snickfic: (Ruby pretty)
[personal profile] snickfic
Title: What Should Really, Really Never Be
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: Dean, Sam, Misha, Gen
Pairings (temporary, mentioned, or implied): Sam/Ruby, Sam/Gen, Gen/Jared, Dean/Misha, Misha/Jensen, and Dean/Cas. But it’s mostly a semi-plotty ensemble genfic! Really!
Words / Rating: 9800 words / PG-13
Warnings: kissing/cuddling dub-con due to mistaken identity, alpha/beta/omega dynamics, mentions of knotting and mpreg
Spoilers: for 6.15 The French Mistake
Summary: In which Supernatural is a TV show, the gal who plays Ruby has apparently knocked up the guy who plays Sam, and the guy who plays Cas keeps bugging Dean for PDAs. Dean’s just relieved that the guy who plays him is a beta, whatever that means.

A/N: written for an anonymous prompt requesting a French Mistake a/b/o AU. I’ve cleaned it up and filled it out a bit in places, but I’ve done basically no other editing. Some of the character and other details come from the ep, some are RL details that snuck in, and some I completely made up. Trust nothing!

~~~~~

This is all strange and freaky, and Bobby’s pretty much like Jim’s always played him only more, and Jared strongly suspects he’s going to end up sleeping on that living room sofa that’s too short for him or Sam. Just in general, Jared can’t say he’s a fan of this fall-into-your-own-TV-show crap, and that’s ignoring the probable reality of demons and other very bad things.

“Look, do you have some juice or something?” he asks. He’s getting that shaky feeling again.

Juice?” Bobby asks disbelievingly.

Jared explains, “I’m pregnant, and sometimes I get a little light-headed.”

Bobby stares, and Jared holds in a sigh. He knows that expression; he knows how this goes. “Come again?” Bobby says.

It’s not like Jared hasn’t given this speech a couple dozen times already. You’d think it wouldn’t irritate him so much every. damn. time. “I’m an omega, and I’m pregnant. I’m five months along, and I know I’m not showing much, but I’m a big guy, okay?”

Bobby keeps on staring, and it occurs to Jared that though Bobby-in-show has his moments, that doesn't mean he's the most progressive geezer on the block. This could be bad.

“The hell’s an omega?”

Or, it could be worse.

--

“Dude, you’re pregnant!” Dean tells Sam.

There’s a long pause from the computer across the room, Sam taking his time to grapple with the enormity of this. It’s fine. Dean isn’t done grappling, either. “What?”

“I mean, not you, fake-you. Is pregnant.”

Another pause. “What?”

“Come here, man, you gotta see this.”

Soon enough, Sam’s looming over Dean’s shoulder at the celebrity web site Dean was surfing while he was, uh, looking for information about this weird-ass universe they’ve fallen into. Yeah. That’s what he was doing.

“See?” Dean says.

There’s a picture of fake-Ruby, all shiny hair and white teeth, standing unbowed under the weight of fake-Sam’s arm. Fake-Sam has a beard and a grin the size of Texas, which is where he’s apparently from. If Sammy ever grinned like that, it’s been enough years ago that Dean’s forgotten.

He hears Sam suck his breath in through his teeth, which means he’s read not just the headline - CORTESES EXPECTING - but the paragraph beneath it. The one that explains how Texan Sam is also an omega, whatever-the-hell, and ready to pop a kid out sometime the beginning of June. Genevieve is quoted as being thrilled.

“What the hell?” Dean says.

“I dunno, man,” Sam says. “What about you? Are you...”

“Am I what?”

“Whatever that is? Omega?”

“Dude, like hell.”

Sam rolls his eyes. “Fake-you. Jensen. Is he one?”

Dean is not all that sure he’s ready to find out, but he figures Wikipedia knows, one way or the other. He looks up his other self, scans the profile, comes up blank.

Sam’s finger reaches past him to the word he ignored, right under his name. “Greek’s Greek, right?” Sam says.

“So this guy’s a beta. So what’s that?”

Sam snorts. “You sure you want to know?”

Dean is abruptly sure that he does not. “What about the freaking saint’s bone? You come up with anything?”

Sam takes the hint. He fades away, back to his own computer, and Dean tucks the whole incident away to be firmly and permanently forgotten. Almost. “Hey Sam,” he says a few minutes later. “At least now we know why Ruby was so stuck on patting your stomach.”

“Shut up, Dean.”

--

The hell of it is, this woman leading Sam down the hall is just as hot as Ruby, all decked out in Hollywood glamour and wearing it with an ease Ruby never had, and she’s grinning at him like he’s the world’s best goddamn thing. And Sam? Sam likes it. He likes it a lot. When she twines her fingers in between his and pulls him down the hall, he has a stupid moment there where he’s comfortable and grinning back at her and just happy. It’s about the time that they get through the bedroom door and Ruby - Gen - shuts it behind them that Sam realizes: sleeping with a girl who thinks you’re someone else is a seriously questionable enterprise. It’s sleazy as hell, and he can’t do it.

Damn it.

Gen smiles at him, soft and sure. She steps into his space and tilts her head back and he thinks, well, he has to keep up the pretense, anyway. Right?

He leans down and lets her kiss him, lets her tongue tease his mouth open. He remembers lips like these, and not just from that panicked kiss earlier in the day. Only, where Ruby thrummed with tension and a dry, crackling energy, Gen tastes warm and human. God, he could do this for a long time. He could do a whole lot more than this.

Before Sam even means to move his hand, he feels the soft whorls of Gen’s ear under his fingertips, the silkiness her hair falling across his knuckles. Gen makes a soft, contented moan. It’s enough to remind Sam where he is, and he takes an abrupt step back. Strands of her hair catch between his fingers and yank free.

“Ow!” Gen says, rubbing her head. “What the hell was that?”

“Sorry, I, uh.” Sam scrambles for an explanation. “I don’t, uh, really feel up to it, tonight.”

“Oh? Are you sure?” She leers winningly at him.

“I don’t think so. Sorry,” he repeats.

The frank lust in Gen’s eyes snuffs out like a candle flame, replaced by concern. “Is everything okay? Is your head feeling woozy again?”

“Um, no...”

She ignores him, stepping into his space again and sliding her hand possessively over... his bellybutton? In a voice usually reserved for toddlers and small, obnoxious dogs, Gen coos, “Is kidaboo giving Daddy a hard time?”

Dean’s earlier words, crowed in disbelieving delight, come back to him. Pregnant. Right. Sam steels himself not to bat her hand away. “It’s okay. I’m just tired. Long day.”

“I can see why,” she says, stepping back. “Seriously, Jensen? In our house? What were you thinking?”

