Chapter 9: The Mind and the Heart

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"Just don't let your mind drown out your heart."

"He's okay," Percy walked into the back, pinning up a page from his notepad for the cooks. "Your father, I mean."

Dean looked up from the chair he was sitting on, the head of his costume sitting between his legs, "Yeah? Just okay?"

The black-haired man was silent for a moment, his lips a thin line as he looked out at the customers eating happily, "For now. We'll see if he can change my mind."

"What are you doing?" Sam asked John when Jackson walked off with their orders. "I thought we were looking for Dean. Why didn't you ask him if he knew anything?"

"Because," John looked at his son, keeping his voice low. "There's something off about him, I can feel it."

"Is he dangerous?"

The eldest Winchester looked towards the back of the diner and met sea green eyes. The waiter's lips curled into a sharp grin and John felt himself gripping the table in a white-knuckled grip, "I don't know... But we'll find out."

"How?" Sam tilted his head, "I mean, we can't just stab him." There was a moment of silence. "We're not going to stab him."

"I won't stab him," John grumbled even though he had contemplated that. "We'll just observe him more, see if he does anything shady."

"Shady like what?" The youngest Winchester wondered, letting his eyes run over the diner in a way that looked relaxed and casual. He liked this place, he kind of hoped that, for once, his dad was just being paranoid.

"He has this strange aura- pressure or whatever you will call it- and it almost reminds me of a few creatures I hunted while you were at Stanford."

Sam looked like he wanted to ask something but he simply nodded his head, leaning his chin on his fist as he waited for his food.

"You know..."

Dean jumped when he heard his friend's (maybe best friend?) voice behind him.

The black-haired waiter came to stand next to him, a black tray with a salad and a burger on it in his hands, "They're goin' to start noticing you if you keep staring at them, Winnie. You're a giant reindeer." He set the tray down on a counter, seeming to not care that he was making someone wait for their food, "Come on, let's go over here. Sit," He pointed to a bench in the breakroom. "And for Zeus' sake, take off the costume."

The Winchester didn't comment on the use of the Greek god's name. His friend used them often enough that he was used to hearing them. Instead, he did as he was told, letting the reindeer head fall at his feet as he sat down heavily, "What?"

"What's on your mind?" Percy grabbed a chair and sat down on it backwards, "I know it's about your family, so don't tell me you're fine."

Dean looked up at his best friend before sighing, dropping his gaze, "I started traveling around, you know? I've been tryin' to get away from my family after they left me to live their own lives... But... I don't get it, why do they have to come back when I just got mine all figured out?"

Jackson was quiet for a moment before he let out a small breath of air, "Look, Winnie, I'm going to tell you something about myself that I haven't told anyone here in Madison."

The green-eyed man looked up at him, his eyebrows raised in surprise. They never really talked about themselves, they weren't mature enough adults to talk about their messed up pasts to not have a reaction that would blow up in their faces later. They usually avoided it unless it was truly eating them up inside and, even then, they usually just ate pie and watched reruns of Friends.

"I left my family," Percy shrugged like the statement didn't bother him but there was an emotion playing in his eyes that told a different story. "It- I didn't want to but it felt like I had to? Everyone expected things from me, too much. My dad wanted me to be this big shot and live with him and his wife and son. The camp I was at- It- I just felt like they only wanted me to be a leader, not like a friend. And I just couldn't stay in the camp, not when there were so much memories that I couldn't shake..."

Dean studied his friend's face, the raw emotion displayed clearly, "Why're you telling me this?"

"Because," Percy ran a hand through his white hair, letting his eyes flicker to the wall as he spoke. "If you go over to your family, even if it's to just serve some food as a stupid reindeer, I'll... I'll give my family a call."

"Perce-"

"Look, I'm not saying you have to do anything. I'm just saying that you should at least give your brother a chance, if not your father. I mean, from what you told me, you and Sam were pretty close, are close, I bet. That's not just something you can let go. If you don't want to talk to them, though, I won't make you. Just don't let your mind drown out your heart." He got up and walked towards a counter, picking up a number card, handing it to Dean, "The food's theirs. Let me know what you decide in a bit, I'm going to serve table 11. I think someone's got a birthday they don't want anyone knowing."

Dean held the number card and turned it in his hand as he bit his lip in thought. Did he really want to talk to his family again? His brother went to college, and he would never be mad at Sam for that, but he never called, not once in the long time that he had been gone. And his father had just left him, picked up his things and drove off in the middle of the night to go hunt on his own. Even so, he still loved his family and he longed to see them again but... If he went back, he knew John would try to get him to leave with him and Sam and he didn't know if he wanted to. He had a family here in Madison, too...

He had a lot to think about.

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