Something to Talk About

Author: Cheryl W

Disclaimer: I do not own Dean or Sam or any rights to Supernatural, nor am I making any profit from this story.

Author's Note: Sort of a companion piece to my story "Without You I'm Not Me" and is set after episode 7.2

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He doesn't know how his brother does it, gets two beautiful women to slide into the diner's booth to join them for supper. Dean's charm is a weapon in and of itself, always has been. Too bad the stuff they hunt is impervious to it.

He's enjoying himself, needs to give very little input into the conversation and that's fine by him. Watching Dean in action is its own entertainment. And for a change these woman aren't half in the bottle. Truth is, he and Dean have abandoned the bar scene.

Smiling, he watches Dean unfold his story and he feels so friggin' happy to see Dean smile. A real smile, not one offered out of tolerance or for show, in spite of what's raging behind Dean's eyes.

He knows, Dean going without the alcohol buffer, it's been rough. But he's not heard that from his brother. Dean quit cold turkey. And he knows his brother did it for him, would do anything for him. Has proven it in ways far greater than sobriety.

He doesn't say the word Hell, doesn't let him think of Dean being there for him..but it's under the surface, bursts forth like it's the true reality.

Suddenly the diner's walls are cascading currents of blood, blood that splashes across the table, pools on the floor. And the women, they are rotting corpses, skin flaking off, limbs crumbling away. And Dean, he's bleeding out from everywhere, mouth, nose, ears, eyes, throat, chest, is drowning in blood inside and out.

"Dean," he cries out in horrified terror, hands reaching out to his brother, to somehow stop the blood flow, to keep Dean with him. To save Dean. But his hands never reach their target, are trapped in manacles, pinned to the table. He wants to scream in protest but his throat, it's suddenly like it was before, ravaged by a hundred years of screaming, of no water. So all that comes out is a moan of protest but his eyes, they rage at being stopped from helping his brother.

Pain erupts in his hands but he doesn't care, doesn't look anywhere but at his brother. His brother who's talking, his voice surprisingly clear considering the blood sputtering out at every inhale, dripping down his chin, oozing in globs from his severed throat.

"Sam, it's not real. Ok. It's not real."

Real. It's as real as it ever was. Here in the cage. Him killing Dean, it was their favorite movie, every Saturday night. It played the same plot over and over and over again. And he never failed to react, to amuse them.

He's shaking and his brother's voice is louder, firmer. "Hey, come on. Look at me. Look at me!"

He does, looks to Dean, sees the blood coating his brother's mouth, shirt, jeans, soul. And then there's a flash, a splice in the film and the blood, it's gone, leaving his unharmed but worried brother staring at him.

"You real?" he asks lightly because it's their thing, their private joke.

Dean smiles. "In all my glory."

And the rest of the diner, it's no longer decorated in red, the woman, they are back to normal. Well, except for their expressions. Their surprise…and their disgust, it's in their eyes and he tracks where their attention lies…on Dean's hands pinning his own to the table, an intimate contact that they totally misread.

"Ooohhh. Ok, well, we'll leave you two alone," Dean's girl stammers as the women scramble out of the booth like it's on fire.

"Wait! It's not like that. We're not…" he tries, but doesn't pull away from Dean's grip, is too dependent on that anchor to sanity. "We're brothers…" he emphasis but the women aren't even taking a booth in the diner, are practically running out the restaurant door.

With dread, he faces Dean, bracing for his brother's anger, embarrassment. But Dean's not showing his emotions right then. "Dean. I'm sorry." As if he's not freak enough, now he's coated Dean with his taint.

Dean simply shrugs, asks intently, "You Ok? We don't have another guest at our table?"

And he knows who Dean is referring to, shaking his head, swallows, refusing to utter the name.

"So you're good?" Dean presses, still clutching his hands.

Voice raw, he assuages, "Yeah. I'm good." But it's a moment before Dean slowly uncoils his hands around his, slides them back to his side of the table.

Skin prickling with his sixth sense, Sam glances from under his bangs around the diner, is met with hostile, disgusted stares. Returning his look to his brother's green eyes, he grimaces, "We should probably leave…everyone saw…thinks…"

Dean's eyes darken in anger and his voice is a rough growl, "I don't care what people think, Sam." And that's his brother for him. Dean is always willing to sacrifice his pride, his reputation and so much more for him, to help him, to save him.

"Well I do. I don't want them thinking that." 'Not about you. Screw what they think about me.'

Andhe sees it in Dean's eyes, the need to make this situation better for him. 'Crap, that's not what I wanted.' Knows that hehas to lay all his cards on the table before Dean does something crazy. "I don't want them thinking thatabout you."Because no matter what his brother says, Dean does care what other people think of him, hates the stereotyping that happens way too often when they book rooms. And he's done with letting other people twist his closeness with his brother. Hates that his brother's lifeline to him here in the diner was witnessed and judged, labeled tainted love when it was brotherly love of the purest kind. The kind of love that sacrifices, that gives, that asks for so little back in return.

As if Dean needs to gauge the reactions himself, the older Winchester gives a look around the diner, bold, unlike his. Daring anyone to hold his gaze. And two rough looking guys sporting caps and wallets on chains do just that, their expression half between disgust and hatred, look about ready to come out of their chairs and strike a blow.

He's tensing, ready to intervene because he will never let them touch Dean. Not over this. He spares a glance at Dean in time to see his brother smile his cocksure, bring-it-on smile at the two threatening men. And then Dean winks at them.

He's never seen two men look so embarrassed before, find their food so fascinating. And he hasn't laughed this hard in over a hundred years. Watches as Dean proudly smirks before resuming his eating.

Suddenly, he knows, yeah, believing Dean is real is block one, but knowing that no one could ever fabricate a substitute for his brother in his life or in his soul, that's block two. And the rest of the foundation, it'll come, block by block, day by day because he's not building this only for himself and he's not building it alone.

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Hope some of you enjoyed this. I guess this story came into my head because I know that it's no fun when people believe something about you that's not true and they pass judgment without knowing the real you. That's what's so awesome about having true friends and caring family members to count on.

Have a great day!

Cheryl W.