Title: Shiny Happy People [1/4]
Warnings: Cursing, excessive snark, utter crack.
Characters: Dean, Sam, Adam, OCs.
Word Count: 6476
Summary: An investigation of a newly-formed cult reveals a truckload of weirdness that not even Sam and Dean can take with a straight face. Crack!Fic, Snarky!Adam, spoilers galore.
Disclaimer: Characters, universe, and recognizable things belong to CW and EK. The ridiculous plot is, sadly, mine.
Author's Notes: I was afraid this would happen. Classes have started for me once again, and my time is being rather thoroughly devoured by it. I have this odd inability to forget about unfinished things—they nag at me constantly, so Out of Ashes will definitely proceed. But I had to get this out first—my brain has a tendency to latch onto ideas and not let them go until they are properly expunged.
This takes place in a hypothetical Season 6 with Sam and Dean doing their thing, and is unrelated to any of my other stories. I'd love to see more Adam, but the simple truth of the matter is that if the writers don't forget him entirely, he is much more likely to be brought back as a one-episode wonder. That idea, and my sudden craving for PONR-style Adam!Snark combined to make… this.
It is what it is. I hope you enjoy it. All reviews are welcome.
"Mysterious disappearances in Georgia. Eight people have gone missing at or near the Okefenokee Swamp…"
"Screw that. We're not doing that 'Deliverance' crap again. Once was enough."
"Dean, this is the 5th idea you've shot down in a row. We have to hunt something."
"I only shoot down the ones that suck. That was the 5th idea in a row that sucked. What else you got?"
"Okay, fine. We've got… some kind of cult forming up in Wyoming. They claim they have the Messiah up there and he's handing out free healings… to the deserving, of course."
"I thought the same thing, but there's no deaths corresponding to the healings. At least, none that I've been able to find... but that hardly means it's clean."
"Doesn't mean it's dirty, either. What if it's just some whack job and a bunch of actors?"
"He'd have to have hired his actors a while ago. There's a least one paraplegic who was paralyzed for twelve years before he visited this guy. He's up and walking around now and nobody can explain why. I think it's worth looking into, at least."
"Am I gonna have to let another old guy put his hands all over me?"
"Well, I guess that depends. Do you plan on flash-frying your heart again on the way there?"
"Think I'll pass."
"Maybe I should buy you some rubber gloves. You know, just in case."
"Does that mean you're onboard?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever."
The Cult calls itself (no shit) 'The Magic Fingers' and it is about the funniest fucking thing Dean has heard since the Ass-butt Incident of 2010 (it was one of those things you laughed at after the fact). They've co-opted some kind of summer camp in the smelliest armpit of Nowhere, Wyoming, and are making ample use of the space to house the dozens and dozens of dipshits who actually buy into the enormous truckload of horse piss they're selling. There is actually some semblance of security, which shocks the Hell out of Dean, because it actually means that someone in charge has their head just far enough out of their own asshole to see the real world and react accordingly. Of course, that probably just means that there's a con-man running the joint, and if that's the case, it's not his and Sam's job to keep morons from giving their money to douchebags. If it was, he's pretty sure they'd have to dismantle the economy and most of the world's governments before they could call it a day.
Still. They've got at least three people—three people with medical records and serious, forever-type injuries and illnesses which were supposedly un-fixable. Three people who are now fit as fighting fiddles and healthy enough to run with wild horses. They swear up, down, and side-to-side that this place is legit, so it's up to Sam and Dean to investigate.
Getting in is easy enough. They could get around the security if they needed to, but sometimes people forget that the easiest way to get through most doors is to knock on them. As usual, Sam is cast in the role of the sober, responsible, naïve and harmless young man, while Dean plays the part of the low-down, no-good reprobate thug. The two of them know their roles so well that they are practically a two-man commedia troupe and Dean cannot believe he actually knows what that is. "My brother is here to be healed," Sam says, plastering on his best 'deep, abiding sadness that touches your soul, but tempered with resolution and unfailing love that will see me through all obstacles' face.
"What's his problem?" says stereotypical fatass rent-a-cop number 2479. His moustache jiggles when he talks. It's kind of impressive, in a shudder-inducing kind of way.
