kellifer_fic (kellifer_fic) wrote,
kellifer_fic
kellifer_fic

"Lethe"

Title: Lethe
Author: kellifer_fic
Rating: PG
Category: SPN (Sam/Dean implied)
Word Count: 2,696
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no offense, no money.

Wake up.

Motel room, nothing in the drawers but there’s a duffle at the end of the bed. Some t-shirts and a couple of pairs of jeans in various states of repair. Right at the bottom is a gun, silver with a pearl handle.

Huh.

Bathroom door opens and there’s a guy standing in a towel, looking a little bewildered. “Dean?” he says like he’s unsure.

“You know who I am?”

“Not sure,” he says. “Dean is written on your forehead, but backwards, like you’d see it in a mirror.”

“Oh, okay. So, this is all nice and freaky then.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah.”

“You know your name?”

“Is it written on me?”

“No.”

He looks glum for a second, eyes down at his bare toes that scrunch in the carpet like they’re uncomfortable with the scrutiny. “Then no,” he says.

Dean.

It… sounds right. Kind of.

Dean it is.

000


There’s only one duffle in the room and Dean’s assuming it’s his. He’s got no right to assume that other than he saw it first which is paltry at best. There’s a pile of clothes in the corner covered in something bright orange and stinking like death. The man in the towel hunkers down and fingers through the clothes carefully. He’s a long line of back, gentle curving spine and Dean watches for all of a minute before he tears his eyes away and grinds knuckles into his sockets.

Here are the facts.

One. He doesn’t know who he is.

Two. Neither does the guy.

Not much to go on but it’s a start and he’s not going to make things worse by ogling his companion in amnesia. He could be anyone, literally. He could be Dean’s best friend since the first grade or a guy marrying his sister, or he’s marrying this guy’s sister.

He needs to not do anything that will make things complicated later.

Of course, the lack of clothes could mean a casual pick-up. Dean’s pretty sure now that the duffle is his and his alone because the t-shirts he pulls free look like they might bare midriff on the behemoth stuck in a towel. He yanks a longish flannel shirt out and tosses it, the shirt hitting the guy in the back of the head.

“Hey, oh thanks,” he grins. “Kinda naked here, I guess.” The guy’s blushing.

“So, this is really soap opera of us, isn’t it?” Dean snorts, lying back on the bed he was sitting on the end of. “Should we maybe go to a hospital?”

“I guess,” the guy says, looking uncertain. Dean’s getting a little clench in his belly himself, like his body knows the hospital is a bad idea even if he’s not particularly aware of it. “Just… maybe we’ve got a car or something? Maybe some ID.”

“I’ve got ID,” Dean supplies, grinning and pointing at his forehead. The guy rolls his eyes but there’s amusement on his face as well.

“Well, if you knew this was coming, it would’ve been nice to write my name on me somewhere too,” he says.

“Yeah about that,” Dean has to agree, sitting up again, bracing himself on his hands. “Either I have this weird OCD thing where I have to write my name on myself or… I did know this was coming which...”

“Yeah,” the guy huffs, tapping thoughtfully on his chin. “That’s… not normal, right?”

000


“So I think maybe you’re a hooker.”

The guy turns on his heel to blink at Dean. He’s wearing a pair of sweats Dean found and the cuffs barely reach his ankles. He’s bare foot because he couldn’t fit into either the boots or the sneakers in the room. “Just because I was naked in a motel room? I was having a shower.” The guy doesn’t really look thrilled with the possibility but he’s not completely dismissing it out of turn either. He’s not dumb from what Dean can tell and he’s kinda putting together his lack of clothes in the room and coming up without an explanation either.

Then there was the stack of cash on the dresser, all kinda crumpled and still reeking of smoke.

“Wait, if I’m the hooker then you-”

“Just throwing it out there,” Dean interrupts with a grimace because he’s thought about it. He scans the parking lot and there’s nothing but an ancient-looking mini van and a dusty but otherwise sleek black Chevy. Something proprietary thrills through him at the sight of it so Dean approaches, keys he digs out of his jeans’ pocket in hand.

“Hey!” the guy protests and Dean turns before he reaches the car, scratching at the back of his head with a key.

“We gotta call you something,” he says, turning back to the car. The key slides into the door and turns, sweet as you please. Dean does a little fist-pump.

“John?” the guy hazards, brow furrowing. Dean automatically shakes his head although he’s not sure why. Just doesn’t sound… right.

“How about Tim?” Dean asks and the newly christened Tim shrugs. “Hmmm,” Dean continues with a grin. “Easily adaptable to a change of name. I’m still going with hooker.”

