The Lounge || Genesis (4 of 6)

With the tables and chairs set up in the diner half, the entertainment half took less time to design.

“Let the games come forth!” he declared loudly, his celestial power rippling through the room. Not only pool tables appeared, but also an arcade section and several tables for playing poker, with specially-designed chips and cards.

The arcade was just as carefully designed, though the pool tables would be pushing it. Instead, smaller versions of the pool tables appeared on the poker tables, giving the smaller counterparts a place to start a game or two.

And with this he smiled, and knew it to be good.

The table they picked was closer to the pool tables than the bar, and the younger Dean gently let the kids down so they could check out the table and chairs made for their size.

Dean grinned at that, pressing his fingertips to the table to give Sam a path to the table. “So we have one order of Mac and fluff,” he said, counting off, “one salad for pint-size, two burgers with everything,” he winked at his younger self, “and what about you, Oz?”

Oscar jolted out of his curious examination of the tiny chairs to look up again. The adult Dean wasn’t as intimidating from up on the table, even if he was one of the tallest humans Oscar had ever seen. He recovered faster, clasping his hands behind his back.

Over the month he spent with Sam and Dean, he’d tried a lot of different foods. While he rifled through the memories, he watched the older Sam climb down Dean’s arm. Like it was the most natural thing in the world to climb a giant. 

Not that Oscar was one to talk about normal.

He realized he had paused, and blurted out the first thing on his mind. “I-I like peanut butter,” he said, his cheeks pink. “Peanut butter sandwiches, I mean.”

Dean smiled. A rare, real smile, not a smirk or a grin. “Sounds like a plan. Watch yourself, pint-size.”

With that last caution and a brief finger to mess up Sam’s hair, Dean walked over to the bar, leaving the kids with his younger brother.

The bartender gave Dean the same, smarmy grin from before. “What can I do you for?” was asked before Dean could recall where he might know the man from.

Dean leaned on the bar like he usually did, looking back at the table. “You got Mac and fluff?” he asked, expecting confusion.

He got none. “Only the best for our young patrons!” the bartender announced, pulling out a small bowl from under the bar as though by magic.

Normally Dean might react to something like that, but something in his mind told him everything was fine, they were all alright.

The bowl was pinched between two of the bartender’s fingers, a tiny metal bit sticking out from under the warming lid. Dean let the man put it on his palm, staring at wonder at eating implements made for Sam’s size. “Ah–“ he stumbled over his words, “a salad, two bacon cheeseburgers with everything, and a peanut and butter sandwich.”

Before Dean’s eyes, a meal fit for everyone there was assembled.

Asks and prompts always open for the Lounge!

The Lounge || Genesis (3 of 6)

“Let the seats of rest and the tables of support appear!”

Once more, he held out his arms, going for the grandiose. The lights in the slowly-forming bar flickered, and he glanced overhead to see if it was his Father, come to visit a former son.

“C’mon, Dad! Who doesn’t love a little flair with the story!”

No answer was forthcoming, so he turned back to his work.

“Dean,” Sam whispered, but he’d already spotted the person down on the ground.

After the last few years, Dean had spent enough time with people under four inches in height that he was able to spot the kid that stepped out of the shadows the moment he appeared. Tiny, small and scrawny, this kid made the younger Sam look big. If he was over two inches in height, Dean would be surprised.

“Hey, buddy,” Dean said, kneeling down and folding his hands together to make himself less threatening. “My name’s Dean.”

“Oscar,” Sam supplied, and the younger Dean nodded, suspiciously eyeing Dean.

Dean had a feeling that his younger counterpart might just try and jump him if he made a move for Oscar, and wondered what their story was. The younger Sam had turned from his game as well to watch what was happening, his eyes wide when he saw Sam on Dean’s shoulder.

“Hey, Oz,” Dean said with a grin. “Good to meetcha!”

Oscar flinched, his mouth falling open. He tilted his head back to meet the older Dean’s eyes. Hearing the nickname that the Dean he knew had come up with, it was easier to believe that this was the same person but with a different life. Somehow. He decided not to try too hard to wrap his head around it.

With his head tilted back, Oscar almost lost his balance. He stumbled backwards, and then heat rose to his cheeks.

“Um,” he said quietly, gripping the strap of his bag. He’d put himself out in the open with nowhere to hide. Usually he would feel better if he had something to peek around for something like this.

