Original Prompt: "it didn't look like that last night..."
Warnings/Spoilers: suggestive imagery
Characters: Sam and Dean Winchester
Genre: Gen, Humour
Summary: And all Dean wanted was something nice for his room ...
Sam looked up from the dusty texts that littered the table in front of him and stretched wearily. A number of recent sightings of a strange creature, a life-sized woman with wings and long talons where her nails should be, had led the brothers to believe a Harpy was on the loose.
These things were about as rare as the supernatural got; in fact the only thing rarer it seemed was a sighting of Dean actually parking his ass down in the Library and giving Sam a hand with some of this impenetrably dry ancient Greek shit he was researching right now.
He knuckled his eyes lethargically and pulled in a laboured breath. That’s a point, where was Dean?
Glancing around him, he used the exercise as an excuse to try to work some movement back into his stiff joints.
Last time he’d seen his older brother, Dean had disappeared out of the library like a rat up a drainpipe muttering something about ‘seeing if there was any ‘harpy-killing stuff’ in the vaults.
That had been hours ago, so he guessed that Dean had drawn a blank. Either that, or – more likely - his miniscule attention span had been diverted by something totally non-Harpy related.
Sam got his answer when Dean appeared from the vaults carrying a large earthenware pot full of soil.
Bingo. Miniscule attention span it is.
Sam sighed; “So did you find anything?”
Dean deposited the pot on the table next to Sam with a heavy thud, scattering damp soil across all his papers.
“Yeah,” he grinned; “I found these seeds down there, and so I thought – well, I’ve been wanting to get something nice for my room for ages, and seeing as you won’t let me get a goldfish, I thought a plant would be nice, so I planted them and …”
“About the Harpy?” Sam interrupted stony-faced.
“The what? Oh that! Yes, the Harpy, uh … no. Nothing about harpies down there.”
Sam dropped his head into his hands and kneaded his forehead.
“Got a headache?” Dean asked; “You need to take a break – everyone knows looking at that crap for too long isn’t good for you.” He gestured across the table at the myriad dusty scrolls scattered over it, complete with their new coating of damp soil.
Slowly dragging his hands down his face, Sam peered over his fingertips at Dean.
“Having a plant’ll be good for us too,” Dean added with a nod; “it’ll oxygenate the room and make good zen kinda shit!”
Sam knew when to pick his battles, and right now, he knew that talking about the Harpy hunt was a lost cause. Against his better judgement, therefore, he pointed toward the pot and asked the question. “What is it?”
Dean shrugged; “they were just some seeds – you know, like plant seeds.”
Sam sighed. Apparently studying Harpy lore was a breeze compared to trying to get any sense out of Dean. “What sort of plant seeds?” He clarified his previous question.
“I dunno,” Dean replied; “I found ‘em scattered on the floor under a shelving unit. There was a cardboard box, that I think they used to be stored in too, but it was all mouldy and falling apart, all the writing had faded off it.”
Sam blinked as he stared at his brother’s grinning face. He really wanted to punch it.
“So you planted these seeds – seeds that you found in a vault full of supernatural and magical artefacts - and you have no idea what they are?”
Dean shrugged again; “A plant’s a plant, Sammy. Unknot your boxers; we’ll figure it out soon enough.”
“A plant’s not just a plant, Dean,” Sam countered; “especially not when it’s in our vault; it could be anything; a sunflower, a daisy … or an apple tree, or a potato plant, or it could be something supernatural … what if it’s some kind of cursed poison ivy? You know what happened when Dad took us camping in the Appalacians, and you fell into …”
“Shut it Sam,” Dean muttered darkly; “you pushed me.”
Dean’s face lit up, “hey, maybe it’s weed!”
Sam shook his head, “somehow, I can’t imagine those stiffs in the Men of Letters cultivating their own dope,” he replied.
Dean deflated slightly; “no, you’re probably right, I can’t see those boring assholes relaxing with a late night reefer.”
A brief pause settled between the two men.
“Dean, plants need sunlight,” Sam spoke up; “this is a bunker, there’s no sunlight. It’s probably the worst environment possible to nurture a plant in.”
