A/N: My muse has gone away, for the moment. I suspect he's off someplace warm with a cool breeze, sipping on something alcoholic that he'll regret in the morning. I miss him terribly. Writing isn't the same without my muse. But I did write something about piggy banks.

Piggy Banks and Childhood

By Deanie McQueen

"But look at his ears."


"Look at how shiny!"


"But he's painted like a skeleton! Bones, Sammy! Don't you see the connection? It's fate that I own this piggy bank." To further plead his case, Dean held up said piggy bank and shook it a little in the air. "I think he wants to be mine, too."

"Dean, you are being foolish," said Sam. "Piggy banks can't talk. It doesn't have a central nervous system or bones or muscles. Stop making things up."

Dean frowned at his little brother before putting the piggy bank under one arm. "We're getting it," he said, already walking away. "And I won't hear otherwise."

It angered Sam when Dean acted like this. Big brothers were supposed to listen to their little ones from time to time. They didn't have the $10 it cost to buy the bank; they couldn't spare it. Sam had been eyeing a copy of Home and Garden and that nice pair of clippers on aisle 12, but he hadn't spoken up. Sam knew when purchases were appropriate.

Piggy banks weren't appropriate.

Sam had kept his mouth shut for far too long. Watching Dean walk away angered him in a way that the frequent diner stops and moldy motels couldn't manage. He would stand up for his beliefs. He wouldn't let Dean take that piggy bank.

It took no time at all to catch up to Dean; with one quick swipe of his giant paw, Sam grabbed the piggy bank back. He made a triumphant, cat-like sound for no reason at all.

"Hey!" Dean immediately tried to get the bank back, slapping at Sam's hands as Sam held the piggy bank over his head. "Give it back!"

"No!" Sam said forcefully. "It doesn't matter how much you want it, Dean. We can't get it. We're not wasting $10 on a piggy bank. Even if it's painted like a skeleton."

"Correction: we are getting the goddamn bank." Dean growled this, sounding very much like a dog. Like an angry dog that would delight in wearing scary-looking collars with metal and far too much leather. "We are getting the bank because I said so."

"Your words don't mean anything at all!" Sam knew this didn't make much sense, but he couldn't care. It felt nice to be in control. It felt daring. He was sticking up for what he believed in and Dean couldn't take that away. He wouldn't let him. "I'm putting it back on the shelf and you're going to let me."

"Like hell I am!" Dean said this in a rather loud tone. A redheaded woman wearing a very unflattering combination of polka-dot slacks and plaid shoes turned her head, clearly interested. Sam imagined that she had split-ends, and debated on suggesting a more appropriate type of conditioner. Unfortunately, there were more pressing matters at hand.

Sam knew they were making a lot of noise. It had been raining when they'd walked into Target, looking for a way to kill some time. They'd walked through a bit of mud and their shoes squelched on the shiny Target floor. The back of Sam's neck was still damp. He knew they looked like a mess, and arguing about a piggy bank was only going to attract more attention.

"Sam, wait!"

Sam was shocked to see his brother looked calmer, maybe even a little sad.

"What's wrong?" Sam asked.

"I'd like that piggy bank for two reasons," Dean said softly. "I like the colors. Also, it reminds me of my childhood."

Oh! Sam felt so foolish. "Why didn't you say so?" He stopped walking away from Dean and put a comforting hand on Dean's shoulder.

"I thought you wouldn't love me."

"I'll always love you, Dean!" Sam felt this was very important to make clear. "I'll always love you!" After a dramatic pause, he added, "You're my big brother."

"This is true," Dean said.

"I think you should get the bank," Sam said, feeling very generous.

"I think I should, too," Dean mumbled. "It will remind me of happier times."

And so it was. Sam might have felt a little sorry when they passed the gardening aisle, but taking care of his brother was more important. Rust-proof clippers could wait.