My first attempt at writing Supernatural fanfic.
Inspired by this exchange from 8.22 Clip Show:
Cas: “I like this bunker. It’s orderly”
Sam: “Give us a few months – Dean wants to get us a ping pong table.”
Sam woke with a start, unsure what caused his sudden return to consciousness. The room was dark, but a sliver of light shone through the half-open door. He was in his new bed (memory foam because Dean insisted his brother too, needed a bed that remembered him) in his very own bedroom, just along the hallway from Dean’s. He’d been there pretty much the whole time since Dean dragged him home soaking wet, barely able to breathe, a whole – what? Four weeks ago? Maybe? Time had passed, he knew, time where he slipped in and out of consciousness; where the ice cold bath had made several repeat performances; and where Dean’s relentless determination to get his little brother well, translated into Sam being woken every four hours to be medicated, hydrated, and proteinated. At least, Dean tried to get him to eat. The first few attempts were disastrous – his poor stomach rebelling at the food, and Dean stoically cleaning up the resulting mess. These days, though, Sam was definitely on the mend. He knew this because Dean had actually stopped sleeping on the floor beside his bed, and even left him occasionally, threatening Kevin with all kinds of horrific consequences if anything bad happened while he was gone. Kevin (thankfully) had pretty much left him alone, peering around the half open door periodically to make sure Sam hadn’t disappeared, or worse, gotten out of bed.
His thoughts were interrupted by a dull thud, followed by frantic whispering, followed by a loud bang. This was what must have pulled him from the depths of sleep.
Throwing off the covers and grabbing a hoodie from the end of the bed, Sam wandered shakily along the hallway. The banging got louder as he rounded the corner, as did the voices.
“Son of a bitch!” Now that was definitely Dean. “Kevin would you stop that? I don’t need to read the instructions, I know how to put together a damn table. Cas, hand me the screwdriver.”
Cas? Sam was a little shocked. How long has Cas been here……?
“No, Cas. That’s a socket wrench. Screwdriver’s to the left. No, not your left, my left.”
“I’m sorry, Dean.”
“Quit sayin’ that will ya? It’s gettin’ annoying.”
“Don’t say it, or I will kick your de-feathered ass from here to next week.”
What the hell are they up to?
Stepping through the doorway, it became obvious what was going on. Dean had made good on this threat to get a ping pong table. Great.
Sam’s less than enthusiastic waking nightmare contemplation of endless games of ping pong, in which Dean always claimed to be the winner, was interrupted by Cas, rushing right up into his personal space.
“Sam! You look terrible. Should you be out of bed?”
Shit! Busted. Now Dean was getting up from the floor where he’d been sitting, surrounded by tools, screws, and various bits and pieces that might conceivably become a ping pong table – eventually.
“Dude, sit!” He pulled a chair over, pushing his brother into it, before Sam could protest that, hey, it felt good to be up and around…. and somewhat normal.
“I’m fine, Dean. Get off me!” Dean was busily draping his brother with a – a – crocheted blanket? Where the hell did that come from?
“Can’t risk you gettin’ sick again, man. This place is awesome, but it ain’t exactly the warmest ya know?”
“What exactly are you doing, Dean?”
“Puttin’ together a ping pong table” Dean announced, proudly.
“I can see that, but why?”
“I figured those Men of Letters dudes were pretty smart, but they didn’t exactly have a handle on how to relax, so….”
“No, Dean, I mean, why are you doing it now? Surely there’s more urgent stuff we should be doing?” Sam looked pointedly at Cas, who was doing his best to untangle the net that was supposed to span the ping pong table, should the table ever actually become anything more than a large, flat hunk of plywood.
“Oh, you mean the whole, Attic-Basement-slam-the-door-on-all-of-it thing?”
“Yeah. That.” Sam stifled a yawn, knowing he’d be frog-marched back to bed before he knew it, if he showed any sign of weakness. He’d had enough of being held prisoner in his own bedroom, regardless of how amazing it was to sink into a mattress so soft and yet supportive. And warm? That bed……
“…..so Cas is staying here until Kevin translates the angel tablet.”
