AN: This story is dedicated to my many fan fic writing friends in my FB group, It's Funnier In Enochian. You guys continue to inspire and be inspired! I think we can all relate to one or more of the girls in this story as we are all fans of Supernatural! Thanks for your continued encouragement, reviews, and just always being there!
~1~ The Set Up
"Hey Dee! Dee!"
"What?!" I was spending the summer with my parents. They were getting on in years and I was currently between jobs, so they let me stay at their place in exchange for doing some work around the house. My current project was redoing their grungy bathroom. I don't think it had seen fresh paint since they moved into the place 23 years ago.
"Dee, come down here! You have a visitor!" My father was bellowing up the stairs at me. Why walk up here and get me when yelling so the whole neighborhood could hear would suffice?
I came out of the bathroom to see my mother folding laundry on her bed. "Really mom? You haven't broken him of this habit yet?" I asked her with a smile and an eye roll.
"Now, Natalie. You know he probably hasn't even gotten out of his tv chair either." We shared a chuckle and I went down to see who was here. I couldn't imagine who it could be, as I just got into town last week and hadn't really gone out and visited any of the old haunts yet.
I got to the bottom of the steps and my father, still in his tv chair, waved toward the front door without ever removing his eyes from his game. It appeared to be golf today. Yawn. I went to the front door and peeked out through the screen door. There was a guy sitting on our front steps with his back to me. I knew right away who it was. I practically launched myself through the screen door and jumped on his back, almost taking him to the ground. "Nicky!"
"Hey, whoa! Simmer down, there, Lil Dee!" I let go of him and he stood, turned, and gave me a huge hug, lifting me off the ground. Nick was my cousin from my father's Italian side of the family and his father was the one who dubbed me with the moniker 'lil Dee'. My uncle could never remember my name, but knew my mom's name was Doris, hence the little D.
Nick is only two years older than me and, growing up, I thought he was a god. He has always been the coolest thing on two feet. Leather coats, cool cars, and shades. Blasting the rock and roll and not giving a care about who it bothered. Easily six feet tall or more, dark hair, and tattoos. Some would say he was hot, but I could never look at him like that. He was family, after all.
We never hung out in quite the same circles, though. He was a bad boy and I was a bit of a geek, but he was always there for me. Always stuck up for me if I was getting bullied and was never afraid of being seen in public with me. He treated me like the kid sister he never had. He had no siblings and often found himself hanging out with the wrong crowd. He's been busted a few times and even spent a year in juvey. We all suspect that he still makes his living a little off the grid, if you know what I mean. But we all turn a blind eye to it. I'm not talking murder or anything quite so hard core. Grand larceny, though, I'd wager. Some breaking and entering, etc.
"Lil Dee...how ya been? So good to see you! Wow, you've grown up! How long has it been?"
"More than ten years, Nicky. Too long." I went off to college and then straight to my first job up in Boston. We hadn't seen each other since my high school graduation.
"How long you here for?"
"All summer. My new job doesn't start until the last week of August."
"So where's that one going to take you?" He asked raising his one eyebrow. He knew it drove me crazy. I used to sit for hours, as a kid, trying to imitate it to no avail.
"Colorado State University." I said, beaming.
"Well, look at you! Listen, I can't stay long tonight. I'll be over on Saturday for a cook out, I think your Pop said. Right now, though, I just wanted to swing by and give you this." He hands me a big manilla envelope, but holds onto it, in my hand. "Before you open it, listen to me, okay?"
I look at the envelope and then up at him, curiosity plain on my face. "What's up?"
"I know how much it hurt you, when I didn't show for your graduation..."
"Nicky, that was over ten years ago! I think I'm over it." I smiled at him, unsure where this was going.
"I said to hear me out, now let me talk, Dee." He paused waiting to see if I was really going to be quiet and listen. When I didn't say anything, he continued. "Besides the graduation thing, I've hurt a lot of people in my life, let a lot of people down. I know I've disappointed you on more than one occasion, too. My business has been doing very well, lately, and I'm trying to make amends the only way I know how, to some of the people I've let down over the years. I don't shop. I don't gift wrap. I wouldn't presume to even have the slightest idea of what to buy you, anyway. So...I'm just going to give you some money..."
"No, Nicky. You don't have to do anything for me! You've always been there for me. You -" He put his finger to my lips, shushing me.
"I'm not doing this for you, Dee. Well I am, but...ugh I never know how to say what I want to say. I'm doing this for me, okay? I need to do this, okay? It's the only way I know how to say sorry, to say I..." His voice trailed off. "Listen...give it all to charity, if you want. Go on a huge shopping spree. Go on that crazy road trip you were ranting about not too long ago on Facebook. I don't care, just take it. Okay?"
I wanted to make some snarky remark about him being on Facebook, but the look he gave me was so intense. He was baring his soul to me in a way I have never seen him do, ever. For anyone. I knew, deep inside, that he felt he really needed to do this. I would only hurt him more if I refused his gift. Without even opening the envelope, I stepped in and hugged him to me. "Of course, Nicky. I love you too."
That was a month ago and the amount of money he had put in that envelope was obscene. Let's just say I was going to not only fund my road trip, but I was going to be taking four of my best friends along for the ride! We were all part of a Facebook group devoted to a particular book series. The series never did overly well, but garnered a huge underground, almost cult-like, following. We had all met online, talking, theorizing, ranting and raving about the books. We had even gotten together in person on three different occasions and had no end of fun.
The series, known as Supernatural, followed the lives of two brothers, Sam and Dean, as they hunted evil across the U.S. Things like wendigos, spirits and demons. I think Dean reminded me a lot of my cousin Nicky and that's why I fell in love with the books, initially. But, the great stories aside, it's the relationship the brothers had with each other that kept fans coming back for more. For a while, it seemed as if the author just quit writing. There was a huge break and the fans cried out for more. Then, about a year ago, there were suddenly a ton of new books available online. The story going around was that the author had passed away and they had found a huge cache of unpublished works when they auctioned off the contents of his house. They passed through several hands, until, finally they landed in the hands of someone with the funds to have them all published. The series now covered approximately a five year span in the brother's lives.
My road trip was a fan experience like no other. I planned on driving from one end of the country to other and back again, visiting some of the places from the books. The infamous Mystery Spot, in Florida, where Sam relived the same day well over a hundred times, with Dean dying in every one. Sam's college apartment in Palo Alto, where the brother's first join up and start the hunt. Lawrence, Kansas, where the boys were born and a demon stole their mother from them, and more. The trip was planned to end at Singer's Salvage in South Dakota. Of course, some of these places are probably only fantasy, but half the fun of a road trip was the journey itself.
None of this may sound all that exciting, but to fans of the books? This was a trip of a lifetime. I had bought airline tickets for three of my friends, to meet us in Florida. I was going to pick up my fourth friend on the drive down. The final piece to this great trip? Nicky promised me that he would get me the perfect car for our trip. I was to be packed and ready to go tomorrow morning and he'd have the car here at six a.m. Let the trip begin!