A/N: Written for an anonymous prompt who wanted temporarily insane!Dean with angst and drama with or without use of an encantado. I fit in the monster, but like most of my writing, I couldn't leave out the humor, so it's not just drama and angst. Thanks to meg_tdj for the beta. Takes place after I Believe the Children Are Our Future in S5.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and its characters are the property of Eric Kripke and co. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This is for entertainment purposes only; no financial profit has been gained from this story. This story is not mean to infringe upon the rights of the above-mentioned establishments.
When they arrived at the dockyard, the storm had reached its peak. Above, the clouds churned, a mix of smoky and black, while the rain pelted the ground below. Movement was hard through the whipping winds, though not impossible, and the battered lights strung up along the edge of the harbor offered some illumination.
Sam and Dean raced toward the edge of the harbor to an empty port. The encantado ran ahead of them, bearing down on the ocean, victim still in hand as it dragged her to its watery grave. Around them, the anchored boats rocked like toys in a child's fevered bath, while the waves crashed and spilled water over the tops of the wooden docks. Neither did anything to make their pursuit easier.
Dean slipped once, but kept going. Sam had a good lead on him on account of his ridiculous stride, but Dean was determined to get the son of a bitch this time.
The encantado, still in his human form, glanced back once, and realizing its time was short, dumped the poor girl on the dock in front of them.
He was making a break for it.
"I got him!" Dean shouted, pointing to the girl to signal Sam to help her.
Sam hesitated, but just for a second, and stopped to check on the girl. Dean zipped past them.
A flash of lightning forked the sky, offering Dean another good look at the encantado. He was near the dock's edge, getting ready to jump, and take their one chance with it.
Dean paused to wipe the rain from his eyes. Then, he whipped out a shuriken and threw it.
The shuriken nailed the encantado in the middle of the back. Dean let out a chuckle as it hit the dock like a stone. Out came the silver dagger.
He rushed to the encantado, ripped out the shuriken, and hovered over its writhing body. When he turned the thing over to get a good look at its face, it hissed and opened its mouth, the snake-like fangs breaking the illusion of humanness, and dared him to come closer.
"Oh no. No going cobra on me." Dean shoved a sock in the thing's mouth to keep the venom down.
The encantado kept chomping despite the dirty sock thoroughly stuck in its mouth. Dean grabbed the creature by the wrists and tied them with some rope. The thing squirmed under Dean's grip, sloshing around on the water-soaked boards, but they both knew it wasn't going anywhere. It still wore a hat to help hide its dolphin-like forehead, though most of its skin had reverted back to a mix of rubbery hide and fish scales. Its soulless eyes glared back at him.
Dean was so over sea-creature hunting for the day. Snakeboy had snacked on enough kids.
With a deep breath, Dean raised the dagger and slammed it down in the middle of its forehead.
He hadn't expected the knee-jerk reaction from the encantado as it took its last breath.
The encantado let out a blood-curdling scream and, as the blue foam bubbled from its slack mouth, it kicked with a fury that matched the strength of a demon. Dean flew back like a rag doll, his head smacking against one of the posts that jutted out of the floorboard and frame. His vision streaked into smudges of color. Sounds went dead.
The next few seconds were a blur. He remembered the streaks fuzzing back into shapes, and the pop in his ears as the sounds of rain and waves and Sam screaming returned.
Dean groaned and tried to move, only to find a hand on his shoulder. "Don't move," Sam said. "You hit your head hard."
When he reached his hand back to his head, he winced. Sure enough, he had a lump the size of an egg. Great.
Good news was the encantado was dead. Dean stared at its lifeless body. The rain kept hammering its corpse, the foam and blood running off its face and chest and pooling in the already made puddles on the dock's surface. All they had left was to dump the body in the water and let it melt back into whatever it used to be.
There was a tap on his arm. "We should go. Do you think you can walk?"
Dean nodded and instantly regretted it. "I'm gonna puke."
