This is the eleventh story in my series.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own or have the rights to anything of the Supernatural universe. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
"Sam," Dean calls out as he opens the motel room door and sees his brother there. "Where the hell you been, man?"
"Oh, uh," Sam's mouth starts to try and lie as Gary sees Lizzy walk into the room just after Dean. "Whoa…" he comments under his breath with the sight of her. Gary, being the nerdy teen that he is, doesn't have many opportunities to be in the presence of women like her very often. She's fucking hot. He certainly wasn't ready for that. He knew Dean was married but damn… lucky dude! Now the kid has to keep his shit together in front of her and not become the usual stuttery mess he tends to be reduced to while around attractive females. Shit.
"We've been calling you for hours," Lizzy adds in with just as much annoyance as Dean had. They couldn't get in touch with him for a while now. She had started to worry about the guy.
"I picked up some food," Gary explains away while grabbing the fast food bag off the table. "Bacon burger turbo, large chili-cheese fry, right?" He hands it over to Dean before looking at Lizzy. "Chicken sandwich and onion rings in there for you too." He smiles something dumb and hopeful at both of them and they just stare right back at him oddly. "Sorry, guys. Really. I, I just… I lost track of time. I didn't mean to freak you out."
"Thanks… I think…" Dean says as he takes the bag out of Sam's hands.
"What were you doing for two hours?" Lizzy questions, immediately getting a very strange vibe from Sam. He's acting way off.
"Oh, you know… the usual," Gary says while fidgeting where he stands in Sam's body. He catches Dean about to sit down and take out his food. "Oh, you're gonna want to eat that on the road."
"Why?" Dean asks as he pauses.
"The maid came in, saw that," he points to the guns lying out that needed cleaning. "And now they're all kind of freaking out."
"Why'd you let the maid in?" Dean asks with completely annoyed shock. His brother is normally smarter than that.
"It just happened." It's then that Gary looks at Lizzy and begins to get really nervous. Her narrow eyed expression aimed at him as she stands with her arms crossed over her chest worries him a bit. There's no way she could have figured this out already… right? Could she have?
"Whatever," Dean brushes off as he heads for the bathroom. "I gotta hit the head and then we'll take off."
"All right," Gary answers and once the bathroom door is shut he begins to pack up the room, hoping that what he's packing up is actually his… or rather Sam's… and not Dean's.
"What's up with you?" Lizzy asks suddenly and Sam's body goes ridged with Gary's worry.
"What do you mean?" he asks without looking at her, still shoving clothes into the green duffel.
"You're acting weird," she worries with suspicion.
"Am I?" Sam asks as he looks at her with a questioning face.
"Yes, definitely," she tells him. "What is it?"
"Uh, nothing," Sam assures as he slings his bag over his shoulder. "You're just being paranoid."
He walks past her with a quick smile and leaves, heading to pack the Impala. Lizzy keeps her suspicions in the forefront of her mind. Something's definitely up with Sam and it's rubbing her the wrong way.
Moving to take care of the weapons, she leans over the bed and starts to gather everything when she hears a hushed 'damn' from the door. When she turns around she just catches Sam staring at her ass before very obviously looking around the room to give off an air of nonchalance, hoping he hadn't gotten caught. He continues to move around as a jittery, nervous mess after that.
What the fucking is going on with him, Lizzy has to wonder.
"Master chief is in the house, bizatches!" Sam's voice eagerly declares as they check out the basement in search of the buried remains of Maggie Briggs. Dean turns to look at him with a concerned face.
"Are you all right?" he questions, his worry on high with the out of place comment.
"Yeah. Fine," Gary assures him as they go back to looking around. With Lizzy not there as she's taken lookout duty out in the car across the street, Gary tries to get on Dean's good side. "Hey, so…"
"Yeah?" Dean absently asks.
"Uh, gotta hand it to you man. That Lizzy…"
"What about her?" Dean asks, scanning again for any signs of a buried body.
"You know," Gary exaggeratedly says, a sly grin on his face. Dean looks over and Sam arches an eyebrow at him.
"I know what?"
