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Dean cleans his guns

1. A water pistol

"Dean," Dad said, heavy with what Dean hoped was just anger and not disappointment. He held his hand out.

"Yessir," Dean said, swallowed, and handed the gun over. It was translucent orange, small even in Dean's hand, and the shape was distorted by all sorts of blocks and lines that had nothing to do with a real gun.

"Where did you get this?" Dad's voice was even, as if he were completely unbothered by the wet patch on the shoulder of his jacket. Dean hadn't meant to hit him; he'd just come through the door when Dean was pretending to defend himself against robbers.

Dean met his father's eyes like he was supposed to. "Mr. Wright. Next door, on the left," he added, when Dad's expression indicated that he had no idea who Mr. Wright was.

Dad didn't say he couldn't, so Dean crept after him, ending up crouched below the windowsill as Dad went into Mr. Wright's living room.

"I appreciate that you were trying to be kind," Dad said, in the same tone he'd used on Dean. "But I don't allow my children to play with toy guns."

Mr. Wright made a little grunt of disbelief. "Kid's eight years old—he's a boy." Like he thought Dad was some kind of hippie weirdo.

"He's a boy who's not allowed to play with toy guns. In the future, please don't give him or Sam anything like that. Thank you for your time."

Dad didn't seem surprised to see Dean up against the side of the house when he let himself out. "Come on," he said, and Dean nodded, hurrying to keep up. "Do you know what you did wrong?"

Dean hesitated. "I shouldn't have been firing the gun inside?" He'd tried really hard not to make it a question, but it came out that way anyway.

His father stopped, sighed, and shook his head. "You shouldn't have been firing a gun at all. Not if you didn't mean to kill or hurt something. You can't—you can't be playing games like that. What would have happened if Sammy had seen you and decided to be just like his big brother with the gun from under your pillow?" Dad sounded so sad that Dean felt even worse; he'd known he was breaking the rules, but he hadn't realized just how dangerous that was.

Dean took a couple of deep breaths, calming himself down just like he was supposed to. "I'm sorry, sir. It won't happen again."

Dad nodded and put his hand on the back of Dean's neck, rubbing his hair a little. "I know it won't."

Sam never did understand why, when he was fifteen and suggested using squirt guns filled with holy water, Dean shut him down before he could mention the idea to Dad.

2. His first sawed-off

It wasn't really that good.

When he found out Dad kept it, Dean was happy. Knowing Dad kept it, like he was proud, like he wanted to remember what a good kid Dean was, gave Dean a warm feeling that lasted through the whole mess with Bela.

But Dean hadn't actually done that great a job, which was why the shotgun was stashed in Dad's storage locker rather than kept for use, the way a real weapon would be. He'd screwed up with the hacksaw, had to take off more than he planned, and the bluing had been a mess. Beveled it nice, at least. Point was, it was okay for a first try but not exactly a showpiece.

And once Dean found out about Adam, well, the whole memento thing kind of left a bad taste in his mouth. Twelve looked a lot different throwing a baseball than it did clamping a gun into a vise after-hours at the auto shop where Dad was picking up some ready cash.

Dean was glad they'd left the sawed-off back in the locker, to be destroyed with all the rest of the artifacts too trivial or too dangerous to be added to Bobby's collection. Him and Sam, they didn't need any more useless baggage.

3. The Lazy Gun

Dean came across it while he was hunting without Dad. The guy who had it before Dean managed to get himself killed by a nix, which was evidence enough that the gun lacked the total killing efficiency the man had claimed for it.

The gun itself was black, about twenty inches long, a foot wide and nine inches deep, with a sight and two hand grips, one of which had the zoom control for the sight and the other of which had the trigger. The twin barrels ended in black lenses. Dean was pretty sure that "gun" wasn't quite the right name for what it was.

Fucking thing had a nasty sense of humor: bad things happened to the target, but unpredictably so. The guy Dean got it off of said that once a rock dropped out of the sky and smushed the werewolf he was tracking into a fine gray paste. The first time Dean tried it, a real gun stuck in his waistband just in case, a giant bear came out of nowhere and ate the troll Dean was hunting. The second time, the kelpie exploded (and raw kelpie guts, Dean discovered, tasted like ass and smelled like decomposed ass, so Dean was not at all pleased).

After the kelpie Dean decided that, no matter how powerful it was, the risks weren't worth the stopping power. He used it once more, firing it at a salted skeleton just to see what would happen (bolt of lightning; he nearly knocked himself out falling backwards from the blast and his ears rang for hours), then dumped it down a very deep hole out in the woods somewhere and used a don't-notice-me spell Caleb passed on to him.

Later, Dean sometimes wondered whether hanging on to the Lazy Gun might have made a difference. But given the malice that the gun and the universe seemed to share, he thought probably not.

4. The gun Sam used to shoot Jake

It was a Smith & Wesson 4006, a nice piece, untraceable. Dean found it in the trash at the first place they stopped after leaving Bobby's to lick their wounds in private. It was under a pile of tissues and other crap, but Dean stumbled a little and his boot nudged up against the can, which clanked, and the noise was so unexpected that Dean did a little prospecting.

Sam was out getting dinner and, most likely, thinking up more ways to yell at Dean about the deal.

Dean's first impulse was to shove the gun in Sam's face when he came through the door, shout some about throwing away hundreds of dollars of good money.

Then he thought about Sam reluctantly packing his knife to come looking for Dad, back when Sam thought he was doing one last weekend for Dean's sake, and about what it felt like to kill a man.

Dean broke the gun down, made sure it was clean of prints, and put the pieces in the dumpster behind the motel.

5. The Colt

Dean was nowhere near a scholar, but he did like his weapons. He could have told Dad that the story Dad gave them about the Colt was fucked. A gun that old should have used balls, not cartridges, so obviously someone had reworked it after Samuel Colt made it. So when Ruby was able to fix it, he wasn't that surprised. He only wished she'd gone all the way and converted it to semi-auto.

Bela's theft was almost a relief. He already knew there was no rescue for him, and having the Colt around was an invitation to false hope.

He halfway expected Lilith to show up and taunt him with the gun once he was stretched out on the rack. But Lilith never did come; apparently Dean wasn't important enough for her personal attention, or maybe it was just that Alastair was too good at his specialty to let a generalist like Lilith interfere.

Dean was nowhere near a scholar, but he wondered about the whole guns versus knives thing. Guns were, he thought, inherently opposed to the supernatural—they were human creations, technologies made once people stopped thinking that little spirits controlled the natural world and started thinking that they could figure out the rules. Knives, now—knives got you up close and personal. Knives made sense to demons, and, from the pictures he'd seen of angels, swords were pretty much the same to them. Soldiers carried guns; warriors carried swords. Dean didn't want to be a warrior.

Dean missed the Colt a lot. He had the feeling that bringing a gun to a knife fight was going to be their only way out of this thing.

If they had the time, maybe he'd spend some of it in Bobby's workshop. Bobby had all the tools, and if Dean didn't have the Colt any more he still had plenty of guns and a compelling motivation. Maybe Samuel Colt wasn't the only one who could build himself a magical-mechanical hybrid.

Dean might have started the apocalypse, and he might have been the angels' chew toy ever since. But give him a gun and a place to point it, and he was ready to move the world.

END

Notes: The Lazy Gun is from Iain Banks.

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