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Fic: Right-S-Y

By PaBurke
Summary/Challenge: Deaf!Dean, please. Preferably with some ASL usage too. Rating: Gen
Spoilers: Pre-pilot
Disclaimer: Not Mine


Sam went to the silent dinner to make Jess happy. She was early childhood education and like the idea of motions getting through to children when words could not. Then she dropped the bomb that she planned on teaching any children she birthed sign language because it helped toddler development. Sam joined the evening sign language class because he planned to be those babies’ father.

The absolute last person Sam expected to see at a silent dinner was his older brother, Dean. One, Dean should be in any other state in the United States. Two, Dean knowing sign language? But there he was, his hands flying with the speed of someone who had to sign to communicate and with a flirty smile on his lips.

Dean looked as surprised to see Sam as Sam was to see him. He stopped flirting with the girl, just stopped mid-sign. She tried to be polite and tap Dean’s elbow, like they had learned to do in class. Sam knew his brother, as much fun as a pretty girl was, Sam was more important. Dean offered the girl a conciliatory grin before moving Sam’s way.

He waved. Sam waved back. He jerked his head toward an unused corner. Who needed sign language when they had the expressions and patterns from childhood? Sam followed his brother. Dean turned around and used Sam’s tall frame to hide their conversation from the rest of the people in the room.

Sam had both fists closed with the index finger pointed up. He alternated vertical circles and then changed the sign to two ‘L’s’ expanding out like waves. He had his eyebrows up. Somehow the facial expressions that the deaf teacher had been harping on didn’t seem too difficult when talking to Dean.

Dean shrugged and fingerspelled ‘V-U-D-O,’ tapped a vertical fist on top of the other, twisted and did it again, then he slid a ‘D’ from his ear to the corner of his mouth.

Sam frowned. That didn’t spell a word but then he sounded it out. “Voodoo?”

Dean nodded once and then shrugged. He nodded a fist up and down. Some run-in with voodoo had made Dean deaf.

Sam dragged the thumbs of two ‘L’s’ up his chest and then shook his index finger.

Dean shrugged again and Sam glared. Dean sighed and then signed a bunch of numbers and letters too fast for Sam to keep up. The jerk was doing it on purpose. Dean was telling him his address but in a way that Sam couldn’t read.

Finally Dean surrendered and motioned one hand close to the other and then tapped one horizontal fist on top of the other.

Sam repeated Dean’s motion and then shook that finger at him again. Work where?

Just when Dean was about to tell the truth, Sam’s sign teacher approached with a smile. She tapped the nails of two ‘D’s’ against each other with her eyebrows raised and then waved one hand back over her shoulder.

Dean mimed a brim on a baseball cap and then placed a hand with a pointed index finger directly on top of one with the same. Brother.

Kara (a ‘K’ going up the other hand to signify that she was tall for a girl) looked at Sam, pretended to pick up something from her hand and put it in her head. Then she, with an index finger, flicked off the corner of her forehead and pointed at Dean. The pointing was one thing that still unnerved Sam about sign language; not only was it expected, it was required.

Sam shook his head. He had not learned sign language because of his brother. He remembered the sign he needed. He used his whole hand to point to his forehead and then motioned outward, still shaking his head. He hadn’t known.

Dean smirked and put both hands, closed, palms facing back to the sides of his face. Then he flicked his index fingers up, once. His eyes widened dramatically. Sam wasn’t familiar with the exact sign, but he could read ‘surprise’ in his brother’s expression. Sam glared at Dean.

Kara held the first two fingers of her right hand over the first two fingers of her left. Name. Then she swung the sign from Dean to Sam, with her eyebrows raised. Sam was already shaking his head no. Then he remembered the sign and snapped his first two fingers against his thumb.

Too late. Dean was grinning and motioning. He signed the second half of ‘brother’ –that also meant correct or right- and then the letter ‘S’ and the letter ‘Y.’

Sam fingerspelled ‘S-A-M.’ Right back at him. No way was he going to let his brother tag him with ‘Sammy’ in the deaf community. As was the culture, it was a deaf person who decided a hearing person’s name-sign.