Sam shoves down the instinct to defend Dean. This has nothing to do with Dean. “It’s fine. We’re... patching things up.”

She takes a long, hard look at him, and then she shrugs. “I guess it’s probably good that you’re talking, anyway.” She says it grudgingly, but she gives him a little smile that he wishes were his to take. It isn’t, though; it belongs to Jared. All this - the smile and the house and the woman who looks just like Ruby except without the complications of being a demon - belongs to Jared.

Gen reaches up to give Sam another kiss, and stiffly he lets her, feeling mildly sick with one part guilt and three parts something else he chooses not to identify.

Eventually, Gen steps back and says, “So, bed?”

“Yeah.”

She has him unzip her dress and then pushes him towards the bathroom. Once he’s there – in his own bathroom, because this Jared person is not only loaded but weird – it occurs to him that possibly that nausea he was just feeling had a cause he hadn’t considered. A physical cause. Fighting off an attack of nerves, Sam strips down to his briefs and gives his stomach a very, very careful look.

He... doesn’t think he’s pregnant. It’s February now and Jared’s due in June; if Sam were borrowing Jared’s skin he’d be showing, right?

Right?

Then Sam starts to notice other things, little scars on his hands and arms that he’s long since stopped seeing at all. They’re still there, though. He feels at his back and, yep, there’s the place the Jake Tully’s knife went in, years ago, not that Sam’s ever managed to remember that moment.

Sam is still Sam. Jared, wherever the poor bastard is, is still Jared, cargo and all.

Sam sets the worry aside and showers. This guy, his shower is pretty great. Then he pulls on a clean t-shirt and pair of boxers from a shelf in the corner and heads back into the bedroom. “About time,” Gen says, but there’s no rancor. She’s already under the covers of the truly enormous bed; as soon as he’s in, she puts out the light and then immediately scoots in until she’s pressed up against his side.

Yeah, Ruby definitely never did that.

Gen shoves at him a little until they’re both arranged to her liking. Her hand slides warm and certain across his belly and stays there. Within moments, she’s asleep, snoring with a sort of gentle snuffle.

It takes Sam longer. It’s been so many years since he had to fall asleep next to someone like this, he’s kind of forgotten how to do it.

--

Now that Dean knows what to listen for, it’s everywhere. As soon as he and Sam walk on set, he hears the Greek letters tossed around as casually and as often as ‘guy’ or ‘girl.’

He broke down and looked up ‘beta,’ last night. Turns out a beta is, like, normal. Jensen Ackles can’t get knocked up, and unlike an omega, he doesn’t have some freakish sense of smell. The smell thing apparently accounts for the Scentsless brand of soap Sam showed Dean this morning; seems omegas that smell like omegas get crap for it. From alphas, mostly, which Dean is not thinking about after one never-to-be-spoken-of websearch. Dean has not ever in his life less wanted to know about the peculiarities of another man’s dick.

So Jensen, the face of Dean Winchester here in bizarro land, is a totally normal guy with totally normal junk. It’s a fact Dean clings to.

He’s still clinging when Misha – who, when he hasn’t flipped the Cas switch, has less of Cas about him than Jimmy ever did – slumps with a huff into the little actor chair next to Dean’s. Dean ignores him. He ignores him right up until Misha’s hand crosses the space between them and lands, his fingers curling around around Dean’s fingers.

Dean damned near falls out of his chair. “What the hell?”

Misha’s staring up at him, eyes round. As Dean stares back, he watches hurt bleed into them, like oil slicking across a puddle. Before Dean can figure out how to react, how to stay undercover and also not break something, Misha’s shoulders square and he stands. “I thought we were over this, Jensen.” Misha’s fingers flutter in a gesture that no doubt encompasses the entire topic under discussion. Whichever topic that is.

“Over...” Dean says.

“No one cares except you.”

“I don’t care!” Dean protests.

“So kiss me,” Misha says. “Right here, out in public, where no one cares that--”

Dean has finally caught up. “That we’re gay?” He might be a little bit proud of the ‘we.’ His voice wasn’t weird or anything. He can totally act.

Misha blinks, tirade cut off mid-stride. “That we’re what?”

Dean hasn’t caught up. “What?”

“Are you okay?” Misha’s intensity drops a notch and he looks Dean over, considering. “You smell... off.”

What the hell is it with all these people smelling each other. “Dude, I’m fine.”

Misha’s eyebrow lifts. “‘Dude’? That’s some very unfortunate character bleed, my friend.” He doesn’t give Dean a chance to figure out how to take that, which is probably good. “Come on, I’ve got Tab in my trailer.”

“Oh, yeah?” Dean says, because really, what else do you say to that. “Awesome.”

“Yeah.” Misha’s fingers lace between Dean’s, and then he waits. Watching for Dean to pull the get-it-off get-it-off act again.

And Dean... doesn’t. For no reason except, you know, cover. And because he’s not going to royally screw this Jensen guy over until he has to, which is only a matter of time anyway. Definitely not because a minute ago he saw a face that look just like Cas’s clouding over with an expression Cas has never ever worn, even if that was some seriously freaky crap that Dean would rather never see again.

Once inside the trailer, door closed behind him with a purposefulness that worried Dean, Misha roots in the fridge and tosses Dean a can. Of Tab.

“I’d take a beer,” Dean ventures.

Misha rolls his eyes. “I bet you would.” He pops open his own can and settles next to Dean on the sofa. “So what’s the deal?” The hand not holding the soda can lands on Dean’s knee and squeezes absently.

“No deal. Everything’s good.”

“I heard you came in with Jared.”

“I... yeah.”

Misha nods, biting his lip. “That’s good. I’m glad... It’s good. I know how rough things have been with him.”

“Right.” Dean jumps on this and runs with it. “Whatever vibe you’re getting off me, that’s probably it. Just, uh. Settling in again. With Jared.”

Misha smiles softly. “So we’re good?”

“Super.”

“Good.” Misha apparently takes this as reason to lean over, hand sliding up Dean’s arm as Misha puckers. Dean braces himself; Misha is by no means the first person Dean’s kissed that he he didn’t really want to kiss. Even if he’s the first person Dean’s ever kissed that looked like Castiel.

But they’ve hardly made contact when Misha pulls back, animal-wary and starting to look freaked. “Jensen?”

So maybe Dean didn’t sell that as well as he thought. “Look, I’m sorry, I—”

“If you say you have a headache I will giggle. You know I’m an inveterate giggler. I might not be able to stop.” Despite the tone of the words, Misha doesn’t look even half okay.

This morning Dean teased Sam about getting dragged into bed by fake-Ruby, barely listening to Sam’s protests that all they did was sleep. It didn’t occur to Dean he should be grilling Sam for tips instead. Nothing on the Wikipedia page suggested that the guy who pretended to be Dean was dating the guy who pretended to be Cas.

