Characters: Dean, Sam
Pairing: None specifically. General but can be read as pre-slash or nonexplicit wincest if you're so inclined.
Timeline: Sometime after Skin and before Papa Winchester makes a reappearance.
Summary: A string of strange deaths lead Sam and Dean to West Virginia, where they encounter things unexpected.
Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine.
"Thank you, darling"
The busty blonde waitress smiled at Dean and bent over the table, letting loose some cleavage as she deposited their breakfast – oatmeal for Sam and hash browns and bacon for Dean – on the table. "Let me know if you boys need anything else, y'hear?"
Dean leaned forward with a smile. "As a matter of fact -"
"Thanks, we will." Sam cut in without looking up from the newspaper he had spread across the table.
The waitress shot him a look before smiling at Dean, practically sashaying away.
Dean raised his eyebrows at the crown of Sam's hair and sat back, "What the hell, dude? Way to be a cockblock."
"Listen, dude, if I have to hear your 'come hither' voice one more time I think I might have to knock you out."
Dean scoffed into his black coffee, "I'd like to see you try, Francis," Sam glared at Dean from under his bangs, "and I think I'm sensing a little jealousy, am I right baby brother?" Dean cocked his head to the right, smirking so hard his face looked like it might break. Sam could only hope.
He rolled his eyes on reflex and rolled them again as Dean laughed teasingly. "It's not that you're ugly Sam," Dean chuckled, "Ok, maybe it is."
When Sam remained silent, Dean restrung the bait and launched for another, "You're also kinda goofy, y'know? You kinda flap you're hands when you walk, probably since they're so freakishly big –"
"Are you finished? Cause I think I found something but if you want to continue patronizing me –"
"Alright! Alright, don't be such a girl," Dean laughed, rough and refreshingly genuine, holding up his hands in mock surrender. The sound unwillingly sent warmth down Sam's spine. "Whatcha got?"
Sam huffed to cover his own treacherous smile and looked back down at the newspaper. Dean remembered a time when Sam would have laughed out loud. "Outside of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Seven bodies have been found over the course of the last two months, all young women, all found with claw-like slashes across their stomachs, faces, and necks."
"So? Sounds like a stray bear or something."
"That's what they were thinking until a local farmer and his wife claimed they saw a seven foot tall winged figure fly away from the fields near the Ohio River. The next day they found the body of nineteen year old Caroline Hayes in the exact same spot."
Dean made a considering noise in the back of his throat as he chewed, "Ok, not a bear." Sam sat back and shoved a spoonful of oatmeal into his mouth. "Way to state the obvious. God, it's like some bad horror movie."
"Story of our lives. And don't chew with your mouth open. It's rude." Dean said, taking another sip of his coffee.
"Dean, how many times are we going to listen to this song? The wheel in the sky keeps turning, I get it." Sam said, irritation at maximum. They'd been driving for seven hours straight and they'd been listening to Journey for the last two.
"Bitch, bitch, bitch. What did big brother Dean say about the music and the passenger?"
"Maybe that rule would be fair if you actually let me drive."
"Oh come now, Samantha," Dean said tapping his fingers against the steering wheel.
Dean raised an eyebrow, "Whoa little Sammy, them be fighting words. What's your problem anyway?"
It was silent for a moment before Sam pushed his breath out through his nose. "Sorry, it's just - I'm just tired. It makes me cranky."
"Yeah, no kidding," Dean said, flicking his eyes from the road to Sam and then back again. "Try to get some sleep. We'll be there in two hours."
Sam hated passing by northeastern suburbia for the sole reason that he loved it. Sam had always liked the wet weather, the old lived in feel, the changing leaves. Dean preferred the flatlands of the Midwest. "So I can see what's coming," he'd say as they sat on the hood of Dad's pick-up, looking out at a thunderstorm still miles away. He'd ruffle Sam's hair then, back when Dean was still a head taller, back when Sam still asked him stuff like that.
Sam shifted his cramped legs onto the seat beside him and turned his body towards Dean, away from the houses behind white picket fences that weren't his. Neighborhoods like these placed a candle in the middle of where Sam hid the things knew he couldn't have, things he tried to keep in the dark. Not only for his sake, but for Dean who could see him crave things that had no place for his older brother; things Sam could crave because Dean learned not to.
