Work Header

Mary Winchester, Working On It

Work Text:

Two and half days into Mary's return from her extended stay in Apocalypse World, and she still wasn't sure what to make of Cas. He was around. He often seemed miserable or, failing that, exhausted. Sometimes he would sit at the end of the kitchen table and watch Dean for what Mary had to assume were hours on end. He'd eat Dean's cooking, and let Dean dress him up, and complain about Dean waking him up too early in the morning. And then, sometimes, the angel that lived in their underground Bunker-home and liked to watch her oldest son sleep would forget to change the coffee filter and Mary would lose her mind a little. Two and a half days into her stay and Mary was going to lose her mind a lot if she didn't start getting some answers.

So, two and a half days into Mary’s return extended stay at the Bunker, Mary cornered Sam. She had always been a woman of action. “Sam,” she said. “I have a question.”

“Mom?” Sam asked. 

Mary looked around, which made Sam’s heart ratchet up. “Mom,” he said seriously and earnestly. “Whatever you’ve done or need to ask, it’s okay. We’ll get through it.” 

He reached out for her hands to steady her and Mary let him. “It’s nothing bad,” she told Sam, who didn’t relax. “It’s just a question. I’ve missed so much and --”

Sam relaxed then. It was fine. Mary should relax too. She tried. Her shoulders still hurt. And when she looked at Sam, she still couldn’t see the face of her baby in the man in front of her. 

“Mom?” He prompted. 

“I wanted to ask you about Dean,” Mary said. Dean, she figured, was safer ground to start on than Cas. “Has he -- is he --” Mary stopped. The words wouldn’t come out of her mouth right. 

“He’s okay,” Sam reassured her. “And he’s -- well. He’s what passes for happy with Dean, you know? We got Cas hanging around. That always perks him right up. Don’t worry about Dean.” 

“No,” Mary said. “Him and Cas. It’s about that. They are … friends?” 

Sam chuckled awkwardly. “If that’s what Dean’s calling it these days. Sure.” 

Mary didn’t know what that meant. There were a lot of things she didn’t understand about the future. About the new way of speaking in the future. The future wasn’t just new faces and new technology but it was a new language that was coded and decoded and coded again with things she didn’t know about and things she was dead through. 

“I don’t want Dean to get sick,” Mary said cautiously. Mary’d heard about how people with certain kinds of lifestyles and friends got … sick. 

Sam waved a hand. “Dean would just get Cas to heal him. Well. He’d try to hide it but he wouldn’t do a very good job because he’s almost forty now,” Sam looked unreasonably pleased about that, “and then Cas would bitch at him for a bit, but yeah. Then he’d heal him.” 

That made sense, Mary thought. It didn’t answer her question in any way. All it really did was make it absolutely clear that Sam wasn’t getting what she was trying to ask at all. Still. Angel of the Lord. Healing Dean’s personal boo-boos. That had to be a win. Take that, Brittany , she thought, inside her head, Maybe your kid is going to be the next US President, but my kid’s got an honest to God Angel on his shoulder. 

“Dean was always a sensitive kid,” she told Sam, trying one more time. 

“Dean? Sensitive?” Sam shook his head. “I’d have loved to see it.” 

“He was,” Mary said. “I worry about him. He cried a lot as a baby. Not as much as you. But he wouldn’t sleep without me or John in the room for the first eight months. Is that -- when I died -- did I --” Mary pulled herself short, frustrated. “Is Dean -- you know? Was he still like that?” 

“Mom,” Sam said seriously. “I’m sorry we’ve changed so much. I know it’s a lot to get used to but -- seriously. We’re just glad to have you here.” 

“I’m glad too, honey,” Mary told Sam and she was mostly sure it was true. “But I know that sometimes people --” She stopped. “Your brother and Cas. They’re --?” 

“Family,” Sam said blithely. He smiled at Mary.

“But --” 

“Best friends really.” Mary gave up. Sam kept talking. “According to Cas, they share a more profound bond.” Sam made a face. Cautiously, Mary made one back, which made Sam laugh and something warm spread throughout Mary’s body. 

She felt a strange impulse to pull Sam into a hug. Her family growing up didn’t have much affection and she didn’t think her boys had much either. Still. It was too -- soon. She settled for a half nod and a pat on the shoulder. 

“You and dad were really well matched, huh?” 

Mary didn’t know what Sam meant. “I loved him,” she told Sam. 

Sam huffed under his breath and there were a hint of tears in his eyes. Trying to understand what he meant was frustratingly like trying to construct a puzzle without knowing what it was supposed to look like. She loved John, yes, but she didn’t think she could ever live up to whoever John had loved, whoever John had raised the boys on. 

  “Listen,” Sam said, a little worried. “I know this is hard, okay? All this adjusting. We’re really glad you’re trying.” 

Mary’s heart clenched. “I love you,” she told her son and she wished the words didn’t taste like a trap. 

“I love you too.” Sam hugged her. He was so like John, she thought. When she first met him. John was always so open with his emotions -- clear and soft when he was happy, and furious when he wasn’t. It wouldn’t be a compliment for Sam to hear that, though. Mary could already tell. Dean’s face when she said certain things, Sam’s wince when she mentioned their childhood. What had John done? Mary squeezed Sam tightly once and then let go.

Sam left. Mary turned to the kitchen table. 

That did not go according to plan. Which just meant she needed a new plan. 



Simplest was best, Mary told herself Monday morning. She should talk to Dean. Butter him up first. Get him ready. Then just ask. 

That’s how she ended up trying to do the dishes Monday night. Dean looked like she was ripping off his finger nails one by one. Castiel has smiled at her understandingly, though, and told her that Dean was just fussy about his dishes. That made Sam laugh. Mary had to fight from raising her eyebrows. Dean was fussy? 

“I can listen,” she told Dean and stepped back. “Why don’t you show me how you do it?” 

Dean grunted and then nodded. “Get out of here,” he told Sam, who was looking like Christmas came early. 

“Okay,” Sam agreed, “but I’m sure I’ll still be able to hear your screams when you eventually drive mom over the edge.” 

“Thank you, Mary,” Jack told her. “It is unpleasant helping Dean with the dishes.” 

“Jack,” Cas said, not quite reprimanding. 

“You’re not,” Mary said to Dean, “ that bad. Right?” Mary checked in with Sam. “Is he?” 

Sam nodded. Jack looked at Dean, who scowled at him, and shook his head. Cas gave a tiny shrug. Mary took a deep breath. 

