The Sound of the Waves Collide
Summary: Winsister fic. Dee and Sammy have a somewhat Sapphic encounter with some local mermaids—at least, they think they're mermaids. Set somewhere in S2.
Notes: Sam and Dean have always been girls in this fic. Mary raised them instead of John, who died in the house fire in '83. That's pretty much all you need to know.
It's been weeks since they've had a real break. They've been on overdrive, physically and emotionally, since Mom's death. Suddenly nothing's the same anymore and they're reminded, as painfully as they were when they were kids, just how serious things can get in a world chock full of ghosts and monsters. The road has only helped them calm for a brief time before things bubble over and they're arguing again. Sadly, today is no different. Tensions have been high and communication expectantly low. Dee refuses to be surprised at their shitty circumstances anymore.
"Why're we stopping?" asks Sam.
"My hands are sore from the wheel. Let's just take a break," says Dee.
"At the side of the road?"
"Yes, Samantha." Dee says.
Sam growls. The only person who ever calls her Samantha is Mom. With what happened last week—Dee being in a coma one moment and then perfectly alive the next with no sign of Mom until it was too late—a little quip like that isn't exactly music to the ear.
Dee hates her full name. Hates it, hates it, hates it. Mom named her after their grandma. She had this idea that it'd give her daughter all the qualities of their grandmother: bravery, courage, and fierce womanhood. Dee just thinks it's a load of crock. Call her Dee or die.
"Don't be a bitch," Dee says, "Not like that's even possible."
Sam's face sours. "I never wake up in the morning and decide I'm gonna raise hell today and you're my first victim."
"Will you get a grip? Almost three weeks on the road with you and you haven't stopped nagging me. If you could learn to calm your tits we'd have a lot less problems."
"Excuse me for being a little frazzled ever since Mom died! I'm sorry, were you even there?"
"Don't give me that bullshit. You never really loved Mom anyway."
"How could you say something like that?"
"If you really loved us, you'd never have left to that prissy posh college and—"
"And Jesse, right," Sam cries. "That's where you're taking it? Like he ever did anything wrong!"
For about ten more minutes it goes on like this, before Sam demands to be dropped off in another town and never see or hear from Dee again and Dee goes on an onslaught, naming everything Sam's ever done wrong in her life and yes, this includes Jesse. If Sam never left her family Jesse would still be alive.
Sam grabs the steering wheel and the car jerks violently to the left, running along the shoulder and only several inches from the guard rail. In that moment Dee knows she's gone too far and fuck being right. Careening off the side of the road and plummeting into the valley isn't worth it, and Sam's quite made her point. Dee shoves Sam off and regains control, braking to a grinding halt. They jerk forward from the force and smack back to their seats, their chests rising and falling like puffing bellows.
The silence is stinging, acidic. Dee stares ahead, breathing in measured increments to keep from hyperventilating. Sammy's eyes are glassed over and her cheeks aggressively flushed. She's trembling like she's just been dipped into a pool of freezing water. After several agonizing minutes, Dee takes a hard sniff and exhales.
"I don't ever want to speak to you again." Sam sounds cracked, like her voice box was shattered and then glued back together in the wrong proportions. The door slams and she shuffles to the other side of the road, rubbing her face and trying to get her heartbeat to stop going a mile a minute.
Dee just stays right where she is, staring ahead at the endless stretch and wondering how she's going to convince Sam to get back in after all she's said.
After the hospital, the coma, and Mom, Dee can readily admit what's now most important to her. She has 3 loves in life: Metallica, pie, and her brat sister Sammy. Just as Dee's fretting over who is more deserving of a break—her or her brat sister—Sammy's frown degrades into her usual whiny bitch face. She woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Actually, maybe that's being a little mild. Mom kicked the bucket not even a month ago. Not to mention Sammy's boyfriend Jesse (nay, fiancé, Dee recently found) is also dead. They've got no leads other than they know for a fact it was the same thing that killed Dad all those years ago, when Dee was 4 and little Sammy was just 6 months old. But that doesn't bring them any closer to answering the question that's driven their lives on the road up until this point.
Considering all of that fun stuff, Dee guesses 'whiny bitch face' should really be replaced with 'practiced despair'. The miles and miles of nothing aren't helping.
She parks the car on the shoulder. They both step out and shake out their kinks, stretching and scratching. Dee sighs. "How're you holding up?" she mutters, leaning on Beast's right side door, her legs crossed and hands in her jean jacket pockets.
"Everything's coming up roses," Sam simpers, and for a moment Dee actually wonders if it's 'that's time' and she hadn't realized it. Dee usually gets hers at the beginning of the month, while Sam gets hers around the end of the month. As it is, they're at the cusp of October, and the leaves are just beginning to change. It gets a bit windier at night too, which Dee is pretty sure depresses Sam even more. Sam's never been a fan of the cold.