“I’m sorry,” he says again.

“We’re ‘super’?” Misha repeats, and Dean doesn’t know what to do but shrug. “Is this it, then?” Misha’s voice sounds stripped out, hollow. “Just, you show up on set one day and you’re done?” All the tension in him lets go, and the guy just sags. He shifts a ways down the couch from Dean, hands limp in his lap, blank gaze fixed on the wall.

Dean’s guy-on-guy experiences are few, far between, and mostly shoved as far back into the dark corners of his memory as they’ll go. He could fake it, though, right? If he needed to?

Even ignoring recent evidence to the contrary, some thin and threadbare shred of decency suggests that that wouldn’t actually help.

“Look, Misha,” Dean begins.

“I’m supposed to be the one with the commitment issues, you know,” Misha says, softly but with a bite that wasn’t there a moment ago. “You’re the clingy insecure beta, remember? And I’m the one who can’t decide if I can live without a real live knot.”

“Right.” A knot. Okay, Dean knows something here. There’s some piece of last night’s brain-frying research that’s relevant. Aha. “Because you’re an omega,” he says, triumphant.

Misha stares at him and folds even deeper into himself. “God, just go away, Jensen. Yes, I’m a fucking omega, yes, we’re the bizarro mixed couple. So just fucking leave. I’m sure I’ll be chasing knot in no time.”

Not only does Dean have not one clue how to fix this, but he’s starting to think it might have been a bit cracked before he even got here. “Dude, Misha...”

“Dude?” Misha says, scowling. “Dude? Jensen, what the...” As his words trail off, his eyes grow huge. For a frozen second they stare, eye to eye, and then Misha’s scrambling backwards to the far end of the sofa, one hand flailing aimlessly – for a weapon, it looks like to Dean. In a low, hard voice that reminds Dean way too much of someone else, Misha says, “Who the hell are you?”

“Jensen?” Dean offers.

“Really. You’re Jensen Ackles.”

Dean summons up his very best disbelief. “What are you on, man?”

Dean sees the moment that the shocked terror morphs to purpose. “Let’s find out.” Misha crawls back along the sofa on his hands and knees, and before Dean can do much more than shut down his fight-or-flight, Misha’s got one hand planted firmly on Dean’s chest and is nosing him behind the ear and snuffling like an overenthusiastic retriever. It takes barely a second, and then Misha scoots back and levels a glare at him. “You’re not Jensen. You don’t smell anything like him.”

“I used S... Jared’s soap?”

Misha crosses his arms. “Try again.”

Dean is a hunter, a master of pretense and improvisation. Right this minute, he’s drawing a complete blank. “I don’t know what you want me to say, man.”

“How about I make a guess, and you tell me if I’m wrong. You’re Dean.”

There’s a long pause. Misha waits, expectant but no longer looking so concerned for his personal welfare.

“Maybe,” Dean allows.

--

Sam got up this morning before Gen was awake. He cleaned up after himself, deleted the browsing history on both computers, made sure all Winchester-specific items left the house when he did. He brushed his teeth with the toothbrush he’d opened for himself last night, because he doubted Jared would appreciate Sam sharing his.

Right now, something vague and important is being done to the lighting in the fake Bobby house. Sam just saw Misha drag Dean off somewhere, which leaves Sam cooling his heels and smiling inanely at people whose names he’s clearly expected to know. It only takes about two minutes of that before he goes and finds the trailer with his name on it. If people want him to... act some more, they’ll come get him, right?

It’s maybe a half an hour later when his door is pulled abruptly ajar.

Sam jumps up from the very comfortable couch, but Gen’s already halfway in the door. “Jared honey? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Sam said. In an effort to forestall further concern, he adds, “Not woozy at all.”

“God, Singer called me in, he said you guys were both having some kind of schizophrenic episode or something. He said it was awful.”

“Seriously, I’m fine. Just waiting for... lights.” He hopes Gen will take the waving of his fingers for something meaningful.

With an expression that suggests lemons and soured milk, Gen asks, “And how’s Jensen?”

“Um, he’s fine. He’s with Misha.”

The expression deepens. “You know that if he’s mean to Misha I will shoot him in the foot and drop him in a shark tank at Monterey. Well, after I strip him, because boots and denim aren’t good for sharks. And then I’ll steal his car.”

“I know,” Sam says, because that seems safest.

Her eyebrows peak. “You’re seriously okay?”

“I swear, I’m fine.”

She moves in closer, and suddenly he thinks that might have been the wrong answer. “That’s great,” she says softly. Her breath is warm against his arm. Her hands stray down to his jeans and start playing with the button.

“Gen, I’m at work!”

“Those lights won’t be ready for at least forty-five minutes,” she says, smirking up at him. “Thirty, bare minimum. Think I can get in and out by then?” She crowds right into his space, pressing herself against his thigh.

Herself and... something else?

“Oh my God,” Sam says.

So maybe Sam’s been a little slow processing the logistics implied by this whole pregnant-Jared idea. Maybe because he’s been carefully not thinking about it.

Well, he’s definitely thinking about it now. Just because the only hard-ons he’s ever been intimately acquainted with were his own doesn’t mean he doesn’t recognize the one Gen’s rubbing against him.

Gen grins up at him with a predatory joy as she slides his zipper down. For a freakish moment she’s Ruby after all, all smoke and mirrors and cunning. Sam freezes. She takes the opportunity to push him down onto the couch and start working his jeans down his hips.

“No, Ruby—”

He remembers and freezes again, but she just rolls her eyes. “It is not a Ruby day, okay?”

“I just, not now?”

Her shoulders slump. “Seriously?”

He makes his best apology face. She rolls her eyes again and slides off him onto the sofa. “Are you seriously blue balling me for the next four months? Because that’s gonna suck.”

“It’s just, things with, um, with work, give me a couple of days?”

“You know I drove all the way onto the lot for this. From our house.” She’s glaring, but holding the expression looks to be taking a pretty strong effort. She sighs. “Just let me see kidaboo, and then I’ll leave you alone to go bond with Jensen.”

Before Sam can protest, she pushes all his layers of cotton up his chest and exposes his navel to the world.

And she stares.

In a harsh, brittle voice she says, “Jared, where is our kid?”

Gen is pale with horror, and Sam can only find one thing to say, for which Dean’s going to kill him. “I’m not Jared.”

For a long moment, Gen doesn’t move, doesn’t make a sound. Her eyes never leave his face. Then, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” She’s on her feet, staring down at him. “What the hell did you do with Jared?”

