Author's Note: During my stint in Mrs. Weatherby's class, I often longed for a great many exquisite puddings.
The Importance of Clean Denim
by Deanie McQueen
Sam woke up cranky the next morning, with Dean's cheerful hand shaking him into consciousness.
"Wakey wakey, Sam. I've drawn you a nice, hot bath and gone out for coffee already. And crumpets!"
"Crumpets?" Sam croaked, rubbing a fist over one sleepy eye. "Since when do you eat crumpets?"
"Since always," Dean said as he pulled the covers off of Sam's prone body. "Come on, now. Chop chop. Quails rest for no one!"
Sam groaned, but got up, stretched the cricks out of his limbs and shifted to the shower. He came out with wet hair and still-tired eyes, sat at the table where a hot crumpet was waiting for him on a teeny tiny plate, butter melted into every single one of the small crevices. Sam stared at it, wondering why when he had said "respectable human being," Brunhilda had apparently heard "quintessential English stereotype."
"Uh, this is nice, Dea- w-what are you doing!"
"Eat your crumpet, Sam," Dean replied jovially, as he toweled his little brother's hair in a rigorous fashion. "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And if today is a success, I promise tonight we'll have sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream!"
"S-sticky toffee pudding w-with-"
"Clotted cream." Dean nodded sagely. "That's right, little brother mine. But only if you eat all of your salad. That's right. All of it. Green vegetables are key to your dietary needs."
"I know..." Sam knew. Sam had been telling Dean this for years now. "Dean."
"Dean, you're acting a little...weird."
Dean chuffed and tapped Sam on the back of the head. "Naughty, naughty, naughty, Samuel. Who do you think you are? Calling you're devoted older brother 'weird?'"
"That's right. You think about that. There's no need to be so ungrateful." Dean sniffed as he folded the towel and turned his back on Sam.
And that was their morning.
Demon, er..quail hunting was awkward at best. It was a supermarket, this time, and a butcher with black eyes that knew their names - they always knew their names. Sam sometimes wondered how many areas of Hell were pasted with posters of their faces, and he was about to ask this dude with the cow blood still dripping from his cleaver, but he was interrupted by the high-pitched scream and abrupt fainting of his once-badass older sibling.
"Um..." the demonic butcher said, quirking an eyebrow. "Are you...are you serious with that? I mean, like...really?"
"Yeah..." Sam trailed off. "Yeah, you're right. This has to stop."
This had to stop.
Sam performed a swift and relatively painless exorcism before toting his brother out of the market and shoving him into the passenger seat. Dean awoke moments later.
"Is this my car?" he asked, smiling a woozy smile. "My oldy woldy car?"
"No," Sam told him, sounding much like a frustrated parent scolding an errant toddler. "This is your classic car. And you love her. You love her and you don't appreciate clean jeans or salad."
"I don't?" Dean sounded confused. "Samuel, I'm pretty sure-"
"And you don't call me Samuel," Sam continued. "You call me Sam. And sometimes, embarrassingly enough, when you're feeling particularly affectionate, you call me Sammy."
"Sammy Wammy?" Dean asked.
Sam made a very frustrated noise between his teeth. "And you don't towel my hair dry or read me Paddington Bear before I fall asleep."
"Yes, I do. I did last night."
"Well, you shouldn't have."
"Was it naughty?" Dean wanted to know.
"And you don't use the word 'naughty' unless you're talking about sordid acts you partake in with attractive women who have very low standards."
"Sam, really, I don't know what you're talking about at all-"
"And you don't faint when we're about to exorcise a de-"
"Quail," Dean interrupted, shuddering at the apparent memory. "Can we please call them quails?"
"No, Dean. They're demons. And I don't want you to worry about it because I'm going to fix this."
"I am. This is my fault. I know who you are and I should accept it. You're never gonna be that guy, are you?"
Dean blinked through his coke-bottle glasses. "I guess not?
Sam unrolled his window and snatched the glasses off his brother's face. "You're not," he said in a voice full of vehemence, and he tossed the ugly things right out into the wind. "You're not at all."
Dean remained quietly thoughtful after that.
Brunhilda fixed it. She fixed it right up and Sam hugged her with same level of tearful joy that he hugged Dean with the previous night. Dean stood shaking his head and blinking, trying to regain his wits about him because it was apparently weird to be a British stereotype one minute and a grungy, cheeseburger-loving alcoholic the next.
"Sam?" he blinked. "Why the hell are you hugging Brunhilda?"
"My name is not Brun-"
"Shut up and stop ganking bunnies," Dean snapped, and he pulled his gun out of his jeans to level it threateningly at her. "What did the bunnies ever do to you, anyway?"
"Dean," Sam grabbed his brother by the wrist and lowered it so the gun was pointing towards the floor. "C'mon, let's just get out of here..."
Dean narrowed his eyes at Brunhilda, but reluctantly followed.
Sam fidgeted uncomfortably in the passenger seat on their way to their next destination and tried not to meet those suspicious glances Dean kept tossing his way.
It took about fifty miles for it to start coming back.
"Why did I clean your jeans last night?" Dean wondered aloud at a rest stop, before taking a large bite of a half-melted chocolate bar.
"Uh...you were being nice," Sam told him, and Dean shrugged and tossed the wrapper into a trashcan.
"'Course I was. I'm a helluva guy."
"You are," Sam agreed. "You really, really are, Dean."
"Don't start crying," Dean warned him, and they got back in the car.
Another fifty miles and it was, "Dude...who the hell is Paddington Bear?"
And twenty more, in farm country. "Awwww, Sammy. Lookit the sheepsy weepsies...and why the fuck did I just say sheepsy weepsies?" Sam tried his best to disappear under the glare his brother shot him during that particular question.
Sixteen more miles had them at, "I really, really hate salad, you know."
"I know," Sam told him in a small voice.
Ten. "Crumpets are kinda delicious."
Seven. "I feel like I had a dream last night where a quail killed a cow and Sam...Sam, that makes zero sense. Zilch."
Five, fingering a button on his white dress shirt. "Where the fuck did this pansy ass shirt come from? Is this yours?"
One. "I'm gonna kill you, I hope you know.
"I know," Sam squeaked.
"You better know. Where's my whiskey?"
"It turned into wine." Sam shrunk into his seat. "I'm sorry."
"You should be. I'm gonna kill you so hard. I fainted. In front of the enemy."
"I'm so sorry."
Dean was quiet for a long time after that. Sam tried very hard not to breathe too loudly, lest he remind his brother that he was still alive and kicking.
Twenty miles. "I really want some sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and I don't know what the fuck that is."
"I don't care," Dean told him, and knocked a light fist into Sam's thigh. "I don't care what it is. We're gettin' pie."
"Yes. You're paying."
Sam breathed a sigh of relief and internally vowed to always appreciate his brother. Dean may not be that guy, but he was this guy. And despite the fact that Sam knew this guy did his very best to make clean denim dirty, and that Sam's own clean, respectable pair of jeans would be shredded to hell and possibly burned that very night, he was very glad to buy this guy a slice of pie. Or three.