A/N: Hey! First Supernatural fic, so please be gentle! I'm British, and I'm afraid I don't know much about travelling on the road in America, so…if you see any British-isms (do those even exist? Guess so) Please point them out! I'd like to get the context right. Thanks!
For instance, what do you call petrol stations, garages or just rest stops, or…ok, off point. I'll shut up.
IMPORTANT: I do not write ANY Dean/OC or Mary-sues (shudders) Cassie was from the episode 'Route 666' for those who managed to miss it. I'm NOT a Dean/Cassie shipper (though I have nothing against her)…BUT she wont be around for long…(evil smirk)
This fic'll contain lots of angsty, fluffy brotherly love (while attempting to remain vaguely canon) but no slash.
Disclaimer: (grumbles) Well, last time I looked, I didn't own it. (looks again) And, what do you know! I still don't. (sulks)
Summary: All his life, Dean's never let his guard down when it comes to Sammy. Not once. But he's only human; and it only takes one mistake to bring their world crashing down around them.
I hope you enjoy!
It may seem odd, but there was something about being on the open road which appealed to Dean Winchester. He couldn't explain it, but somehow, it was a liberating feeling; the rough, reassuringly solid wheel of the impala comfortably moulding into the grooves of his palms. He felt a sense of belonging, of peace, which he found it difficult to emulate anywhere else. With the heavens above him and the earth below him, and nothing but him in between.
And Sam, of course.
He glanced over to the passenger side, his lips quirking upwards as he observed his little brother once again fitfully asleep, slumped awkwardly with his head supported by the window pane, his gentle breaths misting up the glass. Dean rolled his eyes to the roof, and reached over with practiced ease to tug Sam gently over until his head rested on the worn leather seat instead. He grinned as Sam grumbled something unintelligible in his sleep and shifted a little, before settling; Dean turned his eyes back to the road.
Doing what he did, Dean didn't let his guard down easily. Not having a definite home was more difficult than you would expect. Well, considering the closest thing he had to home had half burnt down and contained memories of his mother pinned to the ceiling, it was understandable that the whole concept of 'safety' and 'security' did not come readily to him. Nor did he particularly want it to, really. He was more of a free spirit; craving adventure, craving purpose. But that didn't mean he didn't miss being able to relax every once in a while.
He glanced over at his brother, then quickly looked away. Anywhere they were together was home to him: he and Sam. Home was Sammy; it always had been. And Dad, of course, but-
Dean drew in a sharp breath, head snapping around at the sound of his brother's muffled voice. Sam frowned in his sleep, sighed, and shifted about, eyes roving around beneath closed lids. Dean exhaled slowly, carefully releasing his white knuckled clench around the steering wheel. Sam often muttered in his sleep nowadays; since the nightmares began. Or should he say visions? Damn, how the hell should he know? Sam never even told him until it was absolutely necessary.
Sammy never told him anything anymore. Dean pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a dull ache begin to settle in the forefront of his mind. It was going to rain soon. The sky above was rapidly darkening, clouds scurrying hurriedly across this way and that, as though fleeing some unseen force. Dean stepped on the brake as he caught sight of a road sign up ahead, which proclaimed in faded, rusted lettering:
Welcome to Cape Girardeau
Petrol Station 1 mile
Motel 50 yards
Dean checked the gas meter, his brow furrowing as he noticed it was less than half full. He glanced down at his watch; 8:13. Too bad. They could drop off at the petrol station and tank up tomorrow. No all-night drives this time; he had…business to attend to.
Dean briefly flexed his hands around the steering wheel, wincing slightly as the joints creaked and cracked in protest. Sure, he enjoyed long car rides, but that didn't mean he didn't get stiff once in a while. Sighing, he stepped on the accelerator and squinted into the distance, just managing to make out the looming shape of a small building in the gathering darkness.
He manoeuvred the impala around into the corner of a small fenced of area beside the motel, which was evidently supposed to serve as a car park. A flickering neon sign above a faded cream coloured door cast slight shadows across the interior of the car, making it seem like a scene in an old black and white movie, with glitches in the recording. Dean switched the engine off, and sat back for a moment, frowning as the first pattering of light rain began to beat against the roof of the car. He smiled as the gentle rhythm of Sam's breathing and the soft lull of rain soothed his worn nerves.
Dean nudged his brother's shoulder with his elbow, smirking as Sam groaned in protest and scrunched up his nose, eyes stirring beneath shadowed lids. He hadn't been sleeping too peacefully recently; nightmares, and God knows what else.