He moves to get up, only to realize that his jeans are still halfway down his ass. He pulls them up and zips, and then he stands, too, not least in hopes that Gen will be marginally less daunting when he has twelve inches on her. “Gen, I swear, I didn’t—”

“Gen?” Her expression darkens. “You think you get to call me Gen just because you stole my husband’s face?”

“Look, it’s going to be fine, we’ll get him back—”

“He’s out there somewhere, I have no idea where he is, and he’s pregnant, you asshole. I swear to God, if anything happens to Jared or my kid—”

With another woman, Sam might have laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. He doubts that would go over here. “We’ll find him, it’ll be okay.”

“Who the hell even are you?”

Sam decides this is a penny/pound situation. “Sam Winchester. Nice to meet you?”

--

Once Misha is confident that he’s not being broken up with, he’s strung tight with a whole new tension. “This is, like, the coolest thing. You’re Dean. Oh my God.” He paces down the length of the trailer. When he gets back, he says, “And Sam? Is that what all this new BFF busines is about?”

Dean doesn’t see the point in deflecting. “Yeah, that’s Sam.”

“Wow. Look, it be okay if I tweet this?”

“Do what?”

Misha spreads his arms wide. Fact is, when the guy’s not being broken up with, he’s more than a little manic. “Tweet, get the signal out, spread the joy to the masses.”

“Uh, please don’t. We really don’t want to, uh, alert the public that we’re here.”

“Right, of course. You’re right. Man, I wish Jensen had warned me you guys were doing this, though.” Misha’s eyes narrow. Dean gives him his blankest stare. Misha says slowly, “Where is Jensen?”

Dean fishes for a lie, but they’re a little past that. “Honestly, man, I have no idea.”

“Oh my God,” Misha says again, with none of his previous enthusiasm.

“Look, we didn’t come here on purpose. Balthazar—”

“You have no idea where Jensen is,” Misha says. “And Jared?”

“Uh, yeah, that’s also a no.”

It’s at that point that the door to Misha’s trailer swings open. Gen stalks in, eyes blazing. Sam follows in behind her, and Gen motions towards him. “Misha, meet Sam Winchester.”

Sam waves sheepishly. Misha nods at Sam and says, “Gen, meet Dean.”

“Hey,” Dean says.

“Great,” Gen says. “Now, you two clowns explain to us how the hell we’re going to get Jared and Jensen home.”

--

Their magic doesn’t work, is the problem. Nothing freaking works. Dean and Sam do their ritual, saint’s bone and all, jump through fake-Bobby’s fake window, and fall in a heap on the other side with a bemused set crew for an audience, none of them less impressed than Gen.

This is your plan,” Gen says while Dean and Sam brush off the broken fragments of what Misha gravely describes as sugar glass.

Dean shakes sugar crumbs from his fingers. “You see a yellow brick road I can head down, you let me know.”

“My husband—”

“Is pregnant, I know. We’re on it, okay?”

“Hey, Misha,” Sam says, staring over Dean’s shoulder. “Is that guy someone you know?”

“No...”

Dean turns. Striding in their direction is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Angelic, the guy who came after them at Bobby’s house right before they got blown here. “Get back!” Dean yells. He stumbles backwards himself, but not fast enough. The guy’s hand is bearing down on Dean’s forehead. Distantly, Sam yells Dean’s name.

Dean wonders what it will be like, feeling his soul being blown out his eye sockets. He wonders, as he’s usually meticulously careful not to do, which direction his soul will go once it’s finally shaken his body loose.

Except there’s no flash of light, no bright consuming burn like Dean always figured smote demons felt. There’s only the gentle warmth of a hand hovering over his head. For an instant all Dean can do is let the familiar muddy wash of gratitude and bitterness – another day to live – sweep over him. Then he realizes, and he laughs.

“You know what you are, man?” he asks, grinning up into the angel’s furious face. “You’re Vader without the Force.” And he punches the angel square in the gut.

Sam moves in at his side and starts landing punches, too. The angel’s no cream puff, but he’s not angel, either; punching him isn’t like punching Cas, who’s always had about as much give as granite. It’s just like punching a very tall, very angry dude who’s swinging like he’s maybe not entirely settled into his vessel yet.

Dean has just come to the conclusion that he and Sam might possibly punch out an angel today when hands wrap around his upper arms and pull him back. “What the hell?” he yells, and lunges free. More hands grip him and hold him fast. As Dean watches, powerless, the angel pulls himself together and sprints off the set.

“Great,” he says, yanking himself loose from all the restraining hands. “Goddamnit.”

“Are you guys okay?” Misha asks. He shoos at the circle of people surrounding them. “It’s fine everybody. Just high spirits. They’re okay, now.” He nods emphatically, and eventually the crowd full of unknown faces drifts away.

“Just great,” Dean says.

“Come on,” Misha says, “I think we better get you out of sight for a few minutes.” He heads back towards the trailers.

Dean’s feeling more than a little smug. He just got one over on an angel, even if they lose him at the end. “Why, what are you afraid of?”

“Producers.”

--

Soon they’re comfortably sprawled around Misha’s trailer – anyone looking for Jared and Jensen would presumably check their trailers first, or so Misha argued. He gets everyone cans of Tab. Sam, at least, seems excited about that.

“Who the hell was that?” Gen asks.

Sam shrugs. “Angel assassin number three? He’s no one we’ve met before.”

“In that vessel, anyway,” Dean says.

“True.”

“Misha did say something about a Virgil yesterday.”

Sam shrugs. “Works for me.”

“Wait, wait,” Gen says. “An angel.”

Dean blinks at her. “You get that we’re Sam and Dean, the guys in your show.”

“Ye-es.”

“And we hunt monsters. And ghosts. And pal around with angels.” Well, he used to, anyway. “Pretty sure that was an angel.”

“Right,” Gen says faintly.

Misha asks, “So why is he here, then? Just to kill you? Wouldn’t it be easier to do that back home?”

“He wants the key, I guess?” Sam says.

“What key?”

Sam fishes it out of his coat pocket and dangles it in the air.

“That is definitely a key,” Misha agrees. Gen doesn’t even try to look impressed.

“Yeah, I know it doesn’t look like much,” Dean says. “It just opens the biggest weapons cache this side of the death star, that’s all.” Gen and Misha still look skeptical. Dean can’t really blame them; the plastic key fob doesn’t lend a lot of credibility.

“Wait. Wait. This is the key, like, the key in the script?”

Dean shrugs at Sam. Sam shrugs back.

Misha throws his hands in the air. “Yesterday, that was you, right? Misha’s a nickname, by the way.”

“Well, that’s a relief. For what?”