Speaking of shuddering, Dean is doing his best impression of a frostbitten anorexic Jell-O mold, shaking and shivering and staring off into oblivion. Sam's artistic talent has given him all sorts of nasty-looking sores to keep his normally stunning beauty from drawing too much attention to them. Dean was kind of worried about his brother's mental health when he took a detour through the cosmetics aisle, but so far it's paying off.
"He's an addict," Sam explains, using that particular tone of voice that just makes you want to pick him up and cuddle him. You know, if you're anyone who isn't Dean.
"You said you'd tell them it was a flesh-eating virus!" Dean hisses, piling on the hurt.
"If you really to fix this, don't you think you should at least be honest about it? For once?" Sam counters, sounding like they've had this conversation a hundred times. Fuck hunting, they should get into show business.
"Go on in," says 2479, his many chins unmoved by their Oscar-worthy acting (okay, maybe not that good. But surely Emmy or Golden Globe. Maybe a Tony. What do they give those for, again?).
He is still pondering the answer to that question when a nice-looking lady in a white robe guides him to a cabin to shack up with other sickies. Dean's guessing they're new at this; the robes they bought are way too long, and all manner of twigs and leaves are stuck to the hems where they drag along the ground, and they've probably got all kinds of bugs crawling up their legs. Clearly they didn't expect to be working outdoors. Amateurs.
The two of them head into the cabin bathroom to discuss their plan (though ostensibly, because Dean needs to puke).
"If they're legit," Sam suggests, "we just need to wait for an actual healing to happen, and watch the fireworks. That's our best bet until we get more information."
"What do we do in the meantime?" Dean asks. "I mean, no offense to the huddled masses, but I don't feel like catching anything while I'm here."
His reward for his heroic display of tact is a cuff across the back of his head. "Most of these people have serious illnesses—genetic defects, cancer, organ failure. None of that stuff is contagious, Dean. The most contagious thing I think we'll run into here is an STD, so keep it in your pants, and you should be fine."
Dean thinks back to some of the people they saw on their way in, and suppresses a totally-un-PC-shudder. "No problems on that front."
They spend a few hours with the sickies of their cabin exchanging life stories. Dean's supposed to be a strung-out mess, so he spends most of his time laying still, occasionally groaning and shuddering to keep up the illusion. Sam is the one put in charge of telling their sordid tale, and he spins an epic yarn of juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, gang violence (Castiel's handprint becomes a gang tattoo for this one), and affairs with prostitutes (Dean does not pay for sex—he always takes care to ensure the experience itself is payment enough, thankyouverymuch). He can tell Sam is enjoying himself as he becomes a living fountain of bullshit, and he's fine with it… until Sam goes and makes himself the older brother, and everyone believes him because he is a sasquatch.
"But he looks so old," notes a skinny little girl with black hair. She says it pretty loudly, which, hey, even if he is a drug addict, he's still in the damn room.
"Meth does that to you," Sam nods sadly, and Dean makes a mental note to slug him for this later. He does not look old.
"Shelby Alcott?" a voice calls from the door.
The sheepish little twig of a girl who called him old raises her hand. "Here," she answers like it's a roll call. For all Dean knows, she's still in elementary school—she's tiny, but her skin looks sallow and stretched out, like she's shrinking underneath it and it's about to slip off.
"You have been chosen," the voice says again. "Come with us." Three cultists in slightly dirtier outfits appear near the doorway holding torches. Their white robes and oversized, vaguely pointy hoods make them look like members of the freaking Klan, and Dean would be pissed if it wasn't so obviously a result of simple stupidity.
Shelby grins and rises unsteadily to her feet. One of the cultists sees how painfully she's moving and quickly steps forward to help her walk—alright, Dean will give them a few points for that one. They have been doing their best to make everyone here as comfortable as possible—which isn't terribly comfortable, considering the location, but sometimes you gotta take what you can get. An older woman starts to go after her, but another cultist stops her. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but she must take this journey alone. Please, wait here." Against every instinct Dean is sure he would have in the same situation, the woman simply sighs and nods, sitting back down to do some more hand-wringing.
Dean and Sam wait a few seconds after the cultists leave before Dean pretends to have a nervous breakdown and storms out of the room, Sam being sure to placate everyone inside before following after him.
