ellerkay: (Supernatural)
[personal profile] ellerkay
Title: Kegger
Category: Gen
Rating: PG-13, maybe a light R at worst
Characters: Dean and just a smidge of John, plus some OCs
Wordcount: 2,318
Summary: Pre-series; Stanford era. Dean goes to a college party, and can’t shake the specter of his brother. Inspired by four pictures of Jensen Ackles which by all rights should be of Dean (incorporated in the story).
Warnings: Brotherangst, a teensy bit of existential angst.
Disclaimer: All for fun, none for profit.



***

Dean and John were hunting in Gainesville, Florida. The job was unusual enough to require some extra research, so they stopped in the University of Florida library. Before long, John sent Dean into the stacks for yet another book, and as Dean moved through the rows, a pretty, busty blonde bumped into him, in a move so obvious Dean couldn’t help but smile.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” she said, flashing a bright smile right back and looking him up and down, wanting him to know she was looking. “Are you lost?”

“Is it that obvious?” He wasn’t, but she was cute.

“What are you looking for?”

Dean gave her the paper with the author and call number, and she guided him to the right shelf.

“‘Spirits of the Underworld,’ huh?” she said, pulling the book off the shelf. “What class is this for?”

“No class,” Dean replied. “This is just some light pleasure reading.”

She laughed. “Nothing wrong with a little pleasure.” She handed him the book, her fingers lingering on his for a fraction of a second too long. “Are you a grad student?”

“Oh, I don’t go here. I’m in town for a few days with my dad. He’s writing a book, I’m helping him research.”

“Must be some book.”

“Sweetheart, you have no idea.”

She smiled again and put her hand out. “I’m Dawn.”

Dean shook it, brushing the back of her hand with his thumb. “Dean Townshend.”

“Well, Dean, seeing as you’re not a student, I probably shouldn’t be doing this…but I’ll make an exception.” She handed him a flyer from the stack in her arms. “My sorority’s having a party tonight. It’s going to be crazy. You should come.”

Dean glanced at the paper. “Tonight?” They might be hunting.

“Don’t tell me you have plans. Does your dad keep you up researching all night?”

“Sometimes,” Dean admitted. “But I’ll quit early, if I can.”

“You do that,” she said, and walked away, tossing one last smile over her shoulder.

Dean watched her go, smirking a little. He could see why someone might want to go to college. Not that Sam was probably attending any keggers. Dean wasn’t even sure how his little brother managed to dislodge that stick up his ass long enough to take a dump.

***

John shut the book he’d “borrowed” from the university library with a sigh and got to his feet.

“We’re not getting any further with this till morning, when we can talk to the sheriff again,” he said, flopping down on his bed and pulling a beer out of the cooler. “Might as well call it a night.”

“Sure thing,” Dean said. He looked around the motel room for a moment, indecisive. Suddenly the thought of partying with a bunch of drunken college kids seemed somewhat less than appealing, and he didn’t know why. He wondered what Sammy was up to.

Fuck it. Their father was already in a TV coma, and Dawn had a great ass. Dean grabbed the keys off the table.

“I’m going out,” he said. John grunted. Dean waited for half a second to see if there would be some additional instruction – about taking care of the car, or not staying out too late so they could get an early start. When none was forthcoming, he headed out the door.

***

A map on the flyer guided Dean to the sorority house, once he was on the UF campus again. It was ten o’clock when he arrived, and the party was in full swing. There were kids out on the lawn, smoking and talking. Loud music blasted from inside.

Dean went in the open door and shouldered his way through the crowded hallway, fighting a weird sense of unease. This was a party. These were drunk people – his people. Dean wasn’t bothered by crowds, or deafening music, or smoky air. What was it? He glanced around, hunter’s senses on alert. Was there something going on here he could feel, but hadn’t quite figured out yet? No; everything appeared normal. Just a house full of college students, blowing off some steam at the end of a long week. Hell, these kids could be Sammy.

And then it hit him. This wasn’t just any party. This was a college party. This was Sam’s turf, whether or not Sam ever went to parties. Dean was the outsider here.

“Well, fuck that,” Dean muttered, relieved to find himself in the kitchen, where the beer lived. Instead of a keg, as he’d expected, there were several massive coolers full of ice and bottles of brew. Dean pulled one out and opened it, draining nearly a third of it in a long gulp.

“Dean?”

He turned to see Dawn, flanked by a couple other girls, one of whom held a camera. Shutterbug was snapping picture after picture. Dawn pushed her way through the crowd and stood close to Dean. If her breath was anything to go by, she was already pretty drunk.