Misha eyes Dean thoughtfully. “You probably wouldn’t see it as an improvement.”

“What about yesterday?” asks Gen.

“This, you guys, here.” Misha gestured at Sam and Dean and back again. “The episode we’re filming this week, this is it! Sam and Dean get thrown into an alternate universe with the key to Balthazar’s weapons locker.”

“And Jared and Jensen?” asks Gen.

“Um.” Misha looks around the circle. “Well, Sam and Dean don’t get thrown into this universe. I mean, where Supernatural is a TV show.”

“Yeah, where we come from, it’s a book series. I think we’ve scaled up, Sammy.”

Sam rolls his eyes.

“So there’s no Jared in your script,” Gen says.

Misha shrugs apologetically. “Not so much.”

It takes a while throwing around ideas and popping cans of soda before it occurs to someone to actually go get the script for the episode this isn’t. It doesn’t bear much resemblance, actually; by now in the episode, Cas has already shown up and relieved Sam of the key.

“Do we know the key is even for weapons?” Sam asks, flipping through the pages. “I mean, most of the rest of this is wrong.”

They consider that for a while longer.

It’s Sam who finally says it. “Look, whatever it’s for, we still have the key. Balthazar sent us here, and Balthazar will get us home again.”

“If he lives,” Dean says. When Sam scowls at him, he says, “Look, man, he didn’t look all that great when we saw him, and he had an angel getting ready to kick his ass. If Virgil’s here, it doesn’t bode well for our ticket home.”

“But Cas’ll come looking for you guys eventually, right?” Misha asks. “Bobby knows something went down, and if Jared and Jensen are with him...”

“You can bet he’ll let Cas know about it,” Dean finishes.

“So we just... wait?” Sam asks.

“Well,” Gen begins, looking at Dean, “I think that you two are suffering serious emotional imbalances.”

“Thanks?”

She rolls his eyes. “You beat up that poor extra. You’re clearly overworked and need a couple of days off.”

“Sister,” Dean says, “I like the way you think.”

“Sister,” she repeats and stares at him until he clears his throat and looks away. Off to one side, Sam is laughing.

--

Somehow, via no decision process that Sam notices, they all end up back at the Corteses’ house that night. “For defense,” Gen says, shrugging. “In case the angel comes back to smite us. Also, I have the best booze, and Jared hasn’t let me drink any of it since we got pregnant. He says if he can’t, I can’t.”

In practice, ‘booze’ means a couple of bottles a piece of some delicious specialty brew that Sam’s never heard of, drunk while they lounge around the monstrous living room. The artwork was a wedding gift from Misha, it turns out.

“It was a joke,” he protests. “How was I supposed to know they’d actually hang them up? Gen Cortese and Jared Padalecki, in more than living color.”

“Wait, Pada-what?” Sam says.

Gen rolls her eyes. “Padalecki.”

“Man,” Dean says, “No mystery why you didn’t take his name. Although him taking yours, that’s, uh, that’s true love, I guess.”

“What are you talking about? Why would I take Jared’s name?” Gen squints at Dean.

“You know, you’re the girl, he’s the guy?”

There’s so much implied you idiot hanging in the air between them, Sam can almost see it.

Very slowly, with great precision, Gen says, “I’m the alpha.”

It occurs to Sam that quite possibly Dean doesn’t really know what that implies. Or all that implies, anyway. Sam is suddenly very much looking forward to explaining it to him once they’re alone again.

“Don’t me get wrong,” Gen continues, “I’m all for omega equality. I’d have been fine with him sticking with Padalecki – not that anyone ever knows how to pronounce it, I have no idea why, it’s not like there’s any weird vowels in it or anything - but Jared’s family is pretty traditional. There was no way he wasn’t taking my name.”

“What is all this alpha and omega crap, anyway?” Dean asks. “All these guys having babies and, and these weird-ass dicks? What the hell? What planet did you people beam down from?”

Misha and Gen turn to stare at him. “Oh my God,” Misha says.

“Oh my God,” Gen agrees.

“Dean, you’re a beta.”

Dean rolls his eyes. “I guess, yeah.”

Misha turns to Sam. “And Sam, you’re a beta.”

“Wait, he is?” Gen stares at Sam. “You’re a beta?”

“Gen.”

“What? You know I can’t smell for shit.” Gen laughs. “Wow, Sam, that would have an interesting scene today if I’d actually gotten your tighty whities off.”

“You’re telling me,” Sam says. It now occurs to him that Jared Cortese’s anatomical differences probably don’t stop with just the uterus.

Misha’s looking between them with a knuckle between his teeth. He’s clearly trying not to laugh his ass off. The effort is bringing tears to his eyes. Eventually he coughs, clears his throat, and continues. “Right, so you’re both betas. And everyone in your universe is a beta.”

“Damn straight,” Dean says fervently.

“I don’t get it,” Sam says. “Why is this so funny?”

“It’s the final frontier,” Misha says. “The last taboo. Alphas, omegas, we don’t talk about that on TV. We signal it, sure. Visual cues, that sort of thing. Big guys are cast as alphas—”

“Which is clearly an over-generalization,” Gen says. “Fortunately for me.” She leers meaningfully at Sam, and he can feel a blush creeping up his neck, even though he knows the leer is really reserved for Jared.

“And little scrawny guys are betas.”

“And omegas?” Sam ventures.

Gen snorts. “There aren’t exactly enough male omegas for it to be an issue. Or female alphas, either.”

“So, wait,” Dean says. “Are you saying the reason I am, thank God, endowed with a, a normal dick that does only normal dick things is because that’s all you can put on your TV show?”

Misha and Gen look at each other. Misha puts a thoughtful finger to his chin. “This is clearly a mystery of the universe I need to ponder further. Preferably with more beer.” He gets to his feet and heads for the kitchen.

“I’m right there with you,” Dean, following. “Except no pondering, thanks. Just the beer.”

--

“Damn it,” Gen says, startling Sam. “Damn it, I hate this sitting around. I want to do something.”

“I’m sure Bobby will take care of them,” Sam says. It’s feeble, but it’s all he’s got. Gen looks unconvinced.

She picks at a fingernail for a few moments, and then she looks up to give him a long, hard stare that Sam tries to avoid. Finally, she says, “You’re fucked in the head, you know that?”

That wasn’t exactly what Sam was expecting. It’s fair, though. He hides behind his beer and says, “Yeah, I know that.”

“Moron,” she says, not unkindly, and comes to sit down next to him on the couch. “I’m not talking about hell trauma or whatever.” Misreading his confusion, she laughs. “Just because I’m not the in show anymore doesn’t mean I don’t watch. My omega on TV, being all manly and heroic? Mm.”