"Where'd they go?" Sam asks when he catches up with Dean.
The torches make it easy to follow them: Dean just nods towards the orange glow, which is making steady progress up a small path towards a larger cabin on top of a hill. Probably the mess hall, or a visitor's center. "I don't see anybody around. These people don't seem too paranoid. Or, you know, too bright. Shouldn't be too hard to sneak up on them."
Sam nods, and the two of them carefully tail the small procession of cultists. Sure enough, they head for the big cabin, but not the main entrance. Instead, they go around the back and enter through the basement. Rituals carried out in a basement… always a good sign.
After a quick search of the surrounding area, two cultists find themselves taking an impromptu closet nap, and Sam and Dean inherit their robes (with Sam having to walk bended kneed and hunched over to fit underneath the damn thing). The ritual is apparently a hoods-up affair, which is a pretty lucky break. By Dean's count, the cult doesn't have that many actual members, which probably means they're all on first-name basis with each other and not likely to get new converts that they don't recognize. Quietly, Dean and Sam slip into the basement just as the ritual begins.
"Shelby Alcott," a cultist in a pink (?) robe begins. Definitely a girl under the hood. "Diagnosed at age 15 with an inoperable brain tumor." Shit. A sudden bout of vertigo nearly knocks him over—only Sam subtly shifting over to steady him keeps him from falling. He hasn't thought about Layla in years, and of course, the guilt comes rushing back, fresh as the day it was made. He wonders how long she lived after he last saw her. What her funeral was like. What happened to her mother… "The doctors have given you three more months to live, correct?" Pink Robe Girl brings him back to the present.
Shelby, who looks more than a little frightened at being taken into a creepy basement with a bunch of weirdoes in costume, just nods shakily.
"Well, that sucks," Pink Robe Girl like, totally says. "The Magic Fingers are not down with that at all. Let the healing begin!" She starts chanting, and suddenly, the circle of cultists begins moving in and out, in and out, in perfect unison like some kind of demented version of the hokey pokey.
"What the Hell is she saying?" Dean whispers.
"No idea," Sam replies. "It's no language I've ever heard. It sounds like a bunch of random syllables from real words, just kind of tossed around and mixed up. Word salad, basically."
The two of them start moving in and out in time with the chanting, feeling like idiots the entire time, but still not willing to blow their cover before they figure out what the Hell is going on here. They do the hokey pokey and they turn themselves around, and Dean is this close to telling these morons what it's really all about when suddenly, someone barges through the circle from outside. He's not wearing a robe like the rest of the cultists; instead, he's in an all-white outfit with a hoodie, ski-mask, jeans and sneakers- Dean is forcibly reminded of Lucifer's fashion sense, and rather irrationally wonders if the Devil isn't somehow behind this. Ski Mask has got some kind of Michael Jackson thing going on, wearing only one glove, on his left hand. With his right, he reaches over and pokes Shelby in the cheek, causing her to gasp and fall to the floor (just like LeGrange, not a good sign). With no one to impress with their spectacular weirdness, the ritual grinds to an awkward halt as Ski Mask goes up to Pink Robe Girl and whispers something that sounds pissed and… somehow vaguely familiar.
Shelby rises from the floor as Ski Mask barges out of the circle as rudely as he barged in. "I feel… amazing…" she says, clearly in awe, and Dean looks over to Sam. Whatever is going down here, it seems that this guy is at the epicenter. They have their man. While the rest of the Fingers gather around to tend to Shelby, Sam and Dean slip silently away, following Ski Mask through a side door and into a hallway. After checking to be sure no one else followed them, they make their move.
Ski Mask turns around as they approach him. "What?" he asks. "What is it now? I already told you, I don't—"
His words are cut off as Sam and Dean rush him in unison, pinning him to the wall. "Alright, buddy," Dean says, pressing his elbow into the guy's neck. "You've got about ten seconds to explain to me what happened in there, and I better like what I hear."
The guy suddenly grows very still. "…no way. No. Freaking. Way," he groans, and all of a sudden, his voice goes from vaguely to very, very, very familiar.