Swallowing thickly and pushing that thought away, Dean poked his brother's midsection, just below his ribs, Sam's most ticklish spot. His brother made a sound somewhere between an indignant grunt of protest and a snort of giggles, and groggily batted Dean's hand away.
"Sammy! C'mon Princess, I ain't got all day. A face like mine needs its beauty sleep too, y'know."
Dean grinned smugly as Sam opened his eyes, frowning, then scrubbed at his aching cheeks with a loose fist, obviously trying to dispel the lingering veil of sleep. He looked oddly young, rubbing his face like the little boy Dean sometimes wished he still was. The elder Winchester sighed quietly.
"…I can see why…how many innocent mirrors you murdered with that thing?"
Sam said, managing to inject dry humour into a voice riddled with tiredness. Dean mock-gasped, and dramatically clutched a hand to his heart, feigning hurt.
Sam rolled his eyes exasperatedly, but his lips twitched upwards in the betrayal of a smile. Dean sighed dramatically, allowing his shoulders to droop and giving his little brother an innocently affronted look.
"That was uncalled for, Sammy-boy. Now don't be such a whiner and get the hell outta my car; I don't wanna have to wipe anymore drool off my leather."
Sam bolted upright and glared.
"I do not drool!"
"Whatever, man. Get out the car."
Dean opened the door with a loud creak, and squinted through the rain as he grabbed his jacket and hurriedly pulled it around his shoulders. He grabbed their Father's journal and tucked it securely under his arm, pocketed his wallet and then slammed the car door and locked it. Sam hurried around the front of the car, arms wrapped around himself for warmth, clutching his laptop to his chest.
As they began to walk the short distance across gravel to the motel, Sam glanced around at the bleak and empty road, then frowned, and glanced down at his watch. Dean hunched his shoulders against the rain, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"We staying the night in that place? Dean, it's only eight fifteen. You weren't serious about the beauty sleep, were you?"
Dean paused for a moment, then muttered gruffly:
"Nah. I just figured…you know. Get an early night, catch up on some…sleep. I was gonna head into town, get some…work done."
Sam wiped the rain irritably from his eyes then raised an eyebrow, his expression sceptical.
"Head into town, in this weather? Yeah, I can guess what sort of 'work' you'll wanna catch. You realise the whole phone call in the bathroom was totally unsubtle, don't you?"
Dean froze, hand outstretched to grab the handle of the door to the motel. They were now standing in a sort of porch, under a wooden gable which lack of drainpipes left water cascading down around them noisily.
Dean wrenched the door open with rather more force than was necessary.
"Bitch. You were listenin'. And while I coulda been doin' my business, too. That's low, Sammy."
Sam grinned, shaking his hair to dispel rainwater like a puppy (and showering an already aggravated Dean with water) stepping into a room which served as a reception, wiping his feet neatly on the front doormat as he did so.
"It's Sam." He said automatically "And it was totally obvious you weren't going in there to do any 'business'."
Dean gave him a slightly disturbed look.
Sam rolled his eyes, smiling patronisingly down at his brother. He absolutely loved being able to look down at Dean. Being tall did have its advantages.
"Because you'd already gone to the loo…twice in five minutes. Did you forget? Or…"
Sam's grin widened.
"Or did you just not have the courage to phone her the first two times?"
Dean growled and punched Sam's shoulder as he passed him, moving towards a small rickety desk in a corner on which a small bell stood.
"YOU are about the width of a nose hair away from receiving a major ass-kicking. Jerk. Now get moving, before I get the spade and whack your eavesdropping ass."
Sam shook his head, stifling his laughter in his sleeve as he wiped the remaining rainwater from his face. After a moment, he blinked, frowned, and tapped his brother on the shoulder lightly.
Dean grunted gruffly, not bothering to look at his brother.
"How do you know what the width of a nose hair is?"
Sam asked, deadpan, partly amused, partly curious. Dean had always been known to say and do odd and/or inappropriate things, but nose hairs? Maybe that orange juice this morning had been more off than he thought…
"What kinda a question is that? Because I measured it, obviously. Permission to continue, Captain Goody-two-spy-on-people-in-the-loo-shoes?"
Dean said breezily. Sam blinked and stared, shifted his weight, opened his mouth, hesitated, then blinked again. He honestly could not tell if Dean was joking or not.
"Dean, you are supremely odd. You're joking, right?"
Dean's blank, neutral look informed his bemused brother that he was deadly serious.
"Ok, now I'm just disturbed. You worry me, you know that?"
Dean rolled his eyes, reaching for the bell on the table and giving it two sharp shakes, the tinkling ring resounding around the little back room behind the desk.
