Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean's pool hustle goes very wrong very fast.
Dean had really always wanted his own pool cue.
The kind you could disassemble into parts and lay in one of those fancy velvet cases like some kind of gangster. His usual practice of using the sticks that lined the bar walls was not quite as glamorous. It was like putting on a pair of rented bowling shoes.
Vaguely disgusting and strangely ill fit even if it was your exact size.
Every pool stick had a different feel and weight to it. Every time he hefted a new one it was almost like learning the game all over again. But people expected things from a player that carried in his own case. They used it to judge what kind of skill might lay in the ownership.
Dean wasn't very interested in advertising just exactly what he was capable of.
He picked the most likely one from the rack and after examining it, rolled it experimentally across the green felt of the playing field. It seemed even enough. It wasn't the best pick there, but he had done that on purpose. The man watching him select his weapon of choice did own his very own stick. Dean knew well enough that a man like that knew exactly how to gauge someone who walked to the table willing to take a bet.
If you were planning to relieve a guy of a weeks wages you had to at least make it appear it was by simple chance. Especially a guy three times your size who had at least a foot on you. Dean never spent copious amounts of time worrying about his personal safety. Especially in regards of other people. But he knew well enough who and who not to fuck around with. And if he hadn't waited all night for someone to play, and wasn't so strapped for cash, his better instincts would have sent him out the door before taking this guy for a ride.
Dean knew he had to play it right.
He watched the balls break across the table with a sense of duty.
It was important to let his mark think right off the bat that the first three games Dean had admirably fumbled through were legit. The stick a little too long and heavy for his style. A weekend player that had a few bills to burn in his pocket. A barely friendly bet between a man with a fancy case and a man that had to use the awkward warped piece of junk that the drunks had dropped on the beer soaked floor one too many times.
Dean let his money slide until the fourth game. It was then that he planned his surprising and so lucky bank shot right into the corner pocket. Several of the few spectators murmured amongst themselves when he sunk it, one even clapping him congratulatory on his shoulder.
His looming and muscled play mate didn't look very happy as the money started to slide in the other direction. That was OK with Dean, his play mates were never quite too happy at the end of the night after they played him anyway. This one was just a bit worrisomely larger than most.
Dean scratched a few just to keep everything on the level, glancing at his watch when he felt a yawn come on. Time to end this show. One more and he'd double or nothing, count his money and then get the hell out of here. Sooner better than later. The mark was watching him harder than he had at the start. He was getting the idea that Dean wasn't exactly what he had seemed.
To put the guy at ease, Dean accepted the offer of several shots of bourbon whiskey. After a little while, he happily accepted several more. All of that on top of a whole evening of beers and he was feeling pretty good.
Two balls in a row in opposite side pockets. Hell, no problem. He winked at a girl that was watching him and the game with equal interest.
He knew things were getting sloppy but this was the last game right? Soon he'd have all that green in his wallet and he could maybe see if this girl wanted to check out a vintage 1967 Chevy. Hazy with drink and without thinking too hard about it, he sank every single remaining shot to the amazement to those watching and the simmering ire of his opponent. What was the worst that could happen?
"What the hell is this?" His mark said in a very low and calm voice.
Dean looked up and attempted his best surprised shrug. "Must be my lucky night?"
The extremely large man studied him silently.
Rage he could deal with, ranting and raving was fine with him. It was this controlled anger that a guy had to watch out for. Nice and calm was no good. Dean noticed the regular bar patrons around them begin to back away.
"Nobody's that lucky." He stepped closer.
Dean guessed he would find out what exactly was the worst that could happen. Reflexively stepping backwards, he bumped into another table behind him. His borrowed stick was yanked out of his hands. He ducked and hit the floor as it cracked down onto the edge of the table where he had been moments before. Dean looked up at the shattered splintered end of the cue gripped in the massive vise which was the guy's fist.
"Hey, if yer goin' to be like that about it why don't we just call it even--"
Dean saw white as a firm set of knuckles met him square in the face. Crash landing hard on his back, he felt the gritty concrete floor under the back of his head. This was not exactly going as he had planned. Well, it had been a while since someone caught him at his scam, he supposed he was due for a good plummelling. He waited for the next strike to come down from above.
Suddenly someone moved between them like a brick wall.
Dean blinked up.
There was Sam, matching the guy's height and staring him square in the eye. He didn't say anything. Dean was pretty glad for that because Sam didn't have a very convincing repertoire of incredibly threatening things to say anyway.
The man paused, unsure with the new and substantially larger person in the equation. It seemed his overwhelming need to pound Dean into the floor overcame his uncertainty about Sam. He stepped forward in challenge but Sam stood stock still blocking him. Chest to chest.
Sam slowly and deliberately shook his head in warning.
Turned out that maybe Dean wasn't worth the trouble after all. The man growled and grabbed up the fist full of all the cash on the table.
Dean sighed as he saw his winnings disappear into the guy's denim jacket before he turned and strode away. With a pained groan he sat up to watch the mildly intrigued crowd disperse. Gathered to witness his surely spectacular beating, they turned back to the bar and the loud televised hockey game. It reminded him that he was really gonna need some ice.
Sam grabbed his arm and hauled him up to his feet.
"I had it ya know." Dean murmured as he gingerly touched his face.
Sam half smiled.
"Yeah, yeah real funny." Dean looked around ruefully before straightening his jacket. "There goes our gas money."
Sam held up several crisp twenty dollar bills.
"Where'd you get that??"
Sam pocketed the small and needed fortune back into his jean pocket.
"I bet the bartender that the big guy would knock the pool hustler on his ass before last call."
Dean felt his eyebrow raise and he begrudgingly nodded to himself. He swiftly followed Sam through the cluttered bar tables and drunken laughter, unwilling to linger any longer than need be. Sam had scored enough to fill the car through another state. Maybe even two.
He smiled to himself as he gently pressed the palm of his hand to his rapidly swelling eye.
It was hard to argue with results.