“Thought of that,” Dean grinned proudly; “I’ll take Pedro up onto the roof during the day, so that he can get all the sunlight he needs and he might even get a bit of rainwater too.”
“Pedro the plant,” Dean replied, folding his arms as if to indicate the conversation was at an end.
“Well, I hope you and Pedro will be very happy. And when you wake up covered in supernatural hives and scratch your ass off, then don’t expect me to apply the calamine,” Sam snorted, brushing Pedro’s spilled soil off his papers.
“Bitter Sammy, so bitter,” Dean grunted.
For three days, Pedro was little more than a pot of earth.
Although, Sam couldn’t fault Dean’s dedication to Pedro’s welfare. Never before had a pot of earth been so thoroughly nurtured to, by Sam’s reckoning, a ridiculous degree…
“Dean, what the hell are you doing?”
“What’s it sound like?” Dean responded curtly to Sam’s quizzical frown; “I’m playing Pedro some music. It’s supposed to be good for plants, I read it on the Internet – look, it says so here on gardengossip.com.”
“They mean light classics Dean, and easy listening stuff … a bit of Mantovani or Neil Diamond, not freaking thrash metal. That plant’s gonna be scared to come up at all with that damn racket blasting at it.”
“Bite me,” snorted Dean; “Pedro’s gonna grow up to appreciate decent sounds!”
“He’s gonna grow up stone deaf,” Sam muttered grumpily under his breath
Sam jumped up from his breakfast and charged along the corridor to Dean’s room upon hearing his brother’s frantic shouts.
“What?” he gasped as he skidded to a halt in the doorway.
“Look, Sam,” Dean exclaimed; “it’s Pedro!”
Dean thrust the world’s most spoiled pot of earth into Sam’s face. Sam had to squint to see the miniscule green shoot which sat at the mathematical centre of the pot.
“That?” Sam groaned; “You nearly gave me heart failure for THAT?”
“But Sam, it’s Pedro, look!”
Dean thrust the pot closer to Sam’s face so he could get a better look at the speck of foliage.
“It’s a bit small,” Sam observed, clearly underwhelmed.
“Well, give him a chance, he’s only just sprouted. Believe it or not, you were only a tiny little rugrat once.”
Sam rolled his eyes; “fine, can I go back to my breakfast now?”
Every day, for the next five days, Sam was treated to a by-the-hour account of Pedro’s progress, and on the fifth day when Pedro stood all of an inch and a half tall (yes, Dean was actually measuring him – apparently with the ruler he steadfastly denied keeping by his bed) and actually sprouted something that looked like a little curly leaf, Sam thought Dean might actually explode.
It was on the sixth day that Pedro actually did something that interested Sam.
“Sam, uh … can you come in here, please?”
Sam’s head dropped to the table next to his half empty coffee cup with a dull thunk as Dean’s voice echoed hollowly down the corridor.
“Sam, like, really … can you come in here? Sort of now?”
“I should have said yes to a goldfish,” Sam gritted out through clenched teeth as he got up, stretched, and started to trudge the length of the bunker towards Dean’s room.
“Okay Dean, I’m here … what, has he grown another quarter of an in…”
The words died on Sam’s lips.
“What the everloving fu…? What the hell is that?”
“It’s Pedro,” Dean replied in a small voice.
The thing that filled Sam’s least favourite pot of earth was now about six feet tall. It was part bulbous root ball bursting through the sides of the pot, and part fibrous green trunk-like structure at least as thick as a strong man’s arm. Rising bolt upright out of the voluminous mess of shaggy green and brown tendrils at its crown was a long slimy stamen – Sam guessed based on his limited botanical knowledge – dripping something sticky, green and viscous (which Sam really, REALLY hoped was just sap) all over the floor.
It was, without question, the ugliest plant Sam had ever seen.
His mouth opened, his lips moved, but no words came out.
“He didn’t look like that last night, Sam,” Dean murmured, somewhat redundantly.
