Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke and WB. I'm just borrowing the characters to play with for a while!
Set after Asylum (I'm pretending their father didn't call at the end of the episode!) and set before Scarecrow. Enjoy!
by Eryn Grant
"Never do that again," Dean threw himself into a booth. "If you ever do that again, I'll kick your ass so hard you won't be sitting down for a week," he glared at Sam angrily. He grabbed the menu and cast his eyes over it avoiding looking at his brother.
"Dean," Sam pleaded. "I don't remember a thing," he said.
"I'm not talking to you," Dean hissed. He looked up from the menu glowering at Sam. "Or listening to you."
"Dean," Sam pleaded. Dean ignored him pretending to study the menu. Sam sighed in defeat slumping opposite Dean in the booth. He stared out of the window miserably. He genuinely didn't remember part of their journey. He had been taking his turn at driving. Dean had been dozing beside him. The music had been on low. He had been humming to himself. He didn't remember turning the music up high, didn't remember pressing his foot down on the gas pedal forcing the Impala to race along the dusty road at a speed Dean rarely used.
He sighed to himself desperately searching the depths of his memory but his mind remained a total blank. He did remember Dean grabbing the steering wheel and yelling at him to stop. Startled he had stamped on the brake and they had skidded to a halt in a cloud of dust and stones. Despite his protests, Dean had continued to yell at him ordering him out of the driver's seat. Sam had continued to object but Dean had shot him one of his warning looks and turned the music up even higher ignoring him. Apart from the music they had driven the last fifteen minutes in total silence.
"Can I get you boys anything?" the waitress interrupted Sam's thoughts. She smiled at the brothers her pen poised over her order pad. She was in her early sixties with her greyish hair tied back into a girlish pony tail. Her blue eyes sparkled making her face look younger. She was dressed in a neat skirt and white blouse topped off with a red apron. "Special's good," she encouraged with a smile. "Made it myself fresh this morning."
Dean scanned the menu again before smiling up at the waitress. "Two coffees and two specials," he ordered. He shot Sam a glare daring him to argue with his choice. Sam chose to remain silent. He looked down fiddling with a napkin.
"I'll be right back with the coffee," the waitress smiled sympathetically at Sam. Sam smiled back. Suddenly tired, he slouched back in his seat rubbing at his forehead with his hand.
"You OK?" Dean stared at him and Sam didn't miss the concern on his brother's face.
"I thought you weren't talking to me," Sam said.
"I'm not," Dean shot back. Sam rolled his eyes at Dean. Dean just shrugged his shoulders staring out of the window. "Just don't want you getting sick."
"It's just a headache," Sam replied with a small smile.
Dean turned back staring at Sam. "You never just have a headache," he noted with a frown.
Sam glared at Dean anger suddenly bubbling up from nowhere. "Well this time it's just a headache. No visions. No premonitions. Nothing. OK?"
"OK," Dean put his hands up in surrender. "Just checking." Dean went back to staring out of the window at his beloved Impala. He sighed to himself hating it when Sam was mad at him. He frowned to himself realising that just recently Sam seemed to be mad at him all the time. Dean knew that Sam wanted to talk about what happened at the Roosevelt Asylum, but he just couldn't bring himself to open up, even to his brother. Dean had decided a long time ago that nothing was going to touch or hurt him so he buried his demons deep forcing his emotions down and hiding behind a carefully constructed front that he had developed over many years. But the more time he spent on the road with his brother, the thinner the armour was becoming and Dean was terrified that his guard would crash down around him revealing the real Dean for all to see. Dean shivered at the thought absently rubbing at his chest. He pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind instead concentrating all his thoughts on the damage Sam could have done to his car if he hadn't woken up in time.