Sam is apparently on the same wavelength, and his startled hands lash up and snatch the mask off with enough force to give most people whiplash. Under the mask lies the cherubic face of their very own long lost baby brother, who looks positively thrilled to see them.
"Crap." Adam monotones, and Dean can't see any reason to disagree with him.
The brothers head into a small side room with uncomfortable plastic chairs to have a little pow-wow. Adam still looks way less-than-thrilled, and Dean feels the urge to keep a careful eye on him so the kid doesn't try to slip away when they're distracted. He has to fight the urge to retreat himself—there's enough awkward in the room to give a guy laryngitis from all the throat-clearing.
"So," Sam says after an extended silence, always ready with the olive branch. "Adam. It's been… a long time, man."
"Not long enough," Adam says with a sarcastic smile. Hell has done nothing for his attitude problems.
"Adam, listen…" Dean starts, but Adam cuts him off immediately.
"I swear to God, if you start apologizing, I'm gone. I'll jump out a fuckin' window if I have to," he says. He even looks around for a window to leap through, seeming a little disappointed when he realizes that they're still in a basement.
"Okay," Dean says, backing off for the moment. The kid is pissed, that much is certain, but Dean can hardly hold that against him. Adam's got some pretty damn good reasons to be ticked off. "That's fine. You don't want to talk about it. When I got back, I didn't either."
Adam looks at him strangely, and noxious fumes of awkward threaten to ignite into something else.
"Look," Sam says. "Why don't you just… tell us what happened to you? Start from the beginning."
Adam quirks an eyebrow at the middle Winchester. "Alright. The beginning, let's see…"
Once upon a time, there was a dashing, handsome young pre-med student by the name of Adam Milligan. His bright, smiling face, can-do attitude and aw-shucks mannerisms ensured that he was beloved by friends and classmates alike. The world was at his fingertips, and everyone just knew that he was destined to live a long, productive life.
One day, shortly before heading home for a short visit with his overworked-but-loving mother, Adam found himself watching a Zombie Movie marathon with his roommate, Todd.
"Gee willikers!" Adam said. "Look at that guy getting his guts ripped out! That sure does look painful."
"Way," Todd nodded. "That'd be an ass way to die."
"Seriously!" Adam continued, "I hope nothing like that happens to me! Gosh, I reckon that's just about the worst way to die I can think of."
Todd said that he could think of something even more horrible, but Adam didn't really remember what he said. Mostly because a week later, as his mom and some cop made a fresh meal out of his nice, gooey intestines, he comforted himself in-between screams of agony with the knowledge that he was totally, totally right and that Todd could suck it.
Then he choked on a piece of his own kidney and died.
The awkward has multiplied by a hundred. Dean is going to suffocate in this fucking room. Can somebody open a goddamn window or something?
Oh, right, basement. Shit.
"Okay, that's not really what I meant by 'the beginning,'" Sam grimaces.
Adam shrugs. "Oh, okay. In that case…"
NOT THE END
Once upon a time, Adam Milligan was totally dead and in Heaven. It was a sweet setup. He got to make out with hot girls 24-7 and live in an iPod pre-loaded with his life's greatest hits on shuffle and infinite replay.
Then some MIB-looking angels popped up and were all "ADAM MILLIGAN, YOU MUST SAVE THE WORLD."
And Adam was like "What I gotta do?"
And the angels said "YOU AND THE ARCHANGEL MUST KILL THE DEVIL."
And Adam was all like "Cool, let's do this shit," as he put on a pair of badass sunglasses and got ready to rumble.
Then the angels were like "OH, AND BY THE WAY, THERE ARE THESE TWO GAY INCEST-LOVING BROTHERS NAMED SAM AND DEAN WHO MIGHT TRY TO KIDNAP YOU AND SAY THEY'RE YOUR BROTHERS, BUT THEY'RE TOTALLY FULL OF SHIT SO DON'T LISTEN TO THEM."
And Adam said "K," and all of a sudden it was, like, dark. Really really dark, and stinky, and dry. And OH YEAH. He suddenly remembered Todd's most horrible way to die.