Sam lets that one pass. “What are you talking about, then?”

“Last night? You, making out with the woman who looks just like the demon that totally screwed you over?”

“That was just for cover.”

She rolls her eyes. “Like I can’t tell when a guy’s into it? You were into it.”

He doesn’t have anything to say to that. He tries to think of some useful thing he could make the excuse to go do. Maybe Misha needs help retrieving beer.

“She lied to you,” Gen says.

“Yeah, she did,” Sam agrees, and wishes the conversation were over.

“She manipulated you. She got you physically dependent on a substance that you may or may not have actually needed for killing demons.” Off his look of surprise, she shrugs. “Sources differ. Jared was convinced you really needed it. I dunno. Anyway. She was bad for you in so many ways.”

It’s been a moment-by-moment thing, keeping this woman separate from Ruby in his head. Suddenly, he’s having no difficulty at all; it is definitely Gen that he’s angry with. “The hell? You think I don’t know that? Do you have any idea how many times I have gotten this speech?”

Gen rolls right over him. “There’s something else, though. Ruby? Thought you were awesome.” She says it with the same inflection Ruby always did. Sam shivers. “I mean, yeah, she thought your priorities were shit. You had no vision. But as far as Ruby was concerned, you were the hottest thing walking.”

Sam’s having trouble responding. He keeps choking on the words. Finally, he sputters, “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

Gen shrugs. “Thought maybe you’d want to know. She said a lot of things she knew weren’t true. She never said a single fucking thing she didn’t mean.”

Sam doesn’t want to understand that. He wants to bar the gates and fill the moat before it starts to make any kind of sense to him. Too late. Gen’s giving him the big soul eyes that Ruby used to give him, and yeah, he can see the sincerity in them now, just like he could then. Angrily, he takes another swallow of beer. “How the hell would you know, anyway?”

Gen’s eyebrow is disbelief and scorn. “I was Ruby, Sam. I know.” Her lips quirk. “Also, by the end of it, I thought Jared was the hottest thing walking. I think there might have been some character bleed there.”

She leans over and gives him a peck on the cheek. While he’s still processing the heat of her lips against his skin, she pushes to her feet and walks off, leaving him to consider a mire of existential questions he really would rather not.

--

When Dean gets to the kitchen – the extremely shiny, copper-and-brushed-steel kitchen - Misha is upending a bag of suspicious-looking chips into a huge bowl. At Dean’s questioning noise, Misha smiles brightly and says, “Garlic bagel chips. For the hummus.” Then he catches Dean’s expression, and he laughs outright. “Sorry if it’s not bloody enough for you. I’m vegetarian.”

Of course he is. Dean wants to point out that they are in Jared’s house, and if a good old Texas boy doesn’t keep red meat around his kitchen then Dean will eat his boots. Or even the hummus.

Instead, Dean takes a deep breath. This is so not Dean’s scene. “Look, man, about Jensen.”

Misha looks up. “Yeah?”

Man up, Winchester. “Never met him, but the guy sounds like a dick.”

Misha huffs. Dean looks over in alarm; if the dude starts crying, Dean absolutely does not know what he’s going to do next. It takes Dean a minute to realize Misha’s laughing instead.

“You want to know the hilarious thing? We’re actually doing okay right now.”

“Could have fooled me,” Dean says. “This cold shoulder I’ve been getting...”

“Holdover.”

“Okay. Sure.” Dean is more than willing to leave it at that.

Misha is not. “There are a lot of insecurities associated with beta-omega relationships. And they’re considered a little weird. Which...” He leans in conspiratorially. “I think all relationships with me are considered a little weird. But what are you gonna do?”

“Right,” Dean says.

“Nice of you to worry about me, though.”

Dean is not about to let the guy who looks like Cas keep getting dicked over by the guy who looks like Dean. Not if Dean can help it. Then again, Dean’s not about to say that, either.

Misha gives him that considering look again. “C’mere.”

Wary, Dean takes a step forward, then another at Misha’s encouragement.

He can see it coming. He doesn’t back up or pull away. As Misha gets into Dean’s air, he’s watching Dean for a signal, a protest, and Dean doesn’t give it. Misha squints thoughtfully at Dean, and then he slides his hand up Dean’s jaw until his fingers are tangled into Dean’s hair, and then he leans up and kisses him.

Once their mouths are touching, Misha doesn’t demand or take; he waits. It takes Dean all of a second and a half to decide that this is weird as all get out and also not too bad, and what the hell, it isn’t like this is the real world anyway. He moves in a little closer and kisses back.

By Dean Winchester standards, it’s practically chaste; just a little lip-jockeying and once, from Misha, a bit of tongue. Then Misha breaks it off. “This is my stop,” he says. The words are warm puffs of air against Dean’s lips. Then Misha steps back, grin splitting his face in two.

Dean takes a moment to let his breathing get under control again. “What was that for?” he asked.

“You think I could have a chance with Dean Winchester and not even try for a taste?”

“Your boyfriend won’t mind?”

Misha grins even wider, if that’s possible. “I think he’ll forgive me.”

It occurs to Dean that eventually, after he flies home from Neverland, he still has to look Cas in the eye.

Damn it.

--

Despite Gen’s stated intentions regarding booze, she hardly touches hers; she says it’s no fun without having Jared around to bitch at her for it. By sometime after midnight, though, everyone else is comfortably loose, and Sam’s thinking wistfully about the bed upstairs he’s pretty sure he won’t be sleeping in again when Gen sits up suddenly with an idea. “When you got here, you came out onto the set, right?”

“Yes?” Sam says.

“It was Bobby’s house on one side and fake Bobby’s house on the other,” Dean adds.

“What’s fake Bobby’s name?” Sam asks suddenly. Dean swings around to stare at him. Sam shrugs. “I want to know.”

“Jim,” Misha says. “Jim Beaver.”

Dean snickers. Of course he does.

Gen rolls her eyes. “My point is, you were someplace that’s just like a place in your world, right? So what if you need to be in the same kind of place to go home?”

Dean sits up, looking a little alarmed now. “You mean the angels couldn’t just zap us from anywhere?”

Gen rolls her eyes. “How would I know? I’m not the one who’s ever met an angel.”

It makes a horrible sort of sense to Sam. “It’d be like sympathetic magic. Like a voodoo doll. The doll represents the person. You can’t do anything to the person without the doll. Crap. We need to be somewhere that Balthazar or whoever can call us back from.” Dean’s nodding along. Misha and Gen, though, are staring at him wide-eyed. “What?”

“There’s the Sam Winchester brain at work,” Misha says, sitting back.

Gen says, “You know what I used to do, back when I was working with Jared and he had lines where he was all competent like that?”

