Deanna felt weird. Heavier. The back of her neck was cold. She blinked awake and squinted at the wall she was facing. Was it a different color than it had been when she fell asleep? And hadn’t she been sharing a bed with Sammie after their mother had dropped in unexpectedly? She sat up. Definitely heavier. And slower. What?
She dragged a hand over her face.
That was not her hand. Her face didn’t have stubble. And it wasn’t that wide. What the hell? What the hell?
Slowly, Deanna moved her hands over her head: hair shorter, face wider, jawline… Broader shoulders. Chest? She dared look down as her palms made contact with a plain of muscle that was more akin to what she preferred in a guy than what was a part of her own body. She flung the motel comforter off (that was definitely different than the one she’d fallen asleep under) and stared down at a man’s calves and thick leg hair and…
What. The. Hell.
Deanna sprung from bed and sprinted to the tiny bathroom. The eyes that stared back at from the mirror’s surface in absolute panic were hers. Those were her green eyes. She’d been receiving comments about them from everyone from associates to lovers since she could remember. But that rest of that face? That jawline, that nose, those ears. Those weren’t hers. Those belonged to a guy. Some guy. She was a guy.
“Sammie?” She called. She gripped her throat. That was not her voice. That was some guy’s voice. She was a guy!? “Sammie!” She called again, stepping out of the bathroom this time.
In the bed Deanna hadn’t been occupying, a figure stirred.
“Dean?” A low voice rasped. The person who sat up in that bed was not Sammie. That was not her little sister. He wasn’t anybody’s little anything.
“Dean?” The giant repeated, a little worried this time. “What’s wrong?”
Samantha awoke before her sister and mother. She scowled at having shared a bed with Deanna just because Mary decided to high jack their hunt. She scoffed at having to pretend she was happy to see the woman after who knows long. And she conjured her most powerful bitch face at how her sister had stolen all of the covers in the night.
Some things never change.
Sam rolled out of bed and shuffled to the bathroom, grabbing a change of clothes on the way, determined to get to use some hot water before the other two Winchester women had a chance to steal it from her. She glanced at the scratched motel mirror and heaved a sigh. Her hair wasn’t going to do what she wanted it to today, was it? Just like everything else.
She was getting dressed when she heard her mother’s voice. Oh wonderful. Mary’s awake. Now the fun can begin. And then she heard Deanna:
“Mom? Mom, what?” She sounded… scared? Why was Deanna scared of mom? Deanna doesn’t get scared of mom. “What the hell’s happening?”
And Sam was out of the bathroom, standing in a fighting stance, hair dripping, thrift store jeans hanging off of her hips, one of her father’s flannel shirts unbuttoned. Deana looked at her, shock painted on her face.
“Sammy?” She whispered. Sam furrowed her brow at her, arms dropping to her sides.
“D? What’s up? What’s wrong?” She looked around the room, hands auto-piloting up to the buttons on her shirt.
Deanna only stared. Sam stared back, the crease in her brow deepening in worry. Then they heard a click.
Two sets of eyes locked on Mary Winchester. She was pointing a forty-five at her oldest daughter. Deanna automatically went into a defensive stance. Sam automatically went on the offensive:
“Mom, what the hell!?” She threw arms into the arm.
“Sam, get dressed.” Her mother ordered. “That isn’t your sister.”
“You’re Deanna Winchester?” Sam looked at his brother in disbelief.
“Uh huh.” Deanna nodded. Dean nodded? Deanna nodded Dean’s head. He was standing with his hands on his hips… She was standing? This is going to be confusing. “I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, our bodies got switched or something.” She started pacing. She. Yeah. This was a girl in Dean’s body, so she started pacing back and forth, shaking her head.
“Uh, okay.” Sam let out an incredulous chuckle. The way his brow furrowed was exactly the way Sammie’s did. Deanna stared for a moment, swallowing hard.
“What? you don’t believe me?”
“Uh, no, Dean, I don’t.” Sam laughed. He stood up from his bed and Deanna sighed.
“Seriously?” She said, shaking her head again.
“Come on, you gotta admit,”
“I’m a guy in this dimension or universe or whatever, and I’m still fuckin’ shorter than you are. Great.” Deanna sighed again, then stalked over to one of the duffle bags that were stacked on an armchair in one corner.
“Honestly sasquatch,” She said over her shoulder. “I don’t really care if you believe me, alright? I have to get back to where I’m from. I can’t leave Sammie alone with mom too long. They’ll rip each other’s throats out.”
“Mom?” Sam’s voice wouldn’t have sounded broken to the average person, but Deanna picked up on the sadness and the pain right away. She swung around quickly, plaid shirt half on.
“Yeah.” She said quietly. Sam was looking at her in disbelief, brow furrowing in a completely different way this time. Deanna was amazed by how perfectly her little sister’s facial expressions transferred onto her gargantuan male counterpart.