Right now they're somewhere in the middle of Oregon, and there's a nice, zephyrean wind going on. At least for now. The wind makes Sam's Native American skirt billow up behind her, but she pays no mind to it. Sam's so detached right now she's more interested in the pine trees that flag the roadside rather than the fact that her Fruit of the Loom panties and bubble ass are within plain view.
"What the hell, Sammy? Pull your skirt down." Dee catches the rim and flattens it against the back of her legs as the breeze dies down. The only response she gets from Sam is a slight turn of the head. She averts her attention to the forest again a second later.
"What's wrong?" Dumb question, but if it'll pull her out of her trance, it's worth asking.
Sam sighs, the breath blowing into the breeze and being carried off like a weary ghost.
"I'm tired of fighting, Dee."
Dee can appreciate the white flag Sam's finally waving after these past few weeks. Ever since Mom's death they've been at each other's throats like rabid dogs. It's been "Can you stop being such a bitch?" at the intersection to "I swear to God, you better drop me off in the next town or I'm jumping out of this car!" at the highway, to "You know what? Fuck you then!" at the gas station.
Truth is, Dee lied about sore hands last time. She just thought a break from driving, even if it was only for 10 or 15 minutes, might've been therapeutic. Instead, it turned into a shit flinging contest.
"Beast is tired of the fighting too. He has to listen to that, you know." Dee turns aside, a poor mask for her own shame.
A lazy smile tugs at Sam's lips, her stare still directed toward the forest. "You couldn't have named the Impala anything a little lighter sounding?"
"We've been through this before, remember? He loves his name." she throws a smirk back at the car, thumbing the rim of her jeans and tugging down to give it a flash of skin. Sam's sure if the car were a guy he'd be a pervert; sorrily enough, that's just how he was raised. "He's my Beast. I ride him all day and all night. He likes to go fast and hard, and that's the only way I'll take it. That's why he's my Beast."
Sam rolls her eyes. She has reason to believe that not only has Dee done unsavory things in the car, but she may have done some unsavory things to the car. Which is why Sammy staunchly refuses to touch the gear shift.
Sam turns back and heads for the car. She doesn't feel like dealing with a frisky Dee; that she does all too often and she's not in the mood now. Sam plops down on the bench front seat and languishes, letting the wind play with her hair and blow it about. Dee takes her place in the driver's seat, taking one last glance at sulky Sam before inserting the keys in the ignition.
After what seemed like days of road, they're finally starting to get some scenery. In passing it is a little refreshing. Dee can tell from the way Sam's eyes are half lidded and the way she looks out on the trees. Maybe all she really needed was to affirm she wasn't doing so hot before she could finally let herself take a breather. Dee understands that perfectly.
In fact, Beast knows more than anybody how Dee was feeling after Mom died. He had a pretty big hint—actually, a good seventeen hints in the form of a tire iron. Thankfully that's all in the past. Beast's a tough boy. He'd understand she had to take her anger out on something. Better him than Sam. But Dee ended up backhanding Sam anyway after she wouldn't let up on insisting Dee was bottling it all up. Sam was right of course, as she often is, but that's beside the point.
Dee tries to limit her altercations with Sammy in the car to the best of her ability. Beast is no stranger to arguments, seeing as he's been present for a good portion of them, but he still hates it when Dee and Sammy fight. Dee feels this. Sometimes she thinks Dad—well, maybe his spirit or essence or something like that—lives in this car. Once, when a woman in white had possessed him and nearly flattened them on a bridge, he stopped just short of their feet when Dee tripped and Sam tried to get her back up again. That ghost bitch applied the gas, but he wouldn't budge any further.
Sam likes to say it was just an intimidation tactic on the ghost's part, but Dee knows a ghost doesn't hesitate and has no qualms about killing anyone, especially a girl like Dee, who quite frankly hasn't been faithful to any of her boyfriends and doubts she ever will. The ghost got just about as far with Beast as it could get. He can't turn on his girls like that. He's faithful, more so than Dee could ever be bothered to be with anyone except Sammy. The only person she thinks she could ever be faithful to is Sammy. She'll never leave her. Even when Sammy up and left her for Stanford, shattering Mom and Dee's hearts to pieces, she never once left her little sister. Never.
Dee smiles sadly at her sister's sleeping figure and tries to think of something that might pick up her mood. The first thing that comes to mind is to appeal to Sammy's inner geek—bookstore, perhaps. Even a backwoods place like this has gotta have a bookstore around. Or maybe… If Sammy's gonna ride the Crimson Wave as soon as Dee knows she will, they might as well take a pit stop and stock up on Snicker's and chocolate pretzels. Then Dee sees something out of the corner of her eye.
At the first glance of that glittering blue water she no longer needs to consider those ideas.