“You’re here,” she said, shouting and leaning in close to be heard over the music. Dean grinned.

“Here I am,” he agreed, taking another sip of beer. Dawn whipped around, so fast she teetered on her high heels a little. Dean grabbed her elbow to steady her.

“Sarah! Over here!” she shouted. The girl with the camera turned their way, raising her camera to her eye again automatically.

Dawn arranged herself next to Dean, arm pressed against his. She smiled, leaning into him. Dean caught sight of someone across the room – someone tall and a little gangling, in a plaid shirt, with that stupid haircut that was so familiar. He stared, forgetting all about the picture until a bright light exploded in the corner of his eye. He blinked rapidly, trying to clear his vision, but by the time he could see again, the guy had already disappeared.



Ridiculous, anyway. There was a whole country between Dean and Sam. Just then, Dean thought he could feel every mile.

***

Dean gave his best patented Dean Winchester Charming Grin to Dawn’s friends as she introduced him. She started to pull him into the living room, insistent that he meet the DJ, who was allegedly a big deal.

“Just a second,” Dean told her. He chugged the rest of his beer and grabbed a fresh one from the cooler, then followed her into the next room.

It was like plunging into the ocean, if the ocean was made of humid, smoke-filled air and sweaty people and a beat you could feel in your chest. Dean drank it in, relishing the fire hazard crush of bodies and the smell of pot, so strong he felt like he was already starting to get a contact high. This was his kind of scene. Sammy could study all he wanted, but Dean could go to college, too. At least for a night.

An hour later, Dean had a good buzz going and a circle of friendly faces around him. He worked them smoothly, drawing smiles and laughter and subtle (or not-so) advances. Sarah still had the camera out, and Dean posed this time, mugging as he took a swig of beer while some guy made metal horns and pretended to try to lick his arm (or maybe he was actually trying, Dean wasn’t sure) and Dawn crowded into the shot.



Shortly after, Dean let Dawn give him a tour of the upstairs that ended with a blowjob in her bedroom. He offered to return the favor, tried to get his fingers in her pants, but she just laughed and said she was too drunk to come. She pushed him against the wall and kissed him thoroughly, and Dean could taste himself in her mouth. If it’d gone on much longer, he maybe could’ve gotten hard again from that and the kissing alone.

She disappeared after they got back to the party, and Dean wandered out to the backyard. It was quieter here even than the front of the house. A couple was whisper-shouting at each other in a dark corner. Elsewhere, a few people stood laughing, drinks in hand. Dean considered joining them, but then he caught sight of a guy sitting at a picnic table, cigarette held casually between his fingertips.

God, yes. While he’d never been very strict about alcohol, John had always railed against smoking. “Not in our line of work. Something’s chasing you, that cigarette could be the difference between life and death. If you’re panting and gasping because your lungs are black with tar…” And so on, and so forth.

So, occasionally, Dean took great pleasure in a drunken indulgence. Fuck you, Sammy. You’re not the only one who can rebel. Dean was acutely aware of the difference between a cigarette once a month and taking off for years to go to college, but it’s not like Dean wanted to rebel that much. He knew their father knew best, after all. But he wasn’t the old man’s bitch, either.

“Hey man,” he said, sitting down on the bench. He put out his hand. “I’m Dean.”

“Barry,” said the guy, shaking Dean’s hand firmly. “I like your T-shirt.”

Dean grinned big. “Fuck yeah, you do. Zeppelin, man. What’s your favorite song? Don’t say ‘Stairway.’”

Barry laughed. “It’s a classic for a reason, but nah. ‘Houses of the Holy.’”

Dean nodded. “I can respect that. So, you know what I’m going to ask next, don’t you?”

Barry smiled. “Probably.”

“Could I bum a smoke?”

“Sure.” The pack was on the table behind them, and Barry nodded towards it. “Help yourself.” Dean pulled one out and patted his pockets, but evidently his Zippo was in his jacket, in the Impala.

“You got a light?”

Barry reached out with the lighter like he’d been waiting for the question. Dean leaned into the flame. A flash blinded him just as he got the cigarette lit.



“Sarah!” he shouted, mock-angrily, to the dark, giggling shape that was scampering away towards the laughing group.

“I’d better look freaking hot in that!” he called after her.

“You do!” she shouted back, blowing him a kiss. Dean grinned some more and took a deep drag on the cigarette.

Barry was just finishing his, and he threw it down in the dirt, standing up and grinding it out under his heel.

