Sam woke first the next morning and was pleased to see that the snow had finally stopped at last. Everything was white and sparkling in the early morning sun and he smiled. Perfect.
Dressing quickly he put the coffee on and set about waking his brother, who was still dead to the world.
"Hey Dean – wake up, man."
His only response was a grunt as Dean buried further under the covers. Sam grinned and pulled the covers back, ignoring the stream of curses this prompted. Dean opened his eyes and glared at Sam.
"What the hell do you want, Sam!" he growled.
"It's morning – time to get up, sunshine." said Sam cheerfully.
Dean squinted at the window and back at Sam.
"You and I have such different definitions of morning. What time is it?"
"A little after 6.30."
Dean rolled his eyes and burrowed back into his pillow.
"Wake me up when it's a normal hour of the day, Sammy." he said. Sam was having none of it though.
"Oh no you don't – come on Dean, you're gonna waste the best part of the day!"
"I'm gonna waste you in a minute." muttered Dean, finally giving in and stumbling out of bed.
10 minutes later he emerged from the bathroom looking slightly more awake but still less than pleased to be up so early. Sam ignored the glare Dean was giving him and grinned.
"Feel better?" he said cheerfully.
"No – why the hell are you so cheerful anyway?" said Dean, eyeing him suspiciously.
"What's not to be cheerful about? It's not my fault you always wake up grumpy." he said.
"I do NOT wake up grumpy!" said Dean indignantly. "I just need my caffeine that's all."
"Well then you'll be wanting this won't you?" said Sam, waving a steaming mug of coffee in Dean's direction.
Dean grabbed it and inhaled the steam, sighing happily.
"Thanks, Sammy – maybe I won't kill you after all." he said.
"I'm touched." said Sam dryly and Dean smirked.
"Hey, you said it little brother."
Sam rolled his eyes but let Dean finish his coffee in peace. The motel manager had given them some bread and butter to go with the tubs of food, so Sam made toast which they ate in companionable silence. When they were done, Sam stood up determinedly.
"Right – so, you ready to go outside?" he said.
Dean frowned at him. "What do you mean, go outside? In case you hadn't noticed it's like -5 out there, Sam! Not to mention being knee deep in snow."
"Exactly." said Sam, grinning at his brother like this should make perfect sense.
Dean raised his eyebrows. "Ok, you've definitely cracked Sammy – I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I'm talking about making the most of the snow, Dean – it's not like we can go anywhere yet, so why not take the time to relax a little? I mean when was the last time you made a snowman?"
Dean looked at him. "Dude, seriously – what are you, eight? Build a snowman? Come on Sam!"
"Why not? It's fun Dean – you remember fun, don't you?"
"Yeah I remember fun, but playing in the snow has never been on my list of 'fun' Sam."
"Well, it is now." said Sam firmly. Dean stared at him, shaking his head.
"You cannot be serious."
"Oh I'm definitely serious. Don't tell me you're afraid of a little bit of snow, are you?" said Sam, smirking.
Dean glared at him. "Of course I'm not 'afraid' of snow it's just a really stupid idea."
"Ok, if it bothers you that much.."
"I didn't say it bothered me!" said Dean indignantly.
Sam just stood there, grinning at him. Finally Dean threw his arms up in the air.
"Oh, fine – I'm never gonna hear the end of this am I? Since you're so hung up on this, lets go play in the snow."
"I knew you'd see it my way." said Sam, pulling on his boots and grabbing his coat.
"I must be insane." muttered Dean, shaking his head as he put on his own boots and coat.
Sam's enthusiasm was kind of infectious though and Dean could feel his lips twitching as he followed his brother out of the motel room.
The cold air hit them like a slap and Dean shivered, pulling his coat tighter round himself. He had to admit it was a gorgeous day though and surrounded by pristine, untouched, glittering snow it was almost magical.
Naturally there was some argument to begin with about exactly the best way to build a snowman, which threatened to degenerate into a proper fight at one point before they both realised how ridiculous it was and sheepishly agreed to just get on with it.
They made the body together, building it up gradually until in the end it was practically as tall as them. Next came the head and finally the snowman stood there in all it's glory. They'd been out there a couple of hours by then, so Sam went back in to make some more coffee while Dean added the finishing touches. By the time he came back out with two steaming mugs, Dean was done. Sam stepped round it to hand Dean his coffee and as he did so he got a first look at the front of it.
"I don't believe it." he said, shaking his head.
"What?" said Dean and Sam looked at him.
"You made a demon snowman Dean?"
"Oh come on, it's not my fault all I had left for the eyes were M&M's – they just happened to be red ones." he said, the picture of innocence.
Sam raised his eyebrows. "Dude, whatever – you totally made a demon snowman. You're weird, you do know that right?"
"I'm weird? You're the one who wanted to play in the snow. I mean come on Sammy – you're 23 you know." said Dean.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Two words, Dean – demon snowman." he said with a smirk.
Dean shoved Sam with his shoulder, who shoved him back. Dean's eyes narrowed, and then took on a dangerous glint. Sam stared at him warily and then took a step back.
"Oh no – no, Dean! I'm drinking here!" he said, still backing up towards the motel room.
