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Supernatural fic 6x09

I have a teenage daughter. She was very forceful about making me watch Supernatural with her. I observed one day that the Winchesters never seem to do laundry; who has ever seen them in the same shot with a washing machine? It's almost as if they have a laundry fairy! I wonder how Dean would feel about that...

This missing scene comes right before the closing scene in 6x09.

Title: Spin Cycle
Author: nauticalgal
Character: Dean, Sam, OC
Word Count: 2600
Rating: All Audiences!
Summary: 6x09 Clap Your Hand if you Believe
Warnings: possible minor spoilers through 6x09
Disclaimer: Just playing in somebody else's sandbox

Dean wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the deputy unlocked the door to the holding cell; he was even less sure after he had followed the deputy out of the lockup, and saw both Sam and the District Attorney waiting for him at the counter. Side by side, Sam and the DA made quite an awkward picture. The well-dressed DA was barely taller than Sam’s waist. He looked like a leprechaun in a suit, standing next to the outsized Sam. Under other circumstances, Dean would have found the observation humorous. But not today. The thought of leprechauns only made him shudder.

“What happened to you?” Sam asked. He cocked his head as he examined Dean’s battered face.

You don’t look so good yourself, Dean thought, noting Sam’s split lip and the butterfly tape along his hairline. I’m guessing you ran into the same thing I did. But he eyed the DA, and decided it was better not to say anything here.

He happened,” the deputy volunteered. When Dean, and Sam, and the DA all looked at him, he added “I saw the security camera footage.” He shook his head. “Threw himself all around the cell like he was in the spin cycle of a washing machine. Boy,” he added, to Dean, “you need help.”

Sam looked smug, and the DA looked pitying. Pitying. What had Sam said, to get him out of this scrape?

“I can take care of him,” Sam said gently. “He’ll be fine once he’s back on his medication.”

Dean shot him a venomous look. Sam smiled blandly in return.

“Well, see that you do take care of him,” the DA said, huffily. “This kind of thing can’t be overlooked very many times.”

“Oh, you have my word,” Sam said.

The deputy dumped Dean’s stuff on the counter, and Dean pocketed it absently. “Let’s get out of here,” he growled, stepping carefully around the DA. The Impala was sitting along the curb outside the police station. Dean stalked stiffly down the steps and took the passenger seat without waiting to see if Sam had followed.

Sam folded himself into the driver’s seat and turned the key.

Medication?” he demanded, as Sam pulled into the street.

“Hey, he’s dropping the charges,” Sam said. “That’s a good thing. Hate crime raps are a pain. People really take those seriously.”

“It wasn’t a hate crime,” Dean protested.

“Of course not. It was fairies,” Sam said. “Exactly how far do you think the invisible fairy alien abduction defense was going to get you? I mean, without your medication.”

If I slug him, Dean thought irritably, he’ll wreck Baby. So he didn’t slug Sam. But only for Baby’s sake.

“Come on, let’s just blow this town,” he said.

“We need to stop by the motel and grab our stuff,” Sam said.

Dean tacitly acknowledged the necessity of getting their stuff. But not the necessity of doing it bone-dry and stone sober, especially if Sam was going to drive. He reached over the seat and flipped up the lid of the battered green cooler.

It was empty.

“We need beer,” he growled. Why was there no beer?

Sam glanced sideways at him. “Okay. I’ll drop you at the motel, you pack us up, I’ll go get beer and come back for you.” Another glance. “With beer,” he added, for emphasis.

“Cold beer,” Dean specified, as Sam pulled into the motel parking lot.

“Cold beer,” Sam agreed.

The key was stubborn in the lock; Dean figured he could have picked it with a hairpin long before it finally, grudgingly twisted the deadbolt free and let him into the grimy room with the offensively kitschy corncob accents. He gave it an extra shove to make sure it closed, turned to face the room… and froze.

There was an intruder in the room.

At first, Dean thought it was a child, but no; this intruder was just not very big – not much bigger than the DA – and he was middle-aged at least. He was standing on the far side of Dean’s bed, with Dean’s duffle open in front of him. Sam’s bag was lying open and rifled on Sam’s bed. A well-stuffed canvas drawstring bag lay on the bed next to Dean’s duffle; the intruder had one hand on it, and the other stuffed inside it.

Despite being caught red-handed, the intruder seemed unperturbed. He merely straightened, tugged the drawstring, and backed up against the wall by the bed with a calm expression, clutching the bag.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Dean demanded, reaching into his jacket for a gun he wasn’t carrying; he came up with a knife instead.
The little man glanced from side to side, and then looked at Dean with open surprise. “Are you… talking to me?”

