Dean had gone out one day that summer and come back with an old automatic, single-cab, extended-bed pickup for Cas to learn to drive in. He said it wouldn't hurt any to have an extra car now anyway, what with "The Winchester Brothers" now being "The Winchester Brothers plus Cas" until the next thing came along to turn their world upside down, especially since there being three of them meant that sometimes Sam or Cas would stay back at the bunker when Dean went off on an easy hunt.
It was a rusty little red Dodge and it smelled like someone had spent the last ten years sitting inside it, chain-smoking. Sam chucked an armload of air fresheners in one day and had nothing more to do with it. De-rusting pickups and teaching people to drive was Dean's thing, not Sam's. He'd taught Sam to drive, after all (and Sam had always kind of wondered why he even bothered, given that he never actually let Sam behind the wheel unless he was either unconscious or so close to it even he couldn't pretend otherwise).
Sam was comfortably ensconced in the library with a mug of brandy-spiked cider and a book on Samhain rituals, thinking about either bringing the book to bed or kicking off his shoes and curling up where he was, when Dean came stomping in and threw Sam's jacket over his head. Sam shook his head like a dog and the jacket slid down into his lap. He blinked, bewildered. "What did you do that for?"
Dean jerked his thumb over his shoulder. He was already dressed to go outside. "Let's go, move out. We got stuff to do tonight." He turned and strode off, clearly expecting Sam to hurry up and follow without comment.
Well. Sam hurried and followed, but he wouldn't be a little brother if he did it without comment. "What's up, we got a hunt?" he asked, slinging his jacket over his shoulders and stuffing his arms into the sleeves. It was a good thing he hadn't taken his shoes off after all, because in this mood Dean would probably just make him go barefoot. "Bakery somewhere got a special on apple pie? The bar in town running a wet tee-shirt contest and advertising for judges, only short guys need apply?"
Dean growled ahead of him. Sam smirked.
"Thought so. You need to tell me about these things in advance, dude, I could've made you a website to make sure you get elected. I could've put up those pictures of the time you wore those sparkly gold swim shorts 'cus you thought they made you look cool."
Dean whirled around and jabbed a finger at Sam threateningly, a silent picture of guaranteed menace. Sam shut his mouth and trailed after his brother like a giant, hulking duckling out to the garage.
Sam made a beeline for the Impala, but he was surprised when Dean grabbed his sleeve and yanked him almost off his feet to swing him around to the red pickup. Sam had to put both hands out to catch himself against the passenger door. Dean climbed into the driver's seat, so Sam shrugged to Baby (no, he wasn't communicating with her- she was a car, for god's sake- he just thought she should know he had no idea why Dean had decided to use this junky thing instead of her. Not that Sam cared.) and folded himself in next to him.
Dean snorted. Sam scowled.
"This is stupid," he said, talking between his knees because of the way he had to scrunch up just to fit in the damn cab. "Why can't we take the car?"
Dean shook his head and started the engine, which sounded much smoother than the day he'd brought it home. "Because we need the truck. You're the one who decided to eat so many damn vegetables when you were growing up, so stop whining."
Sam lapsed into sullen silence as Dean drove them towards the town.
They ended up going right through it, and Sam began to wonder seriously what they were doing, but Dean seemed to know exactly where he was going and pulled off on a dirt road that Sam hadn't even noticed in the dark. They bounced along the track for a few minutes, then rounded a bend that took them past the stand of trees that had been blocking Sam's view of where they were headed.
Bright light filled a field full of cars and trucks, with a big white-washed board at one end.
Sam looked around curiously as Dean backed the pickup into a space between a sedan and a station wagon, facing the truck away from the board. "Are we at a drive-in?"
"Yup." Dean turned on the pickup's radio and spun the tuner dial. The drive-in's station was just static for now. He clapped Sam's shoulder. "Come on, out."
Sam obediently (if not at all gracefully) opened his door and decompressed himself out onto the ground. He followed Dean around to the bed of the truck and grinned, everything suddenly clarified.
The bed was stuffed full of pillows and blankets, a couple of mattresses wedged down underneath everything, and a cooler that Sam would bet anything was full of beer sat tucked in the middle at the top under the cab window. Dean started shaking out blankets and propping pillows up on his side to make a backrest. He raised an eyebrow at Sam. "You gonna just stand there and watch me do everything or are you gonna help?"
Sam swallowed his laughter at Dean's complete inability to just do anything nice without a whole production of blustering first, and started shaping up his own side of the bed. Dean leaned back into the cab and opened the rear window so they could hear the radio as the ads came on, then they took turns kicking off their shoes and climbing up into their nest. The screen dimmed suddenly and Sam could see the clouds of his breath in the remaining light, but their pile of blankets was plenty heavy and thick to keep him warm, especially when the truck bed was narrow enough that he and Dean were pressed together from shoulder to feet. Well. Dean's feet, his shins. Sam suddenly realized that the extended bed meant he could lay down in there just fine if he wanted, though he'd never be able to do that in a truck this small if it'd had the standard length, and he wondered just how long Dean had thought about this.
Dean handed him a beer from the cooler and took one for himself and they clinked the necks together. The opening credits to Boris Karloff's The Mummy started rolling on screen, and Sam settled back.