Rating: T for a bit of language
Characters: Sam and Dean
Spoilers/warnings: Not canon
Word Count: 5,000
Disclaimer: I don't own them
It was a pretty basic poltergeist job, but the spirit was a nasty one, and the Winchesters were determined to get this one right first time. Therefore, Sam had holed himself up in the library to seek out the history of the house and the family, while Dean had barely spared the library a second glance before disappearing to go and check out the neighbourhood.
Dean had been on his travels for the best part of the afternoon and Sam was more or less done when he picked up the phone to hear Dean requesting that he get himself over to where Dean was working. 'Something's come up', Dean's falsely bright and cheerful voice announced.
Given that Dean had taken the Impala, it was a good ninety minutes made up of two lengthy walks and a bus ride before Sam finally reached Dean's location.
The western suburbs of Pine Ridge, he'd stated; junction of Avenue and Smith Street; beside a big playing field.
Well now Sam was standing here on the western suburbs of Pine Ridge. He could see two intersecting road signs, one for the Avenue and one for Smith Street; and beside him was a line of iron railings skirting the edge of a big playing field. But pain-in-the-ass big brothers and whatever hell kind of trouble they were in were noticeable in their absence.
Or so Sam thought, until he heard a low, slightly strangulated voice.
"S'mmy, that you?"
Sam scanned the landscape.
There came an audible groan which masked a muttered oath.
"Here," Dean barked irritably, "next to the litter bin."
Sam's head swivelled round to catch sight of the litter bin as mentioned and that's when he saw Dean. Or to be more precise, Dean's denim-clad, inverted ass.
Crouching low on all fours, Dean had his back to the street, and to Sam; and it was only as Sam cautiously ventured closer that he realised that Dean's head was well and truly wedged between two of the iron railings that bordered the playing field.
"Dean, how …?" Sam stood back with his hands firmly planted on his hips and admired the view before him.
"Don't ask," snorted Dean; "jus' help me out of this friggin' fix."
Now Sam was fighting against the urge to bust out laughing. "Seriously Dean," he grinned; "how does a grown man get his head stuck in railings?"
"Goddamnit, bitch," Dean snapped; "I'd finished doing what I needed to do, an' I saw a decent-lookin' diner across the road, so I was gonna call you to ask if you wanted to come out and eat there with me. But I knew it'd take you a while to get here, and there was a game going on in the park here, so I decided to stand and watch that for a bit while I waited." Dean hesitated briefly, gasping as the railings put paid to his attempt to turn and glare at Sam who, in turn, was simply nodding and gesturing at him to continue. "So I came to stand over here out of the way, and got my phone out of my pocket to call you, but it slipped outta my hand and I dropped it and it bounced through the railings, so I leaned in to reach through and get it, but I stumbled forward over a tree root, and overbalanced and now my freakin' head is freakin' stuck in the freakin' GODDAMN RAILINGS!"
Sam palmed his face and sighed.
Kneeling down beside Dean, he surveyed the situation. Dean's head was indeed well and truly stuck.
It had been a tight squeeze, judging by the faint scratches and bruising evident among the light dusting of stubble there, but it looked like Dean had just managed to work his jaw back through the gap. However his ears were another matter; they were already turning a gruesome shade of pink from all the pulling and tugging and abuse that they had endured during Dean's prolonged and ultimately unsuccessful attempts to escape. Despite that, it was clearly evident that neither they nor Dean were going anywhere.
Bending down over Dean's prone form, Sam grasped the railings either side of Dean's head and forced all his strength into trying to pull them apart; even just a few millimetres might help. But they didn't budge; even Sam's formidable strength was no match for the thick lengths of wrought iron that were currently holding his brother captive.
"Damnit," he gasped, letting go of the railings, and trying to rub some life back into his cramping fingers; "has anyone ever told you you've got big ears?"
"Has anyone told you you've got a big mouth?" Dean retorted; "are you gonna get me out of here or are you just gonna stand there bitchin' about me," he added ingraciously.