It seemed like everyone else was looking at him. One, two, three, four sets of eyes, he counted, noticing the man on the taller-Dean’s shoulder at last. That must be another Sam. It had to be, if this was Dean.

“Ummm,” he said again, his brow pinching in confusion. He might have somehow figured out who these men were without any trouble, but knowing what to say was an entirely different beast.

He went with the simplest option, cheeks blushing fire all the while. “Hi … Dean.”

Dean’s grin softened, and Sam waved from his shoulder. “So, you three know each other?” Dean asked, glancing between the two young Winchesters and Oscar on the floor.

Younger Dean nodded sharply, kneeling on the ground to offer Oscar a hand. “It’s a long story.”

“Well, hell, I’ve got nothing but time, apparently,” Dean said, pushing himself to his feet and glancing around the place. “How ‘bout I grab us some drinks and some food, and we can catch up.”

The younger Sam perked up at that. “Does that mean Mac ‘n Cheese with fluff?” he asked excitedly.

Dean shook his head, bemused. Some things never change. “I’ll see what they got, short stuff.”

Oscar appreciated having help off the floor, especially with the older Dean standing tall again. No matter how brave he wanted to be, that was a difficult sight to take in. Oscar barely stood higher than the rubber soles of those huge boots.

Once both Oscar and Sam were in hand, the three youngest occupants of the strange place could pick a table. After exploring the room on his own, Oscar enjoyed the view from his higher perch.

“Dean, you’re gonna get tall,” he pointed out in a low voice.

“Tallest of them all,” the youngest Dean remarked with a smirk, nudging the kids both in the shoulders.

Asks and prompts always open for the Lounge!

The Lounge || Genesis (2 of 6)

And he said “Let there be water!”

This time, not only did a water tap appear, an entire bar slowly took shape before his eyes. On it, top shelf whisky winked in the lights, and the labels for Coke and Pepsi stood side-by-side in a long row of names.

He smirked. Whoever said you can’t bend a few rules during creation?

“Hey,” Dean said, coming up behind the kid.

Green eyes flashed at him, then went back to the screen. On it, Mario and Luigi were jumping around. “Hey,” the kid said, unconcerned.

Dean’s eye was drawn down to the part of the arcade machine the kid was leaning on, widening when he saw movement.

“Hey!” yelled another kid, younger and with floppy brown hair, at his own arcade machine that couldn’t be taller than four inches.

“Dean are you–” Sam started.

“Yeah,” Dean murmured back.

It was them.

From the look of things, the Sam and Dean Winchester standing in front of them couldn’t have been more than ten and fourteen years of age, right about the time Sam was cursed. But– they’d been separated at that age, and these two definitely hadn’t.

“You can play if you want,” the younger Dean said, jabbing an elbow at the machine next to him. “They’ve all got controls made for Sam’s size, if he wants to join in.”

“How do you–“

“Just do,” younger Dean shrugged. “You kinda… pick up things while you’re here. Oscar’s around, if you want to see him.” He stared down at the machine, missing a control and letting Sam get the best of him in their match. Something was hanging over the younger Dean’s head. “He’s been checking things out. He doesn’t really want to… leave.”

Leaving was indeed the last thing on Oscar’s mind as he hesitated under one of the nearby chairs. Confusion left room for little else. He had no idea how he’d come to be there, and he was way too shy to ask the man that stood behind the tall bar. He could climb up there with ease if he wanted, but he avoided that side of the room.

It would all be so much easier if there was a way into the walls of the place. Every time he tried to find a vent, it was like it was in the corner of his eye. Never in front of him.

Instead, he’d taken to wandering under one of the tables. Sam and Dean had tried to show him the games in those tall, heavy cases, excited voices crowing about unlimited quarters!

Oscar had promised he’d give them a try. He needed to look around first, and clear his head.

Last he knew, he’d been left behind. But now he was back with his friends, in a place none of them really recognized. He didn’t want to leave, because it meant not being able to find them again.

Of course someone else would wander in while he was making the trek back to the human he knew. Oscar wrung his hands while he stood in the shadow of a chair, peering across the floor at the heavy, well-worn boots standing near the arcade machine. That was a tall human, one of the taller ones he’d ever seen.

There was no way Oscar could dart across the floor without the newcomer noticing him.

They were supposed to be safe in whatever this place was. The man at the bar had made sure Oscar knew at least that. He didn’t need to fear anyone that came in, and the promise was made with a confident wink.