The trees shade what Dee recognizes immediately as a glossy lake. She drives down the gravel road and stops the car a few feet from a set of solitary picnic tables. She turns to Sammy, who's just beginning to stir. Sam turns aside and rubs her eyes, catching a slither of the lake.
"Wha… what's this?"
"Thought a bit of levity is in order," Dee smiles.
"We… don't have our bathing suits. Didn't we chuck them after Santa Barbara?"
It's true; they were pretty shredded after an unexpected run-in with a Scylla at that marsh. Ugly bitch just couldn't help herself, Dee guessed. Dee was even more irresistible without a top on.
"So what? We can skinny dip."
Just the thought of being topless makes Dee feel edgy and debonair. Even if the water's cold, she'd take the shock if it'd make Sam smile and tell her to get her crazy ass out of there before she gets sick or something.
Sam shakes her head and laughs against an inclination to scoff, which Dee doesn't necessarily deserve. They've had their share of scuffles and name-calling in the past few weeks, but right now her older sister's trying to cheer her up. That at least is commendable after calling her a cunt in a fit of drunkenness three nights back, accompanied by a few shoves.
"I don't want to see you like this anymore," Dee says. Her eyes soften. Sam will probably never tell her this, but it makes her melt to see Dee vulnerable. "I'm sorry for… you know, being the bitch I am. What happened to Mom… It's not your fault." It's utterly mine, she desperately wishes she has the balls to add, but doesn't. "I just wanna put it behind us."
"So this lake," Sam grins. "Is a peace offering."
Dee rolls her eyes. "Yes."
The lake glimmers. The moon's chin is dipped beneath it, throwing whimsical white light on their feet as they approach.
"Pretty, ain't it?" Dee dips a toe in. The temperature is actually workable. It was kinda steamy today, so some vestige of warmth might still be in the water.
"Yeah," Sammy takes out her camera and takes a picture. Just that alone makes Dee glad she had the idea to do this. It's already working.
The moon must cast quite a spell, because Sam has this look in her eyes, like she just wants to jump into the moon and get lost in the white. It's kinda cute. Before Dee even has a whole leg in, Sammy is gliding into the water, skirt and all. She must not care that the water's going to ruin that leather tassel belt.
Just as Dee's lifting her shirt above her head and kicking off her shorts, a small bump rises over the water a few feet from Sam. Dee focuses her eyes, as dark as it is and hard to see. The lump is slowly rising, revealing the form of a head. The lump is actually a mop of dark, wet hair, and the face…
"Sam, watch it!" Dee splashes into the water and grabs her by her shoulders, shaking her. "It's a siren! Cover your ears!"
Sam starts and jerks her head to face Dee. "Huh?"
"Get out of the water," Dee grunts, edging them both away as the supposed siren nears. They slosh awkwardly to dry land and plop down on the ground, squeezing the water from their clothes and hair. Dee turns back just for a sec to see if the siren's still there, covering her ears immediately. Any longer a glance and the siren could have her under her spell already.
"Uh… Dee?" Sam begins. She drops the hand that was muffling one of her ears and points to the water.
Against her hunter's instinct screaming 'keep your ears covered and get back to the car', she casts her eyes to the water for Sam's sake, just to give her a chance to present her case. The girl is still hovering in the water, sleek and bare breasted. Her head is tilted to the side, as if to ask what she's done to offend them so. Her arms waver around underneath, making soft rivulets. Looking down sadly, she dips back in, disappearing into the depths.
Dee huffs. "Guess she wasn't a siren then. Better safe than sorry, though. Mermaids have been known to drown people."
Sam crosses her arms. "Bobby said mermaids are actually pretty shy and are more afraid of us than we are of them. Maybe they were trying to save the person who was drowning. Ever think of that?"
Oh, Sammy, Sammy, Dee thinks. Always so ready to believe anything but the truth.
"Why are you so quick to jump to a monster's defense?" Dee narrows her eyes.
"Maddox was a werewolf, but he still chose to die so he wouldn't hurt anyone. I don't consider him a monster, even if he couldn't control himself in that state. He still had a conscience," Sam presses. Her eyes are always so sincere when she argues like this, and sometimes Dee finds it difficult to get a good point across that puppy-face.
"So if a monster's got a conscience, anything they do is excusable then? What about vampires? They have the capacity to feel bad if they killed someone. They just choose not to."
Sam's face sours, and Dee knows she's shot herself in the foot. They didn't come here just so they could start arguing again. That's completely counterproductive. Then again, she didn't suspect that a mermaid had already called dibs on this place anymore than she suspected the Scylla in Santa Barbara called dibs on that marsh.
"Listen. Let's just dry off and look for another lake."
"I think she's nice," Sam decides.
"She had you under her spell. She was charming you into the water. That's a red flag by default."
"She wasn't charming me. The moon's beautiful tonight. I was staring at that, not her."
