A/N: Written for a fic exchange at Asylum.
Alternate title: We've Got Motherfucking Clowns on this Motherfucking Plane!
"I can't believe you actually persuaded me to get on another one of these things."
"Facing your fear is good for you, Dean."
"Yeah, I'll keep that in mind when we're falling from the sky in a flaming ball of wreckage." Sam sighed.
"You do realise how rare that is don't you?" Dean glanced sideways at him.
"Happened last time."
"Last time there were special circumstances."
"How do you know there aren't any special circumstances this time?" Sam just looked at his brother, seriously, he got the phobia, he really did, but did Dean have to be so irrational about it? "Don't see why we couldn't have gotten a bus." Had Sam been drinking anything, he might well have choked on it.
"Dean, I believe the words were 'I'd rather walk'."
"Yeah, why didn't we walk?"
"Because it would take us a week, at least."
"People do that, don't they? Take week long hikes? Could be fun..." Dean trailed off as the seatbelt light came on.
"No, Dean, we're flying. You don't want to leave the Impala for a week do you?"
"Well, we've left her for a couple of days already, another week or so couldn't hurt." Dean didn't even look convinced by that argument. "Train, what about a train? We could do that!"
"We're on the plane now, Dean. Live with it."
"That's part of my problem. Won't be much living going on if we plough into the ground at a couple hundred miles an hour."
"It's a bit late for that now," said Sam, watching the ground outside moving as the plane taxied to the end of runway. "Calm down, Dean, it's only a couple of hours." Dean practically blanched at that.
"A couple of hours?" said Dean, an edge of panic creeping into his voice.
"Dean, just relax, you'll make it." Dean made a disbelieving noise and gripped the armrests as the plane picked up speed and thundered down the runway. "Dean," warned Sam. Dean glanced at him before closing his eyes and humming Metallica to himself.
Taking off was even worse than he remembered. Metallica was only just cutting it and it only got worse the further from the ground they were. No human had any right being this high, and in Dean's experience things that went up high came down hard, he could only hope that gravity wasn't paying them any attention. Dean then realised how little these thoughts were doing to calm him down and concentrated on the humming again.
An hour of – in Dean's case – tense flying passed. Dean's mouth was getting kind of dry from so much humming and Sam was just this side of being driven completely insane. He wasn't hugely fond of Metallica when it was Metallica performing; Dean's renditions were just downright annoying, especially when he didn't shut up for a full hour. Dean paused his humming to take a swig from his bottle.
"Dude, are you drinking the holy water?"
"Well, at least I know you aren't possessed."
"Good for me. You know, I think I preferred flying when there was a demon on board." Sam turned in his seat to face his brother more fully.
"What?" Dean half-shrugged.
"At least then I knew we weren't going to be in the air for more than forty minutes."
"Your logic is screwed up."
"I've been on a plane for over an hour, Sam, I'm feeling a bit screwed up."
"We're halfway there, Dean, it's not that much longer."
"Not that much longer!" cried Dean in a voice far too loud to be used on a plane, he adjusted his volume before continuing, "It's another freakin' hour, Sam. You know how much shit can happen in an hour? Jesus Christ..." Dean left the sentence hanging, his brain providing some very clear ideas of the kind of things that can happen in an hour.
"Don't think about i-" Sam cut himself off abruptly, staring at someone, or something in the aisle behind Dean. His eyes widened, his mouth snapped shut and he visibly gulped. Dean whipped around, anxious to know what could be causing such a reaction from Sam.
There, in all his glory, was a man dressed as a clown. Dean's eyebrows shot up. He turned back towards Sam with a small grin forming on his face, which Sam saw immediately and decided to apprehend.
"We're thirty-thousand feet above the ground." Dean's face fell straight back into the vaguely worried expression he'd been wearing for virtually the whole flight so far.
"That is so not cool, man," said Dean, facing forward again to deal with his own demons. The clown walked on past, not paying Sam any attention, and certainly not noticing the way he shrank down in his seat. He sat down somewhere right up the front of the plane, which Sam could deal with if it meant never seeing him again. Still, that he was trapped in such a small space with one of those... things, it didn't bear thinking about. So Sam didn't think about it.
Sam was getting along pretty well not thinking about it and Dean had moved onto the next Metallica album in the library of music that was his brain. You'd think the longer he was in the air, the more he'd get used to it, but apparently phobias don't work that way and Dean only seemed to be getting more frazzled. Sam was just on the verge of trying to take Dean's mind off it when he saw another clown in the aisle. Then another. What the hell?
A fourth clown emerged from the toilet and sat in the seat across the aisle from them. Sam may have made some noise because Dean looked at him and then over at the clown he was staring at in horror. It said something about Dean's emotional state that he didn't even try to tease Sam, even as more and more clowns started making themselves known.
"Dude, shut the window would you?" said Dean.
"What? No! Why?" Dean glanced out the window and then snapped his eyes forward again.
"There's too much sky out there, man. It's not right."