Kara pretended to pull something from her head and the hand ended with her thumb and pinkie finger extended but the other three fingers closed. It looked like a big ‘Y.’ Sam interpreted it to mean ‘why.’

Dean answered with a flurry of motion. Sam couldn’t keep up and he had never seen some of those signs before. Sam concentrated more on Dean’s facial expressions than on the signs. Dean had that tic at the corner of his eye that Sam read as ‘lie,’ but only a brother would know that. Dean meant the sign to mean ‘brother-Sammy’ no matter what story he was spinning for Sam’s sign teacher. Kara considered it and then motioned ‘name’ towards Dean.

Sam was interested in this sign and not just for self-preservation. Dean fingerspelled his full name and then showed them a ‘D’ and then turned the ‘D’ palm down and put up his other hand to mime holding a long gun. Sam was probably the only person who would notice that the ‘D’ changed to something that realistically could be holding the stock of the rifle. Sam smiled at Kara hopefully, pulled ‘name’ toward himself and signed ‘S’ to ‘rifle.’

Kara smiled at both of them before agreeing. Sam knew that the ‘Sammy’ sign wasn’t going to disappear -Dean would still use it, but at least his name-sign meant ‘Sam Winchester.’

She touched her lips with the fingertips of a closed-five hand. Then she pulled the hand down in a ‘Y.’ Eat now.

Dean brightened and moved toward the table. Sam followed, knowing that their conversation was postponed indefinitely. Dragging real information out of his brother had just gotten a hell of a lot harder. Sam was relieved though, Dean had obviously decided to settle down nearby. Sam was going consider Dean’s hardship as a gift and take advantage of it. His brother was going to part of his life.

Sam’s intensity concerning sign language changed after that dinner. He went from a student that was good –most because of his effortless memory- to one that learned every single vocabulary word possible. He audited the sign classes he wasn’t attending. He hired another student to video the classes with which he had scheduling conflicts. He outstripped Jess’s vocabulary in a week and most second year students in four. His grammar tended to be more ‘English’ than ASL, but Dean could understand and that was all that mattered.

Not to mention, the Winchesters developed their own shorthand and vocabulary. For instance it was during an argument about Dean hunting a wendigo (bear with ‘w’ claws) that Sam realized that the voodoo priestess hadn’t made Dean deaf, she had made Dean mute. Dean had just been pretending to be deaf because it was easier to explain and with which to find advantages.

Sam felt free to yell at Dean after that, with both his hands and his voice.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
thank you.
Feb. 8th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Saving into the permanent file!
Feb. 8th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
yippee. I'm proud to have work there.
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Great fic and fab twist at the end!
Feb. 8th, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
thanks, I didn't know until half way through that Dean was going to be mute, but it made me smile.
Feb. 9th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
*heart breaking* awww, I adore this story. I love the relationship you have between the brothers. So wanna see more, hope that maybe you end up writing a little more!!!
Feb. 10th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
I believe in brothers. I'm sorry but this is all there is to this story.
Feb. 9th, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
This is great--I love that Dean very smoothly took his Sam-Sammy taunting straight to sign.
Feb. 10th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
that is the only reason why I took the story b/c Dean would so do that.
Feb. 9th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
HAH. Well done.
Feb. 10th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
Feb. 27th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
Trust Dean to be a pain in the ass in any language. Sneaky, too. Loved the ending. :DDD

*grovels* I can has moar mute!Dean? *kisses toes* On a huntz?
Feb. 27th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
Forgot to say, thank you for acknowledging the difference between signed English and ASL. I took a semester of the former. (It counted as a Language course.)
Feb. 27th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the review. My first introduction to sign language was more 'English' but because I was ten at the time, I didn't realize it. Later, to brush up on my skill, I took ASL and was hit in the face with the difference. I'm glad someone understood what I was saying and commented on it.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
Just stumbled upon this through the hoodietime meme. This was so good. Is it a oneshot?
Aug. 24th, 2014 11:46 am (UTC)
Yep. Thanks for letting me know you liked it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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