A/N: This was written for the summer themed Dean-focused h/c comment meme over at hoodie_time. I didn't really get the summer part of it down, but the h/c is still there!
Here was the prompt: AU. Dean was born deaf, and when he's in his 20's he gets a cochlear implant, which allows him to hear for the first time in his life. Sam is there with him as he listens to Led Zeppelin and he hears his brothers voice and his baby's growl for the first time, and its an emotional time for both brothers as Sam tells him everything he is hearing.
~~For summer, it can be 4th july and Sam takes him to see the huge fireworks display, which for the first time, Dean can hear.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE
"Uh," Sam grunted.
Dean pretended not to hear. It was a lot more difficult to do that now, but he had to do something to ignore Sam when the kid was in one of these moods.
"Dean," Sam spoke. One of the first sounds Dean learned to recognize. The way that Sam put extra weight on the vowels this time made Dean reflexively roll his eyes.
"Uh," Sam repeated.
There was no getting rid of Sam when he was in full-on speech therapist mode. The amount of books and brochures and tapes he had acquired since Dean's surgery would've been creepy if it hadn't also been so irritating.
"Ah," Dean repeated, restraining another eye roll.
"Uuuuuh," Sam corrected.
Sam stopped him with a well-placed smack to the chest. Dean lifted a hand off the steering wheel to give him a timeless gesture.
"Hands on the wheel," Sam smirked.
Sam always made Dean drive now. Which, actually, Dean sort of liked, but it also meant that he couldn't rely on sign or lip reading as much as he used to. Yet another way Sam was forcing him to get used to hearing for his own.
The thing was, Dean hadn't expected it to be this hard to operate with all five senses. In his head, all the retraining and learning that needed to be done post-surgery was going to be done with in a couple days. But it was August now and he still couldn't manage a phone conversation with Sam, let alone a stranger, and even sitting in a diner was enough overstimulation to make him want to rip the damn implants right out of his skull.
"Oh," Sam spoke clearly.
Dean shot him a dirty look, but Sam just sat there serenely watching the road and clutching his laminated phoneme chart.
"Oh," Dean grunted.
Sam nodded. "Eee."
Really, they still weren't done?
"Sam." It was one of the words that Dean already knew how to say perfectly.
Sam nodded and chucked the chart into the backseat. He knew when Dean had really had enough for one day. But then he dug out a cassette, and Dean groaned.
If he had to listen to some prick read Dr. Seuss again he was going to shoot Sam's entire book on tape collection, no joke. And anyway, it wasn't like Dean could follow along with the book right now like he was supposed to.
But as the noise exploded out of the speakers, Dean felt a familiar vibration through his fingers wrapped around the steering wheel. Having experienced the music from his earliest memories, he recognized how it felt, but hearing it was something different entirely.
The noise mingled with the rumble of the Impala and seeped into all of the wrinkles of Dean's brain. It was loud and chaotic and Dean couldn't even begin to decipher it all. But it was a good kind of overwhelming, the same kind that came from crashing through some forest in the dead of night while chasing after a freaky-ass monster.
He glanced across to Sam with a wide grin splashed across his face.
"Led Zeppelin," Sam yelled.
Despite Sam's efforts, Dean still had to rely on lip reading to understand his brother over the music.
Sam, clearly realizing this, reached over to the volume knob but Dean smacked his hand away and turned it up a few notches instead. A brief pout settled over Sam's face, and Dean couldn't help laughing. Maybe he had a way to ignore Sam after all.
Sam shook his head and smiled, relaxing back against the seat. Dean followed suit, letting the familiar vibrations in the car mingle with the strange music and the wind whipping through the open window.
For the first time since his surgery, he felt complete.