Title: Nimbostratus on the Shore

Rating: PG

Category: Gen ficlet

Word Count: 473

Characters: Dean and Sam

Spoilers: None

Summary: She only dances when it storms. Sam and Dean watch.

Author's Notes: This is actually an older story from September 2006 that I found while wandering through my old files. For some reason, I forgot to post it over here, so I'm finally getting around to it now. I suppose better late than never, yes?

Disclaimer: The following characters and situations are used without permission of the creators, owners, and further affiliates of the television show, Supernatural, to whom they rightly belong. I claim only what is mine, and I make no money off what is theirs.

The lightning cracks the room, white sparks of light that slip into Dean's dreams and hiss with electricity behind his eyes. When the thunder growls, he wakes and rolls over to pretend as if the storm did not pry him from his sleep.

Yet when he turns onto his other side, he sees Sam standing by the window, a tall black silhouette highlighted in the pale shots of lightning. Sam's arms are crossed, hands cupping his elbows, hair wild and mussed around the tips of his ears. The thunder snaps and pops, the rain taps the window glass with jagged little nails, and he doesn't flinch.

Dean walks to him and says nothing. The smell of salt in the air is strong, and the wooden floor is damp and cool beneath his bare feet. He can see only in the brief flashes of lightning, and then is plunged into darkness, like a blind man meeting God and discovering the world in momentary glances once again.

Outside the window where Sam stares, the ocean is frenzied froths of white energy. Bubbling and thrashing like an angry monster, the greedy waves roll up onto the dark silver sand of the night, lick the shoreline, and slurp their way back to sea.

Dean stands behind Sam and follows his brother's distant gaze. To see what has Sam so fixated and entranced.

"She only dances when it storms," Sam says, his voice foggy and hoarse, eyes dark and deep, lack of sleep to blame.

Dean looks to Sam, and then out the window where a girl in white skips on the sand. Pale pink toes dry and long blonde hair soft in the rain. She twirls and hops, catches raindrops on her tongue and lightning in her palms.

She could be anyone, just another girl, just another one of the many souls they see that they should not, but they are both beyond such ignorance. Life—death—has taught them better than to believe in such foolish illusions.

"You didn't send her away," Dean whispers over the clatter of raindrops on the window. His throat is sore, and he swallows around his words.

She pirouettes, white gown spiraling out around her and wavy hair bobbing on her shoulders. Dean thinks she's laughing to the storm, must be talking with the thunder and asking the lightning how its day has been. She could, he knows. She could just because it is impossible, and he has seen the impossible done before.

Sam shakes his head, cheeks wet and pale, refusing to accept Dean's words of, perhaps, pity. "I didn't ask her to stay."

They stand and stare until the black clouds fade to orange wisps of morning, until the waves calm themselves and sleep on their rocky beds, and she floats away on the breeze with dove's wings.