“She raised us after dad was killed. Took us on the road, taught us to hunt.” Deanna watched Sam sit back down on the corner of his bed. And all of sudden, he wasn’t just some guy or some inter-dimensional whatever. He was Sammie. Sam. Her little brother. She had a little brother.
“Mom, what are you talking about?” Sam sounded exasperated.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Dean barely had time to process. Okay. He was a girl. And so was Sam. Mom was alive. Mom was here. Mom was pointing a gun at him. Sam was standing between him and mom. Wait. What?
“Mom. Stop.” It sounded like an order. It was an order. Mom, stop pointing a gun at the only person on the planet who’s still on your side. It’s a bad idea. Mom, stop pointing a gun at my sister in front of me. It’s a bad. Idea.
“Yeah, mom, stop.” Dean said, pain in his voice. Not his voice. Pain in what his voice would sound like if he were a girl. Which he is. What?
“Samantha Winchester, move.” The woman’s voice cracked. Oh. Mary Winchester doesn’t like pointing weapons at her daughters. What a surprise.
She’ll get over it in a minute. Her youngest thought.
“No. not until you put that thing down and one of you explains what the hell is going on! I get in the shower and come back to a fucking bitch-out? Seriously!? I can’t leave you two alone for a second!”
“Samantha, you know I don’t appreciate that language.”
“Yeah, mom, I do know that, actually. Fuck, fuck, bitch, shitdick.”
Mary would have replied, or maybe Dean would have said something. Sam had been contemplating leaping at their mother and wrenching the gun from her hands, the same way she had the last time the three of them had been in this wonderful position. But none of that happened. None of that could happen. Not really, now that Castiel was in the room.
“So, how do we get you home and get Dean back?” Sam asked between bites of his breakfast. He’d gone and gotten take-out from a diner up the road. Deanna had used the alone time to get to know her “new digs”. And figure out how in the hell guys put on pants.
“I don’t know.” Deanna said, mouth full. Sam shot her an unimpressed look. Some things never change. “We gotta figure that out.” She rolled her new shoulders. “This is not gonna work for much longer.” A thought struck her as she swallowed. “Hey, Castiel.”
And just like that a scruffy, trench-coat wearing Angel of the Lord was standing there in the middle of their motel room, looking at the two of them with curiosity. Deanna smiled at him, sitting back in her chair.
“Wow.” She said with a small chuckle. “You’re hot as a guy, Cas.”
Castiel tilted his head one side, squinting at Dean. Not Dean? His soul looked… different. But not different. This was Dean, but this wasn’t Dean. The look on Sam Winchester’s face was definitely one of the “I knew it. I fucking knew it.” variety.
“Cas,” Deanna continued without missing a beat because of course she wouldn’t. “Do you know how to travel between realities?”
“I’m sorry?” Cas responded. “You want to go to another dimension?”
“Yeah, see, I’m not Dean.”
“No, you’re not.” Cas looked her up and down. The smile she flashed him couldn’t be described as anything but flirtatious. Sam chuckled to himself. Yeah. That was definitely Dean in there. A little less inhibited, okay, a lot less inhibited, but definitely Dean.
“I’m Deanna, and back home I’ve got a sister, I’ve got hunts, and I’ve got a car to take care of, and I’d really like to get back to all that. You think you can swing it?”
Castiel. As a girl. A woman. Same ratty trench coat. The blue tie was a ruffle-y scarf, though the suit was pretty much the same. Except it was on a woman. A beautiful woman: long, raven hair, soft lips, blue eyes. Angry blue eyes. Mary was against the far wall then, Cassie having waved one of her hands in the air as if swatting a fly. Sam almost laughed.
“Hey!” Dean yelled. Cassie looked at him and tilted her head. Deanna? Not Deanna. Deanna reaction.
“That’s my mom, asshole.” Dean shoved past Sam to crouch at the side of the woman who had been threatening her life. The gun that she had used to so was in Sam’s hand now, put there by Castiel’s grace. Safer there. Sam sighed at the sight of Deanna, once again, taking their mother’s side despite better judgment and common freakin’ sense.
“Get away from me.” Mary stood shakily, lashing out at her daughter with the fingernails she kept long and sharp for just such occasions. Dean dodged, grabbing her wrist.
“Mom, it’s me.” He said. But it wasn’t, was it? She was right. He wasn’t her daughter. “D”, “Sam” had called her. Were they still named after Mary’s parents? That meant his name was Deanna here. Wherever the hell here was.
“I,” He struggled to find the words. “You’re right.” He finally decided on, letting go of his mom’s wrist.
“What?” Sam spat, forehead creased. She stepped toward her sister. “Deanna, what?”
“I’m not Deanna.” Dean shook his head, blond curls flying everywhere as she did. “I’m Dean.”
