Author's note: Just a little oneshot about the origins of the codeword Poughkeepsie. I just remembered how children tend to have a favorite word sometimes. Enjoy!
Poughkeepsie - just a random word
„Dad?" five year old Sammy Winchester asked contently from the backseat. The Winchesters were on the road yet again this time on the way to a town in New York ("the state, not the city" Sammy had noticed eagerly).
"What is it kiddo?" John asked and already knew the answer. Sammy had asked him the same question over and over again, but John couldn't bring himself to be annoyed by it. Truth be told he valued the time in the car with his boys. Okay, they were absolutely capable of being a major pain in his ass, but still, it seemed to be the only time they really spend as a family. Even if his thoughts often were on the next hunt and the boys entertained themselves noisily in the backseat, this was the time they were together. And John loved this time (not that he told his boys though).
But it also made him feel like a giant ass and sometimes the guilt made him quiet for hundreds of miles. Because here in his beloved car he sometimes realized that, well, he plain and simple wasn't there enough for his boys and more often than not put them situations young boys shouldn't go through alone. This painful guilt unfortunately was always accompanied by the burning sensation of an almost inhuman need for revenge. And this feeling always won. There were times when he asked himself where this feeling came from. He had always been stubborn and no one to mess with, but this focus and obsession for vengeance felt strange and foreign that he deep down wondered if this feeling was one hundred percent his. But even with his doubts, he gave into that feeling again and again and even the guilt came less and less frequent. And it scared the hell out of John. What did this say about his future, about the father he would be for his boys, about the man he would become? But also this fear subsided with each and every hunt and he slowly became the man he was meant to be…
"Where are we going?" Sammy asked and tried not to giggle in anticipation of the answer.
John sighted dramatically. "Did you already forget?" he asked in mock desperation. As Sammy nodded enthusiastic with a big smile on his face, so John continued, "Still Poughkeepsie." And his heart almost jumped when he heard the fit of laughter from the backseat.
"Poughkeepsie" Sammy shouted out and laughed some more. Nobody knows why exactly he was laughing so hard, but what did it matter. It sounded like music in John's ears.
"Yes Sammy we are going to Poughkeepsie", Dean chimed in "Poughkeepsie. I think they have a lot of awesome pie there in Poughkeepsie." With each and every time Dean mentioned the word Sammy laughed harder.
John understood what Dean was doing and joined. "We will sure find some pie in POUGHKEEPSIE and maybe we can also find a cosy motel in POUGHKEEPSIE."
And the two elder Winchester went on till Sammy laughed so hard he was barely able to catch a breath. John put a tape in then and the car went comfortably quiet. John just drove and saved the memory for darker days, Dean hummed along with the songs and Sammy stared out the window and was fascinated by the passing scenery.
"Sammy?" Dean interrupted the silence after a while. "What exactly is so funny about Poughkeepsie?"
Sammy began to giggle again. And as nice as it was it started to annoy Dean a little.
"You know, Poughkeepsiehihi sounds so funny. And it is fun to say. Poughkeepsie." Sammy said and laughed again. And Dean still had no glue why Sammy laughed. Strange kid his younger brother.
"Yeah, whatever Sammy." Dean said and started to hum again as silence fell over the car once more. It was just broken by Sammy sometimes when he spoke out "Poughkeepsie" in every different way he could think of. Loud, whispered, slow, fast, with a deep voice… and every time was accompanied by his laughter. And every time was more annoying for Dean. And this on the other hand was quite amusing for John.
Finally after what felt like hours for Dean the impala pulled into a motel parking lot. "So let's take a break on our trip to POUGHKEEPSIE" John said after he checked them in. As expected Sammy giggled and Dean rolled his eyes. John got them settled in the room and left to grab some dinner.
"Dean?" Sammy had seemed to be content in front of the TV, Dean actually thought this thing sometimes hypnotized his little brother the way he stared at it, but apparently he had been wrong.
"What?" Dean asked and hoped it wasn't what he expected. Otherwise he couldn't be held accountable if he strangled his brother.
"Poughkeepsie", Sammy exclaimed.
"There it was. I'm going to strangle him. And then salt and burn his body. Shit, not enough time, Dad will be here soon. So, oh, wait a minute", Dean thought.
"Hey Sammy?" Dean said with a mischievous smile on his face.
"Ever heard of code words?"
Sammy nodded enthusiastic. They had used code words in one of the books he had read in the last place they stayed. So yes, Sammy knew more than he was given credit for.
"Then you have to listen carefully, Sammy, because this is important. Can you do that for me?" Another nod and Dean continued, "I think we should make up a code word too."
"Why?" Sammy asked.
Of cause he had to ask why. It was Sammy's favorite word. Right after Poughkeepsie. "Wouldn't it be cool to have some secret code words only we two know about? Like for example when Uncle Bobby finds out we broke the old car in his backyard it would be cool if we had a code word that whoever he came after first could say so that the other could run and hide?"
"You broke the car, Dean." Sammy stated matter of factly.
"True, but we need a code word for drop everything and run. Just in case."
"Hmm. Okay" Sammy agreed. "What about 'Mockingbird?"
"No it has to be something you can throw in a conversation easily, so no one knows you are using a code word." Dean explained and got ready to carry his plan home.
"Like maybe…" Dean paused dramatically, "Poughkeepsie." There it was. Definitely Oscar worthy. When Sam didn't look convinced Dean added "You know, you can use the word in almost every sentence without it being suspicious. Like in 'remember that diner in Poughkeepsie' or 'the weather in Poughkeepsie was awesome". Do you know what I mean?"
Sammy nodded. "Okay. Poughkeepsie it is."
"And remember to never use the word unless you want to signal me to drop everything and run." Dean looked Sammy straight in the eye.
"I swear" Sammy said sincere.
"And also remember not to tell anyone. This is our secret."
"I won't say a word" Sammy promised, proud that his big brother shared a secret with him.
The next day the Winchesters were on the road again. John was a little disappointed that Sammy's Poughkeepsie phase was already over. Probably better though. He had been quite certain Dean would have started throwing punches if this phase hadn't been over.
Just when they were about to leave the Interstate in a couple of miles the cars in front of them suddenly stopped. Traffic jam.
"Shit" John exclaimed angrily. "I wanted to reach this fu… funky town by lunchtime."
"Funky town? That sounds funny. Funky town", Sammy giggled. "Hey Dean?"
"What?" Dean asked:
"Funky town." Sammy laughed.
Author's note: So we all know what Dean made out of this word ;) I hope you enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: Don't own them or the Show.