The place smells like sawdust and stale stomach acid, the fading neon sign tacked to the front says ‘al’s’ because the capital H in the front went out long before, the parking lot is cluttered with grungy Hogs and crunched up pick-up trucks and Dean loves it. Leaning up against the back wall next to the pool tables, he’s got Sammy under one hand and a cue in the other and he’s feeling pretty damn good about life.
“Dean,” Sam huffs, chalking up his own cue. “I’m not even old enough to be in here.”
“Lighten up, Sammy,” Dean shoots him a grin. “You’ve gotta learn how to play a decent game a of pool sometime and nobody’s gonna card you if you don’t buy a drink.”
“I’m sixteen,” Sam hisses, wincing slightly as someone topples a chair in the bar area and shouts ‘That’s my daughter you’re talking about, you son of a bitch!’ loudly. There’s a general sound of chaos that settles quickly with the promise of alcohol, but Sam doesn’t look soothed in the slightest.
“Don’t worry about it,” Dean slaps him on the back hard enough he stumbles forward a step. “C’mon, I’ll let you break.”
Sam narrows his eyes at Dean for a few moments before a smirk coils one corner of his lips. He bends at the waist and shatters the triangle of pool balls, sinking the striped 13.
Dean snorts and Sam shoot him a cheeky grin and when he bends again he doesn’t notice a tall man with three days worth of stubble and slick red hair sitting at the bar glance over and then glance again, eyes lingering, lips pulling up into an appreciative grin.
But Dean notices.
Hand gripping tighter around the cue, Dean glares over at the man, hoping to catch his eye and convey the message of ‘Fuck off, you can’t have him’, but the man doesn’t look at him.
Sam misses the next shot, snickers when Dean misses his first, and doesn’t seem to realize he’s putting his ass on display to the man at the bar when he goes to take his next shot.
Dean grits his teeth and bites his tongue against the suggestion that they call it quits before the game’s over because Sam’s beaming over the fact that he’s winning.
Dean turns a shoulder to the man and mops up the game quick as he can in two more rounds or shots, content when he sinks the eight ball.
“Cheater,” Sam puffs his bangs out of his eyes.
“I think you mean ‘winner’,” Dean grins bright enough to outshine the whole room and then a little bit brighter when a small smile tugs on Sam’s lips, too. The grin dies on his face when he hears someone clear their throat pointedly from behind him. Dean whirls on one foot and comes nose-to-nose with the man from the bar.
“Howdy,” the man grins, though they’re not deep enough into hick country to justify the ‘howdy’.
“Hi,” Sam says, almost shyly once he figures out Dean’s not going to respond and Dean wants to choke him.
“Name’s Ben,” the stranger extends his hand towards Sam, having to reach around Dean’s bulk to do so and Sam takes it, shakes it firmly like their father taught them to.
“Sam,” Sam introduces. “This is my brother, Dean.” He jerks his chin in Dean’s direction.
“Sam,” Ben repeats, one corner of his mouth hitching up. “I was just wondering if I could interest you two in another game?”
“We were just-” Dean starts.
“Sure.” Sam’s dimples are in full force and Dean tenses, glares over as Sam racks up the balls again.
Ben ambles to the wall and plucks up his own cue, eyes on Sam the entire time.
Dean’s nostrils flare.
“You break,” Ben offers once Sam’s tossed the triangular bracket off to one side.
Sam shoots him a polite smile and bends, leaning forward as he lines up his shot.
“Hell, son,” Ben interrupts Sam’s shot. “Didn’t anybody ever teach you how to line up a shot?”
“Huh?” Sam straightens slightly.
“Here,” Ben places himself at Sam’s back, nudges him forward at the shoulder to bend over the pool table, “Brace one hand on the felt like this,” he guides Sam’s hand down, blankets it as he presses it into the table, pushes his chest into Sam’s back to line him up, “Sink the cue between your fingers,” Sam tries not to squirm as Ben slides the polished slick wood of the pool cue down the webbing of his fingers, rocking it back to balance on his knuckles, “You pull out,” he guides Sam’s back arm out, “And then you sink it into the hole,” his hips press flush against Sam’s ass.
Dean’s not sure exactly how many men it takes to finally throw him out of the bar, but he’s got a fist full of slick red hair and the blood on his teeth sure as hell isn’t his.