An elderly, white haired man came bustling out of the back room, wearing a chequered shirt and a tired but friendly smile. He placed what looked like a log book carefully down on the desk, withdrew a pen from his jacket pocket, and smiled at them.
"What can I do for ya, guv?"
He asked in a pleasantly accented voice. Dean smiled back a little tightly, fumbling in his pocket for his wallet.
"Hey. One room please; two single beds."
"Sure. Cash or credit?"
"Thanks Mr…Ford." The man said, glancing down at the credit card, one of Dean's most recent 'acquisitions'. This time they were under the aliases of Robert Ford and his nephew Eddie. Sam hadn't been too pleased about that arrangement.
"Nice night, ain't it?"
He said sarcastically. Dean nodded darkly, shooting the overcast sky outside the misted window a sharp glare.
"Oh yeah. Peachy. Is it often like this around here?"
The man shook his head.
"Only recently. It's odd, y'know? We've had great weather these past few months, then suddenly…well, I'm sure it'll clear. Here's your key."
The man handed Dean a smartly varnished wooden plaque bearing the number three, with a large, old fashioned looking key attached. Dean smiled and nodded, catching his brother's elbow as he turned towards the door.
"Thanks. C'mon, Sammy."
Sam didn't bother to correct him, too busy tugging his thick pullover closer around him as they stepped once more out into the driving rain. They hurried over to the door which bore a large brass three, and Sam huddled close under the overhanging roof above while Dean fumbled with the key. There was a groaning creak followed by a sharp click, and Sam hurried inside as his brother shut the door. There was a moment of quiet as Dean locked the door behind them.
"So…did you call her?"
Dean slowly turned his head, and Sam struggled to keep his knowing smirk from surfacing, instead adopting an innocently curious expression. Dean frowned, then muttered gruffly:
Sam rolled his eyes, throwing himself down onto the bed furthest from the door and resting his chin on an upturned palm, eyebrow raised.
"Cassie, you moron. What'd she say? She gonna meet up with you?"
"I'll take that as a yes. So, what's with you guys? You together or what? And what about the job…shouldn't we find out more about the guy who disappeared before sauntering off?"
Dean shot him an irritated look as he set about his usual routine of scouring the motel room. It was a habit of his, to stake out any place they spent more than twenty-four hours in.
"You're one to talk 'bout slacking off the job."
Dean slammed their Father's journal down on a nearby coffee table, eyes flitting warily around the length and breadth of the room as he reluctantly continued.
"But yeah. We're gonna meet. Not that it's any of you're business, nosy ass."
Sam nodded, a little disgruntled, but already analysing the potential advantages presented by Dean having a night out. He automatically reached for the laptop as he thought of the true reason they had come here; their next job, missing people. Never found, but then again, maybe it was better that way. Some of the things which befell those people, at least in the Winchester's line of business, were better left buried. Sometimes literally.
"So, should I get on with some research? Look into local history, or whatever? Wasn't the disappearance closer to the next town?"
Dean glanced up from peering under his own bed, regarding his brother with a guarded, slightly hesitant look. He ran a hand through his hair and frowned.
"Well, yeah, but…uh…"
Sam smiled. Cassie was here; and although she and Dean had their problems, it seemed to Sam that Cassie gave Dean a momentary sense of peace. For some reason, he resented her for that. He didn't know whether Dean was actually serious with her, or whether she was just one of the more popular 'distractions' his brother indulged in. Either way, Dean needed a break. And with Sam constantly worrying him with these bloody visions…
Sam swallowed and forced an understanding smile, quashing the sickening rise of guilt which had been horribly potent since the incident in the Roosevelt Asylum.
"I get it, dude. So I'll stay here and let you…"
He managed a smirk, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"Get some 'work' done."
Dean rolled his eyes and smacked his brother upside the head, but gently.
"You shut it. And, uh…you…stay here? Without…wait…oh fuck…"
Dean's eyes widened, and he pinched the bridge of his nose, groaning and muttering curses lowly to himself. Sam frowned, confused. Surely Dean had realized that Sam couldn't go with him? He felt a small stab of anger, mixed with that ever present surge of guilt. He was always such a burden.
"What? You didn't expect to take me along, did you? Cos that's a real turn off for any girl, Dean. Little brother's aren't the best known date accessory."
Sam said jokingly, attempting to make light of the situation and mask his musings. He sometimes wondered if he thought too much. Meanwhile, Dean sighed dejectedly, and muttered reluctantly:
"Thought it through? Didn't think so. Hey, don't sweat it dude, I'll be fine. You've stayed the night before, didn't you?"
