Don't even ask me what the hell this is. I can't stop vomiting up Dean/Cas apparently, so here is an incredibly ill-timed Valentine's Day story. (Unless you happen to be reading this on Valentine's Day at some point in the future, in which case...SUCCESS!) This takes place somewhere around the whole season five Valentine's Day fiasco, but totally screws with the timeline. This is my stab at the humor genre. I generally like serious Dean/Cas better, but whatev'z. Here's some fluffy LUV to get you through the impending WINTER DOOM.
Happy Friggin' Valentine's Day
"If I see one more red heart I'm gonna puke, Sammy, I swear."
Sam Winchester looked over at his brother in mild surprise as they walked down the street together, raising an eyebrow. "Dude, seriously?"
Dean eyed him. "What?"
"That's what you've been so grouchy about lately? Valentine's Day?"
Dean's eyes darted back in forth as he attempted to assess his recent behavior. "No. Er, well, you know."
Sam kept his eyebrow suspiciously high.
Dean snorted and quickened his pace. "You can't tell me you don't think it's the most annoying, useless holiday of all time. Paper hearts, chalk candy…fat, naked, hug-happy Cupids—or maybe you enjoyed that."
Sam lidded his eyes and easily caught up to Dean's pace with his freakishly long legs. "Okay, Dean."
"And I haven't been grouchy. So shut your pie hole."
Sam huffed an amused laugh. "Well no one's making you participate, so why don't you and Valentine's Day just agree to ignore each other until this week is over? Besides, what brought that up, anyway? Get your head in the game, Dean."
Dean grumbled, setting his eyes forward. Okay, so maybe he was a little more irritated by Valentine's Day this year than he had been in years past. After all, it was the easiest night to get tail there ever was. But with the entire goddamn world threatening to end, how could Sam not be annoyed by its stupid, oblivious occupants too busy making kissy faces at each other to even notice? There was no time for this nonsense holiday, and Dean didn't care how much he sounded like a lonely, bitter, crotchety old—well, Bobby Singer.
"This looks like the place," Sam said beside him, and Dean stumbled to a halt to look up at the shop sign above their heads.
Fodder Street Practical Witchcraft.
Dean sighed. "I can't believe we're doing this."
"What?" Sam gave him a familiar bitch face. "Word is that this place has more goofer dust, and we could stand to stock up with hellhounds popping out of nowhere. Do you have another magic dust source in mind?"
"So you're not even a little bit bothered by the words 'practical' and 'witchcraft' jammed together there in the same sentence?"
"I'm sure no one here is an actual witch, Dean," Sam reasoned. "Places like these are just for people who get excited about little voodoo rituals and bogus potions. If they have what we're looking for here, chances are they don't even have a clue how useful it really is."
"Great. Everyday magic for the Starbucks crowd. Good to know the supernatural's gotten trendy," Dean muttered. "Alright, let's get this over with."
A set of wooden wind chimes clinked against the door frame as they pushed inside, taking in the aroma of cedar, smoke, and a myriad of unidentifiable spices. The place was riddled with shelves that seemed to have no organization whatsoever, lined with everything from carved trinkets to aging bottles to dead animals. Dean shot Sam an 'oh yeah, good plan, Sasquatch' look and his younger brother shrugged. "You go right I'll go left?"
Dean muttered something under his breath about Sam's sexuality being suspect and broke away from him to peruse the hordes of hoaxes and junk. As Dean surveyed the shop, he let his thoughts wander, none too enthused about seriously trying to find something useful in this sea of crap. He would say this for the place though; at least it wasn't plastered with pink and red décor. Dean already had to deal with that at grocery stores, gas stations, bars, and just when he thought he could have a moment's peace, every channel on television. Now that he thought about it, standing around struggling to breathe through incense and sifting through animal parts beat the hell out of gritting his teeth through another Hallmark moment. He just didn't see how Sam couldn't agree. After all, with a dead girlfriend and his last lay being a backstabbing demon, you'd think he'd have had enough torture for one lifetime. But no, little Sammy was ever the hopeless romantic. It made Dean sick.
He almost wished that Cas had come along, just to back him up in this regard. Now there was a guy who was sure to see things his way. He smirked as he remembered the look on Sam's face a few days earlier while, despite his well thought-out explanation, a confused Castiel expressed his inability to grasp the holiday's purpose.