Oscar, barely over two inches tall, hesitated anyway.

He shifted his bag around on his shoulder. There were snacks stuffed inside from one of the tables in the room, things he’d saved in case he didn’t feel like climbing back up later. Once he was sure he had the bag secured, he took a step out of the shadow of the chair.

And froze.

He found himself glancing up, up, up at the man’s face, eyes wide at the intensity there. He was so familiar, and at the same time not. Oscar glanced between him and the teenager whose back was turned to him.

"Oh,” he muttered. He thought he might understand. It was hard to wrap his head around it, but like young-Dean said. You kinda pick things up while you’re here.

His next steps were halting and unsure, but Oscar forced himself to walk further in the open anyway. He was just going to cross to the arcade machine. Yeah. Easy as pie, as humans liked to say. Then he could figure out what to do about the fact that there were two Deans.

And one was much older than his own.

Asks and prompts always open for the Lounge!

The Lounge || Genesis (1 of 6)

Welcome to the AU lounge! A place of relaxation conceived and helped designed by all the readers and visitors to the world of Brothers Apart! Stay awhile, kick up your boots, and have some pie!

In the beginning, he said “Let there be light!”

And with a flourish and a twirl, there was.

It wasn’t the light of his Father, creator of the heaven and the earth, but instead a soft light, the kind that washes over a person and draws them in to welcome them. A light they could be comfortable in.

He smiled, knowing all was good.

They weren’t the first ones there.

Dean paused at the threshold, caught off-guard by the unexpected change of scenery. Gone was the Impala and missing was the forest they’d driven from, leaving Bowman and the Wellwood far behind them.

The lighting reminded Dean of the diners and bars he and Sam visited quite often on the road. Indeed, against the wall was a bar full of top-shelf whiskey, the bartender running it a short man with a vaguely familiar face slowly wiping a glass dry with a bar rag.

The sturdy stools rose up from the ground, intricate filigree decorating the legs. The same patterns made up the sides of the bar, tapering away at the top. The dark wood had been treated with a fine finish, coolly reflecting the lights back.

Over in the corner of the room, past the slew of pool tables and worn booths, a kid was messing around on an old arcade machine, his blond hair tapering to a spike at the front.

“You got it, Sammy,” the kid enthused.

Dean’s heart skipped a beat.

As he stepped into the diner, the bartender perked up, tossing the clean glass in with the others with a casual motion. It was a miracle it didn’t break or even clatter. “C’mon in, boys!” he called out a welcome. “Drinks and food on the house.”

The plural form directed at Dean brought him up short. “Boys?”

It was then that he realized Sam was nestled in his regular spot, tucked against Dean’s neck and above his collarbone, securely perched. Dean was so accustomed to having Sam there that he hadn’t even noticed. Sam was out in plain view for all to see.

Yet the bartender didn’t look surprised, and Dean started to notice strange details in the bar that he’d missed on first glance.

Small, elevated stands on the surface of the bar, the tapered and filigree edges leading right to them like pathways. Instead of napkins or condiments, these places held miniature versions of the bar and stools, complete with tiny glasses and placemats.

Each table had smaller tables in the center, sometimes with walls guarding them from the outside and sometimes without. Each chair had the filigree pattern, and on closer inspection, Dean found it to be a grid made for small hands and feet to fit into.

Made for people like Sam to climb.

“What is this place?” Sam called out, his grip tight on Dean’s collar as he leaned out to see the bartender.

The man shrugged. “A place to rest for weary travelers, until your number is up.”

He pointed above his head. On a large, flat-screen television, words flashed across the screen. Instead of a sports game, three different names were listed, each with its own color.

Family Ties

Chasing Family

The Road Not Taken

“Don’t worry!” the man chirped. “You’d be back soon enough once your time finishes. This place will be hopping in a bit, so better save yourself a pool table.”

Dean frowned, but as the man turned back to his glasses, decided to do some of his own prowling around. Those kids by the arcade machines especially. There was an ache in his heart when he looked at the young teenager.

Couldn’t be more than fifteen.

Asks and prompts always open for the Lounge!

Luckily, someone already guessed the story premise so I can say it’s a part of Brothers Unexpected 😉 Otherwise I’d have to leave you guessing since we try not to give things away. It’s only a month since Dean lost Sammy, and he’s found himself staying in Knights Inn just like in Brothers Together.