A/N: Mermaids terrified me as a young McQueen. I hope that in writing this, I can continue to overcome my aversion to shell-bras and fused thighs. I do very much hope that you'll enjoy.
Who's the Prettiest Mermaid of Them All?
(Mirror, Mirror on the Wall)
By Deanie McQueen
So they'd been turned into mermen.
All in all, Sam was rather happy with the situation: his scales were smooth and well-groomed, glittering in the sunshine like glittery things. Perched on a rock, Sam looked out at a calm sea and the wreckage of their boat. He privately approved of the way the water devoured the motor and the hull; the world was better off without that truly distasteful paint job, anyway. On the other hand, he suspected Dean was less than thrilled; Sam watched as his brother grumbled and flopped and eventually pulled himself up onto the rock, panting.
"Upper-arm strength!" Sam said cheerfully, flexing his muscles. "Comes in handy at times like these."
"Shut up," Dean said, breathless. Having achieved his primary goal of climbing up, he pressed his cheek into the rock and sighed. "What the hell kind of a curse is this?"
"Not sure," Sam lied. If he found himself rather enamored with his tail, that was his own business. From what he'd researched before the hunt, the curse shouldn't last more than a week. A month, at most. He bit his lip to hide his smile: a month, possibly a year of pretty scales and daily swimming and befriending sea creatures. He perked up even more at a new thought. "Are there dolphins here?" he asked, and perhaps he was too eager: Dean looked up with narrowed and confused eyes.
"Why the fuck are you asking me about dolphins?"
Sam squirmed under his big brother's gaze. "No reason," he said hastily. "I am in no way concerned about dolphins."
Dean raised his head up off the rock. "Are you enjoying this?"
Body nearly buzzing with glee again, Sam couldn't stop himself. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but I'm at least 70, 80 percent sure that we can talk to fish. 90 percent! The calculations were all very hasty, but I'm pretty sure."
"Are you out of your mind?"
"Can we give it a shot?" Sam begged. "Dolphins, Dean! Haven't you ever wanted to talk to a dolphin?"
"Not especially, no." Dean was looking at him like he had that one time when Sam was six and convinced that underwear was meant to be worn outside of clothing instead of underneath. "Can't say I've ever had that urge."
"Oh." Sam deflated a little, shoulders slumping. Truth be told, he hadn't really expected Dean to be excited about becoming a merman, but it stung a little to realize he didn't even see the advantages. Personally, Sam had never met anyone with the ability to converse with fish. Swimming along all day as they do, he imagined they must be exceptional conversationalists. Obviously, there was a wealth of fishy knowledge to be tapped into under the waves; this was something Sam fully intended to explore.
Sam turned his head to watch as Dean pulled himself up into a sitting position, letting his tail sink into the water. Dean looked incredibly glum. "Hard to drive with this," he pointed out, smacking his scaled thighs.
"But you can swim!" Sam said, eager to please. "Swim with the creatures of the sea!"
"I do not like creatures of the sea!" Dean turned to yell. "I like them on my plate," he said, and paused to think. "And if I'm feeling really fucking generous, I like them in aquariums."
Sam gasped. "Aquariums are prisons, Dean!" Just the thought of the glass and enclosure and plastic neon weeds sent a sympathetic shiver up Sam's spine. He had a heartless cretin for a brother. "Fish deserve to be free!"
"Since when are you all Sam Winchester, Defender of Fishy Rights?"
"Why are you teasing me?" Sam looked away, doing his best to keep the tears at bay. "It hurts me when you say things like that. Your words sting."
"Oh, for fuck's sake." Dean sounded tired.
"They do!" Abandoning all pretense, Sam faced his brother again, lip quivering with the stress of the conversation at hand. "Your words sting and they burn and you can be very cruel to me, at times. People don't like being teased, and I don't see what's so terrible about speaking to fish. They could be interesting. You could make a friend!" Sam let passion seep into his speech. "You could make a friend and friends don't let friends live in aquariums, do they? I'm only asking that you have a bit of compassion!"
"Compassion?" Dean said, incredulous. "Sam, you ate a Filet-O-Fish at the last rest stop. Remember? You bitched about 'the lack of greens' and farted in the car for like two hours afterward and don't even tell me that wasn't payback because I won't believe it."
Flustered, Sam could only yell, "Compassion!"
"Filet-O-Fish!" Dean yelled back.
Suddenly remembering their current location, Sam panicked. "Keep it down! I…" He cast around for the right words. "That sandwich was a mistake." A tasty mistake that he intended to make again, but that was something Dean needn't know. In the meantime, he felt it best to avoid the topic at hand. "Let's just…talk about something else, okay? Please?"
Dean huffed, threw up his hands in resignation. "Whatever you say, dude."
Sam let the silence stretch on before clearing his throat. "Thanks," he mumbled, and busied himself with rubbing down an errant scale.
Being a merman seemed to ignite arguments and a sudden, secret urge for greasy food. He sincerely hoped the rest of their cursed days would be happier, full of fish friends and lacking in barnacles.