Dean's starting to sweat and shake, just like he does every night before he shifts. Sam sits on the bed across, watching his brother carefully.
"You want some water or something, man?"
"I don't need freaking water, Sam, okay?" Dean snaps, voice strained. He flattens his shaking palms against his thighs. "I need alcohol, that's what."
Sam winces. "Not a good idea, dude. Remember what happened last time you got drunk before…?"
"Yeah, I remember," Dean grumbles. The scratches had taken a week to fade from Sam's arms, a macabre work of art reminding Dean exactly how screwed up the whole situation was.
Dean cries out, and hunches over in pain; the change is starting to take place. It takes a moment for the spasm to pass, but Dean manages to lift his head and look at Sam, misery pouring from his scrunched eyes.
Sam huffs and scrubs his jeans with his right hand. He wants to be able to help his brother through this, but months into it he's still never figured out how. He knows for sure that Dean hates to be touched during the transformation.
"Look, Dean, it'll be alright," Sam promises his brother. "I'll keep watch of you all night, I promise. Nothing bad will happen."
Dean frowns unhappily, and glances at the sturdy headboard the motel decorator had decided on. "Maybe we can try restraints again," Dean suggests hopefully.
"No," Sam shakes his head. "They've never worked in the past, they're not going to work now. Relax, I've got your back."
Dean grits his teeth and moans through another tremor, coming out the other end panting for breath.
"Almost there," Sam announces uselessly. They both know the timing of the curse; looking up the exact time of the full moon rising during the day so they can be as prepared as possible.
"You get the stuff out of the trunk?" Dean asks blearily, keeping his eyes closed against the headache Sam knows is building up.
"Yeah." The small duffle is sitting at the foot of the bed. It contains all the necessary supplies to get them through the night. Dean never opens it beforehand, however. Sam's not really sure why, although he suspects that Dean's embarrassed about it.
A pained groan sends Dean rocking, and Sam knows that the time had come.
Dean is hunched over as his figure starts to blur, shifting unnaturally. Although his hair doesn't really get any longer, the colour lightens and the texture changes. His fingers narrow and nails start to lengthen, looking stronger and shinier. Toes curl and flex and the change ripples through the rest of Dean's body.
The whole thing takes less than a minute now, but Sam still holds his breath through it all until he hears Dean speak to him again, voice almost unrecognizable.
"I'm okay, Sammy." Dean sits up on the bed, stretching and checking the changes the curse has made.
Once powerful arms and shoulders have narrowed and lightened, ending in slender fingers. A few inches have been lost in height; although Dean's shapely legs aren't any worse off because of it. Dean's still sporting a crew cut, but it somehow manages to fit the new delicate facial features and look cutesy-punk instead of manly. Dean has, just like every full moon since being cursed, been completely transformed into a woman.
She ruffles her hair as she tucks one leg underneath the other. She's still solidly built, for a girl, but the boxer shorts are a little baggy and her t-shirt slumps from her shoulders sloppily, swelling over her modest bust line but completely hiding the narrow waist Sam knows she has.
Dean doesn't seem happy with her clothing either, eyes casting around and lighting up when she finds the small duffle.
"Everything okay?" Sam asks cautiously. He's still not entirely used to this female Dean, and he can't help himself from staring as she pulls out girl-sized clothing from the bag as well as a pair of women's size nine shoes.
"All in one piece, Sam," she smiles at him. "Now turn around, I'm getting changed."
"Why can't you just go to the bathroom," Sam grumbles as he turns his back, really not wanting to catch an eyeful accidentally.
Dean laughs, a tinkling giggle that still strangely echoes his masculine one. "It'll only take a second, quit your whining. There, all done."
When Sam turns around again, Dean's dressed in plain jeans, a white tank, and a plain cotton button-down shirt. Dean's taste as a girl don't vary all that much from Dean's taste as a guy. There are just a few more things that girl-Dean is interested in. This is evidenced as Dean digs around in the duffle for a moment before pushing it away huffily.
"What?" Sam stands anxiously, ready to help her with whatever she needs.
"I forgot that I threw out my makeup from last time," she complains, grabbing the unisex tub of hair product that Dean always uses, regardless of gender, and stomping to the bathroom.
"You always throw out the makeup," Sam reminds her, taking a couple steps towards the bathroom so he can still see her through the open door.
"Yeah," she grumbles, working the product through her hair to create the pixie/punk style she liked. "I think I'm gonna start growing my hair a little longer," she announces.
Sam rolls his eyes, knowing that the idea won't last beyond tonight.