“Assholes,” Dean groused. “If you could just do it right the first time, you’d be fine.” That did not sound promising to Mary. Still. She was trying this mother thing. And she was pretty sure this mother thing meant listening to her son painstakingly explain his dishwashing philosophy. 

Or at least that’s what she told herself to get through the fifteen minute lecture and accompanying visual demonstration. She waited for Dean to finish lecturing and start washing to launch her first attack. 

“Dean.” Mary thought about things like buttering up and soft lead ins and then, instead of doing either of those things, plunged right in. “You know I dated other -- people -- before John, right?”

"Peo --" Dean dropped the mug he was carrying. “Fuck,” he said, dropping to the ground to pick up the pieces of his mug. 

“It’s not broken,” Mary told him. 

“Thankfully,” Dean muttered, sounding strangled. “So you --” 

Mary had started strong because she didn’t think Dean would’ve been good with subtlety. She was concerned he might misunderstand her. She was concerned that he might intentionally misunderstand her. Still, her previous romantic history might've been a bit too bold, even for the Winchester family. She tried to walk it back. “I wanted to bring up my relationship with other people to you. In case you had anything to say. To Me. About your …” 

“People?” Dean parroted instead of answering, eyes wide. 

Mary gave a chuckle. “I’m not the straight laced woman you think I am,” she said. 

Dean blinked. “Apparently not.” 

Okay. This was working. Part two. “Sometimes, you remind me of my ex boyfriend.” She wasn’t sure where to go from there. Should she mention that he moved to San Francisco with his roommate after they broke up? Or was it too soon? 

Dean’s eyes flew open. “What?” he asked, rapidly paling. “What are you saying?” 

“Not like that,” Mary corrected hastily. “He was before your father. Long before. My first boyfriend, actually.” 

Dean relaxed slightly. “Good,” he said. “Or. Not good?” 

“It’s good,” Mary said. 


“Okay,” Mary affirmed. 

The ensuing silence was not comfortable. Mary was grateful when the dishes were done. 

“I, uh, should get to my room,” Dean told her when they were done. “But.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Thanks for sharing and all that jazz. I’m here for you. If you ever want to talk more about, well, people.” 

Equally uncomfortable, Mary gave Dean a stiff nod. “And you,” she said. “For listening.” 

So Monday night had not been a resounding success. It had actually left her more confused than before. 


She took Jack on a walk on Tuesday and asked him what it was like living with Sam and Dean and Cas. Jack talked about the way Cas was really really nice to him even when Sam and Dean weren’t and that Sam could be really strict and Dean could be really scary but he liked it when they had movie nights. It was simultaneously adorable and unhelpful. She patted Jack’s shoulder. He didn’t seem to like it. She hadn’t liked it either. She made a mental note not to do it again. She counted Tuesday as a check in the possible-not-homosexual column and avoided Jack the next morning.

Wednesday, Mary slept in. 

Unfortunately, sleeping in meant that by the time she got to the Bunker’s kitchen for breakfast, her plan to ask Dean about going for a drive with him clutched tightly in her mind’s eye, everyone was already starting to gear up. 

“Where’s everyone going?” She asked. 

“Jesse and Cesar,” Dean said while lacing up his boots. “Got a death that’s honking like a case down around Odessa. Called me for a consult. Me and Cas were going to swing down real quick.”  

“I thought they were retired?” Sam asked. Then he frowned. “Dean, that’s an eleven hour drive.” 

“Yeah, they’re retired,” Dean said, “and that’s why they’re passing this one along to us.”

“Huh,” Sam looked surprised. “Good for them. Jesse must’ve really meant it.” 

“Or Cesar did,” Dean pointed out, eyes fixed somewhere ahead of him. 

Mary frowned. “These guys are your friends? Are they also brothers? Is that common -- two brothers, hunting together?” 

Dean laughed. “You know,” he said, pointing at her, “that’s exactly what I thought at first.” 

“Dean,” Sam said, warningly. He turned to Mary. “They’re together.” 

Together? Mary’s face must have shown her confusion, because Dean -- of all people -- jumped in to clarify. 

“Married,” Dean said. “Or as good as.”

“Oh,” Mary said and tried very carefully not to react. This could actually be a good thing. 

“Maybe Dean and Cas should go,” Sam said, carefully. “They’ve been planning it for a while.” 

Cas glared at Dean. “We’ve been planning it since he woke me up this morning.” 

“Exactly,” Dean said. “A while.” 

“That just means you woke me up too early, not that it’s a good plan.” 

“Right.” Sam brushed past that. “So, you know, don’t feel pressured to come or anything, mom.” 

Mary panicked. This potential case was looking more and more like her best opportunity to figure out if Dean was a homosexual. “No, I want to go. I need to get out.”

“Mom,” Sam started. “You just went --”

“Sammy,” Dean said, “let the woman go.”

“If she’s going, I’m going.” 

“Someone’s got to stay here with Jack,” Dean told his brother. 

“Actually,” Cas said. “I don’t mind staying. If you wanted to spend some time with your mother.” 

“Cas --” Dean started. 

“Ha,” Sam said.  

“Dean,” Cas said. “It’s probably nothing. You said so yourself.” 

“Right.” Dean still looked a little crestfallen. Mary hadn’t intended to interrupt any sort of date. Was it a date? She hoped it wasn’t a date. 

“I would rather go to Texas with you when there are no monsters,” Cas told Dean firmly. 

“I just thought it might be nice to get out,” Dean responded in a shockingly sulky voice. 

“Dean, we get out constantly,” Sam said. “We’ve spent most of our lives out. Hell, why don’t you and Cas hang around the Bunker while Mom and I take this one --” 

“No,” Mary said before she could think about it. “A family hunting trip would be nice.” Sam rolled his eyes, but Mary thought that maybe he was happy. Even Dean looked a little red around his ears. 

“Yeah?” Dean asked. 

“It might be nice,” Mary said. 

“Alright,” Dean said. “Wheels up in thirty, so the two of you layabouts,” he pointed his spatula at Mary and Sam, “better get ready to go. Oh,” he turned to his mom. “And, mom, just don’t say anything homophobic, and we’ll be good.”

Homophobic? Mary wondered but didn't ask. 

“Dean.” Sam sounded pained. 

“Sam here took a gender studies class at college one time and he’s a little sensitive about this stuff. You don’t worry about him.” He ignored Sam muttering in the background that it was actually two queer theory classes and one gender studies seminar. “Cesar and Jesse are good people. They won’t be there for much of the case, though, so just keep your piehole shut if you can’t accept that, okay?” Dean gave her a grotesque approximation of a grin while Sam crossed his arms. Mary smiled tentatively back at Dean. 