“No?”

Gen looks fondly nostalgic. “I’d take him back to his trailer and fuck him into the couch.”

Dean coughs. Or possibly laughs.

“So,” Misha says, clapping his hands and rubbing them together. “Road trip?”

There’s some discussion of where exactly Sam and Dean ought to situate themselves for retrieval. Gen points out that the show is shot on location all over Vancouver and beyond, and she and Misha start brainstorming possibilities, up to and including Jimmy Novak’s house and some lake Dean dreamed of fishing at one time.

Eventually, though, Dean points out that the angels won’t know to look for them in any of those places. Also, the lake is distinctly lacking in windows, or vertical surfaces of any kind, for that matter, which might be a problem for sigil placement.

The set it is, then.

“Now?” Misha asks. “There’s security, you know. I don’t know how anyone’s going to feel about us just setting up camp on the sound stage, either.”

Sam chooses not to comment on the ‘us.’ “Maybe Cas’ll just know when we’re close enough to grab.”

“Yeah, and maybe he won’t,” Dean says.

Maybe it doesn’t matter,” Gen says, getting to her feet. “Maybe we just need to go take a quick peek and make sure no glowing window sigils are spooking the night guards as we speak.”

“And if they aren’t?”

“You guys aren’t even supposed to be on set this week, for the sake of Jensen’s and my husband’s poor careers.” Sam wasn’t there for that particular conversation, but apparently Gen had ‘gone alpha’ on the producer. Misha described the encounter later with a certain amount of awe. “But we could hide you in Misha’s trailer and he could grab you if the magic starts happening?”

Sam doesn’t like the uncertainty in that plan. From the look of him, Dean doesn’t either. Gen and Misha are clearly ready to go adventuring, though, and taking another look at the fake Bobby house can’t hurt.

“Are you sure you guys should go?” Dean asks.

Misha looks affronted, but it’s Gen who answers. “Look. A, this is not some haunted house where the boogie man could jump us. we’re going to the set. Misha goes there every day.”

“And lives to tell the tale,” Misha adds.

“And B, if you guys get sucked back into your universe, that means Jared and Jensen get spit back out again, right?”

Dean looks at Sam and shrugs. Sam says cautiously, “It’d make sense.”

Gen squares her shoulders. “There is no way in hell I’m not going to be there when that happens.”

“Likewise,” Misha says, stepping up beside her.

“They should be fine, right, Dean?”

“Sam...”

Dean stares him down for a moment, but eventually he’ll come to the same conclusion Sam has, which is that habit’s all that’s making them hesitate. This is brave new world, monster-free. Everyone’s a civilian here.

“Although,” Misha interjects, “there’s still that angel running around trying to kill you.” He looks a little nervous.

Dean snorts. “He’s just a guy here.”

Misha cocks an eyebrow. “You two are ‘just guys,’ and you’re not exactly harmless.”

“Yeah, well, we are now,” Dean says. “Mostly. All our weapons turned to props when we came through.”

“Wait here,” Gen says. She strides out of the room and down the hall. A few seconds later, her footsteps thump up the stairs. When she comes back a few minutes later, she’s carrying a shotgun. “Jared’s,” she says. “Typical Texas. Of course, he says he bought it for ‘character research.’” Her hands are full, but the air quotes are implicit.

“Can you shoot it?” Sam asks.

“Not really. I mean, he’s taken me skeet shooting a couple of times, but I’m not great at it. But you’re supposed to be, right?” She eyes Dean skeptically.

“Lady, I am awesome,” Dean says. Gen reluctantly hands the gun over to him, rolling her eyes, but Dean’s too busy inspecting his shiny new weapon to notice. It is very shiny: the stock is a gorgeous dark wood and the inlay appears to be gold. Sam wonders if Jared’s any good with it, either, or if it’s just the shotgun equivalent of the chrome bathroom upstairs, complete with double showers and a huge jacuzzi. There’s one thing Sam is certain of: no one in his family has ever so much as set eyes on a shotgun worth that kind of money before.

Dean catches his look. “He keeps it maintained,” he says, and really, that’s the only criterion for gun ownership that Dean cares about.

“As long is it shoots,” Sam says.

“Great,” Misha says. “Now that we can commit brutal violence with a single pull of the trigger, are we all set?”

--

Gen drives. Somehow Dean ends up in back with Misha, which puts Sam up front with Gen. At this time of night, the highways are empty, and Gen’s massive, custom-hubcapped SUV owns the road. Now’s probably the time for last words, in case Sam and Dean find a sigil to jump through. Dean doesn’t have any, though. Mostly he just wants to get the hell out of here.

Things are quiet up front as well. Gen keeps glancing in the rear view mirror like she expects to catch Dean at something. Or maybe Misha.

When they get in sight of the lot, Dean suggest parking on a side street and going over the fence. Gen just snorts and pulls up to the main gates. A guy comes out wearing security blue. There’s some back-and-forth that starts with a bald ‘Let us in,’ transitions to an explanation about Jared and Jensen needing time on set to emotionally rebalance without distraction, and ends with a threat to call the producer. Gen pulls out her phone and presses a button, and shows it to the guard. Dean can hear it ringing.

“On speed dial,” Gen says.

“Okay, okay,” the guard says. He heads back towards the gates, muttering something about Goddamned alphas loud enough for Dean to hear. Gen ignores it. From where Dean’s sitting, alpha behavior looks a lot like entitled asshole behavior; maybe it’s synonymous here.

“What if your guy had answered his phone?” Dean ask as Gen pulled them through the gates.

Gen shrugs. “I’d have talked to him. Do you have any idea how bad he wants you guys back at work on Monday? He’d send you to Tahiti for the weekend, no questions asked.” She parks, and they all climb out. Gen and Misha strike out towards the warehouses that house the sets in which Dean has spent most of his waking hours today, and he and Sam follow.

There’s still an unfamiliar tang in the air – somehow, evil things don’t spend much time in the Pacific Northwest, so neither does Dean – but walking the lot after dark makes it feel less like a Winchester-themed funhouse and more like just another job. It doesn’t hurt that Dean’s armed. Most days he’d feel twitchy carrying a shotgun around in plain sight, even at night, but he doubts anyone who sees Jared’s gleaming luxury piece will take it for anything but a prop. Too bad Dean hates acting; he could do with some of the perks.

They reach the door marked Stage 4. Gen scowls at it. “We’ll have to track down a night guard.”

“Nope,” Dean says. He hands the shotgun to Sam and digs around in his pocket for one of the hairpins he liberated from a pile on Gen’s bedside table. Her eyebrows rise when she sees it, but she doesn’t say anything. Dean crouches and starts working.

“Security system?” Sam asks Misha.