Luck happened to be on his side. He didn't puke, or faint, or do anything remotely unmanly as he straightened his back.
After Sam had dumped the body, he helped Dean to his feet. He was a little wobbly, which was expected, but nothing he couldn't handle. Still, he let Sam help him walk to the car. Just this once.
As they were walking down the dock, which suspiciously swayed like the boats on the water, Dean noticed the girl was where Sam had left her. Confused, he frowned and gave a sideways glance to his brother.
Sam shook his head. That was all Dean needed to know.
"Let's get outta here," Dean mumbled. "I've had enough of this place."
* * *
Sam didn't let him sleep most of the night. He insisted Dean stay awake while he kept an eye on him, in case the concussion proved to be serious. Dean had had enough concussions to know when one was good, if that were even possible, and when one was bad. This was nothing compared to hitting gravestones head-on. Finally Sam had given in and let him sleep for a few hours.
He'd be sorry next trip when he woke to shaving cream on his face.
When Dean woke in the morning, the girl at the dock was all over the news. Sam's tip to the police had obviously paid off. It didn't make him feel any better.
"Bobby got any idea why Snakey went postal?" Dean asked, stifling a yawn. He rested his head on his hand while he sipped his coffee. It was doing nothing to ease his sleepiness or his splitting headache.
Sam shook his head. He glanced at Dean from above his laptop, before bringing his attention back to the screen. "They're normally peaceful. Well, relatively," he added. "These creatures are either on shore for romance or parties, not murder."
"Something's causing them to go Hannibal."
"Could be demons," Dean said.
Sam shut the laptop. There was that unmistakable faraway look in his eyes that told Dean he was plotting some idea. "There has to be something at the playground that will give us some clue."
Dean winced. Neither one of them was too keen on going back to where the encantado had slaughtered a bunch of kids, but the job was the job. They needed to figure out what caused the thing to turn on the local population when there was never a problem before last week.
He thought vaguely about going back to the docks to check for clues. The idea made him perk up a bit until he realized Sam was heading for the door.
Dean grabbed his coat and started to follow, only to be met with a pitiful look.
"Oh no," Dean said.
"I can handle it. You should rest anyway."
"It's a concussion. I've fought monsters with worse."
"I know. But there are no more monsters."
"Right, so no--"
"Look, you promised to treat me with respect and give me some room to move. This is just something simple like I've always done," Sam said. "Relax."
Dean couldn't relax. There was Lucifer and antichrists and angels ready to smite their asses.
He sighed. Respect. Space. Whatever. Dean wasn't going to argue with him.
Dean waved him away with his hand and crashed back into his chair. "Go knock yourself out."
Sam gave him a funny look, almost as if he didn't understand him, but the reply seemed to be enough for him. He gave a curt nod to Dean, and after a lingering gaze he supposed was thrown in there to make him feel better, Sam left.
He spent the rest of the morning with a headache that wouldn't quit. He tried some porn sites on Sam's computer to pass the time, tried taking a nap, and even considered walking down to the docks alone, but it figured his body wouldn't cooperate. Finally, he decided that Tylenol in the bathroom just wasn't going to cut it and he would hit the drug store a block away from the motel.
The store was busy. Some sale on M&M's had everyone in a shopping frenzy.
Dean picked up a bag of the peanut kind and headed toward the pharmacy.
When he reached the aisle he was looking for, he paused in front of the display. Dean rubbed his head. All the bottles looked the same to him. He grabbed the nearest one and glanced at the label.
The small text was a little blurry so he rubbed at it to see if the smudge would clear. It didn't. Screw that. He grabbed another. The text on the bottle blurred to the point he couldn't see a damn thing. Hell, at this point he couldn't tell if he was picking up pills for headaches or menstrual cramps.
He rubbed his head and closed his eyes as a wave of dizziness hit him. Maybe he'd hit it harder than he thought.