“You’re such a moron, Dean,” Sam said and Dean grinned widely at him. It made Mary smile more solidly.



She tried to bring it up again on the road. “So.” She started. “Married?” 

“As close as,” Dean repeated. 

“What does that mean?” 

Dean’s hands tightened on the wheel. “Means they’ve been living together for twenty or so years and they’re going to keep on doing until one of them is dead.” 

“Oh,” Mary said. “I suppose it’s not like they could get married anyway.”

Dean barked out a laugh. “They could,” he said. “Just don’t want to.”

“Right,” Mary agreed. “I guess they could marry other women. If they wanted to. But it sounds like they don’t want to,” she continued, banally, kind of wishing she could stop. She kept her eyes on the road and not on Dean, who she was hyper-aware of in the periphery. She could hear his snort better than she could see it. 

“No, uh,” he said. “They can get married to each other. That’s legal now.” 

“Oh,” she said. “That’s new.”

“Yes, Dean,” Sam piped up from the back. “You were right. This was a great idea. I think it’s going to be really fun to be in the car with you for ten hours while you try explaining the modern gay rights movement to mom.” 

“Shut up,” Dean said, beet red. 

Mary turned to face Sam. “The modern gay rights movement?” she asked. “Does this mean people like -- that don’t get -- they aren’t dying anymore?” 

Sam’s forehead and eyebrows twisted into his ‘understanding and empathizing’ expression. “AIDS was a very serious disorder,” he said. “But it’s treatable. People with AIDS can live long, fulfilling lives --” 

“Jesus, a guy does one genital herpes commercial and all of the sudden --”

“Dean, you said you wouldn’t bring that up!” 

“I can’t help it Sammy, you’re being Mr Sexual Health over there --” 

“At least I’m not jacking off to Dr Sexy, who, by the way, isn’t even that sexy --”

“You take that back!” 

“Road! Eyes on the road!” 

“You take that back!” 

“Fine, I take it back -- now turn around --” 

Mercifully, Dean turned back around just in time to hit their exit ramp. The conversation, Mary figured, was tabled for the time being. 

Mary checked the clock. Nine hours and fifty-six minutes to go. Perfect. 

They pulled over into a motel an hour and a half outside of Odessa. Dean hadn’t wanted to stop but apparently Sam had put an embargo on Dean driving more than ten consecutive hours in non-emergency situations and Dean had an embargo on Sam driving Baby for any hours under non-emergency situations and so a compromise was reached: motel. 

Dean went to get the motel room. 

Mary and Sam hung back. Mary cleared her throat a few times but didn’t know what to say. Sam seemed similarly at a loss until thirty seconds later when Dean came back. “Only one room,” he said, tossing the keys to Sam. “Guess you’re taking the couch, princess.” 

“I’m not taking the couch,” Sam said and before the boys could wind up into another back and forth, Mary said: 

“I’ll take the couch.” 

“Mom --” Both her boys turned to face her. 

“I’m actually younger than you both,” she said. “You’re both almost forty.”

“Dean’s thirty-nine,” Sam said. “I’m a strapping thirty-five.”

“And I’m twenty-nine,” Mary said. “Which means I win.” 

Dean blanched. Mary smirked and dropped her bag onto the couch. “Alright,” she said, rubbing her hands together. “What’s next?” 

Sam and Dean exchange awkward looks back and forth. 

“Uh,” Sam said, “this is usually the part where we go out and visit the crime scene. We might want to wait until the morning, though. Just in case.” 

The couch, as it turned out, was not remotely comfortable. 



The hunt was, in Dean’s words, “a bust”. A quick visit to the morgue and one discovery of massive bear droppings near the scene of the crime later, and Mary was ready to pack it up. Astonishingly gruesome but definitely a genuine animal attack.

“Lunch?” Dean asked, looking around. “Jesse and Ceasar said they could swing by.” 

“I don’t know,” Sam said. “We should really get on the road. I don’t know if we can stretch these cards for another motel room.” 

Mary didn’t know how to feel about hearing her son say something like that so casually. “Yeah, good idea,” she started, then her stomach growled loudly. “I guess I could go for some food first, though,” Mary admitted and even Sam laughed. 

The three of them headed down to a “local favorite”. 

“That means burger place that doesn’t serve salads,” Sam told her. 

“Whatever,” Dean told him. “Ignore Sam. It’s delicious.” 



Lunch did not go well. Mary felt like it was going well at the time, but then she’d started talking to Jesse and Ceasar about their daughter and Dean started getting more and more puffed up and red, even after Mary stopped talking. Sam sent her a worried glance, Caesar covered the silence and lunch moved on. Mary wasn’t sure what it meant, though. She wasn’t even sure what she said wrong. 

“Do you want me to drive back?” she offered in the parking lot. 

“No,” Dean said shortly. 

“Are you upset?” Mary asked. 

“No,” Dean repeated. Sam scoffed, but didn’t say anything. He just sat in the backseat, frowning at the window while Dean refused to look at anyone, hands tight around the steering wheel. Mary wished, more than anything, that she could turn on the music. She did not touch the tapedeck. 

“Dean,” Sam said, when they stopped for a bathroom break, “can I talk to you?” 

“No,” Dean said and slammed the car door. Sam tried to follow, grabbing a reluctant Dean and forcing him to stop. 

Sam looked guiltily around, probably hoping that Mary couldn’t overhear him. She could. “Dean, she’s still learning --” 

Dean whirled around. “I don’t care,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me.” 

“You obviously do, Dean, and that’s fine --” 

“I don’t. The only thing that I care about is offending Jesse and Cesar.” 

Sam scoffed loudly. “So, she used some -- out of date language. They barely even noticed! I think they even laughed when she asked if their daughter was also a friend of Dorothy.” 

“You don’t go into someone’s living room and take a steaming shit, Sam, no matter if they notice or not.” 

“Okay, first of all, that’s disgusting Dean. Second of all, you’re the only one here who is full of shit right now --” 

“I’m going to the bathroom,” Dean said. 

“Of course,” Sam said.

“I’m fine. It's fine. Don’t make this into a thing,” Dean said and left. 

Sam sighed heavily and walked back to the car. “I don’t suppose you want to talk about anything? Lunch, maybe?” He asked Mary hopefully. 

Mary would rather saw off a limb using her own teeth than talk about it. She shook her head. 

“Great,” Sam said heavily. “Just great.” 

They sat in the car to wait for Dean to answer the call of the wild. Mary checked the time again when he got back into the car. Just under eight hours left. Fantastic. 