“That would be the guard at the gate. Anyway, the cameras and lights are the only thing worth stealing.”

“You’re not worried props’ll disappear and show up on eBay?”

Misha chuckles. “You realize no one watches this show, right?”

“Right.”

“Got it,” Dean says. He turns the knob, and the door swings open. Gen and Misha file in. Dean catches Sam’s arm at the door. “This probably ain’t gonna work,” he whispers.

Sam shrugs. “So we’ll try again tomorrow.”

Dean huffs. “Damn angel better fix this.” He’s not sure, now that he’s said it, whether he means Balthazar or Castiel. He gives a last look around, and then he follows Sam inside and closes the door behind them.

Gen and Misha take them on a tour of the sets: various rooms of Bobby’s house, a motel room. “They change it up every episode, you know,” Gen says. “The motel rooms are the set designers’ favorite part.”

“And here I thought the weird-ass motels we always stay in were your fault,” Dean tells Sam. Sam rolls his eyes.


Eventually they circle the entire warehouse and end up back outside fake-Bobby’s fake living room. The window Sam and Dean crashed through yesterday has been replaced. There are no sigils glowing on it, though. There’s nothing glowing anywhere. This whole escapade is starting to look like a huge waste of time. From Gen’s scowl and Misha’s slumped shoulders, Dean gathers they’ve concluded the same.

Like Sam said, they can try again tomorrow. Dean reminds himself that there are worse things than spending another night crashing on the Corteses’ very comfortable couch and maybe searching their kitchen for something more sustaining than hummus.

Dean’s about made peace with this conclusion when a rifle fires.

Dean spins towards the sound. The warehouse door twenty feet away has a jagged wound where the lock used to be. Dean clicks the safety off and lifts the shotgun to his shoulder, and the door slams open. Virgil steps through. He’s aiming a rifle stiff-armed, one-handed like he’s never heard of recoil, and it’s pointed at Dean.

Dean throws himself to one side. Chips of concrete explode from the place he was standing. He rolls behind the outer wall of the fake living room. Another shot fires, and then Misha scrambles in next to Dean. “He’s shooting at us,” Misha hisses. He sounds personally offended.

Dean gets up into a crouch and scuttles to the edge of the wall. He shoulders the shotgun again, braces himself on one knee, and peaks around the corner. Virgil’s barely ten feet away, striding past the empty fourth wall of the living room set and straight for Dean. Dean pulls back and drops as a chunk of wall disintegrates just above his head. He rolls onto his side and wriggles just far enough out into the open to take a shot. He fires.

The rifle falls from Virgil’s hands and clatters to the concrete. Virgil doesn’t even pause. He pulls a revolver from inside his coat, then another. Buckshot wounds bloom across all his bare skin. He aims his left revolver at Dean and the right one across his body and into the exposed living room.

Sam.

It’s Dean Virgil’s looking at, though. Dean pulls at the shotgun trigger. It sticks. Goddamn Jared Cortese’s goddamn Beamer of a shotgun sticks. Dean ducks behind the wall just as a bullet whistles past his ear. Two more shots ring out simultaneously. The wall Dean’s sitting behind shudders with the impact of one of them, which means the other has to have been aimed into the set.

Dean reaches into his boot for the steak knife he liberated from the Cortese kitchen. Desperate times. He crouches and tries to listen past the toneless buzz in his ears for the footsteps that mean it’s time to lunge.

What he hears instead is a feral, high-pitched yell and, a half-second later, a dull thump. He waits a second more, and then he peeks around the corner. Virgil lies sprawled across the concrete floor. Standing over him, an iron poker gripped in both hands and lifted high above her head, is Gen.

Dean blinks a couple of times. Virgil doesn’t move. Dean pushes to his feet and steps out into the open. A moment later, Misha steps to his side. Sam’s head pops up from behind the fake desk, and then he rises as well. He gets to Virgil before Dean does, and he collects the two revolvers.

When Dean gets to them, Gen still hasn’t lowered the poker. She’s shaking. “You can put that down now,” Dean says.

Gen slowly lowers the poker. “Is he dead?” she asks.

Misha, crouched at Virgil’s side, shakes his head. “Still has a pulse.”

“Damn it,” Gen says.

Misha rises. One hand ventures to Gen’s shoulder. “Gen, what the hell were you doing?”

She glances around, still looking a little blank. Her gaze falls on Sam, and suddenly her expression turns shifty. She grimaces.

“Gen?” Misha prods.

“I forgot,” she says.

Dean glances at Sam. What the hell? Sam shrugs: I got no idea, man.

“He didn’t see me. He aimed at...” Gen gestures towards Sam. “And I forgot he wasn’t Jared. Like hell I was going to let some angel hurt Jared. Or my kid. Force of habit.”

“I had plenty of cover,” Sam mutters.

“You...” Dean starts to laugh. “You just knocked out an angel and saved my brother’s ass because you thought he was your pregnant hubby.”

Gen considers a moment, and then she shrugs. She’s looking less shocky now. “Yeah, pretty much.” Sam’s scowl deepens. Dean feels another wheeze of laughter coming on.

“Guys,” Misha says, and points. There on the window in bright neon red is the sigil Dean’s been looking for.

“Balthazar?” Sam asks Dean.

Screw Balthazar. “Cas?”

And then there’s a rush, and a crash, and Dean rolls onto the gravel of Bobby’s driveway. A pair of dress shoes stands directly in Dean’s line of sight. He follows the legs up until he sees Cas’s pale face looking down.

“Hello, Dean,” Cas says.

A few feet away, a figure is slumped, someone with dark hair and a dark coat. Virgil. Beyond him, Sam groans. From behind Dean, somebody says, “Damn it, why’s it always gotta be my damn window?”

--

“Sweetie?”

Someone’s hands are all over Jared, squeezing at him and brushing at his face. He knows those hands. They haven’t touched him in days. He opens his eyes, and there’s Gen’s face hanging over his. “Hey,” he croaks. “Hey, Gen.” He fumbles for her hand. When he finds it, he squeezes.

“Hey,” she breathes. “You okay?”

“I think so.” Assuming his impact with yet another window didn’t damage anything.

Jared pushes himself up and looks around. Jensen’s on his feet, kissing Misha like they’ve been gone months, not days. Thank God. Any more of Jensen worrying about his boyfriend, and Jared would have stabbed something. Preferably Jensen.

At least Jared’s not worried about Jensen’s sincerity anymore.

“And kidaboo?” Gen asks. She says it so naturally, like being pregnant does not make him a gigantic freak. After the last two days, he was starting to doubt.

“Fine,” he says. “We’re both fine.”

Damn, it’s good to be home.

[end]

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