“What?” Sam repeated.
“It’s called inter-dimensional transference.” Cassie stated plainly.
“What?” Mary’s turn. She was standing now, facing the new comer, yes, but her were eyes trained on her daughter. Or rather, her daughter’s body.
“Oh, Cassie, you haven’t met mom yet.” Sam’s voice smacked with rebellion as she focused on the one problem she could actually understand for the time being. “Castiel, this is our mom, Mary Winchester.”
“I am aware.” The angel almost growled, glaring at the woman.
“And mom, this is our friend, Cassie. She’s an angel.”
“Really.” It wasn’t a question. Mary Winchester did not believe in angels. Sam rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, really.” She said quickly before moving on, focusing on her sister. Or, not her sister. “Dean?” She asked, looking him up and down. “You’re like, what, from another world?”
“Looks like it.” Dean nodded.
Sam sighed. “Okay,” She nodded. “That’s fine.” Nothing was going her way today. Or ever.
“What you’re experiencing, Deanna is called inter-dimensional transference, a naturally occurring spacial phenomenon. It occurs very rarely on this plain of existence. However, it can and does happen from time to time. It has caused you and Dean’s consciousnesses, your very souls, to switch positions in your respective universes.”
Deanna nodded her head a few times, then turned to Sam for a translation. Sam sighed.
“I think was Cas means is, it’s random.”
“Oh good. Wonderful. I can’t even kill anything for this. Awesome.” She scoffed and Sam couldn’t help but laugh at the downright feminine way she moved her big brother’s body in disgust. Once he’d recovered, and garnered an unimpressed look from Deanna, Sam continued:
“It’s kind of like when an angel or a demon possesses someone, right? Their essence is transferred into their vessel. Only, this time, it’s two people who are parallel versions of each other, and they’ve switched essences.” He looked at Cas. “Right?”
The angel nodded. “Yes.” His eyes narrowed. “That is what I said?”
“That is not what you said Cas.” Deanna insisted. “What Sammy said made sense. What you said was “blippity, blippity, bleh, bleh, bleh something about space”. Like Shakespeare in high school. You were the original text and Sam was the simplified version.”
Cas squinted again. “I don’t understand, isn’t that,”
“You read Shakespeare?” Sam asked in disbelief. His brother’s face contorted in something that resembled pain for a moment.
“Uh, yeah.” Deanna said. The “Don’t tell my mom” died on the tongue she was borrowing. She turned back to Cas. “So, can we get back?”
“Yes.” Cas said, then something seemed to dawn on him. “Well, no.”
The four of them sat on one of the motel beds, all weapons stowed far away from Mary Winchester. That had been Sam’s idea and Dean had been confused for a little bit. But then it hit him. This wasn’t his mom, was it? This was Mary Winchester, sitting across from him right now, yes, but… but it wasn’t. This woman was way more John than Mary. Did, did that mean…
“Where’s dad?” He croaked out in a raspy, alto voice. The girl Sam blinked at him.
“He was killed.” She said slowly. “When I was a baby.” Then she seemed to flinch. Dean wondered what she had been anticipating.
“Oh.” He nodded.
“That didn’t happen where you’re from?” Sam asked.
“Maybe you weren’t born.” Mary said almost casually and Dean realized what his brother’s counterpart had flinched for. Sam put a hand on Cassie’s shoulder, the angel’s eyes once again burning with anger.
Dean looked at the hurt in sister’s eyes. Sister? Yes. Little sister. Sammie. Then he looked at Mary. Whoever she was, she wasn’t his mother, and therefore he was free say this:
“Hey, bitch, you can’t talk to her like that.”
The smile that broke out across Sam’s face was equally matched against the look of udder horror that broke out on Mary’s. Some kind of altercation definitely would have ensued had Castiel not thought better of it:
“I think perhaps we should focus on the more pressing matter of returning Dean to his own reality.”
“Perhaps.” Mary’s voice dripped with venom and Dean shot her a sort of “come at me, bro” look before turning toward Cas.
“How do we do that, exactly?”
“A spell.” Sam nodded. “Okay, we can do that.”
“This spell is… Complicated.” Cas admitted. “It requires participation from both sides. If we preform it, and they don’t, nothing will happen and vice versa.”
“No problem.” Deanna shook her head. “Cassie’s probably explaining this right now, the same way you are. They’ll figure it out.”
“And what if they don’t?” Sam asked worriedly.
Deanna heaved a sigh and turned toward his brother. “Well then, Samuel, we got problems.”
“So they could’ve already cast the spell.” Sam said in exasperation.
“Yes.” Cassie answered plainly.
“Is there not a more direct method we could use?” Mary asked, shaking her head.
“No?” Dean sighed. “Just: no? What about some kind of dimensional space-time phone or something? We could call up my world and coordinate.”
