Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean hits the bottle because its gives him something to do with his mouth.
Dean ignored him and sat down heavily onto his bed to examine his prize. The spoils of war so to speak. Or just a pilfered item from their job that he had noticed as they had stealthily departed an empty and opulent residence just that evening. He unscrewed the top off the bottle and tossed it aside.
"Not even a few ice cubes and an olive?" Sam asked.
In the dark of the house they had spent searching for any signs of chalked pentagrams, Sam had noted with pleasure that the walls boasted several framed degrees from his alma mater. Dean had been much more interested in the fancy liquor cabinet that had sat right under the rolling script filled papers of achievement. It had its own little ice dispenser and a place to keep a refrigerated keg with its own shiny bronze tap. Unfortunately, in the dark, he thought the bottle he had grabbed on his way out was whiskey.
This would have to do. Even though he never did quite understand the appeal of consuming something as tasteless and better suited for sterilizing a wound.
He tipped it back. The taste of warm vodka washed in a burn over his tongue and scorched down his throat. What was going to be a sip turned into a gulp. He took it down like ice cold water on a hot day. He tried not to gag on it but failed.
"Wow, that's horrible." Dean concluded as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He took another long harsh swallow of the liquid before offering it politely to his brother.
"No thanks, I'll pass."
"Everyone loves a cheap date." Dean commented with a shrug and another drink.
"You know, I knew a Physics grad that drank that stuff all the time. It goes for almost 50 a bottle." Sam said pointedly. "The guy would be broke and he'd still spend his last dime just to get the good stuff."
His brother frequently brought up little bits of information of his four years of life in the world like data he had wondrously discovered on some archaeological expedition. Sometimes he related his facts to Dean as if his older brother had no idea what the world actually was. It happened so often in so many subtleties that Dean had just started to ignore it. But for some reason, not tonight. It grated on him like the lingering burn of the vodka at the back of his throat.
"I'd say every drink you take is like, I don't know, a 10 dollar martini."
Just because Sam had experienced time from outside the hunt, he now had some special insight on everything out there. As if Dean didn't know what you could get in a fucking bar. Even the dives he usually made use of had those stupid fruity overpriced drinks.
"Good, I'll need at least five more of them then."
Sam shook his head.
He knew Sam didn't mean it the way it always came out his mouth. He knew Sam was almost in his way trying to offer him some glimpse into what Sam missed most from the life he had created apart from his family. In a way he was also trying to share it. Sell it and show it off like some brochure into the normal.
Dean gasped and choked when another mouth full went down the wrong way. He hunched over coughing, the sear of it like pure fire. Man oh man, choking on warm pricey rubbing alcohol was gonna go right up his top ten 'most unpleasant things to do' list.
"Would you take it easy?" Sam grabbed the bottle away from him.
Dean looked ruefully at the confiscated 80 proof beverage. His belly was burning nicely already, a soft rosy glow was spreading up into his face and he felt the stiffness in his shoulders start to fade. He suddenly saw the wisdom in being a full time drunk.
"What's a matter with you anyway?" Sam thunked the vodka down on the cheap motel formica table.
"I'm just trying to accelerate my down time." Dean explained, hearing the slur already starting in his voice.
"Oh yeah?" Sam slumped down tiredly into a chair. "For what?"
He studied Sam's face. His little brother was waiting wryly for the joke. The jibe. The comment he could shoot down or smile back on. Maybe even laugh. The easy answer he knew he'd always get. The safety of the predictable nature of it all. The words sitting on the tip of his tongue were like the fluid that sloshed in the etched bottle. Harsh and potently brutal.
It wasn't fair to say any of it out loud. It was a cruelty Dean wasn't quite sure he could manage to exercise just for his own relief. The blissful release in saying some things out into open air where someone could hear them. It was not something he did no matter how buzzed or tanked he could make himself. He'd never had the luxury to be able to take anything back. Not with Sam.
Dean guessed that was the price you paid when all you ever wanted to say was the utter truth.
He shrugged instead.