"This seems rather impertinent to the situation at hand, Sam. Our priority is to stop Lucifer."
And he was fairly certain that Cas wouldn't be pleased with all of these icons portraying angels as chubby, harmless, lovey-dovey cherubs. Angels were "warriors of God" as Cas liked to remind, and he'd kicked enough ass to prove it. And next to the rest of the maniacal, sadistic angel population, Cas was downright cuddly. No, angels were definitely neither cute nor benevolent. Well, okay, so maybe Anna was kind of cute. When she hadn't been trying to murder his parents. Dean reached out and dug haphazardly under a few stacked objects, pulling back a handful of large white feathers covering a wooden box. He flipped it open, but there was nothing inside, and he resumed his half-assed search.
He supposed they lucked out in the holy avenger department with Cas. Dean wasn't really sure what made the Littlest Angel develop an affinity for humans, but he guessed that up in Heaven he was probably the equivalent of the sensitive nerd that stopped other kids from stepping on bugs in the playground. Not that he wanted to admit it, but he felt kind of bad for the guy, having lost so much of his mojo in his effort to keep the two brothers breathing. There had been something there from the start, even when Cas was still tethered to his garrison, that was ubiquitously on their side. Dean couldn't even imagine doing any of this without him. Most of it would be downright impossible.
Cas…well, Cas was alright. He was every bit as much a part of the team as he or Sam. Looking back, he couldn't even remember how that happened. All he knew was that an angel turned out to be the coolest pet in the universe and they weren't giving him back for anything. His thumb unconsciously stroked the feather he didn't realize was still in his hand.
Dean blinked, looking around to see he had come to the end of the shelves. Why the hell was he thinking so much about Cas, anyway? And…why was he here again?
Dean looked over as Sam appeared around a corner, holding up a large pouch with a nod of triumph. Dean was relieved. " 'Bout friggin' time. Let's blow this creepshow."
Sam gestured for him to follow and Dean hesitated, gently placing the feather back down onto a surface before he did so.
Knickknack Hell, as Dean had decided to dub this place, was a maze to navigate. The two of them took three wrong turns and bumped into each other once before finally finding the front counter. Combined with the complete lack of organization, it was almost as though they didn't want anyone buying this junk. The counter was just as littered with hocus pocus bullshit as the rest of the store. Behind it stood a woman in her mid-thirties with a shapely curved figure and long, wavy black hair, her light blue eyes down on a magazine splayed across the glass surface and her chin in her palm. She didn't look up as they approached her.
Sam cleared his throat. "Uh, excuse me,"
"Be with you in one moment," she replied without looking up from her magazine.
Sam and Dean exchanged glances.
After another minute, the woman closed the article and turned her attention to them, a large smile plastered on her face. "What can I do for you boys?"
"Just this," Sam held up the pouch before placing it on the counter and reaching for the wallet in his back pocket.
The woman looked down at the pouch with a perplexed face, leaning back over the counter and making no attempt to exact a transaction. "Goofer dust, huh? That's interesting."
"It is?" Sam asked warily.
"Well, you two sure don't fit the norm of my regular crowd," she replied with a scrutinizing gaze between them.
"You can say that again," Dean muttered. Sam shot him a look.
The woman smirked. "What I mean is most people who come in here are looking for something wild. Anything unique or creepy or foreign, something that has a real taboo, pagan feel. Witch kitsch, I like to call it. But you, no. You two country bumpkins head straight for a bag of dirt."
"Is…that a problem?" Sam looked down at the bag, then back to her.
"No. Like I said, it's just…interesting." She turned a grin on them and folded her arms on the counter top. "But it's certainly nothing to impress your Valentine with."
Dean's eyes narrowed. She had to go and drop the V-bomb. "Look, lady, you wanna make a sale or don't you?"
"Dean," Sam warned.
The woman gave Dean another devilish smile. "Honey, I'm all about sales. Which is why I couldn't possibly let you leave here with nothing but a sack full of old hoodoo."
"It's really all we need," Sam tried to insist, but she was already running a hand along a little wooden stand of glass bottles filled with a maroon liquid to their right.
