This takes place before You Can't Handle the Truth for SPN and after Tony started 'dating' EJ in NCIS. Since the timeline was all screwy for SPN during season six, I'm just pretending season eight of NCIS took place around the same time as season six of SPN. Fair warning...
Dean had to get away from Sam. There was something off with him, something he couldn't quite put his finger on, and a gut feeling told him he should stay as far away from his brother as he could.
But this was Sammy, his little brother, the same Sammy that used to cling to his hand and ask all those annoying questions. Why would he want to avoid Sam?
Instead of answering his question, he found himself heading towards a bar, after telling his brother he was going out for a bit. Sam had offered to go with him, but Dean had told him not to worry about it. That he wouldn't be gone long.
On the drive to the bar, Dean had almost called Cass twice, but his angel buddy wasn't exactly the ideal drinking partner. He didn't know anyone else who would drink with him, unless he called a certain NCIS agent, but he had a feeling Tony wouldn't want to drink with him anyway. So, he was drinking alone tonight.
He stepped into the semi-packed bar about ten minutes later, heading towards an empty booth in the back, only to have his arm grabbed. He was swung around, too surprised to fight off whoever had him, and unceremoniously deposited into a chair at a tall, round table.
"Okay, so, what are we hunting and what are my chances of ending up in a hospital?" a familiar voice asked and Dean looked up to see Tony sitting across from him.
"Nothing and most likely none," Dean replied with a small, forced smile. "I was…" he sighed, a waitress appearing at their side to take their order. Both guys ordered a beer and she nodded and walked away. "You know, I've known you over six years and we haven't actually had a conversation."
"Something didn't happen to Sam, did it?" Tony asked, his eyebrows creasing slightly.
Maybe, Dean thought, but verbally said, "No, he's fine. I just needed a break from him. You know how siblings can be." The words were barely out of Dean's mouth when he realized he didn't even know if Tony had any siblings. In fact, after six years of acquaintanceship, he knew little to nothing about the older man across from him.
"If it's anything like having to get away from Ziva and McGee after a long day, then yes I do. The whole close quarters, spending way too much time together thing…"
"Yeah," Dean half-lied, not wanting to explain the unease he felt around Sam. He helped raise the kid, and even when he found out Sam had demon blood in his veins, he never felt like this before, like he should just take Sam out and leave. This feeling was new, foreign, and he hated it.
"Why?" the younger man wondered if Tony was reading something on his face. He had perfected hiding his emotions when he was six; he doubted a NCIS agent could detect any type of emotions from him.
"You seem…" Tony trailed off when their beers arrived. Dean took a long pull on his bottle, hoping DiNozzo would let the line of questions drop before they began. He didn't want to talk about his life.
"So, did you ever hook up with that frizzy haired chick?" Dean asked when Tony opened his mouth to speak.
"How'd you know about Ziva?" Tony replied carefully, furrowing his eyebrows.
"I noticed her when Sam and I left you after the ghoul. We barely managed to get spotted by her, and Sam still isn't convinced…" Dean trailed off, shaking his head. "Just wondering. I mean, she was pretty hot."
A small smile played across Tony's lips, but he shook his head and said, "She's with CI-Ray. So, no hooking up will be done anytime soon. Besides, I'm sure EJ'd kill me."
"I didn't peg you as a monogamist relationship type person," Dean commented and Tony snorted.
"Four years ago I wasn't," DiNozzo replied softly. "But sometimes things change."
"Yeah." Dean tried not to think about his year with Lisa and Ben. Sometimes he wondered why he didn't explain to Lisa why he had acted the way he did that night. She would have understood it was because of the vampire virus. But he knew he couldn't keep himself tethered to her world, not when he was back in the hunting world; back with Sam.
He barely kept a shiver at bay, draining the remainder of his beer. He signaled for another beer and said, "Anything creepy on your end?"
"Not that I know of," DiNozzo replied softly, slowly. "Though, I thought I saw a werewolf the other day. It turned out to be a cat's eyes flashing."
Dean smiled slightly, thanking the waitress when she placed a new beer on the table and took his empty bottle. He rested his elbows on the table, crossing his arms. He leaned forward, his chin coming to rest on his right wrist.
"Abby would call that look 'broody and pensive,'" Tony commented and Dean looked up to see him smirk behind his beer. "You wanna…?"
"Nah, it's nothing," Dean responded softly, hurriedly.
