Title: Bucket Seats Have All Got To Go
Spoilers: Up through "Tall Tales"
Summary: Sequel to my story Stick Shifts and Safety Belts which you may want to read first. The Impala is still human, and the Winchesters still have a problem.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or any of its characters. That right belongs to the CW and Eric Kripke.
Author's Note: Thanks go to Christie. Without our Wednesday talks this probably wouldn't have gotten a sequel. Comments are love, and criticism is very welcome as well.
Comments are love, and criticism is very welcomed as well.
"You're not getting on that."
It's the first sentence not coated with love, lust, or the overabundance of joy that seems to come with the Impala being in the same breathing space as Dean, and he pauses, his hands hovering over the handles of an honest to god Harley Davidson.
"Why?" Jo asks. Her hands protectively glide across the bike's leather seat.
"It's a death trap," the Impala, because it doesn't matter what Ash thinks they are not going to call her Carla, says as she circles the vehicle baring her teeth and drumming her nails against her thigh. "You don't want to get on something like that."
A breeze, chilly in the early spring morning, blew through the garage, and the Impala's hand goes to push a loose strand of hair away from her face. Eyes so dark and wide that Dean's sure he would be able to make out clusters of silver stars floating in the blacks of her pupils go soft and uncertain.
"You don't, right?"
Dean would answer, not like it's a hard question, but he's busy. Focusing, intently, on anything and everything that isn't the Impala takes a surprising amount of concentration and he doesn't have much left to spare in the way of brain power. Dean's pretty sure that it's important for him to be focusing (intently), on anything and everything that isn't the Impala right now (empty peanut shells, Sam's dirty fingernails, the beer drenched bar top), because as long as he can keep himself from drowning in the sight of his favorite baby girl he's sure he'll be able to keep himself from doing anything crazy. Like say acting on the inappropriate thoughts paddling through his mind. Thoughts that all star the girl who was once his 4000 lb. 1967 Chevy Impala and is now his 150 lb. make out buddy. A make out buddy who is coyly tracing her pointer finger around the top button of his jeans while a low happy growl gains strength in the back of her throat. The noise causes a wave of warm to wash through Dean's belly and head south of the border.
But back to focusing. Focusing intently. Intently focusing. Focusing with intent.
"Dean," Ellen asks again. "What's your plan, boy?"
"I'm going to charge you extra for waking me up."
Dean grunts in response. It's well past noon, and he has a modified car to think about so he doesn't feel guilty.
The Chinese woman's name turns out to be Cynthia, and she motions for Dean to join her at the kitchen table while her hands shuffle through a pack of familiar looking cards. Dean obeys his eyes on the cards as they're shuffled and cut, but his ears zero in on the voice that's washing in from the living room where the Impala is apologizing to Jo.
"You're not the first one to fall for it. I mean it looks flashy and cool, but in the end all that piece of metal will do is break your heart. If you fall off and go skipping across the highway do you think it'll care? Course not. It'll just move onto the next wild young thing it can find and you know what you'll have? Legs that don't work. We need to get you a car that will take care of you."
Or maybe apologizing is the wrong word.
Ellen's got two empty rooms. It's one room too many since he and Sam have never not bunked together, but the Impala pushes Dean towards the nearest one and continues down the hall with her hand wrapped around Sam's wrist.
"Be by in a minute," she says.
A panicked look flashes across Sam's face. He looks to his big brother for help, but Dean can only shrug.
"I don't know what you want from me." Twelve little koala faces stare up at Dean from their spots on the table, each one ready to be turned over and inspected.
From the other room Dean hears Sam laugh, and he rubs a hand across his face. "Just tell me what you see. Tell me everything, and for god sake tell me the truth."
"I sang him to sleep."
Dean blinks. "You did what?"
"I sang Sammy to sleep." The Impala rubs the back of her neck looking sheepish. "I've been doing it for as long as he's been alive. I've just never been able to use words before."
Just picturing how uncomfortable that must have made Sammy made the night seem friendlier.
The lights are off, and the window shade shut. The sun might be rising outside, but in this room it's still the middle of the night which is ok because Dean's not afraid of the dark. He hasn't been for a long time. There maybe evil prancing about in the shadows, but the night has its own brand of light to help him get by. He sees it in the moon, and the stars. He sees it in his brother asleep and safe in the passenger seat next to him. Dean wonders if maybe during those late drives spent speeding over roads no one else would dared to tread upon that light had soaked through his car and been stored, because from her position against the door Dean would swear he could see the Impala glow.
Cynthia cocks an eyebrow at him.
"When do we get to the cards that tell the future?" Dean grumbles, heat filling his face.
The eyebrow didn't lower, but a flick of Cynthia's wrist and the joker card is laughing up at him.
"Don't you usually you take that card out of the deck?"
Cynthia waves his words away, her eyes on the card. "You need to leave. Your answers will be in the same place you first found your problem."
There's coffee at the bar, pancakes a la Ash, and one lone early morning customer sulking at a corner table when Dean joins his brother for breakfast the next morning.
The Impala abandons him as soon as he sits, and spends the meal chatting with Jo.
When she wanders back her arm is linked through the younger woman's and she looks happy, but determined.
"This has been fun and all," she beings, "But I want to be me again, and Jo says she knows someone who might be able to help."
Their answer, as it turns out, is not only waiting for them, but sitting comfortably on top of the bar and flirting shamelessly with Ellen. Ellen looks to be one eye roll away from retrieving her shot gun.
Recognition is quick to surface. "Didn't I kill you?"
The Trickster, and Dean wonders if he's got a more official name, grins.
"Hey there, sport."
His glances at the Impala. "Enjoying my gift?"
Dean's mouth is open and ready to fire a retort, but the moment for villain/hero banter is usurped by the Impala who has the Trickster against the bar by the throat before Dean can get the first syllable to spring dive off his tongue.
"Change me back or I'll crush your windpipe."
They're back on the road within the hour. Sam running a thoughtful hand over the Impala's dash board while Dean fiddles with the radio.
"Was this as weird for you as it was for me?"
It had been beyond weird, but Dean is pretty sure that Sam hadn't gone and taken the game into a whole new supernatural ball park. Not like Dean had done.
The Impala is kin, but only because they made her that way. It started with his mother's blood, a three car pile up keeping her from a hospital in time for Sam's birth. His father's blood came soon after when he stumbled back to her after his very first hunt, the skin of his side open and weeping. Dean's DNA has dripped between the wires and gears in her engine from countless cuts, and Sam had sat in a red pool of it after the semi had connected with the Impala's side. They'd baptized her in Winchester blood, and she was family, but she was also more.
Dean had lost his virginity in the Impala. He'd peeled strips of skin off a sunburned and peeling Sammy after a day at the beach while sitting on her trunk. He'd counted constellations from behind her windows and fallen asleep in her backseat. The Impala was blood and spit and cum and moonlight and sunburns and skin cells. She was their very own mobile time capsule that no one would ever bury, and Dean doesn't know what that makes her except family. Except his.
So when she'd slid one leg over his hips, and flattened her palms against his chest the night before he hadn't pushed her away. Instead, he'd dragged his finger tips across the small stretch of skin between her tank top and her jeans and smiled into the dark.