A/N: Beware the crackin', this be silly pointlessness. Written for the Summer Vacation Reverse Bang at SPN-bigpretzel and inspired by a manip by PatriciaDeLioncourt.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural.
Dean raced through the park, the morning sun above baking him inside the heavy jacket he'd thrown over his t-shirt. Maybe it wasn't the best way of blending in at a water park, but the extra clothing was a necessary evil if it meant not showing his skin. It was a lot easier to talk your way around long sleeves on a summer day than it was to explain the gold flakes spotting his forearms.
As the sweat dripped down his back, the flesh began to sting where it was marred from fresh scales he'd sprouted at the base of his spine.
And God only knew what would happen if he let his legs touch…He shivered, despite the heat. No way he was thinking about that. No way. Because he was going to finish this before that ever happened.
He knew he was he drawing attention, and not just because he was dressed for winter, but because he had the wild look of a man on the hunt. That and he'd pushed a ten-year-old to get past the water slide line. He was earning no brownie points from the MILFs he'd been more than willing to eye the day before...the day before, when they'd arrived, when his hormones had decided to switch back on, when he'd caught an STD of the marine variety. Jesus, that was just unfair.
Just like it wasn't fair that he was almost certain the cops had been called. Didn't matter. He had a job to do.
"Just hold on, Sammy. Keep her distracted, man," he muttered, then surveyed the landscape in front of him.
The water park was condensed, its massive slides looping over the lagoons, its wave pool in sight as well, but there was just so much movement, children running, distracting bathing suits walking by…Dean gave a young woman a wink. It was hard for him to keep track of which pool his brother had pointed out.
He spotted the island of fake greenery and the decorative tire swing hanging from its plastic tree. "Gotcha!"
He took off running again, this time toward the winding 'lazy river', possibly the least populated area during the opening hour of the park. Which was a good thing, considering what he was about to do. Without a second thought, he jumped in, shoes and all, landing on a black inner tube. Water splashed up through the center, wetting his denim ass. Someone behind him shouted out about his 'swimwear', but he ignored them, trying to push a bit faster through the planted shrubbery overhanging the shallow water.
Then he saw it, right where Sam had said it would be. The bronze coin, shining from the bottom of the pool at a grate, where Sam had dropped it the night before when the creature had cornered him.
"Going down, bitch," Dean said, smirking.
Right before he took a wide green and gold fin to the face.
Bobby crossed his arms over his chest, looking up from under his battered trucker's hat at the young men across from him. A diesel on the highway passed the pull-off area, throwing a gust of the humid summer air in their direction. His usual grimace was a bit deeper as the breeze chilled his sweat-soaked backside-he'd driven non-stop for hours, as if the devil himself were at his heels, to get to the boys and now this.
"Let me get this straight," Bobby began, "you call me up at the ass-crack of dawn with a message I could barely hear - "
"Bad cell service," Dean interrupted, then cast his eyes down sheepishly at the man's glare.
"A message," Bobby continued, with a bit of bite, "saying you two were in trouble and needed every book I had on Syrian mythology, soundin' like one of you were bitten by a damned werewolf. And then, when I'm one county away, you send me a text message saying 'cancel that'." Bobby's nostrils flared, and he pinched the bridge of his nose, attempting a calming breath. "'Cancel that?' You cancel a magazine subscription, you idjits, not a hunting partner! You got my blood pressure through the roof, then couldn't even manage a blame phone call?"
"We're sorry, Bobby," Sam said, quietly. "It's just, we were so caught up in the hunt…This thing, it was, uh, pretty bad."
"Definitely not what we were expecting," Dean agreed. "We…" He tried to smile and withered under Bobby's steady gaze. "We were, um, just a bit panicked after we saw what - "
"What it looked like," Sam broke in, elbowing his brother.
Dean leaned back onto the side of the Impala, as if he hadn't felt it.
"So, it was big?" Bobby asked.
The Winchesters gave each other a measured glance before turning back to the older hunter.
"Huge," Sam clarified, throwing his long arms out. He sputtered, lost for words, then added, "I mean…you should have seen it, Bobby."
Dean nodded, a bit too enthusiastically. "Tentacles. It had tentacles too."
Sam raised a brow at that but quickly murmured his agreement. "It was some sort of sea monster."
"A Kraken," Dean pitched in, and Sam turned his head, pretended to examine the back tires. "Pretty sure it was a kraken."
Bobby blinked. "A kraken - legendary sea monster - was in a water park? Funny, seems like something folks would have noticed."
Dean cleared his throat. "Well, we, uh, played it off as a Pirates of the Caribbean promotional thing. You know civilians… They, uh, clapped and asked for tickets and - it's a good movie, by the way, if you haven't seen it. Second one isn't as good as the first. Or so I've heard. But you know, any show where I get to see Keira Knightly in a corset is good by me. Hot stuff. Right, Sammy?"
Sam looked up, dazed, as if he'd been trying not to listen. "Uh, yeah, yeah. And Johnny Depp's in it…"
Dean gave a tight smile. "Yeah, sure, he's hot too. To most teenage girls. And Sammy."
"Shut up, Dean."