"Come on, Dean, hit me with it. I'm sure I've heard worse."
"I think…" Dean trailed off, a small part of himself trying to talk himself out of what he was about to say. It wasn't true. It's just because they were separated for a year. But sometimes Sam would look at him…
"Has anyone you've known ever drastically changed?" the younger guy finally asked, looking up at Tony.
"You know, like someone you've known your entire life one day seems like a complete stranger?"
Something flickered across Tony's eyes, and he cautiously said, "Is that happening to you?"
Dean shrugged, grabbing his beer and taking a drink. "It was just a question," he muttered looking down at the table.
"Look, I'm not very good with the sharing, but I will listen if you need a friend."
"So, we're friends?" Dean asked looking up, a smile on his face.
"Kid, we've hunted monsters together, and you've saved my life a time or two. If we aren't friends then something has to be wrong."
Dean chuckled, shaking his head. His smile slipped when he thought of Sam again, and he said, "My brother…" he cleared his throat, taking another pull on his beer. He gently set the bottle down and continued, "My brother is acting weird."
"Um…" what could he say? That Sam was acting too normal. That there was a creepy vibe that rolled off of him. That he, Dean, pictured just putting a bullet between his brother's eyes and taking off. "I think there's something wrong with him."
"Supernaturally wrong?" Tony asked curiously, his eyebrows furrowing.
"I don't know. Maybe. We were separated for a year last year; he could have just changed."
"But you think there's more to it."
"Yeah," Dean responded nodding his head. "I mean, every time he walks into the room…" he drew in a deep breath. "I've helped raise Sam, I know him better than anyone. I have this… feeling he's not my brother.
"But I can't do anything about it. You know, in case he really has just changed. And even if I had to…"
"Have you talked to Sam about this?" Tony questioned carefully, his voice quiet.
"How exactly would that conversation go: 'Hey, Sam, sorry to bother you, but is there something supernaturally wrong with you or are you just acting weird?' I'll pass, thanks."
"I don't know what to tell you, buddy," Tony replied taking a drink. Dean snorted, shaking his head. Here he was, telling Tony fricking DiNozzo his inner most secrets. Maybe he should have asked Cass to drink with him after all.
"Sometimes…" Dean cleared his throat, draining his beer. If he kept up the constant drinking, he should have a nice buzz soon. "Sometimes I think about killing him."
"What?" Tony lowered his beer, giving Dean a cautious look. He shouldn't have said anything; this was crossing a line he had never thought he would cross.
"Never mind," Dean whispered signaling for the waitress. He needed something stronger than beer.
"Dean, what are you saying?"
"He scares me, Tony," the younger man snapped, unable to stop himself, his vision blurring slightly. "I can barely be in the same room with him. Sometimes I wonder if it'd be easier…" the waitress appeared, cutting Dean's words off.
"Want another beer?" she asked smiling.
"Whiskey," Tony replied before Dean could open his mouth.
"Okay." And she went back to the counter to get their drinks.
"Look, I don't think killing Sam is going to solve any of your problems."
"You think I don't know that," Dean questioned leaning over the table. "I don't want to kill him, but that thing…" he sighed, running a hand down his face. "That thing can't be my brother."
They fell silent as the waitress appeared with two shot glasses and a bottle of Jack. Tony told her to leave the bottle, and she smiled before walking back towards the counter.
"Did you ever think of parting ways again?" Tony questioned, pouring a liberal amount of alcohol in each shot glass.
"We've tried that several times, but we always seem to team up again," Dean responded draining the whiskey in one gulp. "Besides, I have this thing about leaving him alone."
"Your family is weird," Tony commented throwing his own beverage down his throat.
"You have no idea," Dean responded pouring more whiskey into each glass.
They continued to drink in silence, Dean pondering what Tony had said. Killing Sam wasn't an option, no matter how much he thought about it. And he couldn't just abandon Sam again. But being around this new, un-Sam wasn't an option either. He was up shit creek without a paddle.
"I'm sorry I wasn't more help," Tony stated after a very long, drawn out silence.
Dean shrugged and said, "I wasn't planning on running into you, or telling you any of this, so…"
"Hey, what are friends for?" DiNozzo's face turned serious, and he quietly asked, "You aren't going to kill Sam, right?"
"Probably not," Dean replied honestly.
"And you aren't going to leave him are you?"
"Then what are you going to do?"