"Do you think you can convince me to keep it if we buy some more?" She looks at him through the mirror, and Sam rolls his eyes again.
For the first few changes, he was easily taken in by the long lashes and pleading looks. Now, he was able to look past that and know he was being played. Usually.
"Dean, I'm not getting in the middle of you and your gender issues," he complains, turning around and falling back on his bed. "Besides, I thought you remember everything from when you change?"
"Yeah, I do," she shrugs, leaning against the doorframe of the bathroom. "But from a different perspective. Guy-me thinks that the makeup and stuff are something to be embarrassed about." She rolls her eyes, as if it's the stupidest thing she's ever heard. "Girl-me realizes that wanting to look good isn't necessarily a bad thing." She says it in this huffy way, and Sam sort of wishes that girl-Dean and guy-Dean could actually meet face-to-face and have this argument. The entertainment value would keep him smiling for weeks.
"I'm still not taking you out to buy more makeup," Sam tells her firmly. "You always spend way too much and then just chuck it in the morning. We can't afford it anymore."
"Fine," she agrees gloomily. "So, what are we going to do tonight, Sam?"
"Stay in?" Sam tries hopefully.
"Well, you can," she shrugs. "I'm going out, though, so…"
Sam has promised Dean to always stick with him the night of the full moon. This agreement has been in place ever since girl-Dean convinced Sam to leave her alone on one of the first nights of the curse and she treated herself to a full set of acrylic nails at a 24-hour nail salon. The next morning had been unpleasant for both of them. Dean complained about why there were 24-hour nail salons in the first place, and nearly ripped off two of his real nails while trying to remove the fake ones. Sam had to listen to it all and then was forced to ride in the backseat of the Impala for two days as punishment for letting it happen.
"Where to?" Sam sighs.
They always stay in small towns when the full moon hits. It's just easier for Sam to keep Dean out of trouble when there isn't much to do. Sam's powers of manipulation are far inferior to what girl-Dean possesses, and there's no way Sam's going to physically overpower her to get his way. It's the same reason why restraining Dean in the motel room never works. Sam feels guilty for keeping an innocent woman locked up and invariably sets her free.
Tonight, they're in a town so small that the only place open past five o'clock is the bar, so that's where they head. Apparently, the thought of girl-Dean slamming back vodka crans by a pool table is more palatable to guy-Dean than anything else she could get up to.
For some reason, girl-Dean is more willing to let Sam drive the Impala than guy-Dean, so Sam takes them there while she sits in the passenger seat pinching her cheeks and biting her lip to bring colour to them.
Sam snorts when he realizes what she's doing and she sends him a look that's dirty enough to shut him up. They're silent for the rest of the trip.
It's a Tuesday night, so the bar isn't all that full when they arrive. Music is blaring from the speakers, which Sam recognizes from Dean's homemade Metallica mix tape.
Dean's already ahead of him, strutting across the floor in time to the music. Sam catches up to her as the bar tender passes two cold bottles across the counter. Dean flashes the guy a quick smile before passing one bottle to Sam.
"Let's find a table," she suggests.
Sam follows her once again, willing his feet to pick up the pace. They had driven a long way today, trying to get to Iowa for their next case, and Sam was tired.
"How come you're never tired on full moon nights?" Sam complains once they find a high bar table to sit at.
Dean pulls her lips away from her beer bottle with a soft pop before replying. "I guess it wouldn't be much of a curse if I slept through every time I turned into a girl," she shrugs.
"Do you think you could sleep? Even for just a little?"
"I've never really tried," she replies thoughtfully. "I just know that every time it happens, I've got a ton of energy, you know? Like I have to go out and do something."
"Probably part of the curse, then," Sam decides. "You were exhausted before you changed." As exhausted as Sam currently is. He wonders if maybe coffee would have been a better choice as opposed to beer.
Dean musses her hair a little before taking another sip of her drink. "I'm sorry, Sam," she tells him sorrowfully.
Sam blinks. "For what?"
"For… the whole curse thing! How you have to babysit me every freaking night it happens, and I know I don't make it easy for you. And you've basically got a sister… brother, whatever, with split personalities who puts you in between the disagreements. It's kind of a raw deal, man."
That's another big difference about girl-Dean. She tends to speak candidly about topics that guy-Dean would ignore until the day he dies.
"Hey, Dean, it's okay," Sam tells her. "I don't mind it. Sure, it means a late night once a month, but we've had our fair share of that anyway. You're my… sibling. Of course I'm going to watch out for you and make this as easy for you as possible."
"Thanks, Sammy," she grins.