Four hours in, Dean smacked at the tape decks by the passenger’s seat. “You wanna pick one to put in?” he asked. Mary pulled herself out of her slouch. 

“Yeah,” she said, tentatively. Even Sam seemed to be watching, speculatively. Mary grabbed the first tape on the top of the pile and put it in the cassette player. “It’s nice you still have this,” Mary said and it was. Something familiar in the midst of everything different. 

Dean nodded in agreement and took them off the highway, down to an empty stretch of road, letting Baby fly the way she was meant to while Mary sat, feeling the music wash against her as they crunched gas down to Kansas. Felt like she was moving and sitting still at the same time. 

Mary closed her eyes. How could she protect her children from herself? How could Mary leave without running away? How could she talk to her own children when she barely even recognized herself? 

Dean, when he was her Dean, had been a strangely quiet little boy. He liked to help her with the cooking. He would stand, silent but not still, and watch Sammy at night. John would ruffle his hair or squeeze his shoulder. 

"You're going to be a good older brother, right? A good big bro?" he'd always say. And Dean would always agree so solemnly it concerned Mary. The way he seemed to absorb everything around him. Especially when she was upset. He always seemed to know and to understand. It had been equal parts sweet and concerning. 

He was serious now too. She didn't know what she had expected -- the years, after all, weren't known for lightening people. But maybe she had thought he'd grow out of the seriousness and into a peacefulness that she hadn’t thought she’d ever know. She wanted her children to have a better life than herself. Well , she thought wryly. Who didn't

She thought they'd be safe with John. John was in the Marines, but not in any real way. Not on the front lines. Not really. And his enemy, as much as John might’ve denied it at the time, had been human. So Mary knew he was soft. 

John wanted better -- expected better. Expected the world to bend to him if he wanted hard enough or worked hard enough. Mary wanted -- but Mary didn’t expect. And Mary came pre-bent by the world. Mary wasn’t running towards her marriage; she was running away from her home. She was running away from a life shrouded in blood and violence, into a life of marriage and family and secrets she clutched so tight she couldn’t breath sometimes. John just happened to be the first life raft she’d been able to clamber aboard. 

So she thought the kids would be safe with John. 

So. So, Mary's daddy's hands were rough and calloused and they'd never had enough to eat or a break from the work. So, John’s had been smooth hands with big dreams. He'd stroke her hair in their rickety bed after getting priced out of another apartment and tell her how they were going to escape all this. 

John dreamed. So John dreamed. So Mary’d thought. Mary had always thought that he was the dreamer. Her dreamer. That she’d turn hard without him to temper her. 

She looked over at her adult sons in front of her and tried to reconstruct how it all happened. She can't get passed the first night. She can't picture John's first hunt, or Sam's first steps or Dean's first girlfriend. She looked at them and she saw nothing. 

It was the exact opposite reaction for them, she knew. She knew because Sam had told her, explicitly, how much it means to him to have her here and even Dean has stumbled through words wrenched from somewhere deep inside himself to tell her how much they had missed her. She heard the stories John told them about her and watched the legend of herself spinning and twisting out of her control. 

She looked at her adult sons and thought, so Dean’s eyes were still too serious and so Sam’s were still too wide and clouded. So what? Once upon a time, these could have been her kids. 



Friday, she stayed in her room all day and watched something called the X-File’s. Dean usually knocked on her door and asked her to dinner. He didn’t this week, which Mary was privately glad about. 

Eventually, Cas came by and asked if she wanted leftovers. 

“You cooked?” Mary asked. 

Cas’ expression was soft. “Jack did.” 

“It’s not very good, is it?” 

Cas hesitated, then shook his head. “Dean tried to help,” he told her. “But Jack is … out of practice with what human food should taste like.” 

Mary laughed and told him, “I’ve been human for twenty-six years now and I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet. He’s got time.” 

“Yes,” Cas agreed. “I think he practices with Sam when Dean and I are -- occupied.” 

Mary was surprised. “I didn’t realize Sam could cook,” she said. 

“He can’t,” Cas replied. 

Mary snorted and felt daring. “I guess he gets that from me,” she said. 

“Cooking is not a hereditary trait,” Cas told her and tilted his head to the side. “Though, I must admit. I sometimes wonder about that, with Jack. I’m afraid he shares my ineptitude with humanity.”  

“Right,” Mary said. 

They stood in her doorway, looking at each other for a beat. “I am not a good cook,” Cas reiterated, then explained: “It is a lot of effort for a temporary, often short term, pleasure that people seem to regret indulging or spend the rest of the day complaining about. Dean tells me it just means I have bad taste.” 

“I don’t know,” Mary said. “What you’re saying makes a lot of sense to me.” 

Cas looked pleased to hear this. “Most human things do not make sense to me,” he said. “But I usually enjoy them nonetheless. Cooking,” he told her darkly, "is not most things."  

“Oh,” Mary said, when it became clear Cas wasn’t going to continue. “Cool.” 

“I particularly enjoy television. It’s very funny. Humans can be very generous with good feelings.” 

“Me too,” Mary admitted. “Switching on the TV used to be one of those few things," Mary trailed off. "I guess it’s something of a specialty of ours -- making jokes when everything is falling apart.” This seemed to also make Cas smile faintly. 

“Yes,” Cas told her. “Anyway, here’s dinner. If you want to eat it.” 

It looked like some sort of congealed, a green and brown mess. She thought she saw rice in there somewhere. She hesitated. “I have some chips,” she told him, then opened the door. “And I’m in the middle of watching some television right now. If you want to join me?” 

“Oh.” Cas looked around. “I -- yes,” he agreed. “I should check up on Jack afterwards, though.” 

Mary smiled. This would, she realized, be the perfect opportunity to interrogate Cas. But Mary was tired and today had been hard and she thought it actually might be nicer to watch Mulder and Scully look for aliens while sharing a bag of chips with one. 

On Friday, Mary tried to clean the bunker. It was part apology and part desperation. She’d gotten up early, nearly attacked Jack in the kitchen and then enlisted his help to find the vacuum. They got started in the library, where Sam yelled at them for messing up his books. Then they went to the kitchen, where Dean scolded them for messing up his kitchen. 

“It’s our kitchen,” Jack said. 

“Yeah,” Dean spluttered. “And -- you don’t do any of the cooking in it.” 

“I did yesterday,” he said, brightly. 

“Yeah, unfortunately,” Dean agreed. Jack’s grin didn’t dampen. 

“We’re just trying to help.” 