Oh shit. What had Dean been saying? His mind had gone awol as soon as Dean started talking. Maybe he did need a little longer to recuperate.
“I’m ok. Really. Can we talk about this later, though? I’m kinda hungry.”
That was exactly the right thing to say. Dean immediately abandoned the mess on the floor and headed for the kitchen. “I’ll make you a sandwich for now, but leave some room for later – we’re celebrating.”
“Celebrating? What do we have to celebrate?”
“Oh, not much, just the fact that you’re vertical, your arm finally stopped glowing, and you’re actually asking for food. I’ll take my victories where I can get ’em.”
With Dean out of the way, Sam took a moment to be grateful for the Men of Letters bunker, and the sanctuary it provided. Home. They actually had a home. Up till now, with the trials and all, he’d never taken the time to appreciate the Batcave as anything more than just an amazing collection of info. Home. Dean was here, Kevin was here, Cas was here. They were as safe as they ever got, right here, right now. It felt good.
Sam watched, bemused, as Cas finally won his battle with the ping pong net. Kevin, meanwhile gave up on trying to help, and went back to the library, presumably to work on the angel tablet.
Glancing in the direction of the kitchen, Sam checked out the mess on the floor. If Dean heard him moving around, he’d be back like a shot, mother-henning all over him, as only Dean could.
Really, how hard could it be to assemble a ping pong table? Harder than it looked apparently, especially with Cas helping.
“What’s up Cas?” Cas turned, a look of deep contemplation on his face.
“I’m confused Sam, what exactly is a ‘ping pong’?”
Taking a deep breath, Sam wondered how best to explain.
“Ping pong isn’t a thing, it’s a game.” He sighed, as Cas stared blankly back at him. “Maybe it’d be better to show you -”
Rescue arrived at that moment with Dean’s return.
“Here ya go sasquatch, lunch is served.”
He held a tray carrying a gigantic glass of milk, and a sandwich closely resembling the cartoonish monstrosity Gabe lumbered them with, that time he stuck them in a sitcom.
Sam snickered, “I’m gonna need a bigger mouth!” It was so easy to laugh about that now.
Dean set the tray on the desk, then, with an enormous grin, held out a shiny red apple.
Sam ate as much as he could, which admittedly, wasn’t a lot, but a definite improvement. His clothes hung loose on him, and his skin was pasty white, but he felt better than he had for months. Even the lingering cough had dwindled to the point where he barely noticed it. Now, however, he was tired again.
“Hey, man, I’m going back to bed for a while, ok?”
“Sure thing, Sammy. I’ll wake you in time for dinner, then we’ll have us the first annual Men of Letters Ping Pong Tournament.”
“Kill me now.” “Oh, good.”
Sam headed back to bed, praying to whatever deity might still be out there for deliverance from the horror of facing Dean across a ping pong table.
The next thing he knew, Dean rapped on his bedroom door. “Dinner’s up.”
It was kinda nice to relax around a table with Dean, Kevin and Cas. After a few beers, even Cas appeared to chill out a bit, the alcohol obviously affecting him more in his graceless state.
Inevitably, Dean announced it was time to begin the tournament. Seeing no way to avoid it, Sam followed the others, not realizing they’d all stopped in the doorway till he bumped into Kevin, nearly knocking him flying.
Even as he asked, “What’s up?”, he could see over Kevin’s head the reason for the abrupt halt. The entire room was littered with ping pong balls.
Dean turned his killer glare on Cas. “What the hell Cas?”
“Dean, you said, “bring the ping pong balls from the store room”, so that’s what I did. I even unpacked them for you.”
“Damn it, I didn’t mean all of them.”
Sam looked from Dean, to Cas, and back to Dean, again.
“Dean? What the hell?”
“Uh, well I ordered them off the internet, and, well, I thought I was buying 10, turns out it was 10 boxes.”
“How many in each box, Dean?”
“Hey, it’s not my fault. Cas was leaning right over my shoulder, dude. You know how much I hate when he gets in my personal space.”
“Um… 1000. Per box.”
“Hey Sammy, great bitchface dude! I’ve missed that.”
“Shut up, Dean.”