Rating: PG - wee!chesters - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: "Dean wasn’t sure why he was reaching for the red bowl."
Dean wasn’t sure why he was reaching for the red bowl.
Balancing precariously on one foot on the edge of the kitchen chair, he managed to slide the edge of the porcelain closer to him with one finger tip. Their dad always seemed to forget that his kids weren't the same length as he was. On the off chance that the guy was the one that put all the dishes away Dean knew it was going to be a hassle to get to any of it ever again.
Same went for the glasses but when push came to shove Dean could make a bowl function as glass just as easily. And hey, at the end of the day? One less thing to clean. The bowl inched out from on top of the stack it sat perched impossibly on. It wasn't any different or any better than any of their other much more reachable bowls.
Well, it was a little different.
For one, it was red instead of the hospital white of the others they owned. Their function much more in focus than their appearance, they had all been grabbed off the Good Will shelf in a blind hurry so they'd have something to eat their cereal out of for the next month. And secondly, it was shaped a little oddly, shallow and wider. It had lines running around its grooved rim, like something you'd see sitting out in one of those art shops where some hippy lady made everything you saw in it.
And it wasn't normal red either. It was a deep dark red and turned orange in places where the glaze crackled. The weird color was in fact the only reason he collected it along with the only other two bowls there. It cost almost the same so he didn't see why not.
Biting down on his lip in concentration, Dean was going to allow it to fall, let it slip briefly away from its safe rest so he could grab it. It was all a perfectly timed and carefully executed procedure—
The bowl went zipping past his face, bounced into an elegant flip off an open cabinet door that Dean was using with his other foot for leverage, and then crashed, splintering into pieces all over the kitchen floor.
Somewhat stunned, Dean stared down at it.
He had seen and done a lot in his short lifetime but there was always something about breaking dishes that startled the hell out of him. Dean’s attention was quickly refocused on the sound of his father’s door opening. His eyes went to the clock.
His dad only went to bed about two hours ago.
“Shit.” Dean cursed to himself thinking that the word he usually got a look and a raised warning hand for was, in this case, appropriate.
Before he could disengage himself from the delicate balancing act he was performing between the kitchen chair, open cabinet and the shelf overhead, his father appeared in the doorway.
His dad looked like how Dean imagined he was about to sound.
“What the hell is goin’ on?”
Dean chewed at the lip he was previously biting.
“Sammy broke a bowl?”
For a second Dean thought his dad might have had been just tired enough to buy it and turn right around and go back to bed. But no such luck. A brief cursory look around the small kitchen revealed no Sam. In fact, Sam was down the hall and still sleeping in a tangled lump at the foot of their bed.
His dad looked down at the shards of orange and red breakage that were scattered all over the pale yellow linoleum.
For some reason, his father smiled a little.
“I’m kind of glad it’s broke.”
Dean felt himself make a face. Some odd strain of loyalty and defense for the one bowl they owned that actually looked like something. The one thing was wasn't completely functional and matter of course. Something he’d picked out himself.
“Thought it was a little weird.” His dad yawned, scratching at the back of his head. “Lettin’ ya eat outta an ashtray.”
Dean blinked and felt his flared indignance shift to riled confusion.
“It’s not an ashtray, it’s-- it’sa…” He held up a jagged piece of the colorfully glazed ceramic and suddenly noticed the small indentations around the rim. Perfect for holding a cigarette. Perfect for holding lots of cigarettes. “…it’sa… bowl.”
“Be sure to clean all that up now.” His dad yawned again, harder and deeper this time. “And don’t cut yourself.”
Dean stepped carefully through the debris and sat down heavily in the chair he’d been using as a ladder.
“Don’t worry!” His dad called out before he shut his door behind him. “We’ll get you a new ashtray tomorrow.”
He could hear his father laughing to himself even though his door was shut.
“It’s not an ashtray!” Dean said just loudly enough to make himself feel better but just low enough that he was sure he his father wouldn't hear him.
He heard another familiar tread of footsteps coming down the opposite hall.
Dean looked up to see Sam was awake and rubbing at one eye. His blurry tired gaze surveyed the wreckage that was all over the small kitchen floor. Sam finally settled on the largest piece which was still held up right in his older brother’s hand.
“You broke the pretty bowl?”
“Don’t come in here, I have to clean it up first.”
“Hungry.” Sam complained, looking forlornly across the impassable tiled floor and to the boxes of cereal that sat by the sink.
Dean ignored his small brother’s impatience and pushed his chair out of the way so he could get into the small closet that had a broom in it. He carefully swept it all up into a neat pile of red and brown parts. Half of it turned back to the dust the clay was made from.
Turned out his special red bowl had a function to it after all.
And its function was over.