"It would really suck to be buried alive. You'd be all panicking and suffocating and nobody could hear you scream. You'd probably die in your casket, and even if you got out, you'd just wind up drowning in dirt. God that would suck…"
And as Adam flew into ultra-terror-panic-fuck-mode and tried to claw out of his own casket, he realized that Todd was also totally, totally right. He mentally apologized to his old buddy for telling him to suck it, right before he passed out from lack of oxygen.
Dean is giving the Winchester Death Glare on full power. "He meant 'start from the point where—'"
Adam just intercepts it with an open palm. "Shhh. I'm getting to the best part…"
So after Adam passed out, he woke up in some old fart's house that smelled like old fart. There were these two brothers named Sam and Dean who had totally kidnapped him. There was also some banker guy in a trenchcoat named Castiel and a crippled old fart named Bobby.
"It's not fair!" Dean cried, desolate. "You're not supposed to save the world!" he wept, pointing an accusing finger at Adam. "Only I'm supposed to save the world!"
"Dean," Sam sighed sympathetically.
"Idjits," Bobby grunted, sipping his beer.
"How could you betray me like this?" Castiel seethed, looking at Dean with soulful eyes dripping with hurt. "I thought we had something special."
"Ummm, guys…" Adam tried to say.
"Michael was supposed to use me!" Dean pouted, stomping his foot. "My destiny that I didn't even really want has been stolen from me! I am just so miserably wretched and full of woe!"
"Dean," Sam gently reproved.
"Tarnation!" Bobby shouted, taking a swig of whiskey.
"You held my heart in your hands," Castiel spat at Dean. "And you crushed it. You vile, wicked man…"
"Guys," Adam tried again, a little louder.
"I have no one," Dean sniffled, placing a hand on his wounded heart. "No one at all. I am so very, very alone."
"Dean," Sam reassured, gently patting his older brother on the back.
"Rootin'-tootin'!" Bobby hollered, downing six shots of Vodka.
"I hate you," Castiel sniffled, crossing his arms and turning his back on the object of his ire. "Never again shall we lie together and know one another in the Biblical sense. We are through."
"Fuck this noise," Adam finally said, starting to leave.
"I don't have to take this. I'm going home," Dean snitted, storming out of the room.
"Dean!" Sam pleaded, following after him. "Dean… Dean. Dean? DEAN. …"
Bobby said nothing because he passed the fuck out in the middle of setting up a beer helmet with two bottles of rubbing alcohol.
Castiel was weeping bitter tears into one of Dean's old shirts when Adam finally escaped.
There is a big fat vein in Dean's neck. It's kind of unattractive, but thankfully, it only shows up when he is well and truly pissed. Which probably means it's protruding far enough to stack quarters on at the moment. "You think you're funny, don't you?" he bites at Adam.
The kid just shrugs. "I don't write the jokes. I just live them."
Sam looks more than a little miffed, as well, but he is better at reigning in his anger than Dean (probably because he has more anger to practice with). "Just tell us what you're doing here," he clips. "You don't like us, fine. You don't want to talk to us, okay, whatever. We get it, okay? But you know who we are, and what we do, so you know why we're here. Something happened in that room. You did something to that girl, something supernatural, and we're not leaving until we figure out what it is."
"So you can make this easier on all of us," Dean grits, "if you cut the crap and tell us the story we want to hear."
Adam doesn't back down from them in the slightest. "And what if I don't feel like talking? Huh? You gonna kidnap me? Tie me up and throw me in the trunk? Or maybe you'll just skip all of that crap and kill me. Again."
"We tried to save you!" Dean growls.
"Well, you failed," Adam seethes. There is a little hitch in his voice towards the end, something intangible changing in his expression. Suddenly, Dean is in another dingy hotel room, and he never thought he'd be so happy to see one again. Sam is with Bobby, trying to figure out how the Hell he escaped from Hell, and Dean is supposed to be asleep. But he can't sleep. Can't do much of anything except stare at his own face in the mirror and wonder if he knows who he is looking at.
He didn't, then. He knows now. "Adam, I'm sorry," Dean says, meaning it with every atom he's got.
The kid shakes his head and stands up violently enough to throw the chair out from underneath him. He starts for the door, but Sam intercepts him. "…get the fuck out of my way," Adam spits.