"Dude, she's a total smoke show," Gary says in a somewhat young way.
"What!?" Dean asks, this face showing how insane the comment is to him.
"What?" Gary echoes, knowing he's made a misstep.
"Smoke show?" Dean questions with disbelief at Sam's vocabulary.
"Yeah. She's hot," Gary shrugs Sam's shoulders. "Got a great ass. Just saying."
"That's it," Dean turns around and looks at Sam in the eye. "The fuck is wrong with you, Sammy?"
"Dude, I was just trying to talk chicks with you," Gary says to him with a surprised face. "Don't we do that?"
Eyes wide with the comment, Dean nearly shouts, "No! Never!"
"Really?" he says with surprise right back. Gary knows that if he had a brother he definitely would talk like that with him.
"And L is like your fucking sister," Dean reminds his brother as he begins to search around again. "It's weird to hear you talk about her like that."
"Sorry man," Gary apologizes, hoping to work past the mistake.
"Well, I'll be damned." Dean walks to the far corner and looks down at the greenery growing there, his focus completely taken off of Sam's weird moment and onto the case. "Willow moss."
"Yeah, right," Gary walks closer as the kid tries to recall the meaning of the plant. "It's, uh, supposed to grow over witches' graves, right?"
"Yeah…" Dean answers, wondering why Sam was explaining things to him suddenly.
It's then that Gary sees the perfect opportunity as Dean's looking away and takes aim.
"Hey, man," he says as the shotgun shakes in his hands. "I'm really sorry about this…"
"Sorry about what?" Dean asks over his shoulder as he looks down at the probable witch's grave when it happens. Gary is thrown backwards into the walls behind him. Dean turns sharply around. "Sam!"
"Hey," Lizzy calls to Dean as they head towards the dive bar. She glances at Sam quickly before looking to her husband. "Can I steal you for, like, one minute?"
Knowing just from her expression alone that something's wrong, Dean turns towards Sam. "Go grab a table?"
"Sure, man," Sam's voice answers and Gary heads inside, leaving them be.
"That's not Sam," Lizzy tells Dean as she points at the door Sam just walked into.
"The hell are you talking about?" Dean rolls his eye.
"I'm not fucking around here, Dean," she grabs him by the forearm tightly with her fear. "You know there's something very weird about him today."
Dean thinks it over. Disappearing, forgetting to tell him about important case information, letting the maids see their guns, talking about Lizzy being hot, saying biznatches…. "He does seem a tad off, doesn't he?"
"Yeah… because he isn't him!" Lizzy tells him quickly.
"L, that's a big leap you're making," Dean tries to deny her very crazy conclusion.
"I know that," she says. "But you know him better than anyone and you know that isn't him!"
"No," Dean denies. "I mean, yeah, he's acting a little off, but that doesn't mean he's not Sam."
"Dean… fuck. He checked me out."
"He did what?" Dean asks with disbelief.
"In the motel while I was packing shit up to leave after he let the maid in I caught him staring at my ass," she says while pulling Dean closer. "It's not him."
"Ok, look, I think you're taking this too far," he calmly explains to her. "But we'll talk to him and figure this out. Sam's been beyond stressed and maybe for once he's letting some of it go so it seems like he's being strange."
"No way. He's always a tight ass," Lizzy reminds him.
"Maybe he loosened his ass up for once then," Dean says before making a disgusted face. "Uh, that sounded… wrong…"
"It really did," Lizzy laughs a little bit. She puts her hands on her hips and sighs. "You seriously think I'm overreacting?"
"A little," Dean nods to her. "I mean, you know Sam really well but I've known him his whole life. I think I would notice right away if it wasn't really him."
"Fine," Lizzy gives in begrudgingly, still feeling off put by the whole thing. "I'm fucking hungry."
"Ah, yes!" Dean says as he puts his arm around her shoulders and starts walking her towards the bar entrance. "I'm starving!"
"A really awesome day?" Dean questions Sam's comment as they sit at their bar table together. He drops his shot glass onto the tabletop and peers at Sam. Lizzy was right on the money. The kid is definitely off today.
