Disclaimers and notes in chapter one
"Come on, Sammy. Time's a'wasting." Dean called cheerfully over to his brother before heading out of the motel door.
Sam found himself abruptly missing the forty eight hours when all Dean had done was sleep, wake up, eat and go straight back to sleep. Sam was sure that Dean would sleep right through Padraig's funeral but Dean had come back to full awareness an hour beforehand.
After the Irish-style wake, Dean had been unconscious again but this time as a result of passing out due to all the drinking. Sam had always been impressed by his brother's capacity for alcohol but it held a poor candle to a whole town with Irish ancestry, especially when the whole town wanted to buy a drink for the boys that'd let Poor Paddy sleep.
As soon as Dean recovered from the hangover he'd started climbing the walls. Sam had tried to persuade him to rest and let his worn body recover, had even tried distracting him with packets of peanut M&Ms but had ended up giving in after extracting a promise from his brother to let Sam drive while Dean would sleep in the passenger seat.
Of course, that had been one of the few conversations that the brothers had had since Padraig's death and Dean's recovery. Dean claimed that his memory of the events after they arrived in the town was a little hazy but Sam didn't believe him for a second. Dean could hide many things but Sam could see the hurt glimmer that resided in the back of his brother's eyes.
Sam had tried to bring up the topic multiple times but each time been put off by a wave of Dean's hand and a muttered 'I'm tired.' Sam still felt too guilty over the events and some of the things he had said to his brother to push so they both continued to ignore the giant pink elephant shitting on the carpet.
Sam saw the window of opportunity now as he glanced out the door to where the Impala was parked. The Impala had always been home in a way nowhere else could be especially since Dean had driven to get Sam from Stanford. It was semi-neutral territory even if Sam always suspected the Impala purred that bit more content when his brother drove. It was also an enclosed space and Sam was sure there was only so much that his brother would feign sleep.
When Sam walked out to the car, Dean was sitting there in the driver's seat, caressing the steering wheel with still slightly shaky hands. Sam cleared his throat, "I'd ask if I should leave you two alone except you appear to be sitting in my seat."
"Come on, Sammy. I'm fine to drive." Dean croaked but Sam could see his chest convulse as he suppressed another coughing fit.
"Guess I need to go back to the motel and book us in for another night." Sam said, turning to walk back towards the motel office and hoping his brother didn't call his bluff. The motel owner had told the boys they could stay for free as long and as often as they liked during Paddy's wake and the next morning, Sam had been awoken by a knock at the door and the motel owner returning all the money they'd paid so far along with a bit extra.
Fortunately Sam only took one step before he heard the click of the driver's side door opening and his brother swinging himself out of the car. Sam turned, not missing the fact that Dean was leaning against the frame, one hand gripped tight to keep his balance. At Sam's look, Dean just shrugged and said, "I want to get out of here."
"Fine," Sam returned to the car, slouching himself down into the driver's seat and slinging his duffel into the back. A few moments later, Dean levered himself into the passenger seat, stretching out his legs and reaching for the box of cassettes. "Driver picks the music." Sam reminded him.
"Just checking you didn't bring Britney Spears in here." Dean said, clanging each cassette over as he checked the labels before easing himself back with a sigh and a pat to the car's dashboard, "You are safe, baby."
Sam twisted the key in the ignition, watching Dean grin as the Impala purred into life. Sam reached across his brother and grabbed the cassette he was looking for, sticking it into the tape drive and listening to the opening notes of Pink Floyd. He twisted down the volume, refusing to let his brother drown out any attempt at conversation this time. A quick glance behind him and the car peeled out of the motel car park. Sam only gave a moment before he glanced sidelong to his brother, "So, are we going to talk now?"
"What's there to talk about?" Dean put on an air of genuine confusion but Sam knew his brother well enough now to see through it.
"About what happened, about some of the things I said." Sam refused to give in, "When I said I wouldn't visit.."
"You meant it." Dean cut Sam off, a cold note in his voice, "Please don't pretend otherwise now."
"Yeah, I meant it." Sam agreed, never planning to say otherwise, "But not 'cos I wanted to leave you or was looking for a way out."
"Fine, Sammy. Whatever. You do what you do, same as always. Can we just get on to the next gig?" Dean twisted in his seat to watch the town recede in the back window.
Sam held his breath as they passed the town sign, keeping a close eye on his brother to make sure that the protection spell really was lifted, "I was thinking we could head over to Bobby's. He's probably a bit annoyed with me for not calling and we could use the downtime."
Sam knew his brother was going to shake his head even before the first muscle movement, "Nah. We can ring Bobby, let him know we're okay. Hell, he probably already knows. I want a job." Sam could hear the unspoken 'I need a job'. Dean needed to go kick the ass of something evil and prove that he is the invincible big brother once again.
"So you want to continue on to that potential harpy then?" Sam asked, watching the road for a moment instead of his brother's face.
"Another hunter has probably bagged them by now." Dean sulked, "But we could head up there anyway. See if there is anything else suitable."
"I imagine you'd rather steer away from hunting anything else from Celtic mythology for a while." Sam teased though his voice begged Dean 'Forgive me'.
Dean shot his brother an incredulous look, the biggest grin spreading across his face, "You kidding? I still want to bag me a leprechaun!" With that, Dean slid on his sunglasses and leant his head back against the seat, humming contently to himself.
"Hey Sam," Dean said, "Why do the Irish call their currency the punt?"
Sam glanced over to his brother at the odd question, "They don't anymore, it's the euro. As for why, I'm not sure, why do we call ours the dollar? Why does any currency have the name it does?" Sam has taken a class in linguistic history at Stanford, figuring it might be nice to figure out why some of the monster they'd fought had the names they did but it had taught by a lecturer who'd obviously wanted an easy ride and consisted mostly of the origin of pop culture phrases and the rare olde English term.
Dean rolled his eyes, "Because it rhymes with bank manager."
Sam took a moment to puzzle that one out before clarity hit and he just groaned.
"Why do the Irish always count their money twice?" Dean said before Sam had a chance to protest.
"Dean!" Sam grumbled.
"To be sure, to be sure." Dean said, even putting on a terrible Irish accent.
Sam groaned again, reaching a hand up to crank up the music a little.
For the first time that Sam ever noticed, Dean reached over to turn the music down, "Anyway, An Englishman, A Scotsman and an Irishman are stranded on a desert island and they find this bottle..." The rest of the journey continued like that until Dean drifts off to sleep to the sound of the Impala's engine and Sam smiles to himself. Only his brother could say 'I forgive you' with the world's worst collection of Irish jokes.
A/N: And it's over. Thanks for everyone still around for the long ride. It was my first attempt at a long fanfiction and I think it worked fairly well though I've spotted several pacing issues and things I'll need to work on for the next LongFic. (If a short fic is a OneShot, does that make a long fic a LongShot?)
Top of the list is getting myself a beta reader. Any advice of how to snag one of those wily things would be much appreciated. Mainly looking for stuff like plot, pacing and stealth BritGlish sneaking in rather than spelling and grammar which I can (mostly) manage (even if Word's squiggly green lines disagree with me).
Thank you to every single one of you for reading and to Kripke for creating the playground and, of course, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki for playing characters that make you want to write about them. Oh, and Jim Beaver, 'nuff said.
And it's goodnight from me.