Spoilers: Set sometime after Nightshifter
Summary: Wherein Sam Winchester gets magical powers (and a spiffy new earring) thanks to an accursed blue plate special and Dean has to break the curse. Featuring wishes for pigtails, declarations of Dean’s awesomeness, the best beer in the world.
Word Count: 2,180
Author’s Notes: For lovers of funny stories and magical fish, this one’s for you. Title taken from David Bowie's song (as referenced in the story).
“I hate you,” Sam says to Dean, in a tone that’s usually reserved for a resigned decision at a crappy diner, a cautious choice like when a person says I think I’ll have the meatloaf special instead.
Hey, Sam really should’ve gone for the meatloaf special over the freakin’ swordfish because you don’t order fish from the ocean in a landlocked state from a suspiciously ethnic-free “Greek” diner where all the waitresses have bottle-blonde hair or light brown hair, sun-red tans, and big blue eyes. Also, the meatloaf wasn’t that bad, even though it did have chunks of near-raw onions mixed into the overcooked beef. Ketchup hides most sins anyways.
But yeah, they didn’t realize how stupid Sam had been for listening to the waitress’s hard sell of the dinner special, Swordfish Seared with Dill and Lemon, “It’s totally authentic,” she had gushed, continuing to overuse authentic so much that Dean still believes that it’s the word of the day on the waitress’s (Cindi’s) word-a-day calendar.
Apparently the curse has an incubation time of about three hours.
During that critical time period, which, according to Bobby is the only time that the curse can be easily avoided with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (No I’m not yanking your chain, Bobby says after Dean asks him if he’s just messing with them), they’d split up. Dean had done some laundry while Sam researched a bit more about the weird claim about some wacky wishes coming true to residents of Saginaw, Michigan. It’s too late. Just as the pieces come together and Sam realized the connecting point was that the people who claimed they were able to get wishes from friends and loved ones after they’d gone to a local diner, it happened.
Dean’s missing a sock and Sam’s got himself magic powers.
Weirdly enough, Dean’s kind of won that round.
“Seriously, Dean. I hate you so much.”
“C’mon Sammy, my will be done.”
“You’re not God, Dean,” Sam sniffs, venom seeping out of the words (not literally although that would be an awesome parlor trick, maybe he should blow his next wish on that). Sam fails to follow up with the bitchy, only managing a weak trembling little, “Jackass.”
“Say it, Sam,” Dean says, invoking a Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca tone that Dean knows Sam can’t resist. Them’s the rules.
“Dean Winchester is my hero, he’s just so awesome and I wish I could be just like him.”
Okay, so it’s choking thick with sarcasm but you get what you wish for. And Dean’s got two more wishes to blow before Sam’s released from the curse. In theory. Bobby’s still trying to confirm that’s the way to end it but he does know for sure that giving Sam orders won’t hurt Sam one bit. At least, that’s what he said twice when Dean had asked him to repeat that part.
Yep. Dean Winchester. Winner.
“Maybe I oughtta get more creative. Wish for money or something.”
“That’s a great idea. Then it’ll turn up that the money I conjured out of thin air is from a bank and the Feds will have another reason to come after us. Wishing for money always ends badly, Dean.”
“Good advice, Jean Genie. By the way, it’s great that you only got stuck with that stupid gold earring.” Dean fondly flicks it before Sam can swat his hand away. “Having you in an I Dream of Jeanie get up might’ve scarred me for life. Or Mr. Clean, that would pretty much suck. You could’ve been bald, dude.”
Sam chews back the insult just begging to jump out of his mouth and stays quiet. He folds his arms and Dean doesn’t even bother cracking a joke about that stance.
He has to think of something besides anything sex-related because he’s kind of got that locked up. Doesn’t need his brother-turned-genie helping him on that front. “World peace?”
Brows furrow and Sam stares at Dean for a long time. “Seriously?”
Dean shrugs. “Chicks would dig it.”
Sam covers his face with his hands. He’s probably counting to ten. “Only you would wish for world peace to get laid. Why are you so the way you are?”