"No," Sam says simply, and Dean notes this as one of those instances where having a 6'5 wall of muscle for a little brother comes in handy, because Sam is not moving.
Dean tries his best to lay it all on the line. "I wish I could change what happened to you, kid. I do. But I can't. None of us can change any of this. It's done. It's just… done. So really, kid, I get it. So does Sam. And if you want, after this, we'll pop out of your life and you'll never have to see us or talk to us again, I swear to God. But we have know what's going on here. We have to be sure you're not hurting anyone."
Adam's jaw twitches, and his fists clench. He looks like he wants to give Sam a pounding that would make Lucifer's beatdown seem like he was fondly pinching Dean's cheeks by comparison. But he doesn't take a swing, doesn't do much of anything besides glare, until finally he starts telling his story again…
Once upon a time, there was Hell, and nothing else. There was screaming, and screaming and screaming, and writhing, and crying, and weeping and choking and begging for mercy and never getting any. There was clawing and biting and cutting and carving and tearing and ripping and shit they don't even have words for. There was being torn to pieces over and over again, being laid bare, blown apart, broken and shattered and ruined and crushed and pulverized in every way that a person can be, and it never stopped. It never, ever stopped, until one day, it did.
One day, Adam Milligan found himself on the Earth, and couldn't decide whether he wanted to cry and kiss it or scream and tear it apart. He couldn't decide whether he wanted to fall on his knees and thank God, or hunt Him down and jam a fork into His Holy Nutsack. He couldn't process this shit, and his brain was so badly fucked that he pretty much did the zombie shuffle to random places for hours, maybe even days after he got back. Then, he zombie'd his way onto the highway and stepped in front of a fucking Prius and got turned into fender ketchup. The Prius swerved into a Jeep Cherokee which flipped over onto a minivan and soon there was a six car pileup with multiple serious injuries. But Adam wasn't among the injured—despite the fact that the car was probably going 70 when it hit him, full-on, and he flew head-over-heels for dozens of yards, there wasn't a fucking scratch on him. If he'd taken some time to think about it, that might have struck him as a little weird, but he wasn't thinking about that. He was thinking about the six-car pileup he just caused.
Since he knew first aid, his training kind of took over and he ran towards the scene of the accident, looking for any injured people he could help. The Prius was flipped over and the lady driving it had blood coming out of all the wrong places, but there wasn't anything he could do for her, because she was losing way too much blood way too fast and probably had a ton of internal injuries that he had no fucking clue what to do about. She was still conscious, though, and she recognized him when he walked up.
"Oh my God," she rasped, coughing up some nasty red gunk. "Are y…you okay?"
"I'm fine," Adam replied, still kind of dazed. Those were the first words he'd said since getting back, and they sounded fucking weird coming out of his mouth like that.
"Oh, thank God," she said, before hacking up some more grossness.
"I think you're gonna die," Adam said like the big, stupid, oblivious dick that he was. "I'm sorry," he added after he realized how retarded he was being.
"Me too," she replied, trying to smile, and fuck. It was Adam's fault she was dying. His fault that all of these people were hurt—if he had been paying attention to where he was going, none of this shit would've happened.
He reached out to grab her hand, not really knowing why. Trying to be nice, trying to be comforting, who the fuck knows. All he knows is that when their hands met, suddenly, she wasn't bleeding anymore. Suddenly, she was opening her car door and stumbling out and checking her body for injuries and not finding anything. Suddenly, she was really fucking happy and with good reason.
That day, there was a six-car pileup on I-80 near Omaha, Nebraska, involving a Prius, a minivan, a Jeep, a Dodge Charger, and two SUVs. Three of the cars had families with small children. And there wasn't a single fatality or serious injury among them. Everyone walked away.
"Holy shit," Sam breathes.
"What he said," Dean concurs.
Adam shrugs, looking a little less hostile for a change. "I don't even know what the fuck. I just… when I touch people, they're fixed. Just like that. Can't even turn it off—it's why I've got the Michael Jackson thing going on with my gloves," he says, holding up his hands. His right one is the only one with exposed skin, the other covered in a thin latex glove.
"So you're like a walking Get Well Soon card?" Dean asks.
Adam nods. "It's weird, man. Watch this," he says. Then he cold-cocks Dean's little brother right in the jaw.