Sam looked hopeful as Cassie squinted at the bedspread, searching for a solution. Eventually though, she shook her head. “No.”
“Well aren’t you useful.” Mary scoffed.
“And what brilliant ideas have you come up with?” Sam’s bitch-face was out in full force and Dean almost laughed at how much it resembled the one he was used to.
“Young lady,” Mary began to scold.
“Old lady.” Sam mimicked. Dean opened his current mouth to say something but Cassie put her arms up.
“Enough!” She commanded, the windows rattling a bit at the boom of her voice. Mary turned toward the sound, eyes wide in disbelief. She turned back to Cassie, eyes narrowed.
“There is not a way we can communicate between dimensions, not without traveling there physically, which we can’t do without certain artifacts, artifacts that we do not have. Therefore, I suggest we go ahead with casting the spell anyway, trusting that our counterparts in this parallel world have made the same discoveries we have. If this course of actions fails, we will try something else.”
“Something else?” Mary cocked her head to one side. “Something else. That’s your backup plan? Something else?”
“Yeah, apparently.” Dean leaned forward on the bed, only half sure he could bring himself to strike his- someone who looked like his mother.
“Why did I ever leave the two of you alone?” Mary pressed a hand to her face.
“I donno, mom, but you did say something about “not wanting to be there when this whole “demonic psychic thing” comes back to bite Deanna”.” Sam swung her legs off the bed and stalked off to the bathroom. Dean followed her, stopping on the way to grab a duffle identical to the one he owned back in his own world.
He found his little sister in front of the mirror, running a brush through her mostly-dry hair.
“Hey.” She said.
“Hey.” Dean plopped the bag down on the floor before closing and locking the door behind him.
“Thanks for standing up to my mom like that. You think you could teach the same trick to Deanna sometime?”
Dean sighed. “She shouldn’t have said that. She’s your mom.” He squatted down near his duffle. Deanna’s duffle. Yeah, definitely Deanna’s duffle. He did not own as many bras.
“She’s my mother.” Sam said melancholically, turning around. She snickered at the confusion on her sister’s face.
“What?” Dean asked defensively. “I’m more used to the whole undressing a girl thing, not dressing one.” He gave a strapless bra a weird look.
“Here.” Sam squatted down on the other side of the bag and rummaged around a bit. She came up with a red support bra and a pair of striped boy shorts. “Put these on. I’ll help with the bra.”
Castiel had volunteered to gather spell ingredients they didn’t yet possess while Deanna and Sam drew the runes he showed them on the wooden table in the motel.
“So,” Deanna said as they worked. “I’m guessing your dad plays the same role for you guys as our mom does for us.”
“Uh, played.” Sam said, a little choked up. “He’s been gone for a while now.”
“Oh.” Deanna said quietly. A moment passed. “Sorry.”
“Bringing up all the dead people. I don’t like seeing you all glassy-eyed.”
“You just met me.” Sam smiled.
“You’re still my sister.” Deanna shrugged. “Or, I guess, you’d prefer brother.”
“Yeah, kinda.” Sam nodded, half laughing. Deanna smiled at him.
“Alright, brother it is then. My little brother.” She nodded and puffed out her chest. Sam shook his head again.
Eventually the other two Winchester siblings got Dean dressed in a pair of jean’s that were a size or two bigger than he was used to seeing girls in, a black tank top, and a red plaid shirt, the ends tied in a messy not at the base of his ribcage. It was during this process that Dean began to see the obvious benefits of being in a girl’s body for a little while.
“I’m hot.” He said, looking in the mirror as Sam searched for her sister’s leather belt. The younger sibling rolled her eyes.
“Your girlfriend thinks so.” Sam straightened, having located the accessory in a seemingly endless sea of mess.
“My what?” Dean asked, taking the belt.
“Cassie.” Sam said, leaning back on her heels. “What? You and your Castiel aren’t together?”
“My Castiel’s a guy.” Dean said, then looked up when he realized exactly what he’d said. “I mean, the Castiel from my reality. Not my,”
“Whoa, dude, calm your tits.” Sam laughed. “Deanna’s bi. If you’re not that’s cool.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m not,” Dean sort of grunted, then focused a little too hard on getting Deanna’s belt into its loops. Sam laughed again and he looked at her.
Sam shook her head. “Nothin’. Nothin’ at all.” Some things never change.
Castiel returned eventually with the missing ingredients and the three of them got to work.
There were four people working on the other end.
Both groups stood in circles above their respective small flames as they burned blue.
Samantha and Samuel spoke in unison.
Rerum retro animus retro quomodo reputati
Rerum retro animus retro quomodo reputati
Rerum retro animus retro quomodo reputati
Rerum retro animus retro quomodo reputati
There was a flash of light. And then there were seven people standing in one motel room. And two of them were, quite understandably, a little more pissed off than the rest.