"Hold on," Sam mused aloud, completely ignoring the abuse from his spectacularly trammelled brother; "If I get behind you, I might be able to push the railings apart."
"Do what you gotta do," Dean grunted; "just get on with it. This is getting embarrassing, and I need a pee."
Sam manoeuvred himself so that he was standing, straddling Dean's hips, and bent jockey-like over Dean's back, so that he could grasp the railings only inches above Dean's head.
"Okay," he announced on a long intake of breath, I've gonna try to lean in as hard as I can and force the railings apart, when I do that, you push back, and try to slip your head back through, okay?"
"Right," Dean replied, bunching his shoulders as if fortifying himself for the task ahead.
Sam pulled in another deep breath. As he leaned down, with his face only inches above the back of Dean's neck, he could clearly see the faint bruising that was blossoming there, medals from Dean's battle to free himself, and suddenly, the whole fiasco didn't seem quite so funny.
"After three," Sam instructed; "one; two … THREE"
He lunged forward, bracing his arms and pushing all his weight into the railings trying to force them apart a fraction, his feet scrabbling clumsily with the strain as he tried to gain some purchase on the loose gravel beneath him.
"Now, Dean, NOW," he gasped. Underneath him, Dean rocked back on his haunches, growling with the effort, which ultimately amounted to nothing.
After about thirty seconds, Sam slumped in defeat. "We nearly had it there," he sighed, rubbing his trembling arms; "let's try again."
Nodding in response as best he could, Dean braced himself as Sam grasped the railings again.
And so it continued; a long-drawn-out interplay of thrust and pull, each brother flexing and bracing above each other, groaning and grunting in unison with the effort of their shared mission.
Or at least, so it was until a purple lacy umbrella smacked Sam squarely across the back of the head accompanied by an indignant squawk of "get a room you perverts."
Sam leapt to his feet and recoiled as if stung as the outraged senior citizen laid into him with the strength and fury of a pissed-off silverback.
"You disgusting perverts," she shrieked; "take it indoors, no-one wants to see you doing …"
"Ma'am," he spluttered as he shielded his head from the onslaught of her rapidly disintegrating purple lacy umbrella; "It's not what you think, ma'am; please - give me a chance to explain …"
Behind him. Dean, still held captive between the evil railings, jerked and flailed spasmodically in his furious attempts to free himself. Rattling the railings in frustration, he called out to Sam as he heard the fracas behind him without being able to see it.
"Ma'am," Sam backed away slowly and tried again in his most soothing voice, holding his hands up before him in a conciliatry gesture. "Really, it's not what you think; it's just that my brother has gotten himself st …"
The woman's tight-lipped, enraged glare turned apopleptic.
"Brother?" she gasped, crimson-faced; "brother? That makes it even worse!"
Sam swallowed deeply; "no ma'am … what I mean is … I mean, give me a chance to explain … it's not what you … I can expl …"
He recoiled again, ducking and folding his arms over his head as the now terminally-bent umbrella assaulted him again, and for good measure aimed a final ineffectual blow at Dean's immobile ass.
"Honestly," she muttered huffily, talking over Sam's garbled attempts to explain himself and gathering together the flapping purple wreckage of her umbrella; "don't know what the world's coming to … disgusting …"
Sam's spirits sunk as he saw her produce a brick of a cellphone from her handbag, and punch a tell-tale three numbers into it before raising it to her ear as she walked away with a final toxic glare, carrying the fractured carcass of her umbrella aloft like a shredded flag of victory.
He turned rapidly. "Shit Dean, we need to get you out now," he groaned; "I think we're gonna have company real soon."
"No ma'am, it's like this ma'am, no really ma'am, I really, really wasn't doinking my brother ma'am…" Dean snorted in the most derisory voice he could manage; "… and you wanted to be a freakin' lawyer?"