Dean grabbed a third bottle and squinted as he tried to read the text. Each of the little words danced with each other, creating a jumbled mess of nonsense. This was getting ridiculous.
Mumbling to himself, Dean took the bottle to the counter. The pharmacist smiled at him with a pleasant face. If he had been in the mood, he would have asked for her number.
"I've got a killer headache," he told her. "I need extra strength aspirin."
Her smile faltered a bit before she regained confidence and smiled harder. "Sorry? Can you repeat that?"
"Aspirin." Dean shook the bottle.
"I'm-I'm sorry." The smile was nearly gone. "I don't understand."
"You don't understand aspirin?" He let out a laugh and winced as his head throbbed harder. "Lady, you might want to find a new job."
She let out a nervous laugh of her own, and to his surprise, backed away from the counter. Her uneasy gaze moved from him to an unfixed point behind him then back to his face. Dean turned his head.
People were staring at him. The lady standing behind him looked terrified, her knuckles white as she clutched her wide-eyed son's hand. An older couple stared at him, while a couple of by-standers whispered to each other. A few others stopped, gave him a funny look, and walked away.
Dean gave himself a quick once over in case he'd done something stupid like forgetting pants. He let out a deep breath. He was good.
But that didn't explain why everyone kept looking at him like he'd grown two heads.
After giving his audience a long glare, he turned back to the counter. By now, several other pharmacists had come to join the woman.
"Can I help you?" a gentleman asked.
Dean jiggled the bottle again and slammed it on the counter. "Forget it." He tossed the M&M's in front of the man and opened his wallet. "I'll just take those."
The resounding silence brought his attention from his wallet to the counter. The male pharmacist was staring at him.
Was he speaking another language?
Finally, the man took the candy and the bottle and held them up. "You want to buy M&M's and Advil?"
Close enough. Dean nodded. He couldn't believe he'd picked the idiot store.
He waited for the man to ring up the items so he could get out of there. Every minute he stood in the line, the more anxious he became. People weren't just staring anymore. They were watching him. If he didn't know better, he'd have thought he was going paranoid.
When the pharmacist told him it would cost about twelve bucks, he fished in his wallet and threw a ten and two ones on the counter. He went to grab the bag, but the man stopped him.
"Uh, sir. It comes out to $11.67. You gave me three."
Dean raised his eyebrows. "You're kidding."
No one made any move to indicate they were joking.
He grabbed the bag from the man and ripped it open. Despite the protests from behind the counter, he brought the bottle as close to his face as he could. He couldn't read it. He checked his wallet again. He couldn't figure out the bills in the fold either.
Dean felt the blood rush from his face. This wasn't happening. He was trapped in some kind of nightmare. Forget the candy. He was going back to the motel.
He went to leave when the room tipped again. He took a deep breath to calm himself and held onto the counter for support.
"Is he retarded?" the little boy asked, only to be hushed by his mother.
Dean jerked as the male pharmacist and another man guided him away from the line toward a couple of seats next to the pharmacy, robbing him of the chance to set the kid straight. He tried to protest, but the more he spoke, the faster they led him away. Finally, he let them steer him away from the crowd that had gathered. It was clear that no one could understand a word he was saying, and the last thing he wanted was to create a bigger scene and get the cops involved.
The pharmacist sat him down and offered as genuine of a smile as he was going to get. "I know you're frustrated, sir, but you have to calm down. Do you have someone we can call to help?"
Dean moved to jump to his feet, but the men sat him back down. "We just want to help," they told him.
He dropped his head into his hands. They wanted to help. Dean didn't need help. He just needed answers. After he took a moment to gather himself, he reached into his pocket and withdrew his phone, flipping to speed dial.
Sam was number two. Sam was always number two. So why number two was suddenly number seven, number nine, and number three, he couldn't tell.
Burying his head in shame, Dean hit where two was supposed to be, shoved the phone at the pharmacist, and braced himself for another dizzy spell.