Glass Half Empty

Disclaimer: Not mine. Man, I get tired of saying that. It's depressing.

Summary: Sam and Dean run across a ghost who just won't let them have any fun... Season one - Post Shadow.

The always-encouraging Alec's_Angel asked me to write her a season one story and since she's my constant cheerleader, her wish is my command. I haven't written a season one story since... well, season one and, dang, I forgot how much easier the boys' lives were, relatively speaking. It was practically giddy and light-hearted compared to the last couple of years. In any case, I hope y'all enjoy...

Chapter One

"Dude, I smell like dead guy."

Sam tried not to grin at his brother. He really did, but it just wasn't possible after he glanced at Dean who was standing in the middle of their motel room looking for all the world like a forlorn three year old who'd just broken his favorite toy.

"That's what happens when you fall in the coffin, Dean."

"I did not fall in the coffin," his brother said indignantly. "I was pushed."

"Yeah. By your feet. Into the hole."

"Mrs. Barton totally pushed me."

Sam rolled his eyes. "Dean, she's eighty years old. She can barely push her walker and it has wheels."

"She didn't want us burning her husband. She… she surprised me." And now, Dean looked embarrassed.

Sam shrugged. "He read the paper to her every morning. She can't see that well anymore."

"Yeah, he was a sweetheart, a real dedicated husband." Dean snorted. "Didn't stop him from pinching the home health nurse."

Mr. Barton had apparently been a ladies' man in his day and had stuck around to terrorize the poor women who came in to look after his aging wife. Unfortunately, Mrs. Barton had looked the other way in her younger days and was just fine with continuing to do so as long as Hank kept reading to her at the breakfast table.

The nurses had been all for helping them, but Mrs. Barton had blocked them at every turn, including showing up at the cemetery to stop them from finishing the job.

"I need a drink," Dean sighed. "I deserve a drink. A big one. With lots of little friends."

"Shower first," Sam ordered. "In case you haven't noticed, you smell like dead guy."

Dean just glared at him before stomping away toward the bathroom, leaving Sam with nothing to do but wait and listen to the shower run.

Sam sat down on his bed and ran a hand over his face, mindful of the still-healing marks on his cheek from the daevas. He was tired, tired and frustrated. The hunt had put it on the back burner, but he and Dean still needed to talk. They'd found Dad, or rather Dad had found them and Dean had sent him away.

Half of Sam understood. The other half felt like it was the old days with Dad and Dean on one side and him on the other. It was making him crazy.

They'd been looking for their father for months. Jess was dead. Their dad knew what had done it and was on its trail, but one word from Dad and Dean didn't just jump, he asked for a trampoline. One word and Dean had given up his dream of having his whole family back together again, something his brother had told him he wanted only a few hours before their dad had left them, again.

Sam realized his hands were fists at his side and forced himself to relax. He was just so frustrated. He wanted Dean to wake up and smell the crap their dad was shoveling. They had as much right to go after the demon as he did. Sam needed to go after the demon.

"Dude. Unclench." Sam's gaze snapped up to see Dean, pulling on a fresh shirt, standing outside the bathroom watching him. "You look like you're fighting your lunch. Let me know if it's gonna make a reappearance."

"Shut up."

"Great comeback. You want me to go back in the bathroom for a minute while you come up with a better one?" Dean frowned. "Never mind. You look like you might need the bathroom." He pointed toward the door. "I can wait outside if you want."

"Shut up, jerk."

Dean grinned. "Better. Weak, but better." He headed toward the door. "Come on. Let's go get a drink. You can mope about the world's injustices later."

Dean walked into the bar ahead of Sam, already rubbing his hands together happily at the sight of the dark, dingy, dubiously clean interior. It was one of those small town bars that looked friendly enough, just a place for people to stop by on their way home and relax for a bit. Occasionally they wandered into a place where unless you were a local, you weren't welcome. Other times, they managed to find a bar that was meant for one thing and one thing only, sitting quietly and drinking until you couldn't walk anymore.