"The old bat wouldn't let me get a goddamn word in edgeways," Sam replied sulkily as he bent down over Dean's head and tried once more to force the bars apart manually, knowing full well that it was a desperate act of hope over expectation.
"This is really startin' to piss me off now," Dean growled, petulantly lunging forward and heaving his shoulders against the unyielding railings; "I mean REALLY pissing me off," he snarled.
Sam stood back and absently combed his fingers through his unruly bangs; a gesture which Dean recognised as 'Sammy's great big brain is working overtime and it ain't achieving a whole freakin' lot right now.'
"Okay, those railings aren't going anywhere," Sam eventually announced with a deep sigh; "perhaps if we got some butter or oil," he mused; "we might be able to slide your great fat head out."
Dean shot him a black glare from under his armpit. "Okay, genius; strangely enough, I didn't leave the bunker with a pound of butter in my pocket this morning, and I'm guessing that you didn't either, so let's stop dicking around and shift our asses and GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!"
Sam's lips tightened as he resisted with all his might the urge to remind Dean that he, in fact, was not the moron who somehow managed to get his head wedged between railings, and so if anyone was going to be accused of 'dicking around' then Dean maybe needed to look a little closer to home.
"Right," he announced bluntly; "we're going to need to get help here. I think we need to cut those railings."
"No," Dean barked, a hint of panic sharpening the edge of his voice; "I don't want anyone else getting involved in this goddamn fiasco," His voice tailed off as the panicked glare on his face morphed into a look of pathetically wide-eyed supplication.
Sam shrugged, folding his arms across his chest; "well, something's got to go and it's either going to be the railings or your ears." He waited a moment for his words to sink in; "your call," he added darkly.
"Well, if the frickin' stupid railings need cutting, then get on and frickin' cut them," Dean grumbled in response.
"What with, Dean?" Sam snapped; "I haven't exactly got a pair of bolt cutters up my ass at the moment, and I don't think my keychain swiss army knife is gonna be up to the task."
"I need to find someone who's got the equipment we need," he eventually announced.
Dean's head slumped as he let out a petulant groan. "This sucks," he whined; "this sucks ass like the suckiest, sucking suck ever in the history of shitty suckyness."
"Eloquent, Dean," sighed Sam, wearily kneading his forehead. He was sure he could feel a migraine coming on.
"Shuddup," Dean grumbled, his shoulders following his head into a defeated slump; "just do what you gotta do to get me out. I'm stuck here, my neck hurts, my jaw aches, my knees are numb and my shoulders feel like they've been run over by a train. I'm already totally humiliated; I've been accused of being some kind of exhibitionist pervert and I still need a goddamn pee." He let out a resigned sigh. "Sam," he grumbled into his chest; "please tell me this can't possibly get any worse."
Sam's ears pricked up as he heard a tell-tale police siren in the distance. The increase in volume and pitch suggested that it was almost certainly heading in their direction.
"Yeah, about that Dean," he sighed; "I wish I could …"
Sam let out a deep sigh as he heard the unmistakable crunch of tyres rolling to a halt at the kerbside behind him.
"What now?" snapped Dean, fidgeting testily against the railings.
"Uh, not sure, man," Sam replied airily, lowering himself down to talk at Dean's level; "might be some help, or it might not be."
Dean made a sound that was the lovechild of a growl and a sob; "could you be any less useful?"
Shaking off the abuse without a second thought, Sam took a moment to reflect that even if his new companions did want to arrest them, they'd still have to remove Dean from the railings first.
Now that's what you call making lemonade …
Standing up from the crouch he had settled into, Sam winced as his knees crackled in protest, and slowly turned to see two police officers emerging from the car.
He took a glance behind him to check that Dean was still okay; well, as okay as possible under what were, basically, totally un-okay circumstances. The stream of muttered invective emerging from Dean's scowling lips told him all he needed to know so he turned back and strolled toward the two approaching figures.