Sam couldn't help noticing the flicker of hurt that crossed his brother's face at his outburst. He turned away so he didn't have to see it. But it didn't stop him hating himself for causing the look. Ever since the creepy Dr Ellicott had touched him, Sam had felt his anger and frustration spiralling out of control. He knew it was getting worse and it was taking all of his self-control not to lash out more often. Sam knew, deep down, that he wasn't angry with Dean he was angry at their father. But as usual their father was missing so he took all his frustration and rage out on Dean. It wasn't fair. Dean didn't deserve it but Sam couldn't help himself. Sam looked back to this brother who was staring out of the window, his usual unreadable expression fixed on his face.
He shivered slightly as he remembered the feel of the cold steel in his hand as he pointed the gun at Dean. The anger he had suddenly felt had fuelled his hateful words and he had felt himself pulling the trigger. Sam shivered again. He was terrified that it would happen again and this time the gun would be loaded. He pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind.
The air between them was heavy with tension like a dark cloak threatening to slowly choke and smother them. The silence seemed deafening. Sam hated it and he knew that Dean did too. He took a deep breath. "Dean," he bit at his bottom lip. "I'm sorry," he murmured.
Dean dragged his attention away from the Impala back to Sam. He regarded his brother for a moment. As usual his anger had disappeared as quickly as it had surfaced. Dean had become practised in burying it deep along with all the other anger and hurt he had collected over the years. He gave Sam a small smile. "Me too," he shrugged.
Sam could almost feel some of the tensions between them lift and he smiled back. Leaning forward. "But I swear that I don't remember a thing," Sam was earnest. "It's just a total blank."
"OK. Whatever," Dean shrugged again. "But you're not driving for a while." Dean stared out of the window again at the Impala. He turned back to Sam. "Maybe never again."
Sam rolled his eyes. "It's just a car," he muttered. Dean scowled. "OK. OK," Sam put his hands up. "I give up. The Impala is not just a car. It's ... it's," he struggled for a description that would satisfy his brother. Dean waited patiently a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "A thing of beauty," Sam finished.
"Better," Dean smirked. "So," he leaned forwards. "What do you remember before you tried to total my car?"
Sam was surprised at the change of subject. "Nothing," Sam screwed up his eyes again. "Except maybe a voice," he reached into the depths of his mind. "It was whispering something."
"Like what?" Dean interrupted. "I know," he grinned. "You must piss your older brother off by driving like a maniac and killing his car."
Sam glared at Dean as he flopped back frustrated. "I don't know," he sighed.
"Probably the ghost," a voice interrupted them. They both turned staring up at an older man who had two mugs of coffee in his hands. In his mid-sixties, the man's grey hair flopped over his forehead partly hiding his clear blue eyes. He was dressed in jeans, a checked shirt and a red apron. Smiling he pushed their coffee towards them. "You came into town on the old dust road. Right?" Sam and Dean nodded at the man. "Well there you go," the man smiled down at them. He leaned forward. "That road's haunted," he nodded knowingly.
Sam and Dean shot each other a look. "How do you know?" Sam asked curious.
"Just do," the man replied as though that explained everything. He pushed his hair out of his eyes and grinned at them.
"Quit scaring my customers," the waitress came up behind the man, two plates in her hands. "With your silly ghost stories."
"I was only," the man started to say.
The woman shot him an angry look and he looked down biting at his lip stuffing his hands in his apron pocket. "Don't you pay him any attention boys," she glared at the man again. "It's just a stupid story. There's no such thing as ghosts."
Dean shot Sam an amused look. Turning back he noted the look on the man's face and immediately felt sorry for him. "We don't scare easily," Dean smiled up at the waitress. "It's not problem." She smiled back at Dean before laying their plates in front of them.
"Wow," the man had been staring out of the window miserably. "Is that yours?" he pointed towards the parked Impala. "She's a beauty," he breathed.
Dean looked up from his food. "Yeah," he grinned up at the man.
"What year?" the man continued to stare at the Impala.
"1967," Dean answered simply.
"I've got a late 50's model out back," the man turned to Dean. "Maybe you'd like to come and see it." His expression was hopeful making him look younger than his years. "Frank," he stuck his hand out towards Dean. "That's if you've got the time."
