Silent Lucidity

Title is a song by US 80's progressive rock band Queensrÿche. Its not a proper hard rock band unless they have an umlaut in their name! (the little dots over a letter, usually a vowel)

Things weren't like they used to be. Sam seemed to carry an extra burden these days. He didn't laugh as easily as he used to. It was as though his angst-meter had been cranked up to eleven. He hadn't been a laughing prankster in years. Dean missed it. He thought of those days as the tail end of Sam's childhood. If someone had told him back then, that those days would come to be considered the 'good times'… Damn his Winchester heritage. It sucked!

He had tried to re-initiate the games but it was no fun pranking certain people if they were just going to be the bigger man about it. It just made you look like a douche. Dean felt it was his brotherly duty to try to get Sam to loosen the hell up.

"Come on, Sam. You haven't gone out for a drink in weeks."

Sam ignored him in favour of reading a news website.

"Dean, I don't feel like it, okay? When I feel like it, I'll go."

"You need to get out and meet people."

Dean's unconscious hand gestures made it clear that these "people" wore a C cup or larger and Sam should be "meeting" them in an intimate manner. Repeatedly.

Sam rolled his eyes and as far as Dean could see, the only reason Sam hadn't sighed loudly was because his lips were too tightly pursed. He looked like he was ready to burst a blood vessel from bottling up the bitch-face. This wasn't going according to Dean's plan.

"Take Cas, Dean. He has a higher tolerance for your… antics."

"Oh good, 'cause for a second there I thought your were gonna say "my crap" and I was gonna have to retaliate by doctoring your skin care products."

"Mature, Dean."

"Bite me."

"Jack ass."

Sam was pissy as hell, but this was a version of Sam that Dean welcomed. It was familiar. He pulled out his never-fail cheeky grin.

"Come on!"

"NO, Dean. I am not nursing a beer all night -"

"Not my fault you're a light weight."

"-while I watch you get progressively drunker and hit on college girls. Call Cas."

As though summoned by the mention of his name Cas was suddenly just there, standing between the glaring brothers.

"Its 'more drunk'."


"Its 'progressively more drunk' or 'more drunken', not 'drunker'", Cas repeated.

Sam just pursed his mouth like he'd eaten a lemon and stared at Cas in what Dean liked to call the 'stone-cold-bitch-face'. It made Dean uncomfortable, which he would never admit, but seemed to have no effect on Cas. It was time to interrupt the awkward nerd stare-off.

"Fine! I'll take Cas!" Dean continued under his breath, but loud enough so that Sam would hear, "PMS or something, I swear…" Secretly Dean thought it was awesome that Cas had managed to correct Sam's grammar.

"'Drunker' is just as acceptable as 'more drunk'!" Sam called after them.

Dean left the hotel room, waving for Cas to follow. He felt more comfortable talking to Cas without Sam anyway. Cas had a way of going straight to the point without hesitation. This could be taken as awkward or rude but for Dean it was a refreshing change from having to dance around touchy topics. Cas listened to Dean with that serious expression, like what he said mattered. It was occasionally amusing explaining common expressions to Cas, but mostly it was a load off Dean's shoulders to say what was on his mind without worrying about being psycho-analysed by Sam, or inadvertently setting off Sam's automatic guilt-reflex. Cas also tended to call Dean on his bullshit. Every silver lining had its cloud.

"Cas, I want to go out drinking and I need a wingman to talk me up to the ladies. Well, I don't need one, but it will speed things up."

"Isn't this duty normally assigned to Sam?"

"Sam's still in a weird funk. I can't get him to do anything that might even accidentally resemble fun."

"He hasn't forgiven himself yet. Or me."

"I know. He should be angry at me. Well,…I guess he is."

They both very deliberately didn't mention hell, or souls. They stood in the hotel car park admiring the conversational dead end they had created until Dean gave in.

"So, wanna be my wingman?"

"I have no practical experience in being a "wingman", although I may be naturally suited to the role."

There was a pause which Dean imagined was Cas congratulating himself on his grasp of humour. Sure enough, Dean could see the tiniest curve of a smile and perhaps a small hint of humour in the eyes.

"Yeah, you're hilarious. I'll explain the rules to you when we get there... You don't have a problem with the drinking and the whoring?"

"Will they be married women?"

"Not if I can help it."

"Taken against their will?"

"No. -What? No!"

"Then no. I have no problem with it."

"Jeez… The day I need to take a woman against her will, I'm eating a bullet..." Dean shook his head. "…beating them off with a stick is more like it," he grinned. Cas didn't contradict him, even though he knew Dean hadn't really exercised his infamous promiscuity since before Sam jumped… well, not for a long time.

Dean felt better already. He could say stuff like "eating a bullet" without Sam suddenly staring at him as if Dean was about to actually do it.

Strange times, when Dean could have a good time with an angel of the Lord, better than with his own brother.