"Whoa! The fuck is your problem, you little shit?" Dean shouts, big brother mode activating in a frenzy of flashing lights and alarms blaring DANGER, SAM WINCHESTER over loudspeakers.
His alarms are silenced by Sam, holding up one hand and rubbing his jaw in awe with the other. "Wow. That felt… awesome."
Adam sighs. "I know. It's like… I can't hurt people. Even if I want to. Which sucks, because sometimes, you really need to punch somebody, you know?"
Dean does. "Damn."
"And there are no drawbacks? Nobody else takes the injuries instead, nobody else has to die so that these people can live?" Sam queries.
The disgruntled, slightly disgusted look returns to Adam's face. "No. Why the Hell would I do that?"
Sam scratches the back of his head. "Long story. We've seen stuff similar to this before, but it usually has a pretty sharp drawback."
"Deadly sharp," Dean adds.
"No, nothing like that," Adam sighs. "Nothing bad, but… well," he runs a hand through his hair. "There is this… one thing," he mumbles.
"Yeah?" Dean prods. "What's that?"
Adam looks pensive for a second. "Anyone outside?" he asks.
Sam sticks his head out the door. "We're clear."
His eyes dart around the room, like he half expects someone to pop out from behind a potted plant or rappel down from the ceiling. "…alright. I guess I'll just show you," he sighs. "God, I can't believe I'm doing this…"
The way he's talking about it makes Dean think it's got to be a rash or something in an embarrassing place, and Dean would really rather not, you know, anything to do with that. "Uhhhh, kid, if this is some kind of private, personal thing, we really don't—"
"Just come on," he grunts.
Adam takes them outside. Or almost outside, anyway; he stops right before they go through the door, turning back to them with a look that's about two cups annoyance, one cup fuck my life, and three tablespoons of pure embarrassment. "Don't laugh," he says.
Neither he nor Sam knows how to respond to that. Sam nods, Dean shrugs. Adam sighs, and steps through the door.
As he walks outdoors into the evening, the fading sunlight seems to concentrate around him as he goes, forming into a kind of vague glow that almost looks like a halo around the kid's head, making his hair look even blonder than before. That in itself is kind of odd, but the next part… the next part, Dean could not make up if he tried.
A gaggle of adorable woodland creatures crawl out of the woodwork to gather around his feet, and suddenly Adam standing in the middle of a group of three squirrels, two chipmunks, a badger, a beaver, a fox, three bunny rabbits, a raccoon, and a goddamn baby deer. Birds fly down from the trees to flutter around his head and—swear to God—butterflies seem to literally spawn from the fucking aether to land on his shoulders. Out of the corner of his eye, Dean spots a turtle slowly but surely making its way over to join the party and that is the straw that snaps the camel's spine in two.
Dean laughs. He laughs so hard he forgets to breathe. He laughs so hard that his muscles seize up and he falls over, rolling on the ground and cackling to the sky like a doped-up hyena.
"Shut up," Adam growls, and never in his life has he looked more impotent, so the whole thing just sends Dean even deeper into the sea of hysterics.
Sam, shockingly, has kept a straight face through the whole thing, but Dean can see something in his eyes when he looks at Adam. "You know what this means, don't you?" Sam says gravely.
Adam looks a little worried. "No, what?"
"It means that you are the True Prince of the Fairies," Sam finally cracks, sniggering even as he speaks. "You are the rightful ruler of the Gumdrop Kingdom, destined to find the Rainbow Wand and sing the Song of Eternal Love, bringing an age of peace and happiness to all the land."
"You guys suck," Adam spits. "Fuckin' assholes…" His tirade is interrupted when the fawn notices his distress and gently nuzzles against him in sympathy. Adam just glares at it. "Attack!" he says, pointing to Dean. The fawn responds by licking his hand, and good God. Dean is seriously going to pass out. He can't even remember what breathing is like. He is going to die laughing, which is just even more hilarious. Dean tries in vain to stand up, only to be knocked down by Adam's angry fist.
Holy Hell. "Sam was right. That was awesome!" Dean laughs. "Do it again."