"Yeah. Why not?" Gary, the underage kid, makes a rough whiskey face as he settles after downing his shot.
"It was a random, d-list ghost hunt," Dean points out. "That… that's awesome to you?"
"I can't be in a good mood?"
"Yeah, I guess…" and then Dean really thinks about it. "No, actually. It's not really your style, Sam."
"Well, then, it's a new me," Sam's assuring tone tells him, making Dean worry from somewhere deep within him. "I mean, come on. Why shouldn't I be happy? I've got a gun, I'm getting drunk, and I look like this." He points to his own face.
Dean opens his mouth to call out whatever this thing is that's in front of him as he reaches for his gun discretely. Lizzy was right.
"I don't know," Gary continues on as he begins to lament and prevents Dean from speaking. "You ever feel like your whole future is being decided for you?"
"Uh, yeah, Sam," Dean says with obviousness as he pauses his hand, no longer sure about this guy not being Sam. "I feel like that a lot."
"No matter how much you fight it, you can't stop the plan," Gary goes on, making all too much sense to Dean. "The stupid, stupid plan. So, I don't know. I guess it's, uh, it's just nice to do a little ass-kicking for a change, that's all."
Dean lets go of the handle of his gun and gives up. This had to be Sam. Everything he's saying is true and completely hitting home for Dean. And you know, it was nice to kick a little ass today and have a hunt gone right for once. He makes a good point.
"Uh, you know what?" Gary suddenly backpedals a bit once he realizes how much talking he's just done. "I… I'm drunk." He laughs quietly. "Sorry. Just, just forget it."
"No, no." Dean smirks at Sam, for once fully seeing eye to eye with him. "It's alright. I'll drink to that." He and Sam clink glasses and take down big chugs of their beers. "Wow, you know, is it just me, or are we actually drinking together?"
"We don't do it that often, huh?"
Dean huffs. "Yeah, you could say that."
"Well, we should," Gary says before being all too honest. "You're a good guy, Dean."
"Oh, you are drunk."
"What is this shit!?" Lizzy loudly complains as she takes her seat once back from the bathroom. "You took shots!?"
"Yeah," Dean answers in a proud laugh.
"Without me!?" she says, appalled. "You little bitches!"
"Sorry, Lizzy," Gary apologizes. "Just a bonding moment between my brother here and me. No harm meant."
Immediately getting her weird feelings about Sam back, she glances Dean's way with an expression as if to say 'see what I mean'. Dean returns it by shaking her off, letting her know Sam is fine.
"Here we go," the waitress says while dropping their food off at their table.
"Mm!" Dean comments exaggeratedly, suddenly in a good mood. "Thank you."
"No, but I mean it," Gary goes back to his previous statement in his haze of booze. "You really are a good guy."
"Good guy, huh?" Lizzy challenges, knowing this is not something Sam would ever, ever say aloud… especially in front of her.
"Hell yeah!" Gary loudly confirms, making Lizzy's eyebrows fly up in surprise. "You're a lucky girl, Liz. Hope you appreciate this guy."
"Liz?" she questions his nickname choice that Sam has never once called her before.
"…zy," Gary finishes. "Sorry."
As Sam takes a huge bite of his burger Lizzy just shakes her head with worry. It was sweet of Sam to say that she was lucky to have Dean but… there's no way it was Sam saying those things. He never speaks like that. Maybe she could somehow slip some holy water into his beer….
"Mm!" Gary suddenly lets out. "The bread alone! Mm!"
"You know it's the damnedest thing," Lizzy says to the table as she pushes her plate away from herself. "I'm just no longer hungry."
"Relax would you?" Dean asks of her in a whisper with a mouthful of burger as he leans over towards her.
"Open your eyes," she says to him right back. "Would you?"
The rest of the night went on much like this. Sam being slightly off, Lizzy being very concerned, and Dean not willing to see any of it as for once he was having fun with his brother. It wasn't until Sam passed by their table with an older woman in tow, leaving the bar with her at that, for the concern to fully hit Dean.