Sam scratched his head, and warily watched the tall green stamen swaying to and fro, moving hypnotically and slowly, like a cobra preparing to strike.
“I think Pedro needs a bigger pot,” Dean ventured.
“Pot?” Sam snapped; “what that thing needs is a freaking flame thrower.”
Together, the Winchesters, grasped Pedro’s pot and manoeuvred him out of Dean’s room. Although Dean was less inclined toward the road of Pedro’s total obliteration that Sam was bent on, both men were in agreement that he should no longer reside in Dean’s room.
Hell, Sam would be happy for Dean to have a hundred frigging goldfish compared to this fiasco.
As they carried the massive weight of soil, earthenware pot, and freaky big ugly plant down the corridor, Sam noticed the slimy stamen moving around, almost as if it was observing its surroundings. He kept his head down, out of its range, and tried to quicken his pace, not easy when carrying such a heavy burden.
Dean gasped as something slimy and cold touched his cheek, and slowly dragged its way up the side of his face, behind his ear. He yelped, shrugging spasmodically to try to dislodge the ticklish irritation.
“Knock it off, PedroooOOOOOH!” His voice rose to an embarrassingly high-pitched squeak as the slimy appendage dipped into his left ear.
“Sam, he snapped, dropping his side of the pot in shock; “the freaking plant’s makin’ out with me!”
Sam leapt aside to avoid a multiple toe amputation as the pot smashed to the ground, cracking in two with the force of the impact.
Both men stumbled backwards, their eyes never leaving the pile of wreckage which had once been pot, earth and ugly-freaking-bastard-plant, laying scattered where they fell across the bunker’s floor.
Dean shuddered in revulsion as he fumbled for the hem of Sam’s overshirt and began to use it to extract green plant goo out of his ear. “Ugh, that’s disgusting…” he grumbled.
“You’re disgusting,” Sam snapped, his nose wrinkling in disgust as he snatched his shirt out of Dean’s hands; “use your own clothes to explore your skanky earholes!”
“Damnit Sam, I got goddamn plant splooge in my ear, and I’ve gotta clean it out as soon as I can ‘cus if I don’t, I could end up with freakin’ six-foot hairy tree monster babies growing out of my ear, and they’ll probably eat my brain, and it’ll be all your fault because you won’t even let me use your …”
Dean’s tirade trailed off into open-mouthed silence.
“Sam,” he murmured flatly, staring over the younger Winchester’s shoulder; “RUN.”
“Less talking, more running,” Dean whispered, backpedalling slowly whilst at the same time trying to grab Sam’s wrist. Sam made the mistake of turning to look at what had spooked Dean so much, only to come face to … trunk with Pedro. Fully vertical and inching toward the two horrified men on his enormous spidery rootball
“HOLY FREAKING SHIT!!!”
Both men recoiled as the giant slimy stamen shot out between their respective faces with a threatening hiss, spraying viscous green crud across their shirts. They both took this as their cue to turn tail and sprint.
“Sam, I think Pedro’s pissed that we dropped him,” Dean panted as the two men thundered down the corridor with the giant plant skittering heavily along the hall behind them, hissing and spraying green slime everywhere.
“You don’t say,” Sam replied breathlessly as he and Dean stumbled into the great hall and slammed the door closed behind them, pressing their combined weight against it to brace it against the onslaught of the giant plant attempting to hammer it down from the other side.
“I-I-I t-t-old you you should have let m-me have a g-g-oldfish…” Dean grunted as he fought to hold the rattling door closed.
“R-right now, you could h-h-have a freaking great white f-f-or all I care,” snapped Sam in response.
An hour later, with three armchairs, an occasional table and the giant telescope wedged against the straining, clattering door, the Winchesters felt confident enough to leave the doorway briefly to go and figure out what Pedro might actually be.
It was Sam that found the answer first.
“A triffid?” Dean exclaimed in disbelief; “we’ve got a goddamn triffid in the bunker?”
Sam spun the laptop around to show Dean. There on the screen was a picture of the same huge, untidy, profoundly ugly plant.