"Yeah, well, there's an unnatural number of clowns in here, I need the window open."
"Seriously, Sam, shut the damn thing."
"No, Dean, we've got," Sam checked his watch, "Half an hour left, that's all, then we're able to get off this flight from hell." In Dean's opinion every flight was a flight from hell, but he wasn't going to argue the point, not when his eyes were continuously drawn to the expanse of blue nothingness that they were flying through. Dean looked across the aisle longingly at the closed window. Damn Sam and his ridiculous fear. What's a clown ever done to anyone? A flash of inspiration hit Dean and he saw how he could get nearer that closed window (or more to the point, away from the open one) and give Sam a taste of his own medicine. He leant across the aisle and tapped the clown – who was engrossed in his copy of The New York Times (which, woah, weird) – on the shoulder. The clown looked up at him about the same time Sam grabbed his arm in a death grip.
"Hey," said Dean, trying to push his anxiety into the background and come across as friendly, "My brother's being an ass and won't close the window, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind swapping seats?" Dean winced slightly when Sam tightened his grip even more, but managed to keep it small enough that the clown didn't notice.
"Hey, sure, no problem. Brothers, hey? Live to be a pain in the ass." Dean forced a laugh; his arm was starting to tingle with Sam holding it so tight.
"You got that right!" Dean faced Sam, who was looking beyond furious.
"Dean, don't you dare." Dean pulled his arm out of Sam's grip.
"Let's see how you like it."
Dean's payback high was short-lived because he hadn't yet stopped being on a plane, and that was the only thing that was really going to make him feel better. Still, watching his brother trying to push himself out through the side of the plane was pretty amusing. He really hoped Sam didn't actually manage to push himself out through the side of the plane because then he'd be plummeting to his death along with- okay, time to stop that train of thought. Dean really needed something else to think about.
"Hey, uh..." he realised he didn't know the name of the clown, luckily, the clown looked up anyway.
"Dave," said the clown.
"Dave the clown?"
"Klutzo the clown. But you can call me Dave."
"Oh, right, Dave. Cool. So uh, what's with all you crazy clowns?"
"There's a convention in Chicago we're all going to. Should be fun."
"There's a what? A clown convention?" Dave nodded, "Hey, Sam, you think maybe we should drop by?"
"Fuck off," said Sam sulkily, though still trying to stay as far away from Dave as possible. Sam being scared of a guy called Dave; this was a better distraction than humming Metallica. Dave leant across the aisle towards Dean, so close Dean could smell the face-paint.
"Is your brother okay?" he whispered conspiratorially, "He seems a bit... anti-social?"
"Oh, yeah, he doesn't get out much. Can't really handle social situations. Don't worry, he's not violent or anything." Having said that, Sam was throwing pretty murderous looks in Dean's direction, but Dean was feeling safe with a clown-shield separating them. At least, until the seatbelt light came on and one of the flight attendants urged everyone back into their seat because they were beginning their descent. Dean focussed back on himself as he did up his seatbelt, closed his eyes and concentrated on his own rendition of Enter Sandman.
"You want a candy to suck?" Dean cracked an eye open to find Dave offering a bag of mints. "You know," he pointed to his ears, "To stop your ears popping?"
"Oh, uh, yeah. Thanks." Dean took an offered mint.
"Do you think your brother would like one?"
"You could try, can't guarantee anything." Dave turned towards Sam and – slowly and carefully – offered him a mint. He asked if Sam would want one in a quiet, calm and friendly way. Sam, unfortunately, was stuck looking like he'd stumbled into a horror movie somewhere along the way, and was so tense he looked like the smallest push could snap him in two. Dave backed off with a nervous glance at Dean and tucked his mints away.
Dean lost himself in a haze of ohmyGodohmyGoddon'tcrashdon'tcrash as the plane came in to land, almost yelling out at the jolt of the plane touching down. Once they were in the clear and rolling slowly towards the airport terminal, Dean visibly relaxed; all the tension of the past two hours and eighteen minutes had finally gone, and had left Dean feeling quite worn out. Sam, however, was still sitting very stiffly in his seat and staring out the window hard enough to burn a hole right through it.
People down the length of the plane began unbuckling themselves and pulling bags out of overhead lockers and from under their seats, despite being told to wait until the plane had stopped moving completely. Dean decided to err on the side of caution on this point, Dave, on the other hand, looked pretty eager to get going.
"Enjoy your convention, man," said Dean. Dave nodded and smiled and then quickly left. Dean sorted out his hand luggage (not that there was very much of it) and stood, ready to leave. Sam didn't do anything of the sort and insisted on watching each and every clown as they passed, as if they were going to suddenly lash out at him.
When they were the last two left on the plane, only then did Sam make a move. Dean lead down the aisle.
"I hate you," said Sam.
"Yeah, not too fond of you right now, either." They finally reached the relatively fresh air of the airport and Dean stretched himself out. "Let's just get the Impala and get out."
"Yes. God, yes," said Sam emphatically.
Hope you enjoyed!