“Of course I’m talking to you! D’you see anybody else in this room?” Dean advanced on the intruder, knife menacing, and the man flinched. “I said, what do you think you’re doing?”

The little man clutched his canvas bag to his chest like a shield, and looked tremulously up at Dean. “The… the laundry?” he said, with a small squeak. “Please don’t kill me?”

Dean stopped. “Did you say… the laundry?”

“This is impossible,” the little man protested. “You shouldn’t be able to see me!”

“Why? Why shouldn’t I be able to see you?” Dean considered giving the man a good shake, but he seemed willing enough to talk, even if he wasn’t making any sense.

“Because I’m a fairy!” the little man protested, sliding sideways along the wall, away from Dean. “You shouldn’t be able to see me unless I want you to!”

“Oh no, not more of you guys!” Dean said, tracking the little man’s moves, still menacing with the knife. “I’ve had about enough of fairies for now! Why didn’t you go back with the rest of them when--”

The fairy interrupted him. “More? What? You mean? Did they --?” he closed his eyes and gave his head a shake. “They took you, didn’t they? Bright lights, shiny creatures, wonky time? You’ve been across the border, haven’t you? That’s why you can see me now. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, that wasn’t part of our deal.” The little man – fairy, if that’s what he actually was, although he hardly looked it, in pleated khakis and a sweater vest – sank against the wall, still clutching his bag.

Dean sat down heavily on the bed, and hoped that Sam would be back soon. With beer. He really needed something to clear his head. Or maybe the opposite. He wasn’t sure he cared. “Deal?”

“With John,” the fairy explained, without actually clearing anything up. “It wasn’t part of my deal with John.”

John? Dad? “You made a deal with… my dad?”

“Years ago,” the fairy said, “Well, in your years.”

“Keep talking,” Dean prompted.

The fairy did – as if a pipe had burst, the words spilled out of him like water. “It was years ago, in Banner Elk. There was a monster, some horrid evil creature… it captured me, held me like Tinkerbell in Captain Hook’s cabin, made me do its dirty work – well, some of its dirty work –“ fat tears rolled down the fairy’s cheeks, and it sniveled a little. “John Winchester came hunting the monster. Killed it, too, just as dead as desserts.” The fairy gave Dean a teary glance. “He saved me. John did. Set me free. Only I’d been a prisoner so long, well, I didn’t really have a home to go back to by then, and besides I’d done so many horrible things, and I owed John my life, and I begged him, just begged him, let me do something for you. Let me do something good for a change. And he said, how about the laundry?”

“Laundry,” Dean repeated dully, and felt very stupid.

“Laundry,” the fairy repeated brightly, swiping at its nose with its sleeve. “I actually thought at the time he might have been joking, but I took him at his word and he kept his word and he let me be his – your – laundry fairy.”

“Laundry fairy,” Dean repeated, because he was all out of original words. The knife hung forgotten in his hand.

“Yes!” the laundry fairy brightened. “It was like…like a metaphor! For all of the messes I’d helped make! I was going to start cleaning things up instead! I was going to wash everything and make it all good again! For John! And for his boys! For Dean, and for Sammy! And I did it, and I was good at it! I can get anything out! Mud! Blood! Brains! But not your brains! I hope! I always hope that! Whatever that gooey stuff is that ghosts leave behind, I can get that out!”

“Ectoplasm,” Dean supplied, without enthusiasm.

“Right! That! And John was going out and killing more monsters and making the world better and I was helping! I was around, I was helping watch over you poor, motherless boys! I was part of something good! And I always came, after, when he was done killing the monsters – or when you were, later – and I gathered up the dirty clothes and I took them and washed them and I repaired them sometimes too and put buttons back on or sewed holes and then I put them right back in your bags and when you come in and you need a shower and you take them off and I just swish them away – " here, the fairy made big sweeping motions with its arms, tumbling the canvas bag – the laundry bag, Dean realized, full of his dirty clothes – “and bring them back to you, clean!”

Dean stared at the fairy.

“I thought you knew,” it said, looking crestfallen.

“How would I know?”

“Well. Who did you think was doing your laundry, all those years?” the fairy asked.

Dean hesitated. Who had he thought was doing his laundry, all those years? All he really knew was that when his shirt got dirty, he changed it. There’d be a fresh shirt in the bag somewhere. Or jeans. Underwear. Socks. “Honestly, I don’t think I ever thought about it.”