“Hey, where you going, man?” Dean asked. “Keep a brother company.”

“Gotta get back inside,” Barry said. “My girlfriend’s waiting. Nice to meet you, Dean.”

Dean looked over at the group Sarah had joined, but his buzz had gone from energetic to a low, quiet laziness since Dawn had sucked him off, and he couldn’t quite find the motivation to get up.

He smoked in silence, instead, and when he was tasting filter he threw the butt down and stayed put. Did Sammy ever go to things like this? Were there even parties at Stanford? Dean imagined a bunch of stuffed shirts at a wine and cheese tasting and laughed quietly to himself. But that didn’t really seem like his brother, either. Did Sam go to parties and just stand against a wall, awkwardly clutching a drink? Did girls hit on him? Sam was a good-looking dude and all, but as far as Dean knew, he wasn’t really the drunken one night stand type. Maybe he had a girlfriend, like Barry. It hit Dean that he really had no idea what Sam’s life was like now. He knew Stanford, and law, and that Sam was where he wanted to be, which was pretty much anywhere that Dean and their dad weren’t. But that was about it.

It was surreal. He used to know Sam so well. He used to know everything about him. Not every thought in his head, maybe – not since Sam was a little kid and felt the need to share them all with Dean, prattling on and on until Dean had to tell him to shut the hell up, already. (Who would’ve thought he’d ever be nostalgic for those days?) But Dean used to know pretty much everything that happened in Sammy’s life. After all, it was the same everything that happened in Dean’s life, more or less. Dean wondered if that time was over for good. He still hoped that Sam might come back to the life someday. When he’d first left, Dean had figured he’d have to be back, sooner or later. But as the months and years dragged on, it was starting to look less and less likely.

A flashbulb came out of nowhere.



“Jesus, Sarah, give a guy some warning,” he said, rubbing his eyes.

“Sorry,” said a masculine voice. Not Sarah. “Candid’s always better. But I can delete it, if you want.”

Dean knew before his vision cleared that it wasn’t Sam. It was the build, yeah, and the stupid friggin’ haircut, and the flannel shirt, but the voice was wrong and Sam was far, far away. Knowing it didn’t stop the knot in his stomach, the tensing of his shoulders, the shiver of recognition at all the things that were familiar about this stranger.

“No worries, man,” Dean said, blinking up, and up, and up. Guy sure had the height. Dean was never going to forgive his little brother for growing past him like that.

The guy sat down next to him with a sigh and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He took one out, and then offered the pack to Dean. Now that Dean could see Not Sammy’s face, he could see how little the dude actually resembled Sam.

“You want one?” Not Sammy asked. Dean stared down at them for another moment. That cigarette could be the difference between life and death.

“Sure,” Dean said finally, helping himself. “Thanks.”

“No problem.” Not Sammy held out the lighter for him without Dean even asking. “Hell of a party, huh?”

“Yeah,” Dean agreed. “Hell of a party.”

Date: 2012-12-12 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] borgmama1of5.livejournal.com
Wow! You really wrote this story to the pictures! And the end, Dean realizing he no longer knew what Sam's life was like, was such a sad realization.

Date: 2012-12-12 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
I love stories that incorporate pictures. Earlier this year, I read an excellent YA book called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which used found photographs and made the pictures part of the story. It really appealed to me, and probably helped inspire this.

And yeah, I don't know if I can write SPN fic without at least a little bit of sad. :P Especially when the boys are apart.

Thanks so much for commenting!

Date: 2012-12-12 10:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] etoile444.livejournal.com
That was a neat idea to use those pictures. I get such a sense of lonliness here.

Date: 2012-12-12 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
Thank you! And yes, I can only imagine that Dean was pretty lonely without Sam. Sam missed him during the Stanford era too, I'd think, but his love for Dean would have been complicated by his anger towards their father and reluctance to be a hunter, And with school and his friends and Jess, he would've had considerably more to distract him. Nothing like spending hours and hours in a car to give you time to navel-gaze and miss your little brother. :P

Thank you for commenting!

Date: 2012-12-12 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gypsy-atavari.livejournal.com
Awwww- liked how introspective Dean was in the midst of a very extroverted activity. Nice contrast. :-)

Date: 2012-12-14 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! And thanks for commenting. :D

Date: 2012-12-29 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inkahootz.livejournal.com
Great story and very nicely melded with the pics! Thanks for sharing!!!

~Kahootz

Date: 2012-12-29 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellerkay.livejournal.com
Thank you so much, and thanks for reading! :D <333

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