Sam said casually, swallowing slightly as he glanced out at the overcast sky outside. He had never liked storms, and…sad though it was, he had always felt as though it was only threatening if Dean wasn't there. He had spent many a night, when they were little, huddled underneath his brother's bed covers with Dean's steady breathing warding off the terror of the thunder outside. Even when they grew older, he had still leant against the side of his brother's bed and fallen asleep there. He always woke up huddled against Dean in the end, though.
That was before he left for college, though. Now…
"Yeah, but that was…"
Sam was wrenched from his musings by Dean's protesting voice.
He asked, genuinely confused as to why Dean leaving was a problem for him. Surely he'd be glad to get away from his troublesome brother disturbing his sleep with nightmare's...Sam absently rubbed his temple at that thought.
"Before the…you know…"
"The what, the visions? God, Dean, give me a break! I can take care of myself for a few short hours. It'll be fine."
Dean raised an eyebrow and gestured towards where Sam was scrubbing at his temple as though to dispel an already oncoming ache, and Sam hastily dropped his hand.
"Don't look at me like that! In fact, I insist you go. In the name of your good health and my peace of mind."
Sam busied his hands with opening up the laptop, muttering to himself:
"God knows, maybe if you got laid you'd be less grumpy…"
Dean's head snapped around.
"You say something?"
"Nope. And you're going."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"You givin' me an order, Sammy?"
Sam allowed a lazy smile to creep across his lips, imitating his brother's own arrogant, devil-may-care expression.
Sam turned serious as Dean's face clouded over with indecision.
"Look, Dean. It's only one night, and I kinda feel bad for always, y'know, dragging you away from other stuff…not that I approve of your…uh…constant philandering…"
A lecherous grin spread across Dean's face.
"Getting laid, you mean?"
Sam rolled his eyes, clearing his throat uncomfortably.
"Uh…yeah. Anyway. Seriously, man, you could use a break. And a few quiet hours to do some work'll do me good. Maybe I really will get an early night. So go. Please?"
Dean opened his mouth to reject the proposition, but faltered as his gaze met the imploring, dark eyed stare his brother was subjecting him to. Damn. Sam's puppy-dog look, the one, the only thing which could make Dean Winchester go against his better judgement. He didn't think Sam even knew when he was using it, either, which only made it harder to resist.
Dean sighed heavily, scowling. He didn't like this. Not at all.
"Jeez, alright. But only for your peace of mind."
"Oh, so the sex is an added bonus?"
Dean blinked once, twice, stared at his little brother's innocently smug expression, frowned, and then dramatically mock-reeled in shock.
"Samuel Winchester, brother of mine! I'm shocked at such…such…belligerence! Honestly. Such a dirty mind in one so young…"
Dean sighed melodramatically, throwing himself into a chair and clapping a hand to his forehead. He raised both hands up to the Heaven's and despairingly demanded:
"What is the world coming to?"
Sam sighed, shaking his head at his brother's antics. It was quite evident that the tremble in Dean's voice was from laughter rather than shock. Sam grabbed his brother by the elbow and steered him towards the bathroom.
"Whatever, man. Go get cleaned up. You don't want to smell like a car with a dead skunk in the boot…"
Dean pinned him with an accusing glower.
"You insultin' the honour of my baby impala, Sammy?"
Sam gave him a gentle shove, maintaining a smile which was half innocent, half amused.
"Course not, dear brother mine. Now go on."
Dean raised his hands in surrender, rolling his eyes and muttering darkly to himself as he closed the door behind him, his voice growing muffled.
"Going! Jeez. Kids these days…no respect for their elders…"
Sam paused for a moment beside the now closed bathroom door, the quiet of the room seeming suddenly imposing. Threatening. He swallowed, glancing around, noting how empty the room felt. He shook his head violently, grimacing. Get a grip, Sam. This is stupid. Dean's going out for one night. He'll be back in the morning.
What if he's not?
A little voice murmured uncertainly in the back of his mind. Sam growled, shoving his hands into his pockets, and made his way over to the window, gazing out, watching the raindrops form rivulets and patterns on the window pane. A distant, ominous peal of thunder made him shiver involuntarily, goose bumps rising up his arms.
"He will be. He's Dean, he always comes."
He murmured to himself. He flinched as a dull flash of lightning lit up the sky outside, the rain seeming to bear down even harder, driving faster, as though trying to beat the very earth below into submission.
"Looks like a storms coming…"
He had no idea just how true those words were.
A/N: CASSIE WONT HAVE A MAJOR ROLE IN THIS FIC; she was really only a device to tempt Dean away from his top priority: SAMMY! Was that naughty of me? (hides) I'll state again, no slash. Just brotherly love.
Should I continue? Please review and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!