"How about a nice aphrodisiac to spice things up? This one's good. I usually sell out by now, but I brewed up this batch fresh. Absolutely positively guaranteed to make sure there's a nine mile line waiting for your next sexual performance."
A terribly uncomfortable smile played on Sam's lips. "That's…uh, we just—"
"What's the matter, lamb chop?" she pouted. "Don't tell me two hard, handsome boys like you are both single." Her eyes darted between them, and when there was a strained hesitation she tutted. "That's a damn shame. A real damn shame. I can fix it though!" she reached under her counter and pulled out a small jar. "How about a love potion?"
"Um, no, we don't need—"
She jumped back in to cut Sam off. "Don't worry; it's only a temporary one. Just enough to make your holiday memorable. …But if you double this up with my stud serum, she's more than likely to stick around once it wears off."
"Yeah?" Dean snapped. "You got anything in here that cures Chatty Kathy?"
The woman leered at him mischievously.
"Er, sorry," Sam said, clearing his throat. "My brother is sort of…"
"Skeptical?" she finished.
"Actually I was going to say stupid."
"Alright, alright, so we're not the mystical type," she relented, holding up her hands. "But you don't really want to spend Valentine's Day all alone, do you?"
Dean mentally rolled his eyes and looked over at Sam, only to find a slightly melancholy look to him. Christ, that kid was such a sentimental sap bucket. Dean rubbed the bridge of his nose and shook his head. "Believe me, toots, we've got a lot bigger things to worry about these days than romance. Right, Samantha?"
Sam gave him an evil eye that was eerily reminiscent of their father and pushed the bag of dust closer to the register.
"Spoken like a true cynic," the woman sighed in return. "You must have spent your whole life deflecting Cupid's arrows, huh?"
Dean was suddenly reminded of being enthusiastically bear-hugged from behind and felt an inward shudder of revulsion. "Oh I've felt his arrow alright. Once was more than enough."
"It's just such a waste," she huffed. "At least let me show you one more thing."
Dean's patience was already tissue thin, but he kept quiet this time. He wasn't sure why. Maybe it was just because…well, there was something strangely enchanting about dark hair and blue eyes that he couldn't put his finger on.
Sam was less obliging this time, however, holding out a hand to physically stop her from reaching below the counter. "Really, we're fine. How much for the dust?"
The woman frowned in disappointment and drew herself back up. "Forty-nine ninety nine."
Dean jerked back in offense. "Fifty bucks? Are you kiddin' me?"
"Imports are expensive," she monotoned, casually jerking a thumb over her shoulder. "I have a cheap knock off in the back if you're feeling frugal."
"No, this is fine," Sam assured.
Dean pointed a finger. "It better work."
"Satisfaction guaranteed," she beamed brightly, taking the credit card from Sam's hand. She blinked down at it and bit her lip, thinking for a moment before her eyes scaled the shelf behind her. "Just a minute, my card reader is on the fritz. We'll have to do this the old fashioned way."
Dean barely resisted a "make it snappy" and shared a long eye-battle with Sam to express his dissatisfaction with this whole ordeal.
Sam shrugged in return and watched as the woman climbed a short step ladder, stretching a hand all the way up to the highest shelf and groping around. Her hand found purchase and she began to drag an old manual card slider forward, but as she did so it grazed a vial sitting next to it. The motion tipped it over the edge and sent it falling onto the counter right in front of her two customers, and as soon as it hit, shattered into a great cloud of powder. Sam and Dean pulled back, coughing and swiping at the air as the contents dusted their clothes.
"Oops!" she chirped, but made no motion to hurry as she maneuvered herself back down the ladder. "My bad."
"What the hell, lady?" Dean growled, still coughing.
"I said 'my bad'," she offered while she swiped the card, as though that were the end all be all of justification.
Sam patted down his clothes with quiet discontent and quickly scrawled a signature onto the slip he was handed. "Uh, thanks. I…guess we'll be going now."
"Finally," Dean snatched the pouch of goofer dust off the countertop and turned without offering so much as a goodbye. Sam watched him go and gave a polite, tight-lipped smile before turning to follow.
"Maybe I'll see you around sometime. I'm Tabitha, by the way. And oh," she raised herself up to peer at them over the shelves as they moved. "You boys have yourselves a happy Valentine's Day."