A/N:Just a silly little ficlet written for AU week on SPN_Bigpretzel on LJ.
Better than Aquaman
Dean was pissed.
Actually, he was beyond pissed … so pissed in fact, that he had surpassed pissed miles ago and moved on to being furious. He was now fuming so hot that his little brother should have been burned by the steam coming from his ears and since said brother was the cause of all of this fury, it would have served him right.
At least Sam looked reasonably guilty enough to keep his mouth shut and hadn't made any attempt to defend himself on the drive back to the motel, but as soon as they crossed the threshold into the room, Dean slammed the door shut so hard that the walls rattled and a framed picture of a tranquil seascape fell from its hanger, smashing its glass into a million pieces.
Dean ignored the crash and went straight for his younger brother, grabbing the lapels of his jacket and swinging him around until his back collided with the wall.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" he shouted into Sam's face.
Sam lifted his hands in surrender, ducking his head, but Dean wasn't about to back off and leaned further into his brother's face until Sam was practically squirming.
"I – I don't know." Sam stammered, arching his brows and pulling the puppy dog eyes. At any other time, Dean might have fallen for it, but not this time.
"Don't tell me you don't know!" Dean yelled with enough force to blow Sam's bangs from his face, "You know! Hell … you knew a lot more than you should have known and a crap load more than I knew. So, how did you know?"
Sam narrowed his eye, clearly confused, "What?"
"The case, Sam, the case! We were in that house all of two minutes and you knew what we were hunting and where to look and we hadn't done a lick of research. So … tell me, how did you know? Was it a vision you just happened to not mention or … or have you been working the psychic mojo –"
"Dean … just hold on and listen –"
"No! You listen. Before I went downstairs you promised you wouldn't go down that road. Those abilities … or powers or whatever you want to call 'em, are bad news! Cas even told me himself that I needed to keep an eye on you – that something bad would happen to you if you kept doing whatever it is you're doing."
Sam pushed against Dean and out of his grasp, growing incensed himself, "So what, now you think I'm going darkside?"
"I dunno … are you?" Dean asked pointedly, "How else do you explain this?"
Sam ground his teeth together and wouldn't answer.
Dean was reaching the end of what little … very little … patience remained within him. "I was gone for four months and you haven't told me a damn thing about what you've been up to that whole time," He growled, his voice dripping with righteous anger, as his fist clenched, ready to punch his little brother into next week should he so much as try to lie to him "So tell me now … what did you do?"
"I was trying to get you out of hell!" Sam shouted back, the deflated just as quickly as he tried to defuse the nuclear warhead about to explode within his brother, "Look … it's not as bad as you think –"
"Not bad?" Dean was incredulous, "On what planet are demon-given powers 'not bad'?"
Sam must have caught on to the fact that he was in mortal peril should he dodge the question as his shoulders slumped and he ran a hand through his hair. "I had to do whatever I could to save you, but nothing was working. Ruby –"
"Ruby? She's still alive?"
Sam nodded. "As far as I know, she is."
"Jesus, Sam … tell me you did not hook up with that bitch."
Sam looked away, his face reddening with embarrassment.
"Oh God …" Dean exclaimed, "You did the horizontal tango with a demon?"
Sam sighed and closed his eyes, "It was just once and it was a big mistake … I realize that now. She wanted to train me how to use my abilities and go after Lillith, but –"
"She wanted me to do something that was …" Sam shifted uncomfortably "… icky."
"Icky? Like what? Dress up in a furry costume 'icky'?"
"No … worse." Sam rubbed the back of his head, ducking his head and averting his eyes as he lowered his voice, "She … wanted me to drink her blood …"
"What?" Dean revolted, "Dude. Gross."
"Yeah, tell me about it. She told me it would 'awaken' the latent power inside of me, but I wasn't about to do that. We had a huge blowout so I left and I haven't seen her since. But, I thought that if I could find a way to use my powers and, I dunno … wake them up without her, then maybe it would help me find a way to get you topside again. I know it's not what you wanted, but I had to try anything I could."
Dean knew what desperation and grief could do to a person, and he of all people should know what the combination of the two could lead to – in his case it lead to hell … he just hope Sam hadn't taken things too far, that he could still drag him back from the cliff he was about to swan dive from.
"So … you've been brain training this whole time?"
"Uh … Yeah, sort of," Sam suddenly got up and opened his duffel bag, pulling out a book, "I found this at a used book shop and I've been trying out some of the techniques in it."
Dean took the book from Sam, reading the title before lifting an eyebrow at his brother, "Seriously?"
"Developing ESP Abilities for Dummies?"
"It has some good advice."
"Right. I'm supposed to believe that this book can teach you how to stretch your mind and turn you into Sylvia Brown. How's that working for you?" Dean asked with as much sarcasm as he could muster.