“Shut up,” Tim says but he’s laughing now, eyes crinkling and dimples carving deep in his cheeks. Dean slides into the driver’s side of the Chevy to get away from that grin, hands coming to rest on the wheel. The passenger side squeaks and Tim drops into the seat, still vaguely smiling.

“I’m just saying, we might have to peddle your ass for funds if this continues,” Dean adds with an eyebrow waggle and Tim snorts and then punches his shoulder. The banter feels easy and right, affection coming on quickly and Dean thinks that it’s highly unlikely that they’re strangers. Tim isn’t paying attention though, instead he’s digging through the glove compartment and his eyes are getting round as he does.

“What the hell?” he breathes, fanning a number of badges and IDs like playing cards. Not all of them have Dean’s face on them either, some have Tim’s. Dean takes some of his, flipping through them. Not a one has the name Dean.

“Huh,” he says and then startles because there’s a gun pointed at his face. Almost immediately the muzzle swings away from him.

“Sorry, sorry,” Tim says in a rush, hunching over so he can set the gun on the floor. He rubs his hands off on the legs of his sweats like he’s touched something slimy, a funny little pinch to his mouth. He’s looking a little pale and actually jumps when Dean leans across him to jam the IDs back in the glove compartment.

“Hey, maybe we’re PIs or bounty hunters?” Dean posits, Tim turning his head a little, an eyebrow raised.

“You honestly think so?”

“Not really,” Dean admits. “But let’s not freak out until we know for sure, yeah?”

“Okay,” Tim readily agrees.

000


Dean unearths twenty bucks from the pile of bills on the dresser and they head out for food. They both spend a long time looking at the menu of the little diner they find three blocks down before Tim looks up, face heartbreakingly tragic. “You think I like burgers?”

“Hell if I know.” Dean drums his fingers on the menu for a second and then snaps his fingers. The waitress looks weary, like she’s been doing the same job for years but she smiled when she saw them walk in and that had given Dean an idea. “Same as yesterday,” he tries when she stops at their table and she nods, scribbling something on her pad.

“You got something on your forehead, hon,” she advises before moving off and Dean rubs at his skin with a sleeve. He was able to obliterate most of the black mark but there was still a smudge that just wouldn’t move.

“’Least you didn’t have something like ass written on you,” Tim observes, as he watches Dean trying to see his forehead in the reflection of his knife. “Good idea that, by the way. You couldn’t have asked her what we had though?”

“We’ll find out soon enough,” Dean dismisses, setting the knife back on the table and smiling when the waitress makes a pass with the coffee pot and fills both their cups.

“So, what do we know for sure?” Tim asks and Dean makes a noise because he’s looking so serious. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass, but Dean doesn’t feel particularly panicked, like maybe this is all just par for the course. Like maybe weird shit like this happens all the time to them. It bears thinking about.

“I’m Dean and you’re Tim,” Dean starts but Tim is shaking his head.

“That’s just the name we gave me,” he corrects and Dean nods, grunting in affirmation. “We have a ’67 Impala and a whole bunch of fake Ids. We’ve been to this diner at least once before and for some reason, you knew the amnesia was coming.” Tim ticks facts off on his fingers and Dean can’t help but notice how long they are, how freakin’ big the guys hands are.

“You think maybe we…?” Dean makes a fist with his hand and pumps it back and forth. Tim just glares at him and blows out a frustrated sigh that lifts his bangs away from his face.

“Yes, because that is obviously the most important thing here,” he snaps, his face pissy and Dean feels a thrill of annoyance through him, like possibly he’s had to put up with that expression enough times for it to bug him. His annoyance dissipates with the slight tingle of hope that whatever is afflicting them is wearing off.

“No need to be a bitch, Princess,” Dean says with a dismissive wave of his hand. “We’re not going to figure this all out staring at each other in some dive diner,” Dean adds, grimacing when the waitress drops their plates on the table a little too hard. “Sorry sweetheart,” Dean tries but it’s too late. He’s lost any points he had. At least he insulted their eating establishment of choice after the food was brought out.

Dean looks down at his plate and while the bacon, eggs and sausage look appetising, there’s also a cooked tomato that he automatically dismisses. Tim reaches across the table and spears it with his fork, having it halfway back to his own plate before he freezes. “Sorry, I-”

“No, it’s fine,” Dean says quickly, flicking his fingers in a go on gesture when Tim makes to pass the tomato back. “I’m pretty sure I don’t…” he flails his hand a little and Tim kind of half-snorts.