"Then I'd drink faster if I was you." said Dean with an evil grin. Putting down his now empty mug, he began picking up handfuls of snow.
Sam gulped the last of his coffee and just had time to put down the mug before a giant snowball hit him smack in the side of his head.
Spitting out snow, he turned round to glare at Dean.
"Oh, you are SO going to regret that, man!" he said.
Dean just smirked at him, arms wide. "Bring it on, Princess." he said.
Half an hour later they were both soaking wet and totally out of breath. They were pretty evenly matched in terms of direct hits and as they ran round, laughing and yelling, Sam literally felt the years melt away. It was almost like they were children again, except Sam wasn't sure he could ever remember just taking time to mess around like this. It was almost bittersweet, but for now Sam was just glad to have this time with his brother. Especially after everything they'd been through recently.
As he tried to get out of Dean's way he suddenly slipped on some particularly compacted snow. As he struggled to stay upright he found himself slipping and sliding. It was all in vain though as he ended up flat on his back in the snow. He looked up as he heard Dean's hysterical laughter. Dean was bent over, gasping for breath, as he pointed at his unfortunate brother.
"Oh, man! You should have seen yourself! You looked like Bambi on the ice!"
Sam's glaring only made Dean laugh harder. He briefly wondered if you could actually die from laughing too hard.
He was so busy laughing that he didn't see Sam manage to get to his feet and stalk towards him. Next thing he knew he was suddenly tackled by 6"4 of enraged brother.
They landed in the snow and immediately began wrestling to get the upper hand. Dean was slightly stronger but Sam had those freakishly long legs and it was an even match.
"Alright, alright! Truce!" said Sam breathlessly, laughing and wheezing at the same time.
Dean was all too happy to agree and they both lay there in the snow, trying to get their breath back.
Dean chuckled. "Oh man – seriously, you should have seen yourself Sammy!"
Sam rolled his eyes and nudged Dean with his elbow. "Yeah, whatever. You didn't look so graceful yourself there a minute ago, Dean." he said dryly.
"Man, if Dad could see us now." Dean said softly.
Sam glanced at him, seeing the wistful look on his face. Wanting to change the subject before things got too melancholy he smiled.
"He'd have probably denied fathering either of us." he said with quiet amusement. Dean glanced at him and then snorted.
"Yeah, you're probably right." he admitted. John never really had been one for 'relaxing'.
A thought occurred to Sam as they lay there.
"Hey Dean – you ever made snow angels?" he said, grinning.
Dean turned to stare at him. "Oh come on! I made a snowman, I kicked your ass in a snowball fight, but snow angels? You gotta be kidding!"
"Oh come on, Dean – I bet you've never made one before have you?" he said.
Dean rolled his eyes. "No, but I bet you have, right geek-boy?"
"Yeah, Jess got me to do it first winter we were together." said Sam softly.
Dean winced, he hadn't meant to stir up bad memories. Feeling a little guilty, he gave in.
"Oh alright then – might as well go the whole nine yards right?"
Sam grinned at him. Getting up he moved so there was a gap between him and Dean.
"You know how it's done, right?" said Sam, smirking.
Dean didn't dignify that with a reply.
"I can't believe I'm about to do this," he muttered. He was just thankful there was no one around to see it. Sam was so going to owe him for this.
Minutes later there were two perfectly symmetrical, Winchester snow angels on the ground. Sam reached down to give Dean a hand up and they both stood there looking at them.
Dean shook his head. "You are such a geek, you do know that?" he said and Sam just grinned at him.
"Come on, admit it Dean – you had fun today."
"Yeah, well. Maybe." said Dean. It was as much as he was gonna admit. The grin he was trying hard to suppress though told Sam all he needed to know about how much Dean had enjoyed their morning in the snow.
"Come on, I'd like to get out of these wet clothes sometime before I get hypothermia." said Dean.
As they walked towards the motel room, Sam was hit by a sudden wave of affection for his brother. Maybe it was something about having spent the morning messing around like kids, or maybe it was just a culmination of everything they'd been through lately, but he felt really close to Dean at that moment. Aware that he was risking bodily harm, he reached out and put his arm round Dean's shoulders as they walked.
Dean turned to look at him and rolled his eyes at the sappy look on Sam's face, but he didn't pull away or shrug Sam's arm off. Truth was he'd really enjoyed himself too and he felt more relaxed than he had in ages.
Things had started off pretty badly but in the end maybe the snow had turned out to be a blessing. They'd cleared the air about stuff that had been building for a while and they'd also had a chance to just relax for once and be the kids they'd never really had the chance to be when they were younger.
A day in the snow wasn't nearly enough to solve all their problems, but it was enough to remind them what was important – that they were brothers. And that, above all else, was something that would never change.
Glancing back over his shoulder for one last look at the snow angels, side by side, Dean smiled.
Yeah. Some things never would change. And that was good enough for him.
Author's note: So that's it folks! I know that last chapter was a little fluffy, but I just thought the boys needed a chance to let off some steam for a while! Hope you all enjoyed it and thank you SO much to all those kind people who have reviewed. It really does make my day:)