"Actually, I've had some … minor successes." Sam walked into the kitchenette and opened a drawer, pulling out a spoon. "Watch this -"
Dean rolled his eyes, "Dude, tell me you are not gonna bend that thing."
Sam huffed, "No … that's lame. Just watch, will ya?" Sam held out the spoon, staring at it intensely. Sweat formed on his brow as he concentrated and focused on the silverware. Dean wondered what the hell he was doing, finding himself holding his breath in anticipation despite the ludicrousness of it all. In the next second, Sam let go of the spoon.
It hung in the air … for all of two seconds.
It then fell to the floor with a clatter as Sam gasped for breath. "See?"
Dean wasn't sure if he should be impressed or not. Sure, it was a little unnerving that his brother could make a spoon float, even for a few moments, but even douche-nozzle magicians like Criss Angel had better tricks than that, "That's it? How is that supposed to be useful against demons? What are you gonna do, throw spoons at them until they laugh themselves to death?
"What did you expect?" Sam scoffed, "That I can kill them with my mind? Don't be stupid."
"That's all you can do? No visions or anything freaky besides making cutlery float?" Dean asked suspiciously, knowing that Sam was still hiding something.
Sam wiped the sweat from his face, and blew out a breath, "Yeah, I guess. Except -"
"Well … before tonight, that was the best I could do. But, something new happened when we were at that house. "
"What was it? Some sort of clairvoyance?"
"Not exactly." Sam responded, looking down at his feet a little embarrassed.
Dean was even more confused. "Then what?"
Sam sighed and mumbled quietly, "It was the fish."
"Come again?" he asked since he must have heard Sam wrong. What did fish have to do with psychic powers?
Sam flopped his hands around as he attempted to explain, "You remember that giant fish tank there?"
"Yeah. It was kinda hard to miss." Dean thought of the fish tank that had adorned the up-scale house of a couple that had been the scene of their bloody deaths. He recalled how he thought it a big, fat waste of money to dump what had to be thousands of dollars into collecting weird-looking fish in a gigantic bowl of water when the ugly things couldn't do anything except swim around and poop.
"Well, when we walked in, I went over to look at it since it was pretty cool, ya know?"
Dean snorted. Only Sam would think that a bunch of boring fish would be cool.
"Anyway, I'm looking at the fish and the next thing I know, I'm seeing flashes of things in my head. I saw the murder happen in front of the fish tank, saw that it was the daughter that did it, that she had been turned into a werewolf and attacked. But, it was all kinda blurry … like I was watching it happen from underwater …" Sam hesitated, looking a little freaked, "from inside the tank …"
Feeling more than a little lost and confused, Dean tried to grasp what Sam was saying, but the only explanation his brain could find was totally implausible outside of DC comics, "Whoa, wait … you saying the fish … talked to you? Like Aquaman?"
Sam grimaced sheepishly, "Sorta?"
Dean chewed on his lip, letting the ridiculousness of it all sink in. Of all of the psychic super- powers Dean had worried his brother could develop thanks to demon blood from Yellow-Eyes, this one was just … lame.
"Oh c'mon. Talking to fish? What good does that do?"
Sam looked a little chagrined, "Yeah, I know it's a pretty lousy ability, but it did tell us what we were hunting."
Though Dean was relieved that this didn't seem to be the Earth-shattering, evil, apocalypse-inducing power that the angels were so adamant that Sam avoid, he was still leery of it all and needed to nip it in the bud before something terrible did 'awaken' in his brother.
"Still … all this psychic crap needs to stop, okay? Who knows what other stuff you might be able to do if you keep this up." Dean grabbed Sam's self-help book and tossed it in the trash then turned toward his brother, approaching him without any of the anger he had been feeling before, seeking instead to reassure him as he placed a hand on Sam's shoulder, "I'm outta hell and I'm not going back anytime soon if I can help it. Even if talking to fish was something remotely useful, we don't need it to stop the end of the world. All we need are our two hands, a little bit of luck, and a butt-load of guns."
Sam nodded, looking down at his hands contritely, "I know. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this before, but I swear I won't try it again." Sam looked up at Dean with those puppy dog eyes of his and this time, Dean gave into them, believing him and trusting that Sam would be true to his word.
"Alright, but if fish do decide to talk to you again, just ignore them."
Sam chuckled, "I think I can do that."
"Besides, you do know that Aquaman was the butt of all the Super Friends' jokes, right? Even Apache Chief thought he was useless and all he could do was get really tall, which by the way, is probably a more fitting super-power for you anyway, especially since you're not that great of a swimmer."
"I'm still a better swimmer than you." Sam rejoined with a gleam in his eye and a smirk curling up the corner of his mouth.
"That's because all of that hot-air in your head helps you float."
Sam shrugged, "In that case, it makes sense why you just sink because yours is so dense."
Dean flashed Sam a hand gesture that even fish didn't need translated. Though most people in the western world would have been offended by such an obscenity, it only made both boys feel closer and stronger than they had in a very long time.