“Yep,” Sam replied, po-faced; “Pedro is a triffid; a giant, walking, poison-spitting plant!”
“Ah, damn,” Dean sighed; “I should have called him Travis.”
“Really?” Sam groaned, flinching as the door reverberated under another heavy thud; “that’s what you’re taking from this?”
A plan was hatched, and it involved Dean’s faithful lighter and a large amount of gasoline. Unfortunately, it also involved getting Pedro outside if possible, to avoid incinerating the bunker.
On the basis that neither brother knew if the triffid could manage stairs, they realised that they would have to see to it that Pedro met his maker within the bunker, then carry him outside for a bonfire.
The plan, such as it was, was hatched from under the war-room table, as Pedro had finally managed to break into the Main Hall, and the Winchesters had dived under there instinctively as the nearest place of cover they could find. Luckily, it appeared that Pedro, despite patrolling the main hall several times hadn’t realised they were there yet.
Apparently Pedro wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
Eventually Dean spoke up. “Sam do we have any weedkiller?”
Sam sighed. “Dean, why the fuck would we have weedkiller? When was the last time we did any gardening? We don’t even have a goddamn garden!”
Dean snorted. “Okay, princess, I only asked.”
A few moments of glum silence later, and Dean spoke up again. “Right, I’ve had enough of this; I’m gonna make a run for it – and grab that samurai sword off the wall.”
“Wait,” Sam reached out and gripped Dean’s shoulder; “that thing’s fast, can you make it?”
Dean shrugged; “Pedro’s a freaking plant, Sam, not a kangaroo – if I can’t outrun him, it’s time to retire.”
Sam sighed, knowing that Dean’s mind was set. “Just be careful right? I’ve no idea what the cure for triffid poison is.”
“Yes Mom,” Dean grunted as he slid, belly-down out from under the table.
It didn’t take long for Pedro to realise that one of his quarry was escaping, and as Dean heaved himself to his feet, Pedro was scuttling on his ever growing rootball across the flagstoned floor toward him, hissing and clicking and sounding about as seriously pissed off as a plant can sound.
Dean lunged towards the main hall’s interior wall, his eyes set on the long gleaming blade of the samurai sword he’d secretly always hankered to use ever since he first saw it.
He was so focussed on that, he didn’t see the long coiling tendril that whipped out and in the space of a second, wrapped itself around his left ankle, sending him faceplanting across the floor.
“OOOFFF…” Dean grunted as all the air was flattened out of his lungs, leaving him sprawled prone across the floor seeing stars, and absolutely not seeing the triffid which was trundling across the floor toward him.
Scrambling out from under the table, Sam watched in horror as the predator circled its helpless prey. Dean lay on the floor, panting miserably, and looking up into the … part of Pedro’s trunk where he might have had eyes, if he did indeed have any … and awaiting his fate.
The horrible slimy stamen uncoiled from within the mass of writhing tendrils at the top of the plant, and Dean closed his eyes. He wondered what death by triffid poison felt like. He hoped it might feel cool and mellow, just like being really, really stoned, but deep down, he knew he could never get that lucky.
But the sting never came.
Dean recoiled as he felt the stamen on his face, cold, sticky ooze coating his cheek and down his neck. He realised that the aggressive hissing, clicking and general pissed-off-ness of the plant had subsided into a soft sound that could only be described as a coo.
The stamen continued its wandering journey, and gentle cooing or not, Dean was not happy about the general direction in which it was travelling.
“SAAAM,” he yelled; “Pedro’s gettin’ fresh with me!”
It was then that Sam realised – the plant didn’t want to hurt Dean, it wanted to be friends with him. Very close friends judging by where the stamen was heading next.
Sam stood, open-mouthed and watched the spectacle unfolding before him. It was like the horticultural equivalent of a dog humping someone’s leg. He wasn’t sure if it was disturbing or hilarious – or perhaps hilariously disturbing.