Dean stared at her. Mary stared at her son. She would not take a step back from her son. Good mother’s weren’t frightened by their children because good people weren’t frightened by their creations. 

“Dean,” Cas interrupted them. “Why are you terrorizing Jack and your mother?” 

Dean went from an ink carving in a craggy cliff into a sheepish little boy. Mary had to blink to clear the aftereffects of the change from her retinas. “Cas,” he whined. “It’s my kitchen.” 

Cas squinted. “There’s only one kitchen.” 

“Yeah, but --” 

“Dean,” Cas said. “Why are you making me argue with you before I’ve had coffee?” 

Dean smiled at Cas so fondly that Mary wondered if she should maybe just throw the plan right now. “You heard him,” Dean told Jack. “Get your father some coffee.” 

Cas looked displeased. “Jack,” he said. “You do not have to make me a cup of coffee.” Jack’s face fell. Cas floundered. “Unless you … want to?” 

“I want to,” Jack told him. “Dean’s been showing me how.” 

“Is that so?” Cas looked over at Dean. Mary averted her own gaze out of respect, then wondered why she'd done that. 

“S’nothing,” Dean said. 

“I’m going to punch you both,” Sam said. “This is sickening. And it’s sickening you make me watch it every morning.” He looked at Mary. “Oh,” he said, chuckling. “Trying to clean the kitchen?” Mary nodded. “Good luck with that.” 

“You don’t clean the kitchen right!” 

“Dean,” Sam said. “No one in the world would be able to clean the kitchen well enough to satisfy whatever you have rattling around up there between your ears.” 

Dean looked around for help. Cas shrugged. “You are very particular about your things,” he told Dean. 

“I’m not -- particular --” Dean argued. 

“Dean --” 

“Okay, fine, so I’m particular. So I care about making it a little nice around here.” 

“Oh my God,” Sam said. Cas sent him a dirty glare. “No one cares that you’re “particular” --” Mary wondered if that was a new word for homosexual these days “-- we just wish you’d admit it. Instead of standing over our shoulders breathing heavily every time we try and help.”

Dean protested unconvincingly. “I don’t -- do that.” Sam scoffed loudly. "Besides, I stay out of your Geek Den." 

"Geek Den? You mean the library, Dean?" 

This did not seem to be going according to Mary’s plan. When she fought with her family it had been loud and explosive. There hadn’t been much room for friendly bickering or teasing until she met John. 

“Whatever,” Dean said, waving his brother down. “Anyway,” he turned to Mary with an expectant look. “Think you’re right about the kitchen. It’s about time I gave it a once over.” 

Mary let him take the vacuum from her. 

“Oh, hey, mom.” Sam perked up. 

“Sammy,” Dean pointed a finger warningly at his younger brother. 

Sam ignored him. “So, considering you’re already awake and looking for something to do, do you think you’d like to join me on my run?” 

“Of -- course,” Mary said, which turned out to be a terrible idea. Coming back to the Bunker from their run, Mary felt retroactively grateful towards her father for banning her from ever participating in aerobics classes. 

Sam made them both green smoothies afterwards that made Mary wonder, briefly, if Sam was trying punishing her. He swore they were good for digestion. All they seemed to be good for was making Mary lunge for the toilet every time her stomach lurched.  

Sunday was when Mary got desperate. Thankfully, Sam and Dean were off on some errand involving the water heater and prepping for the winter. Dean was mad he was missing some television program he liked but Sam kept saying the words ‘Midwest’ ‘winter’ and ‘frozen outside naked’ until Dean caved. Mary wasn’t sure where Cas and Jack were. Mary wasn’t sure what Cas and Jack really -- did -- with their time. 

She didn’t know, and she certainly wasn’t about to find out. Because today, she was desperate. So today, she was investigating. 

It took her most of the morning to figure out how, which was embarrassing for a hunter of her experience. She'd started in the bathroom, which had taken most of the morning and been entirely pointless.

She pushed into Dean’s room around noon. Everything was arranged very neatly. There was no dust. There was a computer in the center of the desk which Mary -- didn’t touch. Instead, after making a quick glance around outside Dean’s room to make sure no one could see her, she went right for the desk drawers. 

Mostly empty, a few pens, chargers -- Mary pulled up. Pornography magazines? From the early 1900s? Older? More recent? Mary brought them to her nose and sniffed them. She immediately put them back down. 


Mary thought she heard the bunker door. Sam and Dean couldn’t be back already, could they? She hadn’t wasted twenty minutes looking through Dean’s two in one shower shampoo and conditioner set to get caught out now, had she?

She shoved all the drawer's closed and the porno magazines back where they came from. At the last minute, she grabbed the porno on top for investigation later and nearly ran into Cas on her way out of Dean’s room. 

“Mary,” Cas said. 


He tilted his head. “Are you looking for something?” 

“Got turned around,” Mary said, then forced a smile. 

“I see.” He did not sound like he saw. 

“See you around, Castiel.” 

“Of course.” He relaxed enough to smile at her. “It’s nice that you are staying in the Bunker with us. I know Sam and Dean are very happy to have you back.” 

Mary wasn’t sure that was true. She wasn’t sure if she wanted it to be true or not. She didn’t respond to Cas. 

Back in her room, Mary took a seat on the bed and opened up the magazine. Well. Front and center. That was a naked woman. She flipped a few more pages. It was hard to tell if this was the kind of magazines for homosexuals. Mostly it was women, but there were a couple of scenes with men in them. 

Mary pulled the magazine closer and crossed her legs. She thought about it. She flipped between two of the double paged sex scene advertisements. 

If there was a difference between how they eroticized the men versus the women, she couldn’t see it. 

There were at least a handful of blowjob depictions that Mary felt were overly kind towards the male figures. There were a couple of images showing two women doing what looked like a reverse reverse Louisiana Jail Break. She tilted her head. It could’ve been a lead up to The Little Dicky, she supposed. Though two women doing The Little Dicky might be even more of a stretch than The Little Dicky itself was. And The Little Dicky, make no bare bones about it, was a not inconsiderable stretch. 

She flipped to the back. There didn’t appear to be any single page pictures of just men but maybe those were in the other magazines. Maybe homosexuals liked the images of men and women?

She didn’t notice Dean standing there until he cleared his throat. 

“Dean!” Mary couldn’t help the alarm in her voice but she could keep her body from leaping off the bed and flinging the pornographic magazine away from her. Barely. 

“Is that my --” Dean cut himself off. “Is that pornography?” 

Mary didn’t think she had very many options here. “Yes.”

Dean rubbed the back of his neck. “Is it --” but he stopped and didn’t finish his sentence. “Cas mentioned --” another verbal dead end. 