“Think maybe we’re like some old married couple?” he asks and Dean laughs too, mostly to mask the fact that the idea doesn’t actually strike him as particularly horrible.

000


So it turns out, Tim does have a duffle of clothes, just in the backseat of the Impala. They unearth a pair of sneakers from underneath the pile of ruined clothing in the room that look his size and so glean that maybe he didn’t actually enter the room barefoot and naked, but rather shed his clothing as soon as he got inside the door and made a beeline for the bathroom and the shower.

Tim pulls on a pair of jeans and Dean decidedly doesn’t watch him and decidedly doesn’t blush when Tim catches him watching. Tim just raises an eyebrow but doesn’t say anything else, although he also spends a ridiculous amount of time hunting through his duffle for a replacement shirt after shrugging out of the one Dean had given him.

Dean finally gives up and retreats into the bathroom, splashing cold water on his face for a while and then thumping his head on the side of the basin for good measure. The facts haven’t changed, they are virtual strangers and they don’t want to be doing something they can’t come back from when they find out they are actually two people who shouldn’t…

Tim pounds on the door and Dean pushes it open and then sits back on the edge of the tub. Tim leans into the doorway and studies him for a moment. “Are you freaking out?”

“No?” Dean tries, and then chuckles. “Maybe a little. It’s just the tiniest bit disconcerting not to know who you are or if you’re allowed to have your way with the sweet piece of ass prancing about your motel room half dressed.”

“I wasn’t prancing,” Tim claims, but he’s smiling too and Dean thinks that they have to mean something to each other, because there’s such a wave of pure affection that hits him when Tim smiles that way… “Maybe we’re related?”

Dean boggles for a moment because that is about the most appalling thing Tim could have said right at that moment.

000


“Sam.”

“Yeah?”

They both stare at each other for a moment. “No, I mean, that’s the first name on a bunch of these… but you answered. That’s… Sam?”

“Yeah, I just… I don’t know. Maybe?”

“Sounds better. Suits you,” Dean says and then grins. “Hey, we were pretty close.”

“How is Tim close to Sam?”

“Three letters. Both in the, y’know, ballpark. Hey, give me a break here.”

000


They both lay belly down on one of the beds, looking at the cell phone.

“You think maybe someone will call you this century?” Sam asks and he sounds like he’s only half joking. The cell phone remains resolutely silent despite both of them concentrating on it really hard. “Did you check the address book on it?”

“No Sam, I didn’t think of that,” Dean responds dryly, rolling his eyes. “Yes I freakin’ checked it. I didn’t have anyone in it. Maybe it’s a new phone.”

“Maybe no one has the number yet,” Sam adds speculatively.

“Where’s your phone?” Dean asks, rolling onto his side and resisting the urge to push Sam’s hair out of his face because if he had a fringe that long it would drive him insane.

“Was in the jeans that got trashed,” Sam says. “The orange stuff like… ate through the casing. No wonder I was in a hurry to take my clothes off.”

Dean could make a really filthy joke but he manfully resists. He rolls back onto his stomach and glares at his phone. He bumps Sam’s shoulder with his. Sam bumps back, but the tiniest bit harder, so Dean has to nudge him. Sam elbows Dean in the ribs and it’s on. They end up on the floor, breathing raggedly and both clutching at each other. Their mouths are so close that they’re breathing each other’s air when the phone rings.

“Oh come on,” Dean complains, as Sam climbs over him and grabs the still-ringing phone to answer it.

000


“And when you say brothers, you mean…?”

“Brothers,” the man who had introduced himself as Bobby says, looking between Dean and Sam with something strange on his face.

“As in, foster brothers or adopted or something?” Sam tries valiantly and Dean wants to pat him on the back for being so brilliant because of course-

“As in, when your Momma and your Daddy loved each other very much… just what the hell is going on with you two?” Bobby demands. “What did you think you were?”

Sam opens his mouth and closes it a few times, flushing deeply. “Private Investigators,” Dean blurts and Sam shoots him a relieved glance.

“Right,” Bobby says, still looking a little puzzled, but he shrugs and hands them over what looks like a fat joint each. “Sorry, but the only way you can take Abera root is to smoke it. Burns like a bitch but it’ll fix you right up.” Bobby digs an ancient-looking Zippo out of his back pocket and holds it out.

000


“You wanted to-”

“Yeah.”

“And I really-”

“Yeah.”

“And we nearly-”

“Yeah.”

They both carefully don’t look at each other, instead both staring out at the freeway disappearing under the car and the horizon.

“Can this be the closest we ever get to talking about it?” Dean asks, gripping the steering wheel hard.

“Yeah,” Sam agrees.
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