Disclaimer: Sigh. No.
Summary: A country sojourn for Mr Winchester and his brother.
Notes: Written for lj-comm undermistletoe. Based loosely on Pride & Prejudice. Um.
It is a truth acknowledged by members of the Winchester family that taking their eldest son to a formal dance is somewhat akin to throwing a cat into the hen-house. This comparison is especially apt when Dean has spent weeks recuperating from a reasonably minor hunting accident, is still in pain, and is dressed in his most elegant clothes because they are the only ones which will properly hide the bruises.
"I hear the Pastor's family will be in attendance," Samuel says nonchalantly. A sharp look shows Dean that his younger brother is twitching one hand nervously, forming a shape that nobody else would recognise as the hilt of a very particular knife.
"So?" The elder Winchester knows exactly what the comment portends, but it amuses him to pretend otherwise. Also, he's feeling cranky.
"Well, they're very nice, don't you think? The Pastor is rather exceptionally learned, even in our field." Their field being, not Samuel's law studies or Dean's gambling, but a rather unusual one - the extermination of supernatural threats.
Dean frowns, and strokes one hand idly over the knife hidden at the small of his back. "I'm not sure I like that. He knows a little too much. That can be dangerous."
The Pastor's family are indeed in attendance, and Sam quickly sweeps the eldest, Jessica, onto the dance floor. "Aren't you dancing, Mr Winchester?" asks the Pastor's wife, Mrs. Missouri Murphy.
"No." Dean, uneasy at best in the situation, is very aware of the throbbing in his wounded leg and the constriction of his best jacket. He is not so dull, however, as to miss the glares of a few of the people around him, and he knows there are times and places for flattery. "I, ah. It would be... lovely, but... I am still..."
Cassie, the second daughter of the family, smirks at him. "Recovering from your hunting accident?"
They think he fell off his horse while engaging in a little fox-hunting. That is not precisely true. He didn't fall off a horse, and he wasn't hunting a fox. He was hunting a kitsune and it threw him a hundred yards, into a tree, and when he fell out of the tree he landed on a fence, which broke under him and tried to stab him to death.
"Since I am currently unable to dance, perhaps you would grace me with your company for a short time, Miss Cassandra?" The wording could be better, but the request is superficially polite enough that she can hardly refuse without causing offence. The tight smile she gives him in return shows that she knows that.
"Of course, Mr Winchester. Perhaps we could walk in the garden? If you are capable, that is." Her voice is sweet, even though her words are not.
Dean nods, and gestures for her to lead the way.
Sam didn't notice his brother walking out of the room. He was busy paying attention to his dance partner. Miss Murphy had a lovely smile and shining blonde hair. She was also an able dance partner with a wit that was quick but not sharp - that is, she was far less caustic than her next sister, his brother's current companion.
"And you have an interest in the law, I believe?"
"Yes, well. As the second son, I ought to be going to the military, but my father..." Sam shakes his head. The dance takes them away from each other, and as he turns, he misses the searching glance that Jessica gives him. She smiles as they move back together.
"Your father is still in town, is he not?"
"I doubt he will visit us here. The Major has little taste for small towns, though I think they have a certain beauty." Sam rests his eyes boldly on Jessica's face, and is pleased to see her blush.
At the Murphy home the next day, young Josephine listens avidly as Jess and Cassie discuss the dance. Ashleigh sits in the corner with her books, having recently evinced a very great interest in the mathematics of astronomy.
"You must admit, Cassie," says Jess, "that Mr Winchester is a fine figure of a man."
"I think you refer to the younger, do you not, sister dear?" Cassandra could not be more different from her sister in looks, being a dark counterpart to Jessica's gold, and in personality, too, they are opposed. Yet they are sisters, and close friends at that.
"I think both have an aesthetic appeal. But I must say, Samuel is..."
Cassie winks at Jo, and sighs loudly. "Oh, Samuel, he's so tall!"
"And his hair!" Jo clasps her hands over her heart. "It's so... brown!"
"And his eyes!" Cassie fans herself dramatically. "They're so... brown!"
"As a matter of fact, they're more... um." Jess trails off, blushing, as her sisters giggle at her infatuation.
Jess doesn't suffer the mocking for long, though; one of the cushions from the divan makes an effective weapon, and soon the three of them are involved in an only slightly less than decorous pillow fight.
Ash turns another page in her book, and primly shakes her head at her sisters' antics.
Sam finds his brother in the stables, grooming his trusty black steed, which was a coming-of-age gift to Dean from their father. The stallion is a thoroughbred, named Impala (sired by Chevrolet), and even though Dean claims that using a name for a horse is something for little girls, Sam has occasionally caught him calling the horse "Imp."
"The dance wasn't so very bad, was it?" Sam asks, deciding that skirting the issue would be pointless.
Dean grunts in reply. That is actually a positive response, as he would complain quite vehemently otherwise.
"You talked with Cassandra for quite some time."
"I'm surprised you noticed, busy dancing with Jessica as you were." Dean winks slyly, insinuating.
Sam can feel himself blushing, and curses his fair skin. Of course, his brother is the one person in the world who can effortlessly cut through his defenses, and also the one who most delights in discomfiting him.
Of course, the simple country life can hardly last for the Winchester brothers - sometimes Sam thinks they must be beacons for every last nasty thing out there - and some kind of beast starts mauling the villagers.
Jessica bakes cakes with her own fair hands and takes them to the afflicted. Cassandra listens to the stories of red eyes, huge teeth, and an unusual smell. Samuel searches the nearby woods for tracks, and pretends an interest in botany when he runs into the sisters on their way back home.
Dean grumbles incessantly about a hunt finding him when he's not really fit for it, and the bother of trying to keep up their gentlemanly cover while investigating, and there must be something wrong with the grass in this part of the country because Imp doesn't like it at all. His childish petulance persists until he actually encounters the mauling beast, at which point he remarkably loses all stiffness and signs of injury in the excitement of taking it down by himself with only a single shot and a hunting knife.
The Winchesters are visiting the Murphy family when the corpse of the beast is brought to the Pastor for inspection. Mrs Murphy herds her youngest daughters away from the gruesome sight.
Samuel, greatly daring, puts his arm around Jessica and encourages her to hide her eyes against his shoulder.
Cassie breathes shallowly and watches the men unload the corpse. When Dean takes her hand, she holds on.