Now that he’d realised that Dean wasn’t in any apparent danger, Sam had to concede that watching his writhing, cussing brother sprawling on the floor being molested by the ugliest plant in existence was a pretty popcorn-worthy sight. But it gave him a dilemma. As entertaining as it was, he couldn’t allow this to continue. What if Dean had been right about the tree babies? That was wrong in all sorts of ways that Sam didn’t even want to think about. Then, suppose the plant didn’t take rejection well? Perhaps it might turn back into the poison-spitting killer that all the lore books said it was.
But all things considered, Sam realised he didn’t want to kill it any more.
He thought fast.
His mind wandered to a spell he found in a book he’d recently been studying in the library, and an idea blossomed.
“Hey Dean, don’t move … I’ll be back in a sec.”
“Don’t move?” Dean snapped, “Where’y going? I’m being harassed by a freaking tree, and you say don’t move? ARE YOU NUTS???”
But Sam was gone, sprinting to the library.
Managing to clamber up onto his hands and knees, Dean crawled forward, trying to shake off a myriad wandering tendrils, and failing miserably, as the a clump of the tendrils dragged him back int the plant’s embrace and continued their wandering.
“What the .. WAHHEEEY! Dean yelped, gyrating wildly; “get the hell away from my …”
He was interrupted by Sam’s abrupt return.
Wildhaired, and breathless, Sam was carrying an ancient grimoire under his arm, a knife, and a bowl of water as he tore back into the main hall, skidding to a halt beside Dean and his overfamiliar floral friend.
“Hold on Dean,” he panted.
“No,” Dean snapped, squirming wildly; “he’s the one that’s doing all the holding OOOONNN … and you really don’t wanna know where!”
Sam placed the bowl of water on the floor, and quickly stepped up to the spectacle before him. On the basis that the plant was distracted (and judging by the look on Dean’s face, Sam SO didn’t want to know what by), he whipped out the knife he was carrying, and quickly cut off one of the smaller tendrils growing out of the trunk.
Pedro hesitated, letting out a threatening hiss as Sam stepped back.
Sam quickly flicked his lighter and set fire to the tendril. He opened the grimoire and began to read from it; drawing, as he did, a sigil in mid-air with the smoke of the burning tendril. The incantation was in an archaic language, something that Dean had never heard before and, given his current situation, really didn’t care about.
The effect was instantaneous.
To both brothers’ incalculable relief, the giant plant disappeared, and Dean saw a tiny flash of orange pop into his peripheral vision.
There was a faint plop as the tiny orange shape dropped into the bowl of water that Sam had carefully placed underneath it.
Rolling over onto his back, Dean flopped bonelessly back into the sticky puddle of green gunk that surrounded him.
“What the hell…?” he groaned.
Sam shrugged. “Zoroastran transmogrifying spell,” he replied economically; “I found it in the library about a month ago.”
Dean reached up to wipe his face clean, succeeding only in transferring more green sludge onto it. He wrinkled his nose in disgust.
“Once I realised that Pedro didn’t actually want to kill you, he just …
“Yeah … just,” Dean growled; “let’s ‘just’ leave it at that!”
Sam grinned; “well, you know, I didn’t really want to kill him - it’s not his fault that he’s got questionable taste - and so I thought … well you always wanted a goldfish.”
Dean sat up and stared into the bowl at the little shimmering orange creature swimming around the bowl.
“Goldfish?” He looked up at Sam.
“It’s still Pedro, he just – well, he can’t get out of the bowl, for a start.”
Dean stared at the little goldfish, ignoring the green slime that dripped off his nose onto the floor.
“He’ll need an aquarium,” Dean began; “and one of those bubbly filter things … and some plants. Oh, d’y reckon I can get him one of those pirate shipwreck decorations?”
Sam gave a shrug and smiled; “up to you Dean. He’s your goldfish.”
Dean’s face lit up.
“Mine? My goldfish?”
“Well, yeah,” Sam nodded; “why not. Pedro’s gotta be less trouble now than when he was a giant, ugly touchy-feely plant.”
“Yeah, you’re not wrong,” Dean agreed.
Both men paused momentarily, staring at the little bemused goldfish.
“I changed my mind. He can’t be Pedro any more; his name’s George.”