“Your door was open,” Mary said into the increasingly uncomfortable silence. When had she become such a bad liar? “It was on the floor. I was curious.” 

Dean nodded once. “Okay.” 

“Sorry,” Mary offered. 

“S’okay,” Dean said, then thought about it. “I mean, kind of weird you took it out of my room, but hey. You’re, uh, welcome to it. Internet’s usually a bit better for that kind of stuff, though.” Mary’s entire face was burning up. 

“I wasn’t reading it for,” Mary swallowed, “erotic purposes.” 

“Right,” Dean agreed. “No, of course not. That would be weird.” 

“Yeah. Weird," Mary echoed. "Porn for ..." she stopped.

“Right,” Dean repeated. “I’m going to -- go now.” 

He turned around and left more quickly than Mary thought was possible. Quietly, giving himself a moment to close her eyes in complete mortification, Mary followed him out the door. She left the porno on her bed. 

Down the hall, she could hear Dean talking to Sam. 

“Dude, what’s wrong with you?” 

“I think I just gave mom the talk.” 


“I need a beer.” 

“Dean -- what do you mean, you gave mom the talk? As much as I don’t want to think about it, you do have to know how babies were made, right Dean?” 

“Yes, Sam, I understand how babies are made. But what I don’t understand is why I just caught mom reading girly mags.” 

Sam sounded pained. “Please stop calling them that.” 

“That’s what they’re called, Sammy. Besides, they were the bunker’s old school ones. You know, the pin ups? With the --” 

“You’d have a lot more than a GED if you put half that focus and attention into something that isn’t porn,” Sam started. 

Dean was shaking his head. “No, Sammy, I’m telling you, these were girly mags. Women," he emphasized. "I’m starting to think mom might be a --”

“Mom!” Sam interrupted loudly. Mary cursed mentally.  

Dean choked on his beer. 

“Mom,” he coughed. “Mary. How’s -- things.” 

Mary opened her mouth. “I wasn’t reading the porno,” she said.

It was Sam’s turn to choke. “Mom!” 

“I was just curious. I wasn’t trying to do … anything.” Neither of her sons would meet her eye. How had this gotten worse. She spoke slowly. “I just wanted to clear the air.” Then, with all the pieces of dignity she could pull up into herself, she left. 

She hovered outside the door, hoping that they might go back to talking about whatever Dean had been about to say before, but they didn’t. Shellshocked. Probably. Well, her too. 

Mary went back to her room to finish glancing through Dean’s magazine. Maybe she’d find something more incriminating than half a Louisiana Jail Break. 

Monday night was the night Mary gave up. 

“Mom,” Sam asked, when she got back home, four and a half hours later. “What the hell is this?” 

“Movies,” Mary said, still holding out three plastic DVD cases. “There was a rent two get a third free deal.” 

“It’s -- do they even still sell DVDs?” 

Mary looked blankly at her son. She pointed to the DVD in his hand, a blue sheet of paper wrapped in plastic over a case. “Obviously.” She did not tell her son that no, they did not rent movies anywhere closer than an eighty-seven minute drive away and no, they didn’t keep normal store hours. 

“What movies did you even get?” Sam asked, flipping the movies back and forth in his hands. 

Mary wordlessly turned the movies around so that Sam could clearly read the spines. 

Sam looked blankly down at the three DVDs in horror. “Where did you --” 

Mary’s stomach turned. “I asked people on the computer for advice. It’s this place called Reddit? Ketch recommended it. When. Well.” Mary stopped talking. 

Sam pinched the bridge of his nose. Mary wondered why. Maybe Sam didn’t like homosexual people? John hadn’t. Mary hadn’t thought much of them herself, but the internet told her they were different now and anyway, her son might be one. And if Brokeback Mountain would help him feel more comfortable, than Mary was more than willing to sit through it. 

“Okay,” Sam said, through his nose. “This is fine.” 

“We can watch different movies,” Mary said. “If you’re uncomfortable with homosexuals.” 

“What?” Sam’s eyes bugged out and he looked wildly around the room. “I’m not!” he insisted. “I’m a big fan of -- Mom,” he said. “Where is this coming from?” 

This was the moment of truth. The explanation was right on the tip of Mary’s tongue. She could ask Sam and he would probably tell her and then she’d finally know. “Nothing,” she said instead. 

Sam gave her a look that screamed this fucking family I swear to God.

Mary tried to clear her expression and look innocent. She didn’t think it worked, but he didn’t push, which suited her just fine. 

Defeated, Sam heaved a sigh. “Alright,” he said. “Which one are we watching first? Boys Don’t Cry?”

Mary tried hard not to wince at the title. “Maybe the cheerleading one,” she said. “Then Jack could join us.” 

Sam stared at her. “Jack. You want Jack to join us. To watch ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’.” 

Mary held the line. “The cashier said it was a good family movie.” 

“Right. And what was this movie rental store place called again?” 

“I forgot,” Mary lied. 

“Sammy!” Dean called out from the kitchen. “You two dumbasses picked out a movie yet?” 

“One second!” Sam called back through a forced smile. He turned to face Mary. “You wait here,” he said. Mary followed him. 

Sam walked into the kitchen, grabbed Dean by the arm and marched him out into the hallway, Dean grumbling the entire way. Dean ripped his arm away from Sam’s grasp but followed him. 

Cas and Jack exchanged a glance. 

“Does this mean we have to do the popcorn?” Jack asked, tentatively. 

Looking deeply frightened, Cas nodded. He went over to the counter and grabbed a bag of popcorn, holding it far away from his body like it was a bomb. Jack looked similarly wary. 

“I got it,” Mary said. “Why don’t you boys head into the living room?” 

Cas carefully placed the popcorn bag on the counter. “Thank you,” he said. As soon as he and Jack were out of the kitchen, Mary grabbed the popcorn bag, flung it in the microwave, and pushed the five minute button. That should give her long enough. She glanced down at her watch and stepped closer to the hallway. Faintly, she could hear Sam and Dean arguing. 

“Dude, has mom been talking to you about these “people” she used to date?” Mary frowned. She hadn’t said it like that. That made it sound like -- 

“What?” Sam squawked. “No! Why is she talking to you about --” 

“I think mom is -- you know.” Dean said. 

“No, Dean,” Sam snapped back. “Obviously I don’t know!” 

Dean lowered his voice. Mary tried to lean closer. This was, she knew, objectively wrong. But when you’ve been raised from the dead after thirty years to meet your deeply repressed adult male sons who have untold trauma, baggage and expectations from you, sometimes you had to cut corners and cheat just for a foothold. And that’s all Mary was doing: getting herself a foothold. “I think mom’s a -- lesbian.” 

