Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural and related characters. I only profit from this in my dreams. I also don't own Lowe's or their trademarked Garden Center
It came on suddenly. Dean steadfastly tried to ignore the signs- cobwebs in the corner, little sand piles along the edge of the garage door. He didn't want to have to deal with it and didn't think he'd have to until he got back from dropping Ben off at a friend's one Saturday in early June.
"Hey Dean?" He had wandered into the kitchen snooping through the refrigerator, willing leftovers to appear. Lisa was at the island, flipping through websites, working on designing a routine for new class she was offering at her studio.
"I think we're starting to have a bit of a bug problem."
"So? We kill them when we see 'em?" He shrugged, not seeing the problem until her caught her glare.
"We need to spray the perimeter of the house, and make sure there are no holes along the outside walls."
"Right." She sounded exasperated, but she often did when it came to run of the mills household chores. Dean frequently found himself comforted by the domesticity of it, and didn't mind doing the chores she found often mundane, entranced by them. She sometimes had to explain why or how something needed to be done, and if he was honest with himself he was surprised by just how much work it took to keep a house standing.
"You have no idea what to do?"
"It can't be that hard. It's bug repellent. What kind do we need to get?"
"There's this pet-safe kind. It's a green bottle, you can't miss it. Also, could you put cornmeal on the anthills? It kills them." Dean wondered absently why they needed pet-safe bug spray. The closest they owned to a pet was Ben, and he was fairly certain that the kid was old enough to not lick grass. He nodded, opposed to vocalizing his question, and grabbed the cornmeal from the fridge before leaning over the island to kiss her quickly before grabbing his keys.
"Want me to get Ben on the way back?"
"I'll do it. I need to head over to the studio in a bit anyway."
"See you later." He shook cornmeal along the edges of the garage door, before glaring at and eventually climbing into the brown truck. It stuttered to life and he felt the vague emptiness in his chest every time he felt it instead of the smooth purr of his Baby. She wasn't practical for what he was doing, and she felt empty without his brother in the passenger seat. He realized he was halfway to Lowe's before snapping out of his thoughts and realizing he should probably pay attention to the road.
Dean found himself a few moments later standing in the Garden Center confronted with three green bottles of pet safe bug spray. He wondered if Lisa had the extra bottle necessary to dilute two of them, and doubted there was enough in just one bottle of the other to coat the whole house. He hated himself for not being able to this without calling for help.
"Hey. What's up?"
"Do we have uh, a spray bottle?"
"There are two kinds of pet safe bug stuff in green bottles. Which is it?"
"Uh, the one that has flowers on it, I think. It really doesn't matter."
"Right. I'll just get whatever then."
"You ok, Dean?" Her voice changed, concerned, as it often was when it came to him.
"Alright. I'll see you at home."
"See you." He forced a smile into his voice, hoping it would be enough to appease her. The call ended and he grabbed the bottle. Though the domesticity was comforting it was rarely satisfying. Construction was, at best, dull and after being on the road for a majority of his life the lack of constant stimulation had him picking up a whole new host of nervous habits. He indulged in one of them now, gnawing on the skin at the edge of his cuticle as he waited. He shifted his weight, trying to not look impatient as he inched forward. He wouldn't let himself form the thought that he wasn't happy, not really. He adored Lisa and Ben. He told himself there was just a learning curve for being so bored. It's not like he had anywhere else to go either, with Sam dead and Cas wherever he was. Eventually he reached the till, forced himself to exchange mundane pleasantries with the cashier who was on autopilot and allowed himself to drive just a little too fast on his way home. He pulled into the drive and left the pesticide in the truck.
He made his way around the front half of the house, moving slow, looking for any defects in the foundation. He nearly sighed in relief when he saw that at least that half of the house would not require repairs. He hated bringing work home with him. He retrieved the bag from the passenger seat of the truck and unlocked the front door. He carried it out to the backyard, and did a walk around the back half of the house. After finding a spot he decided needed patching he went to grab the mesh and mortar, as well as the key to the shed. He settled to his keys and began the process. He was just smearing the last coat of mortar on when he felt a presence behind him. He jerked around, suppressing a startled noise. He relaxed a bit when he saw it was just Ben.
"Hey. Way to sneak up on me."
"Sorry. Mom just sent me out to see if you needed any help."
"Nah. Think I'm good. Just finishing this up then spraying the house."
"Right. She said to wait until tomorrow. Apparently it's supposed to rain tonight." Dean glanced up and sure enough there was a bank of dark clouds gathering in the east, threatening quite the thunderstorm.
"Fair enough. You know what's for dinner?"
"Pork chops and mac'n'cheese I think."
"Nice. I'll be in as soon as I finish up here."
"Right." Ben disappeared back inside, and Dean finished patching the wall. He stood up, twisting around, trying to coax his back to pop. He wandered over to the hose, watching the grey goop come off the trowel and out of the bucket. He had to bite his lip to keep from seeing the red he was used to when it came to messy cleanups. This was simple, easy. He glanced down, realizing he was covered in the mortar as well, and ran his hands under the cold water, before realizing a shower was going to be the only way all of the mortar and sweat of the activity was going to leave the creases of his body. He left the trowel and bucket to dry, a futile endeavor he supposed given the storm that was undoubtedly headed their way, given the way the wind had begun to blow. Toeing his boots off in the entry he made his way to the kitchen, where Lisa was watching some macaroni cook. He wrapped an arm around her, kissed her neck briefly before releasing her. She turned to face him.
"Hey. How'd it go?"
"One patch. I'll spray tomorrow after that storm blows through. Looks like it'll be a bad one."
"That's fine. Dinner will be ready soon."
"Yeah. I need to go shower. I'm covered in grout but I'll be down to help in a sec."
"Thanks." She stroked his cheek. "You're a good guy, Dean." He allowed a half-smile to cross his face, and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
"I'll be right back." Dean went up to the bedroom, grabbing a clean pair of boxers from his drawer before disappearing into the bathroom, tossing the clothes into the basket, hoping the grime wouldn't smear over Lisa's yoga stuff. As he shampooed his hair he realized he may not get everything living a normal life entailed, but like everything else he could learn to adapt. He smiled at that, and he pulled on some old sweatpants content in that. He would figure it out, and if being happy meant bug spray and mortar and pork chops and trips to Lowe's with deadened cashiers he could make it work. It's what his Sammy would have wanted. He didn't have a choice. The mac'n'cheese needed more salt.