"Uh, good afternoon officers," he began as politely as he could manage; "is there a problem?"
The taller of the two men had to look up to glare at Sam. "I don't know," he replied snottily; "you tell me."
Sam gave him what he hoped was an enquiring look and shrugged; "well, yes, there's a problem but …"
The second cop, a short balding man whose waistline clearly identified him as a danger to donuts, spoke up, interrupting Sam's reply.
"We received a complaint of public indencency from a concerned citizen," he snapped abruptly; "the lady reported two young guys, right here, in this spot, doing what young guys should only be doing in the privacy of their own home."
"As I was saying," Sam began, as calmly as he could manage; "there is a problem, but not the one your concerned citizen was concerned about.
Two pairs of law-enforcing eyebrows raised in union.
"Yeah," Sam turned and pointed toward Dean, kneeling on the ground, some way behind him.
The two cops squinted past Sam at the kneeling figure.
"What's he doing?"
Sam shrugged again; "well not a lot, considering he's got his head stuck in the railings."
There was a brief pause.
"Say again?" The barrelesque donut murderer replied eventually.
"My. Brother. Has. Got. His. Head. Stuck. In. The. Park. Railings." he enunciated irritably. "That's what I was doing when that old lady walked past. I was crouching over him, trying to pull the railings apart to help him get free.
He couldn't help but notice the upwards quirk of the cops' lips, as they glanced at each other and then back at Sam.
"Got his head stuck?" They repeated as if Sam had been speaking to them in fluent swahili.
Sam resisted with all his might the urge to say 'because he's a goddamn idiot," and instead explained patiently; "he said he was texting me to come and join him because he'd seen a good diner across the road and he was watching a game going on in the park at the same time. Then he dropped his phone, and as he stepped forward to get it, he said he stumbled over a tree root and …" He tailed off, gesturing in Dean's general direction and knowing that there were no words in the English language that could make this sound in any way excusable.
The cops glanced at each other again, barely bothering to hide their smirks, and set off toward Dean, beckoning Sam to join them.
"I guess we'd better go and see what we can do then."
Dean's heart sank into his guts when not one, not two, but three pairs of boots planted themselves around him.
"Okay, laugh it up," he snorted to the two new spectators; "are you gonna stand there enjoying the show, or are you gonna help my brother get me out of this fix?"
"You say you've tried pulling the railings apart?" The taller man asked, turning to Sam.
"Yeah," Sam replied, "but they're too solid, I can't shift them; plus I'd have to pull them too far apart - look, he's trapped by his ears."
"Yeah, they're pretty big," the officer muttered as all three men stood looking down on the offending ears which were now glowing a fetching shade of nuclear crimson.
Sam swiftly nudged his brother in the ribs with the toe of his boot when the expletives threatened to start flowing again.
We probably need to cut them, the shorter officer mused; "the railings I mean, not his ears," he added swiftly. "I'll call the local Parks Authority, and get permission, then we'll have to get the necessary equipment from the Fire Department."
Sam could have sworn he heard a whimper of despair escape from Dean's lips, as the man's spherical silhouette waddled off into the distance talking into his handset.
"You said you weren't going to make a big scene," Dean hissed furiously, his face rapidly turning as crimson as his ears; "why don't you hire a friggin' reporter, then I can be on CNN too!"
"D'y think they'd pay us for an interview?" Sam asked, withering under the fury radiating from Dean's alarmingly bulging eyes.
"Dean, be fair," he snapped; "this isn't my idea - although I think it might be our only option."
"It sucks ass," Dean croaked through clenched teeth; "I really, really need a pee, and all this stupid circus isn't freakin' helping my bladder control!"
Sam reflected that the thirty year old man with his head stuck in the park railings didn't really get to say what was stupid or not.
As their exchange wrapped up, Sam saw the rotund figure walking back toward them with a sombre look on his face.