“Dry cleaning?” the fairy asked hopefully. “Surely you noticed that your suits were being regularly cleaned and pressed?”

“Nope. Sorry.”

“All that time, I thought I was helping, and it turns out it’s more like I didn’t even exist,” the fairy pouted.

“Well,” Dean said defensively, “you were kind of, you know, invisible.”

“That doesn’t mean I wasn’t real,” the fairy protested, tearing up again. “You of all people should know that!”

Dean felt a little helpless. He really should have known. But stopping to think about laundry – where it came from, where it went, how it magicked itself from filthy to clean inside a beat-up duffle full of other grimy stuff – just wasn’t something he’d ever spared the time for.

“Look,” Dean stood up, and tucked the knife back into his jacket. “Uh, thanks. Thanks for being our… laundry fairy. But I kinda think any debt you owed our dad is probably paid by now.” Also, he added silently, it was kind of creepy to think that an invisible fairy had been washing his dirty shorts for years.

“You’re sending me away? Now? Why?” the fairy said, bursting into tears.

“Aw, come on, don’t do that –“

“It hasn’t exactly been a picnic, you know, following you around!” the fairy was hysterical now. “If I could just do your laundry, that would be one thing, but you never stay in one place, and sometimes I’d lose track of you for a while, and there was that whole year that I couldn’t find either one of you, even though I looked! And there was the salt!”

“Salt?”

“The salt! Do you know how much salt you throw around? Do you know how many grains of salt I’ve had to stop and count? I thought I’d lose my mind with it, sometimes! But I put up with it! Because I was finally part of something good! And because I really came to love you boys!” The fairy broke down, blubbering.

Dean grabbed the box of cheap motel tissues off the counter by the sink, and held them out to the fairy, who took a handful and noisily blew his nose.
“Come on,” he ordered wearily, “get up.” The fairy grasped Dean’s outstretched hand and let himself be pulled to his feet. The stuffed laundry bag rolled away to rest against the half-wall.

“So, you can’t go back… across the border?” Dean guessed.

“Of course I can,” the fairy sniffed. Bereft of its laundry bag, it snatched the tissue box from Dean and clutched it protectively. “I do it all the time. That year I couldn’t find either of you, I mostly went home. Reconnected with some family I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

“Guess it was the year for that,” Dean observed.

“But then I found you again. And I had, you know, my job to do.”

“Yeah. About that –“

“But it’s not the same. It’s just not the same. Your heart’s not really in it, and Sam… I just don’t know about Sam. He’s just not… he’s different now. If he had seen me instead of you… I think he probably would have killed me.”

“Yeah, I know. Listen –“

“No, you listen!” The fairy was growing red-faced, and angry. Dean backed up a step, surprised. “I don’t think this is working for me anymore! It hasn’t been for a while! Not since you went away for that year! I got out more, that year, I met some new people, I had a life, you know, of my own. And it’s not the same since I came back! I don’t like this anymore! I don’t want to do this anymore!”

“Hey, I never asked –“

“No, you didn’t, did you? You never asked, you never even noticed, you never appreciated me the way your father did! You and your brother, you’re just, you’re spoiled, that’s what!”

Spoiled?” the idea was ludicrous. Dean couldn’t believe he was now being scolded by a fairy who had been scared to death of him just moments before. “Now you listen to me! Spoiled? Because you did our laundry? If you wanted to be really helpful, why didn’t you cook now and then? Maybe help us with our homework? Buy some Christmas presents for Sammy, maybe a tree? Maybe rent a house somewhere and let us stay in one place for more than a month at a time?”

“I was just a friend of your dad’s,” the fairy sulked. “Not your dad.”

The fairy was right. It wasn’t to blame for John Winchester’s shortcomings. It had just been trying to help. Dean subsided in frustration.

“I think maybe it’s best if I just go,” the fairy said, huffily. “This isn’t working for me anymore.”

“Right,” Dean said. “Go.” And keep your creepy fairy mitts off my underwear.

“You know, it really was good for a while,” the fairy said wistfully, dabbing at its nose with a tissue.

“Please just go,” Dean said.

The fairy vanished. Dean rubbed his temples, sighed heavily, and reached down to pick up the laundry bag.

The lock rattled, and the door opened. Sam. And he tossed Dean a cold beer as he came through the door.

Dean caught the beer, dropped the bag on the bed, and popped the top on the bottle.

“What’s in the bag?” Sam asked.

Dean took a long pull on the beer before he answered. “That,” he said, “Is a lot of dirty laundry.”

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