“Your awesome hero?” Dean puts on a Thinking Face, one he’s cribbed from Sam and thoughtfully sits down on Sam’s bed and leans forwards, steepling his fingers together. “That’s a difficult question, Sam. Easy answer. Genetic lottery. So go for it, make it so.”
“You’re not Captain Picard.”
Dean breaks out of his Thoughtful Look and grins. “You’re such a nerd.”
“You’re such an awesome brother! Dammit!” Sam irritably yanks at the golden hoop on his right ear, making a noise of frustration at his continued inability to remove it. “Fine, you want world peace then you have to command me.”
“Sweet.” Dean pauses just for a second and then hastily says, “This ain’t gonna wind up with the Earth wiped clean of people like in that X-Files episode, right?”
Sam’s hands go this way and that, if Dean feels a bit like pissing Sam off later, he should mention how it looks like Sam’s flailing around like a rag doll. Not right now though, because Dean needs to make sure he’s not about to wipe out all of humanity. That’s a little more important that ragging on Sam. Heh. Ragging on Sam the rag doll. Okay, that’s a keeper.
“Dean, I have no idea what happens. It’s like being a vacuum–”
“Well you do suck,” Dean interrupts.
“There’s nothing there until the switch is turned on,” Sam continues, purposely ignoring Dean. “So maybe I’ll destroy the world and do you know what I’d love? To have that on my conscience. That would be great.”
“So maybe I shouldn’t bother.”
“Maybe you should wish for something small.”
“Like a pet monkey?”
“You know, like in Aladdin. You always watched that movie when we had a VCR, remember? You asked Dad for a monkey once.”
Sam blinks at Dean slowly, mouth gaping unattractively. Like a magic fish. “No I didn’t.”
“Oh, so it must’ve been the other brother we have, Larry, the one we don’t speak about. Oh wait, we always kept Larry locked in the trunk ‘cause he’s uglier than you, uglier than sin even. Nope, it was totally you, Sammy. You thought a pet monkey would be the coolest thing until Dad explained that monkeys like to throw their shit around and you asked what made a monkey different from me.”
Not like Dean’s bitter or anything, ‘specially about that full belly laugh Dad had guffawed when Sam had delivered that killer line.
“Oh. Huh.” Sam must have the most selective goddamn memory ever if he can’t remember that.
“Yeah,” Dean bites out. “Huh.”
“The monkey will probably vanish from a zoo,” Sam says. He goes over to the rickety table where he’s got notes strewn all over, pulling out a printed news article about a rash of disappearing exotic animals and the influx of rare animal sightings in the surrounding areas. “I think that this magic just transfers one thing for another.”
“That’s the way it always works,” Dean grunts. The dream of a well-trained monkey creeping into Sam’s bed late one night and hacking off Sam’s hair slowly evaporates and Dean goes back to focusing on the suck of the curse. “At least it isn’t as jacked up as a Monkey’s Paw. So big wishes are out for obvious reasons and now I can’t make any weird requests because it might come from God-knows-where.”
Sighing dramatically, Sam says, “Just make me say that I’m a little girl or that I love clowns and let’s see if this thing ends.”
“Nah.” The smirk almost gives the game away but Dean continues on, despite the wary look in Sam’s eyes, “You should wear pigtails. Do it, Sam.”
Sam nearly hisses but he can’t control his body, tripping towards his duffel bag and pulling out two rubber bands stuffed in one of the inner pockets, getting his hair put into two messy pigtails. The look of hatred on Sam’s face is almost as adorable as his new hairdo.
If Dean can be forgiven for a lot of the awful things he’s done in his life, maybe he deserves a little forgiveness for laughing so hard he can only breathe out shaky wheezing breaths. No, he doesn’t. And this is freakin’ hilarious.
“You’re so awesome,” Sam says. The fierce twisting of the word loses some of the translation when Sam’s sporting a hairstyle better suited for a toddler. “Now one more horrible wish and maybe we’ll get lucky and I won’t be a genie anymore.”
