. But now, his fingers skate easily over the smooth bottom of the pot, and he hums in satisfaction. Leaving it to dry, he wipes his hands on his jeans and heads to the living room to join the others.

In the doorway, he stops.

Bobby and Dad are lounging in the good chairs in front of the fire, beers in hand, and Dad is telling that story about the nun and the black dog and the parsnip, and Bobby just snorts and says "Winchester, you're a very strange man," before producing an even worse tale of his own.

Sammy is, of course, buried in one of Bobby's dustier volumes, but Dean sees his lips twitch as Bobby solemnly states that he once hunted a clan of sparkly vampires. Reports of masses of concussed magpies had led him to the hunt – the stupid things thought ooh, shiny! and knocked themselves out on marble flesh.

Dad huffs, and counters with a poltergeist in a sex shop, and by the time he gets to the part with the dozen Handy Hand!s divebombing him while vibrating threateningly, Sammy isn't trying to hide his grin anymore, he's laughing. Or giggling, really, giggling helplessly like the big girl he is, and normally Dean would give him crap about that, but it's been so damn long since the last time he heard it.

So damn long, and the miracles don't end there, no. Dad's lost his poker face, laughing himself now, not so much because it's funny, even though it is, but because Sammy thinks it is. Even Bobby's chuckling, leaning back in his chair and looking as pleased as Dean's ever seen him.

It's october, and it's raining buckets, but tonight they're warm and as safe as anyone ever gets in this world, tonight they're not hungry, not fighting, tonight they're happy, tonight they're a family.

Tonight, Dean wishes for impossible things and believes, if only for tonight, that they can be real.

'don't let us get sick

don't let us get old

don't let us get stupid, alright?

just make us be brave

and let us play nice

and let us be together tonight'

-

-Incarnadine-

It's october, and it's cold as hell, but Dean's wearing gloves, because he's practical that way and he does think ahead, no matter what certain annoying kid brothers may think.

"Oh, Christ! What have you done, Dean?" Sam is pacing, agitatedly waving his hands about like he always does when he's having a bitch fit, but, Dean notes, fastidiously avoids the sticky puddle slowly coloring the frosted autumn leaves an even deeper red. "What the hell have you done?"

Dean unbends himself from where he's digging his bullet out of another man's flesh, and gives his brother a long, even look. "What I have done," he says, "is exactly what you wanted me to."

Sam opens his mouth, no doubt to voice a vehement protest, but Dean stops him before it can leave his mouth. "No, Sam. No. You don't get to play the outraged shock card. You knew damn well what I'd do. You wanted me to. Or you wouldn't have called me, you'd have done the proper apple-pie thing and called 911. But you didn't. Because you knew, as well as I do, that his Daddy's money would've let him get off with a slap on the wrist, and it would all be something to brag about at the fucking country club." Going back to work, he grunts in satisfaction when he finally finds the elusive brass, wraps it in a plastic bag and puts it in his pocket. "You asked me to deal with it. It's dealt with."

"Jesus. Jesus. I didn't...I just...I thought you'd threaten him a little! Not...not...Dean, we kill monsters! Not people! Not humans!"

It's october, and it's cold as hell, but Dean's wearing gloves and in a minute, when the lighter fluid has soaked in, the clearing will be toasty warm. "Rapists aren't human."

'devoted loyal

undertake the toil

beware of what comes natural

undertake the spoil

in a fist'