bertee wrote this great fic called lowering the bar (R; Sam/Dean) where Dean convinces Sam they should pretend to pick each other up at a bar. And I just loved the dynamic, because the roleplaying let them interact with each other outside of the patterns they would otherwise have set for themselves, and to renegotiate spaces in their relationship in a way they would never have been able to as themselves speaking to each other.
There's a similar dynamic going on (though not quite) in roque_clasique's The Game (PG; Sam/Dean for like one sentence, but other than that Sam+Dean), where Sam observes Dean as though he were a stranger, and pretends to tease out what kind of person Dean is based only on what he can see as Dean walks up to him, without relying on any of the back-knowledge Sam has on him.
I fucking love this shit. Lap it up with a spoon levels of love!! I sort of played with it a bit in that 9x07 coda I wrote where all the daughters were fawning over Dean and Sam, annoyed, tried to see Dean as they saw Dean. And got upset because he (thought he) wanted Dean the way he interacted with the girls, instead of Dean the way he interacted with Sam. I wanna do more stuff with that sort of thing.
I'm sort of passively trying to figure out how to do the trope without it being too stagey or silly and unlikely. But I can't get away from unlikely couples therapy situations. XD I'll try to get past that and then suddenly I'll just be like, WAIT. I SAW THIS MOVIE.
IT'S CALLED HOPE SPRINGS.
If you're unfamiliar with this film, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones go to couples therapy to rekindle the passion and understanding in their staid 30-year marriage.) And once I get to Hope Springs, my mind jumps to other movies Tommy Lee Jones has done. Like Natural Born Killers! Which, borrowing from IMDB, is a movie about "Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media." Tommy Lee Jones isn't one of the leads, but STILL.
Surely there's a middle ground for Sam and Dean that is neither a 30-year-marriage romcom-AKA-the-one-movie-that-me-and-my-g