It’s hard to speak, but Dean manages somewhat, saying, “I might need to think about this one. You know, it’s the last one. I could wish for a million wishes.”
“Dean, that’s so funny, I almost forgot that I can strangle you when you’re sleeping.”
“Dude, way to rain on my parade,” Dean says, “Okay, I could go for a beer.”
“The best beer in the world.”
Sam makes a pathetic noise that sounds suspiciously like the beginning of a hissy fit, so Dean cuts him off at the pass.
“What you think the best beer in the world is. Think you can manage that? I can have you sing The Jean Genie but I ain’t letting you anywhere near a Bowie song.”
“No, that’s just...almost reasonable.” Sam’s going for gratitude and Dean refuses to have this turn into a Meaningful Moment.
“I’m thirsty. ‘Sides, who’s gonna notice a missing beer?” Dean sets out his hands, right hand set in a near fist over his open left hand so there ain’t any chance of him dropping his conjured drink. “Give me a beer, Sam.”
It’s a scrunch between Sam’s eyebrows, Dean notices. That’s how it starts off and Dean clutches the open beer bottle (Sam must’ve popped off the cap, how thoughtful) so it doesn’t tumble out of his grasp.
Before Dean can even take a sip, there’s an honest-to-God “poof” noise and Sam’s genie earring vanishes in a cloud of smoke. “So it worked. Great,” Dean says, tipping the beer forward like he’s cheering for Sam. He takes a sip and forces it down. “Damn, way too heavy on the hops. What the hell do you think is a good beer?”
“Something that doesn’t taste like goat’s piss,” Sam answers. He’s pretty much failing at removing the rubber bands from his hair and can only yank them out along with several strands of hair. He takes it well and doesn’t bitch about the hair coiled up in the rubber bands. Man, Sam’s hair is a scary, scary thing, it’s like, sticking up all over and looks like it’s plotting to take over the world.
Dean may have to mention that, just in case all the magic didn’t disappear once that goofy earring went poof. Instead he says, “Well, you’re pretty far off the mark if you were going for Not Goat’s Piss.”
“So why were you so...?”
“Handsome? Resourceful? Manly?” Dean waits for Sam to speak but Sam takes too long. Impatient, Dean downs the rest of his crap best beer in the world and asks, “What?”
“Fair.” Sam’s doing that thing where he works out a puzzle in his mind, only it’s the Dean-puzzle. Tonight, Dean’s in no mood to sit still while Sam starts shoving pieces into Dean, looking for a spot where the pieces fit into the jagged outline perfectly. “You could’ve wished for a lot worse but you didn’t.”
“Maybe I’m not a complete asshole, Sammy,” he says, tired, just tired of the fun being spoiled by one of these damn emo-moments. He dumps the empty bottle in the plastic trashcan and sits on his bed, undoing his watch and putting it on the bedside table. “You ever think of that? Maybe ‘cause in our line of work, I’m probably gonna wind up with a similar jacked-up affliction and it doesn’t do me any good to have you pissed at me and looking for revenge.”
“Wow.” Sam sits down next to Dean, like he’s taking in the gravity of the situation. “You used affliction correctly.”
The pillow to Sam’s head, hitting that thick skull with a dull thud, is totally within Dean’s rights as eldest brother. In fact, it’s the mature response.
The pillow fight that ensues may be stupid and really undignified and sure, Sam might claim victory but Dean never admits defeat.
Dean’s decision to wish for relatively sane things turns out to be a brilliant strategy later on. When Dean accidentally puts on an enchanted kimono (don’t ask) and is cursed to dance until he drops (and he doesn’t sashay, dammit, Sam), Sam’s there to break the curse.
After Sam takes some pictures for future blackmail purposes, that is. Oh, and after he stops laughing like a loon. Okay, and after he gives Dean some “tips” on his lack of dancing skills.
Whatever, Dean’s worn weirder stuff. And no, he ain’t telling.
Additional Story Note:
- Sam to Dean: " Why are you so the way you are"
- Michael (to Toby): “ I hate...so much about the things that you choose to be.”