Irene took Cas to the bus station at five thirty the next morning and bought him a ticket for the 6:05 bus to Sioux Falls via Omaha, the only place Cas could think to find Winchesters off the top of his head. He doubted they would actually be anywhere near Sioux Falls now that Bobby was dead, but maybe somewhere on Bobby's abandoned lot there might be something of use to a human fighting against supernatural creatures.
When the bus was called for boarding, Irene gave him a big hug and handed him a paper bag. "There's some food and water for your trip, Clarence," she said. "I asked around, and we also collected you a little bit of money too to help you to call your brothers for a ride when you get there, okay?" She passed him a ziploc bag with a few dollar bills and some small change. Her eyes started to well up a little. "God bless you, Clarence, and please let us know how you're doing, okay?"
He smiled gratefully."Thank you for all you've done for me, you are truly living in His way," Cas replied. He got on the bus with his little travel backpack he had been given several hundred thousand miles ago at another shelter, and waved goodbye to Irene.
He had learned pretty quickly on the road that as a thirty something man passing from shelter to shelter, it was in his best interest to parrot the Christian faith of those he encountered. He could never forgive his father for what he has done, or the things his brothers and sisters did in his father's name against these precious, fragile humans, but the people who ran these shelters were doing it out of Christian inspired goodness. Good people like Irene who care for their homeless, poor, sick, and suffering brothers and sisters inspired by the kindness of the prophet Jesus should not have their actions discouraged by the ugly truth of the bureaucracy behind the curtain.
The bus was one of the older tin cans of the bus company's fleet. The seats were well worn and a hideous pink, white, and grey diagonal striped pattern that probably hadn't been fashionable since 1991 and a musty odor of dust, mould, and sweat permeated the stuffy interior. Bags were sitting haphazardly on some bare overhead metal racking with handles and straps hanging down between the gaps, where Cas ditched his own backpack, and he settled down into a window seat for the long ride ahead. The driver got back on the bus with a pile of tickets in one hand and a coffee in the other. He pulled the doors shut with a big metal rod, and the poor old bus coughed and choked and reluctantly agreed to start with a pained rumble. Cas gave one final wave to Irene as the bus pulled away and onto the main road out of town that joined the interstate, and he left the town of Lochlin, Iowa, for good.
A few hours and one light nap later, Cas stirred as the bus pulled into the next major station on the Iowa-Nebraska run. The driver came onto the intercom and announced "Preston, Iowa, on the Des Moines to Omaha run, departing in five minutes."
He then got out of his seat and shouted roughly, "If any of youse need a piss, piss now or hold it for the next hundred and fifty miles." Two older men got up and shuffled off the bus with the driver. Cas decided to retrieve the food from his bag since his stomach was rumbling, and he sat down with his brown bagged lunch. It wasn't a huge spread, but he had a sandwich, a bag of doritos, and a bottle of water and it left him pleasantly satisfied. He had had leaner days on the road.
Driver and passengers all safely on the bus, they set off again for the interstate. Stop after stop rolled by, some at bus stations, some at a little shack on the side of the road the locals joked was the station and a sign at every fencepost along the way. After having spent six hours on the bus, they finally pulled into the station downtown Omaha.
As Cas went to get off the bus the driver said to him, "Hey pretty boy, you Clarence?" He nodded. "That lady didn't want you to lose your ticket and get stuck, so here it is," he said, handing Cas an envelope. "You want platform five for Sioux Falls, okay?"
"Thanks," Cas replied, and he scuttled off to make his connection.
Another four hours later they pulled into Sioux Falls and Cas was starting to get hungry again. This whole having to eat every four to six hours thing was really starting to become an inconvenience, as was the increasing urge to empty his bladder he felt in the last forty minutes of his journey. The moment his heels touched the pavement at the bus station he ran straight for the nearest bathroom.
Emerging a few minutes later he looked around for something to eat. It took him some time to figure out how to use the coins he had to get food out of the machine, but one slightly embarrassing interaction with a six year old later (who showed him how much money he had to put in because she was really getting impatient to get the skittles she had been promised for sitting quietly on the bus), and Cas was successfully eating a Mars bar and drinking the other bottle of water he had been given by Irene.
