Rating: PG - Gen - Ficlet
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean waxes and wanes in a stranger's bed.
The sheets smelled like three different kinds of soap.
Exactly three because Dean Winchester was a detective like that.
Rolling over in the narrow bed, he tilted the small electric fan buzzing in the window. With a gentle rain coming down everything started to steam like water dripping on something molten, and when he breathed, it was sun baked asphalt and fresh cut grass. Stuffing the assortment of pillows under his head he counted, one, two, three different pastel colors, all faded like the paint on the walls and the bare wooden floors.
A nightlight shaped like miniature lava lamp made him smile.
He listened to the shower running down the hall and estimated how many minutes he had left to figure out if he should stick around or vanish. If he hadn’t lost all track of the calendar, he might have known what random summer holiday it was that was sending fireworks going off all across the little town. The random racket distracted him from the decision whether or not to take off, the big ones thudding like bombs and twinkling in the early twilight. A sudden burst of firecrackers could have been gunfire if the faint sound of laughter hadn’t directly followed the noise.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Dean timed the next one with his forefinger and thumb ready to play along.
The tangled sheets smelled like she did. Mostly a pleasing ‘flowery’ scent that Dean sometimes simply dubbed as ‘girl’ in his head. And there was something else here that he wouldn’t have known what to call if his evening hadn’t started in her bathroom. Sitting on the counter by the sink had been a large and well used bottle of coconut body wash. He thought it’d smelled like a bad cocktail from a tiki bar, but when it was faded away to barely anything at all it reminded him of something else. It became something straight from his youth. When he shut his eyes he could see the criss-cross of tan lines on a girl‘s back, the the slow burn of a hash pipe and the oily feel of tanning lotion on his hands. All of it was mixed up to make some dusty Midwest town as exotic and far away as a white sanded beach he’d only seen in pictures.
The last smell was the one that made Dean wad the pillows together and hold them over his face.
Push them down hard and just breathe.
He’d noticed a few other things in the bathroom besides the coconut stuff and the birth control in the mirror cabinet. But besides a Snoopy toothbrush and fancy fish sitting in a jam jar, he’d been mostly interested in a tiny silver case sitting on the bath tub’s edge. He'd known immediately that the thing was not normally left there. It had foreign words etched on it, French or maybe Portuguese, and only thing inside was a pale sliver of pink soap half melted into its precious container. Dean knew when and where people kept things that were special. He could spot something that was cherished and looked after just as well as he could see the neglected and forgotten. And it smelled like perfume. Not that aerosol shit the girls at bars sprayed into their hair, or even the sweet cheap kind that would catch Dean like a gentle hand when he was walking down a crowded sidewalk.
That silver case held something much more rare and exceptional.
It was the kind of thing that someone handmade. Someone who was uninterested in what quality of super model would market it on a billboard, or what caliber of actress would whisper its ludicrous name during a Super Bowl commercial. It had probably been given as a gift. Maybe it was a present from a grandmother or a...
Dean shook his head.
Rubbing his hands over his eyes, he wondered why he was romanticizing an old piece of used soap in a rusty box. The chick probably got it free at a tag sale for buying the ancient TV/VCR combo player that was sitting in her living room. Watching the swatch of sky deepen into purple, Dean felt a tug of unease when smoke from a neighbor's charcoal grill began to waft in on the sluggish breeze.
All around he could hear dogs barking, children playing, all that shit.
Rolling face first back into the pillows, he suddenly didn’t want to spend another minute in the peaceful quiet of this woman’s home. The scent she’d worn was too fragile for his callused hands. The odor too delicate for his scarred skin to touch. Pulling up his jeans, he shrugged on his T-shirt and carried his boots with him just in case the sound of the shower cut off too soon.
It was still hot as hell outside, but Dean liked the way the shifting sunset kept smearing apart the sky.
And it was probably all in his head, but he thought he could still pick up some of that perfume on his skin even after he walked a few miles in the simmering heat. Pulling the collar of his T-shirt up over his nose, he couldn’t stop his grin or the small laugh that came along with it.
Dean could get into the idea that he was good enough for a special occasion.
Even if it was just once a year.