Dean felt like a champion prize fighter as he left the dingy roadside bar. The dinky little bell above the door rang out his victory tune as he walked through, recounting his spoils. He had taken a little longer than usual tonight, but had bagged an extra two hundred bucks for his trouble. Not bad for a few hours of playing pool.
Breathing in the cool night air, Dean splayed the twenties he had clenched in his fist. He'd spend a bit of it on supplies; ammo, rope, salt, maybe even splurge for a new knife for his brother. The rest was all his.
As he approached the car, his grin slowly faded as he saw Sam hunched over the front of the black Chevy Impala. Sam's left arm was braced on the hood of the car while his right was grasping his forehead in an all too familiar way.
Shoving the wad of cash into his pocket, Dean raced over to his brother. Why now, he thought to himself. Sam's freaky visions hadn't made an appearance since they left Max's house, and his nightmares had all but stopped. Dean didn't know if either one of them could handle another episode.
Dean grabbed Sam's shoulders and bent his neck awkwardly to try to see into Sam's face. His eyes were screwed shut in pain; his breathing sporadic. "Sam? Sammy, talk to me. What's going on? What do you see?"
Sam's breath hitched as he tried to speak. "Dean, I…ow." Sam pressed his fingers into his forehead as he tried again. "Ice--" he broke off with another groan.
Dean took a step back, confused. Ice? Ok, someone was trapped in ice? Fell through it? An ice demon, death by icicle? Dean's thoughts grew more absurd as he went into the backseat to retrieve his father's journal.
Standing next to his brother Dean flipped through the pages. He was relieved to see Sam begin to recover and spoke in a soft but commanding voice. "You gotta give me more, Sam. What did you see? What about the ice?"
Sam stood up straight and opened one eye, taking in his older brother's serious demeanor. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Sam, we gotta jump on this while it's still fresh in your mind. So, what'd you see?" he repeated.
A small smile formed on Sam's lips as comprehension began to dawn on him. "You think I had a vision?"
Dean looked up from the journal. "Wait, what?"
Sam began to chuckle, sending Dean's once cheerful mood further down the gutter. "So, you didn't have a vision? Then what the hell happened?"
Sam could feel the annoyance coming off Dean in waves as Sam struggled to keep his face serious. "Well, you were in there a really long time, and I was bored. So I went next across the street to the Dairy Queen and got an ice cream cone. I haven't had one of those since college. Well, I must have eaten it too fast, because I got hit with such a brain freeze! Man, that friggin hurt!"
Dean gaped at his brother, a mix of emotions swirling through him. "You had a brain freeze?" his voice got louder with every syllable. "Are you kidding me?" Slamming the journal closed, he tossed it angrily into the backseat.
The look on Dean's face was too much, and Sam burst out laughing. "I'm sorry, Dean." he managed to choke out. "I didn't mean to scare you."
Sam's laughter began to chip away at Dean's irritation as he began to see the humor in the situation. Despite himself, he began to chuckle. "Dude, it's not funny! Remember the last time you had one of your messed up visions?"
The memory of Max sobered Sam for a moment. A muffled crunch followed by a few expletives drew Sam's attention backto his brother. "What happened?"
"Well, Sammy, it looks like I found the rest of your ice cream cone." Dean said dryly as he looked at the combination of ice cream and broken bits of cone that surrounded his foot. Lifting his leg, he swore again. "Son of a bitch! It's all over my sneaker!"
Sam's guffaws reached Dean's ears as he saw Sam once again leaning on his car for support, this time as he laughed uncontrollably at his brother's predicament. "You'd better clean that off, Dean. You don't want to get your precious car messy!"
Dean stomped over the edge of the parking lot and began dragging his foot across the grass, trying to dislodge the crud from the grooves of his sneaker. Sam's laughter continued as he called over, "Dude, you look like a horse! One, two, three! Keep counting, Mr. Ed!" Tears were streaming down Sam's face. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had this much fun at the expense of his normally cool older brother.
His face red, Dean walked back over to the car and glared at Sam. "Oh yeah, you're freakin' hilarious. Get in the damn car, Sam. Let's go."
Sam managed to get hold of himself as he slid in the passenger side. "Oh, man, my ribs!" Remembering the purpose for their small detour, Sam asked, "How'd you make out tonight?"
Dean reached into his pocket, the feel of the money lightened his mood slightly. "Good. I brought in quite a haul."
Sam nodded. The brothers sat in silence as Dean pulled out of the parking lot. The comfortable silence was broken as Sam began to lightly chant, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."
"SAM!" Dean's angry shout was almost overpowered by the hearty laughter of his little brother as the two Winchesters drove off into the night.