Well. Mary hadn’t expected that. 

“What?” Sam’s voice was loud enough that Mary flinched back. “Dean, what are you talking about?” 

Dean shushed him. “Keep it down.” 

“She married dad!” Sam objected. 

“Oh, right, because no lesbian has ever married a man.” 

“I’m not -- she -- don’t you think we’d know?” Sam stammered out. 

“Why?” Dean asked. “We don’t know her.” 

Sam didn’t respond for a minute. “Dean,” he said carefully. 

Dean cut him off before he could get any further. “Don’t,” he said, “just -- don’t use that condescending I’m-so-liberated-I-went-to-Stanford voice.” 

“I don’t --”

“You do.” 

“Fine,” Sam agreed. “Whatever. But mom isn’t a lesbian.” 

“Sam,” Dean insisted. “She was talking about people that she had dated. People. Not men. And her voice was all weird when she did it, too. And there's the porn thing.”

Oh. Mary was starting to see where she’d messed up. She should explain to Dean that she wasn’t dating a woman but that she was concerned that her boyfriend was one of those homosexuals. She still wasn’t sure if she was allowed to say homosexual, though. Maybe queers was okay? 

"For the love of -- mom wasn't getting off to your weird ass old school girly mags, Dean," Sam hissed. 

"We don't know! And there's the whole, you know, questions she's been asking. And googling."  

Somewhere behind her, Mary thought she could hear the popcorn really getting going. She missed whatever Dean said next. 

“Okay,” Sam agreed. “That does sound weird. But that doesn’t mean mom’s a lesbian. I mean, you hear how crazy you sound, right Dean?” 

“I’m just saying maybe. It’s an idea.” 

“And I’m saying absolutely no freaking way,” Sam said. 

“Whatever,” Dean agreed. “Let’s just get to the living room before mom starts watching the movie without us. What’d she end up getting anyway?” 

There was a long pause from Sam. “I’ll let her tell you,” Sam said. “But, listen. Dean. I don’t want you to read into it.” 

Dean scoffed. 

“No, Dean, I’m serious. It’s just the movie that the cashier recommended, okay?” 

“Man, what are you talking about?” 

Mary took this as her cue to get moving. She retreated to the kitchen only to find the microwave finishing up. She removed the bag and opened it. Five minutes, it seemed, was far too long for popcorn. It was far beyond salvageable. 

She closed the microwave and joined her sons in the living room. Jack and Cas were sitting on the couch and Sam was gently nudging Jack towards the middle so Sam could sit on the sides. Dean was sitting in front of the couch, leaning up against the post, right beneath Cas. 

“That can’t be good for your back,” Sam said. 

“The flat hard backing of the couch leg is much better for his back that a soft, pillow-y cushion.” Cas sounded miffed. 

“Yeah, Sammy. This is actually healthier than whatever you’re doing.” 

Mary was not looking forward to getting back problems.

“Sure,” Sam said. 

“Hey, guys,” Mary said. 

Everyone turned to look at her. 

“Great,” Sam said. “You’re here. We can start the movie.” 

“No,” Dean said. Sam tried to kick him. He was too far away. Dean smirked. “I got a question.” Mary froze.

“Dean, don’t do this.” 

“Where’s the popcorn?” Dean ignored his baby brother. 

“I burnt it,” Mary said after a minute. “Sorry.” 

“Nah,” Dean said. He smiled at her. “No worries. What’re we watching?” 

“It’s a movie about a lesbian cheerleader and now that we’re all here we can just shut up and press play,” Sam said very quickly and then started the movie before anyone could add anything else. 

“You’re -- you’re fucking kidding me,” Dean said. 

“Dean, I told you not to read into it --” 

“Sam. It’s a movie about a lesbian!” 

“Is that bad?” Mary asked. 

“No,” Dean rushed to assure her, after an awkward pause. On screen, the blond cheerleader started necking with her boyfriend. “Sam and I are very pro-lesbian.” 

“You’re an idiot,” Sam said. 

“Should we pause it?” Jack asked. Wordless, Cas grabbed the remote and paused it on a close up of someone's crotch and backside. He frowned at the TV screen and then the remote. 

Mary felt like she had to say something. “I thought my college boyfriend was a homosexual,” she said. 

“You -- what?” Even Sam looked flabbergasted by this one. 

“Well,” Mary admitted. “I still think he was a homosexual.” 

Dean put his beer down. “You think your college boyfriend was a-a homosexual?” 

“Why is he saying homosexual?” Jack whispered loudly to Sam. Sam flapped his hand at Jack. 

“A homosexual is just a more clinical term for someone who is gay,” Cas explained. 

“Oh,” Jack said. “Like Dean?” 

The room fell completely silent. Sam and Cas turned to look at Jack while Dean and Mary made direct eye contact with the table in front of them. 

“I don’t know if Dean would identify as a homosexual -- ” Cas started. 

At the same time, Mary found her voice. “Oh, thank God,” Mary said. 

“What?” Dean looked up at her with wide eyes. 

Mary did not have a response to that question. She’d only meant that finally, finally, someone had just said it and she didn’t have to try and find a way to ask anymore. She thought that might not be what Dean wanted to hear right now. The problem was that they hadn’t watched the Gay Rights Movie that the internet and a video rental clerk with too much acne and a green and black deer hunter trucker cap had awkwardly suggested and therefore didn’t know what the right thing to say was. 

The video rental clerk had taken off his hat when she tried to check out. She had taken the videos free of charge which was good because she hadn’t brought nearly enough cash. None of that was helpful now, though. Mary couldn’t exit the situation by leaving the bunker without paying. Still. It was clear that she was going to have to say something. 

“He wore a lot of lavender,” She started, hastily. “My homosexual -- boyfriend. Ex boyfriend. And cried after sex. In a bad way,” she clarified. “I think the sex was upsetting to him. That’s why I broke up with him. I didn’t realize then but. The sex was pretty bad for me too.” 

“Mom!” Sam said. 

Dean looked taken aback. Mary tried not to wince. “What is with you people? What is with you people and talking about your experience with gay sex while I’m trying to -- you know?” Mary was relieved his cheeks looked like they were acquiring some color. They were a dark, deep red now. 

“Come out?” Sam suggested. 

“Yes!” Dean stamped out, irritated. “What, it some kind of genetic trait?” 

Mary’s heart seized. “Like mother, like son?” She tried to smile at Sam who tried to smile back. Dean groaned out loud. 