"Come on, Hot Shot," Lizzy hopes as Sam gives them an enthusiastic thumbs up on his way out. "You gotta be with me on this one now. That is not Sam."
"Shit," Dean complains as he pulls out his wallet to pay for their night. "Alright. I'm with you."
"Say it." She looks at him with a very serious expression as she points at him.
"Seriously?" he complains with an angry face aimed right back at her. "Sam's in serious trouble and you're gonna make me say it?"
"Absolutely," she says before downing the rest of her beer and standing to put on her jacket.
"You were right," he mumbles out. "Now let's go. We gotta find where our Sam is and who, beside the cougar, is taking Gigantor for a spin."
"That was a nice thing to say," Dean tells his brother once he's back into his own body and they've dropped Gary back off with his family. He was impressed by the parting words Sam gave the dumb kid to cheer him up once the Freaky Friday crap was done.
"I totally lied," he tells Dean truthfully as he opens the passenger door of the Impala. "That kid's life sucked ass."
Lizzy rolls her eyes and gets into the car, Dean and Sam doing the same. She knows how full of shit Sam is as he continues to convince himself that his life is just fine the way it currently is. Once inside and out of the rain Sam sighs.
"All that apple-pie, family crap? It's stressful. Trust me…" He looks over to Dean "We didn't miss a damn thing."
"Or we don't know what we're missing," Dean challenges, making Lizzy smile. In her eyes Dean's the right one here and she would know. She's the only one there who's truly had normalcy before. At this point the memory of it is like a dream now, a nearly impossible dream, and she misses it all the time.
Dean starts up the car and 'Rock and Roll Never Forgets' blasts through the speaker.
"Hey, come on, man," Sam immediately complains. "Turn it down."
Lizzy laughs loudly as Dean turns down the volume.
"Welcome back, Kotter."
They pull out of Gary's driveway to head back to their motel.
"So how long'd it take?" Sam questions as his curiosity gets to him.
"How long…?" Lizzy asks.
"Before you knew it wasn't me you were hanging out with."
"Knew when you left the bar last night with Stiffler's Mom," Dean answers truthfully.
"Huh?" Sam questions, horrified eyes turned to his brother in fear.
"Um, yeah…" Lizzy carefully starts to answer as she puts a hand on his shoulder from behind him to show her sympathy. "Gary is a dumb kid… a really dumb kid. I'm gonna suggest you get yourself to a doctor to get tested when you can. Sorry Sam-I-Am."
Sighing loudly, Sam bows his head. Maybe he should have killed that fucking kid after all.
"As for me," Lizzy continues, trying to change the subject a bit. "I knew right away that it wasn't you."
"You did?" Sam questions with pleasant surprise.
"Oh hell yeah," Lizzy brushes off as she sits back in her seat. "The minute he opened your mouth it was over. Knew it couldn't be you in there. Hell, I had to convince Dean of it!"
"Dude?" Sam says with disappointment to his brother who doesn't answer. Dean's a little ashamed of his ignorance on this one.
"He was having too much fun drinking with you to notice," Lizzy laughs. "And honestly, I think I know you two better than you know your own selves at this point. Maybe it was insanely obvious to just me."
"Thanks for knowing then, I guess," Sam says, still taken aback that his own brother didn't figure it out. How could Dean not have seen it? It makes no sense to him. Have they really each changed so much over time that they don't know each other at all like they used to? It's a scary thought.
"No problem," Lizzy smiles. "And by the way, Dean will always be the last to recognize when something's wrong with you, Sam. Don't take such offence."
"Oh really?" Dean challenges her statement.
"Yes, really," she assures.
"And why's that?" Sam wants to know.
"Easy. Denial is way easier than actually coming to terms with something being wrong with you. Dean can't handle when you're hurt or just plain not well in any way. For him it's just better to pretend it isn't happening."
Silent for a beat as they both consider what she tells them, they glance to one another quickly.
"I fucking hate when she does that," Dean tells Sam as if Lizzy wasn't there.
"Seriously. So God damned annoying," Sam adds in, both getting sick of her always being right about them.
Lizzy just grins to herself in the backseat. Yes, she sure does know them well.