Note: This is set in-between seasons five and six, and I've mostly been sitting on it for a year trying to decide what the hell I'm doing with it. The main story I was going to put it in fell apart, but I still (mostly) like it as a stand alone piece.


Suburban War

It's almost easy to fool himself into thinking that the only war there is to fight is the suburban pissing contest over who has the biggest LCD flat-screen (by the inch) or whose hybrid SUV is the most green, whose kid is going to be president in thirty years, while whose is going to be in rehab…

Almost.

Sometimes Dean really does get his kicks sitting back and watching it unfold. He feels a witty comment flit between his ears, there and again, and it always culminates in thinking…

Sam…Sammy would get it.

He tries not to think of Sam, knowing his brother would forgive him for that readily, but unable to do it for himself.

Someone had to remember him.

Occasionally, he has the nightmare of watching his brother in a cage of glowing iron bars; he's screaming for Dean with Michael and Lucifer on either side of him.

Dean knows he's just torturing himself, but he can't shut it off.

. . .

"So, Dean," Lisa's father, Andrew-never Andy, always Drew; Dean learned this the hard way too-glanced across the semi-empty breakfast table. "I hear you're not much of a believer."

Dean glanced into the kitchen where Emma, Lisa's mother was making a pitcher of orange juice. Above the kitchen window was a small, delicately carved cross. He was sure it was an antique-nothing that anyone was running around hunting demons with, but a nice piece all the same.

"Oh no, I'm a believer all right." He held back on the sarcasm that would usually accompany this sentence.

After all, these were Lisa's parents, and they had to stay here for four more days before they left to go south to Orlando. For four more days he had to be suave, charming Dean. Sam had always done this bit better than he had.

"Leave Dean alone." Emma told her husband, setting the pitcher of orange juice on the table, and a basket of muffins in the center. "I made some blueberry fresh for you, Dean. Lisa says they're your favorite."

"That they are," Dean nodded his head at her and smiled. "You didn't need to do that, Emma. They look awfully delicious though."

"Oh please," Emma's cheeks flushed with a tinge of pink and she plucked one out the basket and handed it to Dean. "It was no trouble at all, sweetheart."

"Thank you." Dean took a bite to appease her, and set it down on the plate in front of him. God, he loved Lisa, he did; but her mother could bake. Mrs. Fields had nothing on that. "Those are amazing!"

"I do my best." Emma glanced over to her husband, "Now Drew, they've just been here for a day, don't try scaring him away."

Emma smiled looking back over at Dean. "I like this one."

"I'm not scaring anyone." Drew said, "Dean and I are just having a nice talk while we wait for Lisa and Ben, aren't we Dean?"

"Perfectly nice, Drew." Dean wondered what was keeping Lisa. How long did it take to slip into a dress?

"I am glad to hear that you'll be joining us this fine Sunday morning, Dean." Emma called from the kitchen.

"Can I give you a hand with anything in there?" Dean offered, eager to get out from underneath Drew's glance. It took frigid to new levels.

"Why, I don't see why not." Emma gestured him in, "If you don't mind taking the eggs off the burner that would be a great help."

The room was well-lit, bright and happy. The sun was shining through the sky light when Dean walked in and got comfortable in front of the stove. After a time with Lisa, he'd learned to cook a bit, or else it was going to be take-out every night. Her cooking was terrible.

He moved it from the fire, and Dean turned towards her; Emma gestured to a big platter on the counter.

"Just put them in there dear, and the pan can go right in the sink."

Dean dished them up, and stuck the pan in the sink. The cross caught his eye again. The one his dad had was close to priceless-his dad told him once that Pastor Jim had blessed it three times, once for each of them.

"Cause that worked so well, didn't it?" he mumbled under his breath, almost not realizing he spoke aloud until he saw Emma looking at him. "That's uh…awfully unique, Emma. Antique?"

"Don't you have a good eye?" Emma sounded pleased, "It's been in my family for years and years. It makes me feel safe you know, Dean? It reminds me that angels are out and about, looking in on us."

She smiled, "It makes an old woman feel good."

Emma turned back to the stove, turning the burners off and dishing up another platter with bacon and sausage.

"Do you think about angels, much?" Emma asked, "I heard you telling Drew you're a believer."

Dean stifled a discontented laugh. "Yeah, yes, ma'am, I certainly think there are angels watching over us." Dean picked up the two platters before Emma could grab them. God damn them all; you got that Cas?

Apparently he didn't rate for a response from the angel anymore.

Lisa and Ben were sitting at the table, Ben chattering with his grandfather as Lisa poured cups of orange juice for everyone.

"Coffee for you, Dad? Dean?" Lisa glanced between them.

"Please." Dean said, swallowing the slowly bubbling anger. Screw you, Cas. You and all of yours.

"Take it easy on that muffin basket," Dean distracted himself with admonishing Ben as he waited for Lisa to come back with coffee. "You know your grandma made some great food before you dive into dessert."

"Oh, let the boy live a little!" Drew said. "No need to be a hard ass, Dean."

"Dad." Lisa looked sideways at her son, "Listen to Dean, Ben. You know the rules."

The look that Drew gave Dean left Dean with the feeling he was going to be screwed no matter what. At least he was half-way there, Emma seemed to like him.

"Now," Emma took her seat and looked around with a smile. "Who would like to say grace? Dean?"

Cas, Dean thought, I hope you know right where you can shove your grace, you son of a bitch.

"Oh mom, don't put Dean on the spot," Lisa glanced to Ben, "Why don't you show Grandma how adept you are, sweetheart. She loves it when you do grace."

"No Lisa, it's okay." Dean looked at Drew with a smug look on his face. I hope you're listening to this, Cas.

"Thank you for the bountiful blessings that we have received from you, God. We are doubly blessed for being with family at this time, and for the wonderful meal that Emma has been so kind to make for us. And thank you Emma and Drew for welcoming me into your family-only with the grace of God. Amen."

And fuck you, and him too, Cas.