"What can I get ya?" the bartender asked, eyeing them suspiciously as they wandered closer. He was a big guy in his 50s, with close cropped hair, and day old stubble.

"Two of whatever you've got on tap," Dean said, sliding onto a bar stool.

"Just one. I'll have a coke," Sam corrected quickly. Dean shot him a look and he shrugged. "Somebody's gotta drive."

Dean rolled his eyes, but didn't say anything else. He grabbed the mug the bartender brought and downed it almost before the guy had come back with Sam's coke.

"Geez, Dean. Slow down," Sam muttered just loud enough for his brother to hear. "It's not like it's the first time you've fallen in a coffin."

"Dude, how many times do I have to tell you I was pushed?"

Sam raised an eyebrow. "So saying you were taken out by an eighty year old woman is better than saying you tripped?"

Dean cocked his head to one side. "When you say it that way…"

"You suck either way, so whichever story you wanna go with, I'll stick to it."

"Thanks for the support." Dean waved for the bartender to bring him another.

"Maybe it was a little of both," Sam said, all mock seriousness. "Did you trip over her walker or something?"

"Sam, I will beat you to death with my mug if you don't shut up," Dean growled.

"Do me a favor and leave off the face, will you? These still itch." Sam gestured vaguely to the scratches on his cheek and Dean just grunted, a hand unconsciously moving toward the still livid injuries to his own face. Now that he thought of it, the same type of injuries might account for some of Dean's annoyance. The daevas had carved a nasty set of furrows down Dean's chest. The fall into the grave wouldn't have done them any favors.

The bartender set a second beer in front of Dean. "You might want to take this one a little slower, buddy. We got a two drink limit."

"Seriously?" Sam and Dean asked in unison.

"Not you, kid," the bartender said to Sam. "You can have all the coke you want."

"What kind of bar has a two drink limit?" Dean asked, a deep line appearing between his brows. "Most places that's a minimum."

The bartender snorted. "Well, most places don't have a bouncer like we do."

Dean turned to glance across the small room where only a couple of other patrons sat sipping at their drinks. Sam did the same and saw no sign of any sort of bouncer.

"Unless you've got Patrick Swayze in the back, I don't think your security is gonna be a problem. Trust me, I can hold my liquor."

The man behind the bar just shrugged. "That's the rules. It keeps everything nice and calm in here and that's what I like. Got it? You want more than that," he pointed toward the door, "there's a drugstore still open down the street. Get yourself something and take it home."

The guy walked to the other end of the bar shaking his head. Dean just turned and looked at Sam. "Do I have a sign that says kick me on my back?"


"So I'm just naturally talented when it comes to getting crapped on?"

"Looks like," Sam said, trying for a smile, although he was still watching the bartender. What kind of bar didn't like for its patrons to drink?

Dean stood abruptly, his second beer still full. He pulled some cash out of his wallet and threw it on the bar. "Come on. I didn't want to get drunk before, but the idea's growing on me."

As soon as the words left his mouth, they heard a crash behind them. Sam and Dean both turned in time to see a bottle of liquor fly from the rack behind the bartender and shatter across the bar in a shower of glass and booze.

The bartender looked straight at Sam and Dean, eyes wide. "Run!"

Sam turned to do just that, but it was already too late. He glanced at his brother just in time to see his mug of beer strike him just above the temple, as if an invisible hand had grabbed the glass and purposely brought it down. Dean crumbled to the floor.

The room was deafeningly silent around them. No one moved as Sam knelt beside him. "Dean?" he demanded anxiously.

Dean's eyelids fluttered. "I 'as wrong."


"Sign… doesn't say kick me," he slurred. "Says hit me."

"Dean, are you ok?"

"M'fine," he answered weakly, his eyes rolling up right before he lost his battle with consciousness.

A little something to start us off. More soon...