Title: Not Cool
Characters: Sam, Dean
Genre: Gen, humor
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: Dean’s been hit with a de-aging curse and Sam gets a taste of what it’s like to be a big brother forced to deal with a teenager. To make things even more interesting for Sam, this curse seems to have a hidden bonus.
A/N: This is a follow-up to my story Not Me, but this one can stand on its own. You don’t have to read the first one to follow along. I intend to do another follow-up as well.
Sam often accused Dean of being childish. It wasn’t like there wasn’t precedence for it. His older brother still liked to watch cartoons, thought toilet humor was the height of hilarity, acted like a horny twelve-year-old whenever he spotted a pair of nice breasts, and pulled some of the most juvenile pranks known to man. Seriously, who else would punk an angel with a whoopee cushion?
Still, Dean was always an adult when he needed to be. To be fair, Sam knew that much of his brother’s immature behavior could be explained away by the fact that he never really got to be a kid when it counted. He’d always had too much responsibility on his shoulders. He had to enjoy childish things in bits and pieces, whenever and however he could manage them. Plus, acting the fool had always been one of Dean’s coping mechanisms. It was how he dealt with what no human being should ever be asked to deal with. Sometimes it was annoying as hell, but it was all very understandable.
But this. This was a whole new ballgame.
It all started that morning when Dean woke up looking like he was all of fourteen/fifteen years old again. Even so, he still possessed all the memories and knowledge of a thirty-something man. So, they both assumed the only challenge would be finding a way to reverse whatever curse he was under. And if the rest of the day hadn’t gone straight to shit, Sam would have found this to be the most hilarious curse ever.
It turned out that a certain big, badass hunter seemed to have a very distorted memory of how he looked when he was younger. Dean spent most of the morning insisting that the pretty teen boy in the mirror was not really him. Instead, it was a girled-up version of him, cooked-up especially to give the curse more kick. Because there was “no freaking way” he actually looked like a refugee from a boy band when he was a teen. “NO FREAKING WAY!”
Sam couldn’t help himself; he had to give Dean hell. He was practically required to, because his brother would have been merciless if the shoe was on the other foot. Therefore, he pulled out the shoebox of old photos from the trunk of the Impala, found some choice shots of Dean as a teenager, and proceeded to taunt away.
And Dean’s brilliant defense? Clearly this hoodoo priestess’ spirit was so incredibly powerful that she was not only able to de-age him, she was also able to give him a few extra X chromosomes, AND alter all past photographic evidence of what he really looked like. Apparently this former peddler of run-of-the-mill curses was practically a god.
The situation rapidly became less amusing as soon as they both headed out into the motel’s parking lot. This wasn’t the nicest motel they’d ever stayed in. To be frank, it was a real crap hole. Unfortunately, it was also all they could afford at the moment. They were between credit cards and near the very tourist-heavy New Orleans’ French Quarter - a place where everything was notoriously overpriced. There were simply no decent places to stay in their price range. Sometimes it happened; they just had to go with it.
Dean had done his best to cinch up his too-loose jeans with a belt, but it was obvious that the clothes he was wearing were way too big for him. The burly, bearded biker they passed took one look at the two of them and immediately decided that there was only one reason an unusually pretty teenage boy would be coming out of the no-tell motel with a full-grown man whose clothes he also appeared to be wearing.
Sam wasn’t going to repeat what was said. Not even in his own head. Some things were best locked in the vault and left alone, never to be revisited again. Problem was, Dean wouldn’t just walk away. His reaction was extreme to the point that he attacked a three-hundred-pound biker while in his much smaller body. He was still quite the scrapper, but the biker definitely had the advantage.
Naturally, Sam had to step in and there was a huge throwdown right there in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily for Sam, the biker decided to give him the worst end of it since he was a) a grown man and b) obviously some sort of sick pervert.
It made no sense for Dean to go off like that. They were two young men who traveled together, so they were used to snide comments and insinuations about their sexual orientation. Usually, they both laughed it off, or sometimes Dean made a smartass remark of his own, but they never started a brawl over it. They were both comfortable enough with themselves not to let it get to them, and they usually had way bigger problems to deal with anyway.
But, this time, Dean just had to go off the deep end, and now Sam had a broken nose and busted up knuckles to show for it. Not to mention the fact that they barely got out of there before the police arrived.