"Okay," he began on the back of a deep sigh which had 'bad news' written all over it; "I phoned the Parks Authority. The problem is, these railings are a designated item of historical importance. The park and its railings were inaugurated in 1894 to celebrate the Town's centenary, and so the Parks Authority can't give permission to cut them until they've referred it up to their Executive Manager and he's on vacation at the moment."
Sam spoke up in an effort to prevent his grimacing brother from doing so. "But you're the law – surely you can override that decision. My brother can't stay here stuck for days until some pen pusher gets back from sunning his ass in the Caribbean!"
The cops turned to each other and conferred briefly.
"I guess so," they eventually replied in unison; "but let's see if we can't get him out without damaging the railings first."
"JUST FRICKIN' DO WHATEVER YOU FRICKIN' GOTTA DO!" yelled Dean, furiously rattling the railings.
Sam sighed; this was the oncoming eruption of Mount Dean that he'd been working so hard to prevent, and it was probably only going to get worse.
"I know the diner your brother was talking about," the shorter cop announced, news that was hardly a revelation to Sam; "I'll go over there and get some butter."
"Yeah," snorted Dean; "get donuts too."
Dean glared up at Sam insofar as the position of his trapped head would allow him to.
"No Sam, you are not smearing that shit all over me," he growled.
Sam shrugged; "we've gotta do what we' ve gotta do, Dean; It might help."
"It might not," snapped Dean belligerently.
"Well if it doesn't then we're no worse off than we are now," Sam replied glibly, turning to discuss the options with the tall cop who had remained at the scene, thus indicating that the matter, so far as he was concerned, was closed.
"Why can't they just cut the friggin railings," Dean pleaded; "who cares if the stupid park was inaugurated in stupid twelve million BC? My head's more important than some freakin' bit of gra … WHAT THE HELL?
Dean flinched wildly at the sensation of warm water sprinkling over his hand and arm, and stared in disbelief at a jack russell, which having seemingly appeared out of nowhere, now stood before him, leg lavishly cocked, marking Dean as his own.
"NOW I'M GETTING PISSED ON BY …" his words tailed off as a small boy scampered over toward the errant, weak-bladdered dog.
"Benji, don't you go runnin' away like tha … huh?"
The blond child froze, eyes widening as he stared at the trapped figure in front of him.
Eventually he found his voice. "What-cha doin' Mister?" he asked.
"I'm playing the goddamn violin," Dean grunted sourly, his trapped head swivelling between the bewildered child and his own dripping hand.
The boy stared vacantly back at him, Dean's sarcasm sailing over his close-cropped head at a safe distance.
"How?" He asked; "I can't see no violin. How you gonna play it with your head stuck in the railin's.
"Well, now, that's obviously where I'm going wrong," Dean grumbled humourlessly, shaking the last warm drops off of his hand.
"Did Benji do that?" the boy asked, finally noticing the golden droplets as they flew off Dean's wet fingers.
"Well it sure as hell wasn't me," Dean snapped, wishing with all his heart that this dumb kid would find some other poor sap to share his rapier intellect with.
"You should get your head out of them railin's," the boy suggested, his finger rooting enthusiastically up his nose as he spoke; "it's gonna get dark soon, and you might get eaten by a cougar or a bear or somethin'."
"Yeah, thanks for the advice," Dean groaned; "I don't know why I hadn't thought of th … Oh jeez, Sam, thank God."
Sam's timely return momentarily distracted the child, much to Dean's relief.
"Hey Mister, what'ya doin' with all that butter? My mom says butter ain't good for ya. It's full of them overrated fats."
Sam's brief smile at the kid was a step up from ignoring him as he knelt down beside Dean.
"Uh, you might not be so pleased to see me in a minute – sorry," he apologised briefly and Dean tensed when he realised what was going to happen.
"Sammy, I forbid you to do this. No don't you … uuugh!"