"How can you be so devil-may-care about something like this? What if I'm wrong and she's not a mermaid? What if she's a friggin' kappa? Those ugly bastards can shape shift, you know."
"Dee." Sam says flatly.
Dee grumbles. "Alright, you know what? You stay here, and I'll go into the water. If she comes out again, I'll deal with it."
"What do you mean 'deal with it'? You're not hurting her. She didn't do anything."
"Stay there," she commands. Dee waddles in again, letting the cold settle around her bare skin. To her annoyance (and in direct contempt of an order), Sam follows in after her.
"I thought I told you to stay there!"
"I told you you're not—" Sam gasps and her voice drops to a whisper. "There she is!"
Sam sloshes to a stop, throwing her arm out to point at it. Dee whips around, and sure enough, there's the girl. Her eyes peek out from her sloppy seaweed tendrils. Her shy, dew dropped eyelashes bat at them once, then twice, and she dips back in again.
"Awww," Sam groans. "I wanted to see her."
Dee's face screws up. "You're not trying to ask her out or something are you?"
Sam rolls her eyes. "Come on, or I'm going in ahead of you."
The girl emerges again as they near, inch by tentative inch. Her eyes are wide and curious, full of marble light as rivulets of water trickle down her face and chin.
Dee and Sam stop a mere foot away.
"Hey," Sam says as friendly as she can muster, submerged to the elbows in water that's getting colder and colder as the night progresses. "I'm Sam, and this is my sister Dee. You're gonna have to excuse her. She's a very… cautious person."
The mermaid doesn't respond.
"Umm… How long have you been living in the lake?"
A smile tugs at the girl's lip, and she begins to back away. She turns around and swims up.
"Wait!" Sam calls.
"Let's just get out of here," Dee says in exasperation. "I don't feel like playing these dumb games with some mermaid who's too cool to talk to us."
"Shush; she's just being playful."
Arms akimbo, Dee asks, "Do you have some kind of mermaid fetish I should know about?"
Sam raises her arms above her and begins cleaving through the water as gracefully as a person her length can, which isn't saying much. Mom taught her the bare essentials of swimming, but she just didn't have much practice.
"Hey! You're not going alone," Dee goes after her.
The mermaid has disappeared by the time they swim around the bend, and Sam is looking around with the wet ends of her hair slapping her face with every turn. Dee can almost laugh if she weren't so frustrated that this mermaid is playing hide and seek with them. How old is she? Five?
Suddenly, Sam is yanked underwater with a great splash.
"Sammy!" she shouts.
Underneath the water, the mermaid's laughter spews out in bubbles. Sam opens her eyes for just a moment and is surprised to see the girl has no intention of drowning her—she just wants to play. Through the muddle the water throws over her eyes, she can see the mermaid doesn't have a fish tail.
She has legs.
Sammy quickly hits the surface and takes in a great drag of air. Dee is already at her, asking her what happened. "She—" Sam coughs. "She's got…"
"Yeah?" Dee cries.
Sam whips her hair back, throwing an arching spear of water into the lake. She blinks the water out of her eyes, rubbing at her face. She says, "She doesn't have a tail. She's got legs."
The girl surfaces again, and this time she's grinning from ear to ear.
"Wait… you're human?" Dee asks.
The girl shakes her head. She motions for them to come closer, and when they do, she gestures to the field of grass to their left.
Another girl, completely naked, peeks her head out from behind a tree. She has tousled, shoulder length, mousy brown hair and a crown of leaves on her head. Her eyes are a brilliant green, the color of sun-struck grass in the early morning. Her elbows and legs are stained with earth. Her bare body is wondrous, youthful and nubile.
"Oh," exclaims Sam. "They're not mermaids at all. They're—"
"Nymphs." Dee finishes. "Great."
The girl dips in. Underneath her, Sam feels the girl tickle at her legs with her fingers, a tingly invite. She takes a gulp of air, holds it, and dives in.
When she opens her eyes, it's like nothing she's ever seen.
The water is glittering, bright blue and diaphanous. Comets of light spear through the water in thousands of different directions. The nymph sets the stage of blessed mystique, gyrating in circles and flailing her legs about in freedom and gracefulness. The floating cloud of her dark hair fans out when she twirls and synchronizes when she stills again. She smiles at Sam. The girl weaves through the water, grasps both of Sam's hands and threads their fingers together.
Watch you wave your powers…
Sam realizes she doesn't need to hold her breath anymore. It's easy to see the nymph has enchanted the water. It must be the same magic that's allowing her to breathe right now and feel like she's not even in water, that's she's really swimming in brilliantly lit air. It's amazing…
Later, Sam sits on the grass while the water nymph braids her hair. The tree nymph is busily at work making a crown of balloon flowers for Dee.
"This has been a funny day," Sam smiles, looking over at her sister.
"Sure has," Dee says.