Dean smiled up at the man. "Dean," he took the offered hand. "And this is my little brother Sammy," he waved his other hand at Sam knowing that the use of his nickname would annoy his brother. He smirked at the look on Sam's face.
"Frank," the waitress protested. "Let the boys eat their meal in peace."
"Sorry Hannah," Frank said not able to hide the disappointment from his face. He looked towards Sam and Dean. "Sorry," he mumbled at them. "Maybe later?" he asked hopefully.
Mind made up Dean scooted along the seat. "How about now?" The movement jarred his chest a little and he sucked in a breath. Sam looked up but was stopped from voicing his concern by a warning look from Dean. Dean slid out of the booth. "Dinner will wait." Frank beamed at him. "Lead the way Frank," Dean patted the man on the back.
Hannah put her hands on her hips and sighed. "I guess I'll put your brother's dinner in the oven to keep warm," she smiled down at Sam. "While they do whatever they do."
"It's OK," Sam nodded. "I don't get it either."
Dean followed Frank out of the diner and round the back. There parked in a car port was a gleaming red Impala its silver trim glinting in the sunlight.
"Oh wow," he whistled. "A 1958," Dean breathed as he walked round the car marvelling at the body work and the condition. "I have died and gone to heaven." He peered in the open window at the immaculately kept interior. "Does it run?" he asked.
"Oh yes," Frank replied with a proud smile. "I keep it running." He ran his hand lovingly over the hood. "Do you like it?" he asked eagerly.
"Are you kidding?" Dean grinned. Frank grinned back pleased. "How's it drive?" Dean asked as he ran his hand carefully up the side of the car.
"Oh I don't drive it," Frank admitted as he absently polished an invisible mark on the hood with a cloth from his pocket.
"You don't?" Dean asked incredulously. He looked back to the car wondering why somebody wouldn't want to drive such a beautiful car.
"I just keep it running and shiny," Frank explained.
Dean just nodded. "Can I start it up?" he asked hopefully.
"Sure," Frank beamed at him again as he tossed the keys at Dean. Dean caught them easily. He carefully opened the door expecting it to creak. Silence. Dean smiled to himself knowing that every clunk, creak and groan that his Impala made was all part of its personality and what made it special to him. No car would ever replace it not even this beauty. He shook his head berating himself for being silly. Dean made himself comfortable behind the steering wheel and cautiously turned the key in the ignition. The engine roared into life. He ran his hands over the dashboard as the engine purred.
Frank peered in the window. "How does it sound to you?" he asked anxiously.
"Like music to my ears," Dean grinned at Frank as he pressed his foot on the gas pedal making the engine roar again. Frank grinned at him. Dean carefully switched off the engine. "You've done a really great job." He jumped out of the car carefully closing the door. He handed the keys back to Frank.
"I promised," Frank muttered absently. Dean pulled a face noticing that Frank's expression had become distant and withdrawn. He was staring into the distance over Dean's shoulder with a sad faraway look on his face. He sensed that he had touched a nerve somehow. Dean frowned deciding not to press the man any further on the car. Folding his arms. "So about this ghost and the haunted road," Dean said.
Frank turned back to look at Dean. He shrugged. "It's just a ghost," he murmured. "Hannah," he stared at Dean. "She's my sister you know. Don't like me talking about it."
"I won't tell," Dean said.
Frank shook his head. "Hannah's right. It's just a stupid ghost story," he frowned turning his back. "We'd better get back. Hannah will have kept your dinner warm for you," he disappeared around the side of the diner.
Dean narrowed his eyes staring at Frank's retreating back. He sighed. Turning he took another look at the Impala. "What a beauty," he couldn't resist touching the car again.
"Help me," he heard in his head and Dean jumped back as though the car had burned him. He looked around. No-one was in sight. Dean stared at the car. "No," he shook his head. "Couldn't be." He looked around again hoping to see someone. "I'm becoming as freaky as Sammy," he muttered to himself as he hurried back to the diner.
To be continued...