Dean squirmed furiously as he felt Sam's hand circle his neck, and the warm squish of the butter against his flushed skin. Sam's hand's worked its way upwards, spreading another glob of the warm goo around his jaw and up over his face and ears, working thoroughly and carefully despite Dean's testy wriggling, head shaking and attempts to bite his fingers.
"Na-ah … guh … Oh, I am so going to … splu-uhh-uhht …"
Evntually, job done, Sam wiped his butter-smeared fingers on his jeans and stood back to admire his work.
I guess that's about as slippery as we can make him," he muttered to the two cops who had stepped up alongside him, and were making no attempt to hide their amusement.
"Hey Mister, why ya wearing all that butter?" The kid asked, his finger roothing lavishly in his ear now, having clearly finished its business with his nose; "ain't'cha supposed to eat butter? My mom says ya shoul'nt waste good food."
Dean's head drooped in abject defeat, despite the attentions of Benji who was busy licking butter off Dean's chin as if all his birthdays had come at once.
"Make him go away," he pleaded in a tiny voice to whoever may be listening.
"Okay, right, here's how we're gonna do this," the tall cop announced, rubbing his hands together in determination; "you, he gestured to Sam; you go round the other side of the fence and work his head back through the railings."
"You," he gestured to his spherical companion,"grab him round the body and help him pull backwards."
"And I'm gonna get a crowbar out of the trunk and slip it between the railings, see if I can't force them apart a bit."
All three men nodded and went in their separate directions.
Dean gripped the railing as best he could, his butter-slicked hands making the job much more difficult than it should be as the cop stood over him checking the best place to apply the crowbar between the railings. In front of him, and on the other side of the fence Sam, having shoo-ed the world's most annoying kid and his equally annoying dog away, was crouching, ready to manipulate Dean's head, and most importantly his disobliging ears back through the railings.
Behind him, he could hear the fat cop grumbling, whining about personal injury and having Dean arrested for assault.
Dean had no sympathy. No self-respecting guy goes up behind another guy, especially one bent over in a vulnerable position, and wraps their arms around his midriff without expecting a backward kick in the jewels for their trouble.
Eventually everyone was in place, and tall cop called 'ready?' as he slid the crowbar in place.
"Ready," Sam replied with a nod.
"Ready," croaked the fat cop through a haze of tears.
"Ready," groaned Dean, praying that this whole farce would be over soon.
As the strain was taken up with the crowbar, Dean felt the railings bow either side of him, and he took up his own strain, digging his heels into the gravel behind him. He also felt wideboy behind him gripping him hard around the waist; very hard. That guy was gonna find out exactly how much Dean needed a piss if he didn't ease up soon.
Before him Sam was pushing, bending and twisting, trying to manoeuvre Dean's slippery and protesting head through the bars, fingertips clamped protectively over his brother's ears as he worked.
Their first attempt ended in failure. However, once everyone had recovered from their efforts, and after another liberal coating of butter, which Dean was convinced was only done to piss him off, rather than for any practical reasons, they set to work again again, ignoring the small crowd which suddenly seemed to have gathered – primarily to gawk, it seemed, rather than help.
This time, their efforts succeeded.
With the crowbar bending the railings aside, just an extra inch and with his own efforts combined with Sam's patient manoeuvring and the persistent tugging behind him, Dean's head suddenly slipped through the railing with a wet slurp and he tumbled backwards from the violent force of his rapid freedom, further injuring the unfortunate cop behind him in the process.
He had no time for niceties and concern however, as his first act on regaining his footing was to scurry backwards behind a nearby bush and empty his bursting bladder.
As he stepped out moments later, from behind said bush, shaking his left foot which had met with an unfortunate accident in his haste, his huge sense of relief came crashing down around him.
Sam gripped the railings and scowled. "As you slipped backwards, I lost my footing, and fell forward, and …"
Dean's butter-coated head drooped into his hands, as he looked toward the waiting cops, and the growing crowd in the park behind Sam's crouching form.
"Have we got any more of that butter?" he sighed.