The getaway was another fun experience. As usual, Dean was in possession of the keys and Sam didn’t exactly have time to argue with him about who should drive. Cue Dean’s impromptu reenactment of Steve McQueen’s classic chase scene from Bullitt. The ride was so extreme and horrifying that Sam was half-convinced he’d been hit with an aging curse, because now he felt at least twenty years older.
Sam just wanted to go straight to the basement of the building where they’d burned the spirit’s bones, figure out how Dean had been cursed and what they needed to do to reverse it.
A simple, solid plan.
But his brother was hungry and it wasn’t just his normal overactive appetite at work. No, this time he pitched a whining fit and claimed he was literally starving to death. He was going to DIE if he didn’t get some food.
Why didn’t Sam care? Why did he have to be such a dick about everything? Didn’t he have any concern for his poor starving brother?
The world was definitely coming to an end.
Fine. They went to a diner first. Crisis averted... or so you’d think.
Their waitress was pretty. She was probably about twenty-five with a thick brown ponytail, friendly smile, and an impressive show of cleavage. Definitely Dean’s type. He flirted and she was flattered, but obviously saw him as nothing more than a cute kid. Whatever - it didn’t really matter. At least Dean had something to occupy him, and had stopped whining and bitching for five minutes.
Then she came back to take their order and Sam made the mistake of asking about the daily specials. They were on limited funds and they needed to make their dollars stretch as far as possible. It was a perfectly normal thing to do.
“Dude,” Dean hissed under his breath the moment the waitress walked away. “Why did you have to embarrass me like that? Now she thinks we’re broke.”
“We are broke,” Sam informed him dryly. Dean was well aware of that fact. What was his deal?
“Sometimes I friggin’ hate you! You’re so stupid. There’s no way you’ll ever be cool.”
Dean's face had actually turned red, either from embarrassment, anger, or both. The whole thing was absurd. That’s when the realization finally hit him.
Dean was a teenager. Not just physically, but mentally too. It made a weird kind of sense.
Sam had taken a psychology class in college and he remembered learning something about the teenage brain. Apparently it wasn’t just experience and memories that made you an adult, the structure of the brain itself also came into play. The brain hadn’t finished forming all the right paths and connections yet. In a sense, a teenager was physiologically incapable of being a fully rational being. They couldn’t really grasp long term consequences, they were impulsive, they were overly emotional…
They were exactly the type to start a brawl over an off-color remark, drive like a lunatic for no good reason, angst over a late meal, and become hopelessly embarrassed by anyone more than ten years older than them.
Needless to say, Sam called it a major win when he managed to make it through the meal without causing Dean to die of shame. But there was another battle to be had when they left the restaurant.
His brother didn’t seem to want to accept that it wasn’t a good idea for an underage boy to drive a car full of deadly and highly illegal weapons around, especially when he was determined to pretend to be a stunt driver.
Sam wisely settled on a game of rock-paper-scissors, winner gets the keys. Dean’s habit of throwing scissors every single time was long standing, and Sam easily won by throwing a rock. Of course, he had to listen to some grumbling about both that and the general unfairness of life, but hopefully they’d be able avoid a stay in a federal penitentiary.
Dean’s epic getaway from the motel had taken them well into the outskirts of New Orleans. With workday traffic and some roadwork to contend with, they were almost an hour getting back to the source of the curse.
The surly teenager had almost immediately complained of being tired and bored, so he climbed into the back seat to take a nap. Sam supposed that made sense, kids needed more sleep than adults and they’d both been up since very early that morning. Besides, maybe he’d be less cranky after a nap.
Once they'd finally gotten back to the scene of the crime, Sam found a parking place on the street not far from the building they needed to check out. Then turned around to wake his brother.
He couldn’t see anything but a bundle of cotton and denim back there. He knew his clothes were too big, but he was surprised he could manage to burrow that deeply into them.
“Dean… wake-up,” he called out. “We’re here.”
There was no response, so Sam reached back to shake him.
“Dean! Get up, man. We need to get moving.”
A blond head struggled to emerge from the t-shirt it was buried inside, and squinted at Sam with tired and very resentful eyes.
Those green eyes boring into him with the irritation of someone who does not want to wake-up were definitely Dean’s. Problem was, they were the eyes of a much younger Dean than the one that had crawled in the back to take a nap. Sam was going to guess this one was about five.
Read the Finale: Not Fair