Author's Notes: Welcome once again to land of insanity. If you have been brave enough to step in here...well, I don't know what's wrong with you, there's probably no help for you, but I'm damned glad to have you along. :D Reviews are love, First Born Children; however, will unfortunately be given back as I have no need for any more. And if you really want to appease the Gods, it's Diet Mt Dew and White Cheddar Popcorn that fuels all of this. So, there you are. Please keep all hands & feet inside the car until the ride has come to a complete stop.
Disclaimer: They stole my ideas...again! Those...ugh! No, I'm fine. Really! I'm just playin', but you all know that already. I don't own any of it.
A study of the judgment of the unsouled.
Subject: Sam Winchester
Monitor: Dean Winchester
When the front door opened, Dean was temporarily blinded by the low hanging afternoon sun. Looking up from his work he was only able to make out the large looming shadow of his younger brother and nothing more.
"Here ya go," Sam's tenor voice rang out through the small motel room. "Not much to pick from. Got ya a double meat and bean burrito." He tossed the bag at the table where it slid home into Dean's outstretched hand.
"What's all this?" Dean asked pulling a covered container out of the bag. "Guacamole? Here, take it. I'm not really hungry." Sam eyed him curiously for a moment and then took the bag back and dug a hand into the bag searching for a loose tortilla chip.
Since discovering that, not only was there indeed a problem with Sam, but that said problem was the lack of a soul, it had been a very tense week. Dean was furious; with Sam for spending so much time hiding the problem and with himself for not following his gut instinct earlier. Sam smartly, did his best to stay out of Dean's way. In one fell swoop, and a broken nose, Dean has reasserted himself as the leader of the brotherly duo and for the first time in several months Sam fell back into his submissive, younger brother role.
"Whatcha got?" He asked around the crunching of the too large chip. "A case?"
"Hmm? No, it's just a little project that I'm working on."
"Project? What kind of project?" Sam leaned over Dean's shoulder and tried to decipher his brother's messy scrawl. "judgment of the unsouled? Dean, what is this? Is, is this about me?"
"Very good, Einstein." Dean brushed his left arm over the wide ruled, spiral notebook to hide the script from Sam's prying eyes. "Now, back off, Sam," he growled.
"No, really. What is it?"
"Fine, okay? It's a case study."
"Yea, kind of. Look, you're like the first of your kind, so I guess I just figured it's important to keep a record of this stuff. Like for the journal, ya know?"
"I guess." Sam processed this quietly for a moment and then frowned at Dean, bent over the table, jotting down notes and checking the computer occasionally. "But, since when did you turn all research geek?"
Dean stopped writing mid-sentence to turn and glare upward at his brother. "Research geek? Well, gee, Sam, let's see. I guess it happened around the same time you decided to go all Dr. Unfeelgood, that's when. Sooner you pull your head out, the sooner we can all go back to normal," Dean raised an accusatory finger at Sam, "and then you can stop using my lines on me."
Sam snapped his mouth shut tight around the uncouth comment begging to be released. With nothing within him to monitor his behavior, Sam relied only on the burning look of anger emanating from Dean's eyes to tell him that he was overstepping their newly laid boundaries. Dean's new rule number one: Lie to me and I bust your face. Rule number two: Piss me off and I bust your face. He had yet to come up with a rule number three, but Sam was sure that the busting of his face would be involved somehow.
Dean turned back to his notebook and although he tried to concentrate, he wasn't able to. He could feel Sam's eyes on him, watching him, studying him, and possibly trying to find a good place to drive home the new bowie knife that hung from Sam's waist. He wasn't willing to put anything past this stranger standing in their motel room. Dean didn't trust him and didn't particularly like him either. As far as he was concerned, without his soul, this man wasn't his brother. He was barely Sam.
So Dean kept an awareness of Sam's doings at all times and it was for that reason that he had decided to start making notes of what he noticed. Maybe there would come a day when his 'study' would come in handy for someone else. It could be the go-to guide on how to detect and protect the souls of your loved ones. Dean smiled. He kind of liked that. Maybe he should make that the title of his project.
"Can I see?" Internally, Dean slammed a palm against his own forehead. He'd let his guard slip and now Sam was standing directly behind him again.
"No," he barked.
Dean turned in his seat and was very taken back at how close Sam actually was. His first instinct was to stand and put the round table between himself and Sam; anything to keep the skin crawling feeling at bay.
"How's this gonna be a proper case study if you know all about it?" Dean tried to pull off light-hearted, but wasn't succeeding very well. He took a deep breath and conceded a little. "I'll let you see it when I'm done, alright?"
"Anything I need to do for your little study?"
"No. Don't try to help, Sam. I don't want your help." The younger hunter pulled a hurt face that turned Dean's stomach. On his brother, that face would have tugged heartstrings and employed sympathy, but on this man it was a false expression. A lie that only fueled the engine that had been pounding in Dean's head for the last week, replaying the same words again and again; figure this out, fix your brother. "No, wait. You can do something."
Sam brought eager eyes up to meet Dean's, looking to be useful.
"You can stop all the bullshit looks and the trying to feed me what you think I want to hear. I have absolutely no patience for your crap right now. I don't like any of this, but if I'm going to do this bit of research right, then I need you to act like your abnormal, unnatural self and to stop pretending to be my brother, when I know you don't feel it." Dean was slightly surprised by the bitterness of his own voice and regretted saying that last bit, but did not and would not take it back. If there was any chance that this would drill home how betrayed he felt, then it was a chance he'd willingly take. Dean was unfortunately disappointed. Sam's reaction was blasé. He nodded his head in agreement and turned back towards his bed where he tucked his legs up underneath him and sat down to eat Dean's burrito, chips and dip.
Dean gave him one more scathing, narrow-eyed look and then turned back to his notebook. His inner monolog running rampant, he began scratching ideas out onto the paper.
The dick's already proved that it's no holds barred when it comes to hunting. Gotta think outside of the box. What is it that makes him un-Sammy? No little girl fits, no lady-like sensibilities…OH! It was like a light bulb lit up inside his head and then exploded in a shower of sparks. If Sam had been Sam, the ideas suddenly bouncing around in Dean's head would have made the younger Winchester go running for the hills. Dean grinned devilishly. If this little experiment proved nothing, at least it would prove to be fun.