"I'm just tired," Sam murmured softly as he slouched down in his seat.
When Dean pressed a little bit harder on the accelerator, Sam thought that maybe he understood.
Dean woke Sam just outside of Joshua and Patricia Asherby's farm. "Alright, Sleeping Beauty, we're here."
Sam jerked awake out of habit. Dean wasn't sure if it made him happy to see that four years of college couldn't erase who Sam Winchester was, or if it made him sad that Sam couldn't shake his past despite his efforts. As they left St. Louis, Sam had said that he'd never really fit in at Stanford. The pleasure Dean had felt at that statement had shamed him. Sure, Sam would always be a Winchester, but seeing him finally beginning to fall into line, however slowly and reluctantly, was still the death of something distinctly Sam, Dean was sure.
"Ugh, my leg is all tingly," Sam complained as he hobbled out of the car.
"Yeah, sorry but my car wasn't made for giants."
Sam shot him a look as they walked up to the light blue porch, his had trailing behind his body up the banister. Dean was suddenly struck with the memory of an eleven year old Sam, hand outstretched, fingers bouncing over the metal fence as Dean walked him to whatever school in whichever state. Sam had always wanted to feel everything.
"Ok, we're journalists, out to uncover the truth, alright?" Sam asked as he knocked.
A middle aged woman with sun bleached blonde hair, tied back in a bun answered the door. "Can I help you boys?"
Dean swept in front of Sam and shook Patricia's hand. "Hello Mrs. Asherby?" At her nod he continued, "I'm Will Parker, and this is my colleague, Brian Boner. We're writing a paper on the recent attacks in this area and were wondering if you could help us with a few details," Dean said, smiling something charming.
"Oh about those poor girls?"
"Anything for those girls. Why don't you come in and have a seat?" She lead the way into the house, "Call me Pattie by the way."
Once Pattie was out of earshot, Sam asked, voice incredulous, "Brian Boner? Real mature Dean." At Dean's smirk, he added a mumbled, "Douche bag," before heading into the house after him.
"Y'know, I feel kinda crazy saying this, but it's what I saw, honest to God."
"Please, anything you can tell us, we'd really appreciate," Sam said. Dean noted that Sam's 'lost puppy, trust me' face was out to play again. People would trust Sam even if he was holding a .9.
"Well, my husband and I, Josh, were driving back from town. His brother's birthday, you see. And all of a sudden we saw this huge," Pattie gestured wildly with her hands, not quite sure how to describe it, "animal rise from the fields. It had these wings and red, glowing eyes. We were terrified. We drove home as fast as we could. We would have kept quiet, I mean who would believe us? But then poor Mrs. Hayes' daughter, Carrie was found..." Pattie covered her mouth with a tan hand. "Horrible."
"We're so sorry," Sam said, all earnest sincerity. Dean nodded wordlessly.
Just then back door slammed shut. "Pattie," a male voice carried down the hall.
"In the front! These two gentlemen here are writing a paper on the attacks." Pattie turned back towards her company, "That's Josh."
A large, gruff man walked into the sitting room and watched Dean and Sam stand to greet him. "What's your name, boy?" He asked Dean.
"Will Parker, Sir."
"And who's this tall drink of water?" Josh asked, staring at Sam.
Only Dean noticed the slight twitch in Sam's jaw at having to say, "Brian Boner, sir. We're colleagues writing a paper on the recent attacks."
"Well, we've already spoken to some writer. Good that did us, people are calling us lunatics."
Sam looked Josh in the eyes, "We just want the truth, sir." Dean remembered not to hum out the beginning notes to Law & Order just in time. No wonder Sammy wanted to become a lawyer. Christ.
The older man stared both of them down before asking, "What do you boys want to know?"
"Can you give us a description of the animal you saw?" Dean asked as they all sat back down.
"It was dark; we couldn't really see much besides the fact that it had these huge wings. Must've been about ten feet across. The thing was massive," Josh shifted in his seat, "It had these glowing red eyes. Right like the devil, I say."
Pattie took Joshua's hand. "Very well could've been. After what happened to Carrie… it very well could've been."
Not the fucking devil, Dean thought as he met Sam's quick glance. "Thank you very much. We'll let you know how the article turns out."