"You're the one who - "
"Boys!" Bobby barked. He let out a long sigh and reached up, covering his mouth with one hand. The moment of silence that followed stretched out, leaving the brothers shifting their weight in anticipation.
"So," Bobby began again, "basically, you caught mermaid cooties?"
Sam's mouth dropped open in surprise, and Dean shook his head, defeated. "Damn it, Sammy, you told Ellen, didn't you?"
"We were desperate!" Sam snapped. "I thought she might have heard of something like this before."
"I told you she'd tell Bobby. Everyone at the Roadhouse is probably chuckling it up right about now. That's just friggin' great."
"I think we have more to worry about at the Roadhouse than hunters laughing at us, Dean, since, you know, some of them want to kill me. And this would never have happened if you hadn't been willing to kiss some random girl."
"You kissed her too!"
"She forced me!"
"She sneaked up on you in the wave pool. It's not her fault you'd rather be kissing Johnny Depp than a hot chick!"
"She was a mermaid!"
"I thought she was in costume!"
The sound of laughter cut them off. Bobby was nearly folded over, face red as he let out one loud chuckle after another.
"Thanks, Bobby. Real friggin' supportive. Our lives were on the line, you know," Dean pointed out, the blush on his face making his sunburned cheeks stand out even brighter. "She was deadly, just like anything else we've every hunted. It's no laughing matter."
Sam winced. "Sorta," he agreed, halfheartedly. "I mean, she was mostly just fast and slippery…" He quit at Dean's look of betrayal. "It's not funny, Bobby."
Bobby waved an arm, either in apology or just to keep him from going on. He caught his breath, then forced his lips into a straight line. "Alright, alright, don't get your panties in a twist. You're right, Ellen called to make sure I was helping with your, uh, little mermaid problem."
"'Little mermaid' - you're hilarious. Sure, we were fighting off a monster earlier today, but laugh it up."
"Dean," Sam sighed.
"Oh, please, Sam. Like you weren't just as freaked out as me this morning," Dean snapped. "I seem to remember someone running out of the shower and shouting, 'Oh God, Dean, help, I have scales on my di-'"
"And you laughed at me," Sam reminded, "until you noticed that you had scales growing on you, too, jerk."
"I assume the scales are gone now?" Bobby asked.
Dean scratched at his stomach, frowning at the memory. "They fell off, after we got rid of her. Oh, and, just in case you're curious, it wasn't a real mermaid."
"Cause they don't exist," Bobby agreed. "'Least not the finned variety."
"It was a cursed coin of Atargatis, this Serbian chick who - "
"Syrian deity," Sam corrected. "A goddess of fertility who reportedly took on the form of a mermaid. Apparently, the old owner of the park was a modern day worshiper and occultist who thought it would be an interesting legacy to leave the coin behind to 'create a creature in her likeness' after he died."
"Who was surprisingly a brunette, not a red head. Sorry, Disney."
"Really, that's the part that stood out? Not the six-foot long golden fin that she used to beat the hell out of you?"
Dean cradled the bruise on his jaw. "…Bitch."
"You destroyed the coin then?" Bobby asked, already knowing the answer.
"And then evil!Daryl Hannah melted…which, dude, I'm never swimming in that pool again." Dean grimaced at the thought.
Bobby sighed again. "That's what you boys get for not taking a break after that last hunt. Like you promised you would. You can't keep burning it at both ends, Dean. It ain't gonna kill you to take a week off."
"I thought we were taking a vacation," Sam said, glaring at his brother. "That's what Dean told me."
Dean snorted. "Dude, did you really think I'd voluntarily go to River Fun Water Park without an agenda?" He turned his attention back to Bobby. "And it wasn't my fault I stumbled across another case so quickly. Apparently, these three guys went missing this summer, all after visiting the park. I guess they kissed the hot mermaid, too."
"Which still doesn't make sense to me," Sam said, shaking his head. "I mean, she didn't try to kill us. Obviously, she was turning us into - "
"Do you really, Sammy? Do you really have to say it?"
"Mermaids, Dean. We were turning into mermaids, so get over it already."
"You were turning into a mermaid, Ariel. I was turning into a merman, thank you very much."
"Whatever." Sam rolled his eyes. "My point is, what happened to those guys exactly? I mean, their bodies were never found, and we'd kinda have noticed if they were swimming around the park. Unless…Dean, the park, it's right against the river. What if…?"
Dean's eyes widened in horror. "Oh, hell no. Come on, man, surely they just dissolved or whatever after we destroyed the coin. Or maybe they got better. We did."
Sam shrugged. "Maybe. But we weren't fully turned."
"Well then, looks like you've still got work to do." Bobby stood up a bit straighter, then circled around the side of his car, ready to hop back in.
Dean followed him. "Where you goin', Bobby?"
"Home, ya idjit. And you two are going to go back to the river and check it over. Visit the beach and fishin' docks, all the tourist traps, ask around about sightings. Hell, rent a boat or a jet ski and check the area over yourself. And don't you leave 'til you know there aren't any - and I never thought I'd be saying this - mermen terrorizing the locals."
He slipped into his car, leaving the Winchesters behind. Dean turned back to his brother, head cocked in confusion. "Did we just get ordered to - "
"To take a vacation," Sam finished. "Yeah."