"Honestly? I don't know." A bleached blonde walked by at that moment, flashing Dean a smile. "But I do know what I can do."
"You really think an evening of her will solve all your problems?" Tony asked nodding towards the blonde.
"Oh, I hope so," Dean replied getting to his feet. DiNozzo shook his head, rolling his eyes, flashing Dean a forced smile. It probably wasn't a good idea, but Dean didn't care at that moment.
The blonde's name was Candy. Dean thought of many cheesy lines that went with her name, but he was Dean Winchester. He didn't use cheesy lines.
He hit it off quite nicely with Candy. Of course, she probably had a couple drinks running through her system; she was bound to hit it off with anyone. Though, the giant guy walking towards Dean probably hit it off with her a long time ago.
"Oh, is this your girlfriend?" Dean asked before the guy could open his mouth. "I didn't see your name on her." He noticed her shirt move, exposing her stomach, and a name flashed back at him. "You know, unless your name is Frankie."
"Get up," Maybe Frankie responded while two other guys appeared behind him.
"This isn't the greatest time," Dean said turning to look up at the group. "Now move along."
"I said get up," the guy repeated.
"And he said move along," a new voice said and Tony pushed himself between the small group and Dean, flashing his badge. "You don't get outta here; I'll find something to arrest you on."
Maybe Frankie looked torn, obviously not wanting to go to jail but also wanting Dean to pay for even talking to his girlfriend. The prospect of jail must have turned him off of the idea because he grunted and headed towards the exit, his cronies in tow.
The girl looked bummed that nothing was going to happen, so she stood up and trudged after the group of guys. Dean watched her go before letting his eyes flick back to Tony. "Look at you, whipping out your badge like that; someone might mistake you for a navy cop." He felt like he should be mad that Tony broke the expected fight up, but he was too tired to care right then.
"I'm laughing on the inside," Tony responded as the two guys walked back to their table. "You think picking a fight will help you with your Sam problem?"
Dean shook his head, pouring some more whiskey into his shot glass. "I could have taken those three."
"I bet you could have," Tony replied nodding. "I was just trying to help out the bar's owner."
The younger man snorted, looking down at his drink. "Oh well, she probably had something…"
"…hinky?" Tony supplied shrugging.
"Sure, hinky," Dean replied smiling. "Hinky? I like that word."
It was a while later when Dean and Tony left the bar. They stopped just outside, Dean the first to break the silence. "So, it's been real."
"Isn't it always?" Tony replied with a small smile on his face.
"And thanks, you know, for listening." Dean ran his hand across his neck, feeling awkward.
"Hey, when you work for Gibbs, you need to learn how to listen. Otherwise…" and he lightly hit the back of his head. "But it hurts worse and leaves your ears ringing."
"He sounds like my dad," Dean muttered glancing down at his feet. "Though, it was more 'do as your told, boy' immediately followed by a head slap."
"Well, Gibbs was a marine," Tony commented shrugging.
"So was my dad."
They laughed slightly and Dean shook his head. He then checked his watch and jerked his thumb towards his car. "I should head out."
"You could always crash on my couch," Tony suggested, shrugging.
"Yeah, that weird family obligation thing."
"Bingo," Dean replied quietly.
"Just be careful, okay? And if you run into trouble, you have my number."
Dean wouldn't call, but he did nod in faux-affirmation. He then smiled and turned to head towards his car.
"You know, in six years, I've never learned your last name."
"You never bothered to run it?" Dean asked but didn't turn around.
"I thought about it. Of course, if I wanted to read more lies thought up by the FBI, I would spend more time with Sacks."
"It's not important," Dean responded after a few moments' pause. He then headed towards his car, calling over his shoulder, "See you around, DiNozzo."
"You too, Winchester," Tony retorted and Dean smiled slightly. He then shook his head and got into the Impala. Maybe knowing Tony DiNozzo wasn't such a bad thing after all.
Yes, I published the last two chapters fairly early and really quickly. I just wanted this story out of the way so I can finish other things.
But don't fret, I actually have news. Benny (my partner in crime, unwilling BFF, and my sometimes beta) and I are working on a companion piece to The Stranger in the Bar. I tried to fit it into this story, but it just wouldn't work. Just letting you all know, so when it gets put up (when we finish it, or get pretty close) you guys might want to check it out.
Anywhoo, thanks for the reviews, alerts, and favs last chapter. You guys are amazing.
Anyway I own nothing, drop a comment if you want, and I should go.