Adam roars in frustration and stomps off, his forest friends happily scampering after, and SATAN'S ASS CHEEKS. There are flowers blooming in the spot where he was standing. Fucking flowers. Dean hears Sam starting to wheeze from laughing so hard.
"Maybe," Dean gasps between spasms. "Maybe we shouldn't laugh. He might…" He snorts. "He might do something really nasty. Like give us a hug!"
"Or hit us with his Care Bear Stare," Sam wheezes.
Dean just starts to laugh louder when suddenly the universe seems a lot less funny due to a powerful blow to his back that feels anything but awesome. He lands on his stomach just in time to hear Sam. "No, dude, come on…" A mighty whump follows, and Sam lands on the ground as well. Dean looks up to see Adam standing over him with a feral look in his eyes and a big stick in his hands. Sadly, the fact that he is sparkling in the sunlight and surrounded by adorable fuzzy things still makes him look more than a little ridiculous, and Dean can't stop smiling.
"Stop laughing!" he cries. "It's not funny!"
Dean can't help himself. "Oh, come on. It's a little funny…"
Oh, now he's done it. Adam is on his way over, brandishing the huge tree branch like a broadsword. "Come on, kid!" he pleads, desperately trying not to grin as he talks. "Look, we're sorry, okay?"
"Oh, you're gonna be sorry," he says, raising the stick over his head. Dean braces for the most hilarious beating of his life, when suddenly…
"Ummm, sir?" a feminine voice calls out, stopping Adam in his tracks. Dean looks over to the cabin to see Pink Robe Girl and a few others. Her hood is down now, and Dean can see that she is a young woman, probably not much older than Adam himself, with short, black hair and blue eyes. "Is something wrong?"
Adam has gone wide-eyed and seems to have momentarily frozen (stick and all), so Dean takes this opportunity to stand up and put a friendly arm around the kid. "Nope, no problems here, just a little friendly roughhousing," he says, turning the charm smile up to eleven.
Pink Robe Girl quirks an eyebrow. "O…kay? I'm not sure why you feel compelled to roughhouse with our Messiah," she says, do not laugh, Dean, do not laugh. "I don't think I've seen you around here before. Who are you?"
"I'm Dean," he says, before gesturing over to his taller brother who is currently scraping pine needles off of his shirt. "That's Sam. We're—"
"My two gay uncles," Adam suddenly jumps in, his brain having restarted and going straight back into vindictive mode. Oh, no you did not, you scrawny little shit…
"Oh," Pink Robe Girl says. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were having visitors."
"Sorry," Adam shrugs, smiling innocently. "Must have slipped my mind."
"Well," she replies, turning to Dean. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Stephanie, the Grand Popetress of the Magic Fingers," she says with a smile, offering her hand. Popetress?
"Nice to meet you," Dean says. "But we were just going, weren't we Sam?"
Sam rubs his hip where the stick made impact. "Yeah. Gotta hit the road. Hard," he grunts.
"No!" Adam suddenly shouts. "I mean, uhhh… no, you guys don't have to go."
Huh. That's a pretty sudden attitude shift. "Well, we wouldn't want to impose…" Dean says, but Stephanie has already moved forward to grab him by the hand, leading him back towards the cabin. Two of the others go for Sam, who is looking at Dean with his 'what the Hell' eyes.
"Oh, you're not imposing on us at all! Any family of Our Lord is welcome here, regardless of lifestyle choices. The Magic Fingers are totally open and affirming!" she grins. "You can stay in the main cabin with us! Do you have any luggage?"
"Uhhh," Dean stammers. "No, not really, we weren't actually planning on staying, you see…" He looks back at Adam to try and figure out what the kid is going for.
The kid, for his part, makes it abundantly clear. GET ME OUT OF HERE, he mouths. THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.
Dean's eyebrows shoot up in shock, but he is pulled away from further communication by the surprisingly strong Stephanie continuing to lead him into the cabin. "Well, anything you need, you let us know, okay?" she smiles, and Dean nods.
As he is lead inside, he looks back over to where Adam was standing, only to find him gone, his animal friends standing around looking rather forlorn without him (the turtle looking especially sad, having only just gotten there to find that the party ended without him).
Suddenly, this case is a lot more interesting…
To Be Continued...