Alright, first things first. I do not own the Winchesters. At all. But since this is on fan fiction dot net (note the FAN) that should be obvious.

This fic takes place somewhere in season one, anywhere after 'Something Wicked' and before the season finale. ALSO, I would like to point out that this is the first multi-chaptered fic I have ever written. Ever. Ever managed to finish, anyway, so I'm very proud. And very creatively exhausted, since I spent all day and most of the night yesterday writing this and using up thirty-something pieces of looseleaf. So please be nice.

Anyway, all that aside... read on.


Chapter One

"Damn Colorado and its crappy weather," Dean grumbled as he snapped the motel's ratty curtains shut. It was snowing incessantly and had been for hours, halting he and his brother's plans to leave the state that day.

He glanced back at Sam who was sitting on his bed with his laptop. He didn't seem to have heard him, nor did he notice when Dean took the liberty of staring at him for a moment, trying to imagine the twenty-three-year-old as an eight-year-old again. He was staring so intently at the computer screen like he used to do with books when he was little, trying to squeeze every fact he could out of the text. Dean would always tease him about it; tell him what a dork he was being. He decided to spare him the teasing this time.

Finally he pulled his eyes away, walking to the small kitchen area of the motel room to grab something to eat. He rifled through the bag the two always carried with them that contained their food inside the mini fridge. Upon finding nothing but some crumbs, an old cheese wrapper and a bottle cap, he turned around. "Yo, Sammy. This the last of our food?"

Sam looked up, found Dean after glancing around the area his voice came from. "Uh, yeah," he confirmed absently, glancing back at the computer screen.

"Don't get too concerned there, Sparky. It's a marshmallow world outside and we've got no food until this storm stops." Dean hooked his thumbs in his belt loops, walking over to the window as if to see if the snow had let up. It hadn't.

"Sorry," Sam said, obviously distracted. "I'm a little busy and food's the last thing on my mind."

Dean looked over at him, raised an eyebrow. "What're you doing that could possibly be that interesting?" He regretted asking the moment the words left his mouth. Incoming, one Sam Winchester-style, one-hour explanation.

"Looking at news reports from Arizona."

… Okay, that wasn't nearly as long as he expected it to be. But before he could comment on it, he felt his stomach grumble discontentedly. "I'll bet that's fascinating, but my stomach is about to eat itself. I'munna go out and get us some grub, alright?"

This got Sam's attention. "You what? No! It's a blizzard out there!"

"Hey, Sam. Chill. I'll be fine," Dean replied, holding a hand up. He thumbed at the door. "Besides, I'd rather freeze to death out there than starve to death in here."

"You know that's not funny."

Dean grinned. "Aw, come on. The nearest grocery store ain't that far away. And you know me, the cautious driver."

Sam simply gave him his patented Sammy-Glare. "You're doing a horrible job of convincing me."

"Seriously, dude. I'll be fine." He grabbed his coat, slipped it on and zipped it up, readying himself for the harsh and biting winds outside. "I'll be back in a few." His mind returned to that mental image of the eight-year-old Sammy on the bed and he grinned. "Don't open the door for strangers, you hear?"

He was out the door before he could hear his little brother's reaction.

The snow was coming down fiercer than he'd thought. Driving this backroad was a bitch; it took him nearly five minutes to get to what must have normally been only a minute's drive from the motel. There was no one else on the road, he noticed, and for good reason.

When the tires spun for a third time, Dean hit the steering wheel in frustration. "Damn it!" Looking around the empty road as the snow made light thudding noises on the windshield, he finally decided to floor it, hoping it would propel the car forward and out of the snow. Luckily, it worked.

Up ahead was what looked like recently plowed road. "Now we're in business," the elder Winchester boy said to himself, switching gears. He turned up the radio – he felt it appropriate now that he wasn't concentrating on plowing his beloved car through the snow – and began trying to pick up the tune to the verse of some song he knew was by Stone Temple Pilots – "Interstate Love Song", was it? – And steered the Impala around a bend in the road. The visibility sucked, but thankfully it was unlikely for him to encounter any other cars on the road.

This last hunt hadn't gone very well. It wasn't so much the hunt as the tension that had built up between the brothers. Some touchy things had gotten brought up while they were there that unearthed some bad memories for Dean, so he figured going for a drive was just what the doctor ordered; getting away from his little brother for a while and just having time to think and take out all of his frustrations on the gas pedal and the snowflakes getting flattened against the windshield. He wouldn't be too long, of course, or Sam would worry about him. He'd get to the store, load up on food and be back before dark.

That was the plan, anyway.

After about fifteen minutes of driving Dean was still surrounded by trees. He had to at least be halfway there, he mentally griped. He squinted down the road, turned the heat up and felt a jolt when the Impala skidded on a patch of ice, swerving towards a ditch despite Dean's best efforts to regain control of the vehicle. "Jesus—"

There is always a time when we realize the inevitable. Not many of us use that to our advantage, however. But Dean Winchester did, and in that one moment before everything went black he pulled the keys from the ignition.

And closed his eyes.


R&R. Reviews are nice. That's why they made the button that nice purple colour.