"Besides, I like hanging out with you," he confesses. "It's nice spending time with a Dean who doesn't accuse me of being a girl all the time."
"It would be pretty hypocritical," she shrugs. "Besides, we all know that it's really a complement."
"But then in the morning I have my brother back again and things are just… The way they're supposed to be." Sam grabs for his beer, avoiding looking in Dean's eyes. If guy-Dean had been here tonight, there was no way Sam would've lived that down.
As it is, Sam feels Dean's toned arms wrap around him and squeeze gently. "Thanks, Sammy," she whispers in his ear.
She plunks back down in her seat, nearly elbowing the guy who's hovering close behind her
"Oh! Sorry," she apologizes to him.
"S'fine," the man stammers. "I hope I didn't disturb you and your…"
"Brother," Dean supplies.
"Thank God," the stranger blurts out. "I had bought you this drink, and then if it turned out he was your boyfriend… Awkward," he finishes clumsily.
Dean straightens in her seat. "You bought me a drink?"
The guy slides the colourful concoction over to her. It's bright red in colour with a sugar rim, lots of blended ice, and a twisty straw. "A pretty drink for a pretty lady," the stranger presents gallantly.
Sam watches in awe as Dean blushes at the corny line and titters into her hand.
Fancy-drink dude puffs up at her reaction. "I'm Mark," he announces.
"Dean," Dean replies, a goofy grin spread across her face.
"Dean? Really?" Mark seems surprised, and Sam can hardly blame him.
They had debated about choosing a girl name for Dean when he was transformed, but ultimately decided not to. It might have made some of their conversations a little less confusing, but Sam couldn't help but think of the girl sitting across from him as anything but Dean, regardless of her gender.
To his credit, Mark recovers quickly. "I like it," he nods.
Dean's face is a shade of red that Sam would normally be worried about. For now, he's content to watch the scene play out before him and avoid laughing as much as he can.
"Look, Dean, I was wondering if you wanted to play a game of pool with me," Mark suggests hesitantly. "I've got a table just over there." He gestures with his chin to a table well within eyesight.
Sam likes Mark so far. He's a little nerdy, sure, but he seems genuine and he has good hygiene, which earns a lot of points in a small-town bar. But he knows that if this continues much further he'll have to step in. This is definitely the type of thing that guy-Dean wants Sam to keep his feminine counterpart from doing.
But, surprisingly, she seems to be doing the right thing all on her own.
"Thanks," Dean tells Mark. "But I don't think I can."
"Really?" Mark's shoulders droop.
"You're a nice guy, Mark," Dean continues apologetically. "Cute, too. But I think that if I go play pool with you, I'd end up regretting it in the morning. Thanks for the drink."
Mark shuffles off while Sam watches Dean with curiosity.
"You said no," he observes.
"Yeah," Dean sighs, toying with the straw of her fancy new drink.
"Like I said, Sam," she shrugs. "Sure, the attention's nice tonight, but I would have majorly regretted it tomorrow morning. Also, talk about your awkward morning-afters."
Sam splutters into his beer, picturing that situation.
"Besides, I know you're going to tease me enough about it tomorrow without any more fodder."
"Tomorrow? I'm gonna bug you right now! You talk all this game with girls, and one guy comes along with a pick-up line worse than anything you've used and you're still blushing."
"He was nice," she defends, stirring her drink again.
Sam wonders if it's another part of the curse for Dean to trend towards some obvious female clichés like the makeup thing and giggling with 'cute' guys who are a little nerdy. But then again, maybe it's just the male clichés like bacon cheeseburgers and a mild porn addiction that are being redirected when he becomes female. Anyway, all that Sam knows for sure is that guy-Dean certainly wouldn't be enjoying the festive drink on their table nearly as much as girl-Dean currently is.
"Sam, you've got to try this," she urges. "It's like a strawberry-lemon orgy in my mouth."
"No thanks," Sam refuses with a smile. "Hey, Dean?"
"Mark left the bar. His pool table's empty."
Dean hops out of her seat. "Awesome. You ready to suck at pool, Sammy?"
"Maybe I'll beat you this time," Sam suggests, knowing it's not going to happen. On a good day, he might be able to beat guy-Dean. Girl-Dean always slaughters him.
"You keep telling yourself that, Sammy," Dean chuckles. She snags her drink and makes her way to the pool table. "Oh, and Sam? Fair warning: I won't say anything tonight, but tomorrow there's no way I'm letting you get away with being beaten by a girl."
"That's okay, Dean," Sam smiles. "I wouldn't have it any other way."