Snack time over, he had a choice to make: should he head into town to look for shelter or back out of town to try and find Singer Salvage? He decided to walk further into town and get directions from there. He certainly wasn't the only one who would be lurking around Sioux Falls hoping to happen upon the Winchesters, he imagined. Humans always go to the last place they saw something they lost and look from there, right?
Cas walked into the first gas station on the road into town. The door jingled as he entered and an elderly lady behind the counter looked up from her Harlequin romance of the month. "Can I help you, dearie?" she asked sweetly.
"I'm looking for Singer Salvage," Cas replied nervously.
The lady gave him a funny look. "You another one of his nieces and nephews who all came out of the woodwork after they found his will?"
"I'm sorry?" asked Cas.
"There have been at least a dozen kids your age who have suddenly appeared in town asking for Singer since them nephews of his showed up here with a will, saying Singer was dead and they were the sole heirs to his property. Sherriff gave them a real hard time about it being a fake, but they found a safe deposit box that was Singers containing a copy that left everything to the boys. Then them boys had a real nasty fight about whether they should sell Singer Salvage or keep it. The older boy was angry, but the younger boy won, saying that it would cost them to keep it. Environmental fees and stuff, you know? They sold to the new guy in town, Steve, with some real nice compromises that made the older boy satisfied. You say you were one of Singer's nephews?"
Cas made a long "Ummmmm," to stall while he got his story straight.
"Yeah, those boys, Dean and Sam, are my brothers," he said finally. "I'm trying to find them, but they're constantly on the move."
The lady behind the counter huffed. " 'course they are," she said. "How many damn kids did those parents of yours have anyway? Been enough of you around here looking for those boys. Maybe you should try Facebook and leave me alone?"
Cas gave her a blank look. "I'm sorry, but I don't know what a face book is."
She gave an exasperated sigh. "Look child, unless you're going to buy something, please leave."
"Where is Sing-" Cas started, but the woman shouted "OUT."
Cas left quickly. The door jingled as it shut behind him. "What a thoroughly unpleasant woman," Cas said to no one in particular, frowning as he walked toward the road.
"Don't mind Maude," said a voice behind him. Cas spun around. A man who looked to be in his mid-forties waved at Cas and beckoned him closer.
"She hasn't had a cardinal pleasure since the summer of '86," he said, smiling at his own joke. Cas reflexively smiled though he didn't quite get what was funny.
"I'm Steve," said the man, holding out a hand. Cas shook it.
"Clarence," he replied.
"Are you the Steve that took over Singer Salvage?" Cas asked.
"I am," he said.
"I was hoping you could help me then," said Cas. "I'm looking for my brothers, Sam and Dean," he explained. "Do you know anything that could help me find them?"
"You're a Wesson boy as well?" Steve asked skeptically.
Cas took a deep breath and prepared himself to launch into his well-rehearsed sob story. "When we were teenagers my father, John, threw me out after Dean was caught shoplifting and sent to live in a group home. He blamed me for Dean being taken away and I've been on the street since. We were always on the move so I quickly lost contact with them. When I heard that Uncle Bobby and my father had both died, I felt that I needed to find my brothers. It's been so long since I've seen them I have no idea where to look."
Steve nodded noncommittally, and Cas knew he still had a long way to go convincing Steve he was really Sam and Dean's long lost brother.
"John was a… job hunter. We moved from town to town following where the work was," Cas explained, twisting his hands behind his back.
"As I understand there was an unofficial network of others who did the same thing, everybody knew someone who knew someone else who knew someone else and so on. Most of them were single men, others like John had families. It seemed like everyone knew Bobby and he was an uncle to a lot of kids who weren't his, but Sam and Dean were different. He was forbidden by John to look for me and me from going to him, so we fell out of touch too. I'm not surprised there are a lot of those kids grown up looking to see if his estate was up for grabs, and maybe that's why my brothers are on the move. I don't know what Singer Salvage was worth, but it makes them targets for easy money to kids who had none."
Steve had a bewildered expression on his face. "Those boys just keep getting stranger and stranger," Steve observed.
"I've led a very strange existence," Cas admitted truthfully.
"Hop in the truck," Steve offered. "I have to say, you've really piqued my curiosity."
"Thank you," said Cas, "I appreciate your help in finding my brothers. Now that I think of it, they may be in danger and not know it. I must find them."