“I can’t believe you’re bonding over this,” he grumbled. “This is supposed to be my moment.” 

“It’s not all about you, Dean,” Sam said, trying to keep back his smile. 

Jack frowned. “Do I need a story about gay experiences?” he asked. 

“Not unless you want one,” Cas told him, seriously. 

“There’s gotta be like some kind of book for this,” Dean said, incredulous, staring at them all with wide eyes. “Some kind of, you know, FAQ. Things not to do.” 

Sam huffed. “You let Jack call you slurs!” 

“You’re the one who told him I was homophobic!” 

“You’re -- you’re the one who is homophobic!” Sam shot back. 

“Jack calls you slurs?” Mary asked. 

Dean stuck his finger threateningly in her face. “Don’t you get any ideas.” He turned back to Sammy. “You either, okay? Jack’s got special privileges.” 

“Really?” Jack beamed at Dean. “Did you hear that, Cas?” 

“Yes,” Cas agreed fondly, hand resting on Jack’s shoulder. “You do get special privileges. You’re very special to us.” 

“And,” Dean said, frowning, “I don’t cry during sex. I am great at sex. That’s not a homosexual -- gay -- thing,” he continued, ignoring Sam’s cries -- pleas, really -- to stop. “If anyone cries during sex, it ain’t me.” 

“Well --” Cas started. 

“Shut it,” Dean told him. “I’m a great frigging lay, okay?” 

“Yes,” Cas agreed, intensely. Sam’s hand twitched. Mary felt deeply uncomfortable. Was this homophobia? She wasn’t sure. She didn’t mention the discomfort, in case it was. 

“I’m glad to hear it,” she said instead. Dean didn’t respond to that, which made Mary think maybe she was still being homophobic. Somehow. That wasn’t good. She had to fix this. “Tell me more?” she suggested. 

“Don’t,” Sam interjected, pained. 

Dean’s ears went red. “I’m good,” he said. 

“Okay,” Mary said. “So. Was my boyfriend a --” she paused, trying to figure out how to finish that sentence without using the word normal. 

“Homosexual?” Cas volunteered. 

“Yes,” Mary snapped her fingers. 

“Oh, definitely,” Dean said, instantly. “I mean, lavender? Are you kidding me?” 

“Dean, you really shouldn’t -- but yeah, mom, sounds like you, uh, called that one correctly.” 

“Good,” she said. “Or. Not good?”  

“I’d say it’s about neutral,” Sam said. 

“I’ll take it,” Mary said briskly. “So. Gay boyfriends aside, do we think we’re ready for movie night?” 

Dean took a breath. “I have a question,” he said. 

“Don’t do this.” 

Dean ignored his younger brother. “Mom,” he said. “Is there anything you want to tell us?” 

Mary blinked. 

“Seriously. Safe space.” Dean waggled his arms around the Bunker. He looked at Cas for some sort of approval. Cas squinted at him. Dean gave a little shrug and then looked back at Mary. 

“I’m … happy about you're homosexual?” she said. 

Dean’s smile slipped a bit then came back. “No,” he said. “Or, yeah. But I’m, you know. So you can, you know. If you want. Tell me.” He licked his lips. “I know it’s hard and stuff but trust me. It’ll be better that way.” 

“For the record --” 

“Shut up, Sam, I’m trying to do something here.” 

Everyone turned back to Mary. Mary didn’t understand what was going on. “Dean,” she started. And then she tried something new: honesty. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” 

“I-I’m. I mean.” Dean stammered. He took a breath. “You can come out too. If you want.” 

“Why?” she asked. 

“Because we’ll accept you. It’s, you know, okay to be gay.” Dean started to do a little jazz hands then pulled a face and stopped. 

“No,” Mary said slowly, “why do you think I’m going to -- come out?” 

Dean blinked. “Because you’re -- and the way you kept going on about dating other people and then when I caught you with the magazine and everything. I thought, I dunno, that you might be,” Dean paused. 

“A lesbian?” Sam suggested at the same time Mary said, “a sodomite?” 

“Actually,” Jack piped up into the complete silence that followed Mary’s words, “sodomy refers to both oral and anal sex. Even though it’s used as an outdated term for homosexuality, it doesn’t actually mean homosexual. I learned that from Google,” he told them all proudly. 

“Very good, son,” Cas said in a dazed voice. 

“Yeah.” Sam cleared his throat. “Good work Jack.” 

Mary stared at them. “I’m not a lesbian,” she said. 

“Right,” Sam agreed. 

“I was trying to figure out if Dean was.” 

“A lesbian?” Dean asked, one eyebrow raised. Mary sent him a withering glare. 

“I thought looking at the porn might … help.” 

Sam turned pale. “Mom,” he said, “take it from someone who had to share a computer with him for thirty-three years. There are questions you don’t want answers to.” 

Dean hit Sam, lightly, across the chest. “They weren’t even mine,” Dean protested. “Just some weird crap lying around the Bunker.” He thought about it for a second. “And they’re women! What about girly mags screamed homo to you?” 

“Well, I don’t know!” Mary said exasperated. “I thought they might’ve been doing a Louisiana Jail Break.” 

Dean scoffed. “It was a Soviet Wall at best.” 

“I was being generous.” 

“And they were both women!”

“So it was a reverse Soviet Wall or a backwards Mr Gorbechav --” 

“The Cold War was pretty big back then, huh?” Dean asked and then stopped himself. “And if you think a backwards Mr Gorbechav is something lesbian could or even would --” 

“Okay, okay, okay,” Sam interrupted. He looked pained. “I don’t know what you’re saying and I don’t care to,” he added, as Dean opened his mouth. “Can we just watch the movie?” 

“And another thing,” Dean said, incensed. “You picked all these gay ass movies -- what the hell was I supposed to think?” 

“I was trying to create,” Mary said haltingly, repeating Dean’s words back at him, “a, you know, safe space. In case either of you were homosexuals.” 

“What?” Dean yelped. 

Sam looked weirdly honored. “You thought I was a homosexual?” he asked, dodging Dean’s swipe. 

“I wasn’t sure,” Mary admitted. “Are you?” 

“No,” Sam told her. 

“I hate you both,” Dean told them. 

“Does this mean we aren’t going to finish the movie?” Jack asked. “I’m concerned about the cheerleader. I think she’s a lesbian.”  

Wearily, Cas pressed play on the remote. The cheerleader went back to necking, awkwardly, with her boyfriend. Privately, Mary was starting to think Jack was right. The cheerleader probably was a lesbian.