Author: Black Wingedbird
Warnings: owies and bad words
Author's Notes: I suppose this occurs sometime after Everbody Loves a Clown. Sammy torture ahead. Also, if I may, I'd like to invite everyone to KazCon this summer, a Superntaural fan gathering which I am helping to organize. Check out kazcon(dot)com for more info!
Sam stood before the door to room number 105 and contemplated on how best to open it, without spilling 128 ounces of soda all over himself.
A heavy, grease-soaked bag dangled from his left hand, each hand gripped a cold, wet cup, the Impala's keys hung from his lips, and his right thumb and index finger pinched the key card. Light filtered out from around the curtains and a flickering blue glow told him the TV was on. Where the hell was Dean?
Unable to pound on the door with his fists, he kicked at it, satisfied by the loud booming. "Dean!" he shouted, only partially aware of the late hour and thin walls. The car keys fell to the ground with a clank. "Let me in!"
Sam waited, his fingers frozen painfully around the cups of ice, his stomach rumbling at the smell of food he could not eat. From somewhere around his feet, a frog began chirping, and Sam grew pissed.
"Damnit," he growled, balancing the cups on the thin window sill. "You better be in the shower, and not laying on the bed, ignoring me. I went out and got the food, the least you could do is open the freakin' door."
Sam shoved the card in the lock and watched the red light change to green. He pulled open the door, caught it with his foot, shoved the card in his pocket, snatched the car keys from the ground and wrapped his hands around the two cups before they teetered over the edge. Then, bullying his way inside, he searched for Dean. "Yeah, hey, thanks for your help and all but it's okay, I think I can manage."
The TV flickered, the comforter rumpled in an oblong depression, but Dean was not there.
"Dean!" Sam called, letting the door fall shut behind him. He dropped the car keys on the dresser, followed promptly by the food and drinks. Wiping his cold, wet hands on his jeans, he listened for the shower. He had to move closer to hear over the TV, but there it was, the sound of running water splashing against a curtain.
Sam sighed and grabbed his drink and the bag of food, carrying it to his bed. There was no obligation to wait for his brother and he had no intention of doing so now. His stomach burned and the smell of burgers and fries was too tempting, making him drool as he sat cross-legged on the bed. Sam lifted one of the foil-wrapped burgers from the bag and set it on his knee, then dove in for the fries.
After setting the carton on his other knee, he rooted through the bag for all the spilt fries and shoved them in his mouth, then set the bag aside for Dean.
Sam was three bites and half-way into his burger when the water shut off. He looked at the door, chewing, waiting. Listening.
Dean did not generally talk to himself or make an excess amount of noise, but the silence in the bathroom now bothered Sam in a way he didn't understand. He took another bite, though suddenly he wasn't hungry anymore. The silence was unnerving.
"Dean?" Sam swallowed thickly and stared, searching for flickering shadows under the bathroom door. There were none.
Sam set the food on the bed and rose to his feet, wiping his mouth with his hands then wiping his hands on his jeans. He moved quietly over the carpet, only the whisper of the denim between his legs rasping under the drone of the TV. His gun was packed away, decidedly not needed for the food run. There were no signs of an intruder- no broken locks, no strange foot prints, not even a misplaced smell.
He crept forward, willing Dean to make some sort of sound.
"Dean? You okay?" he called, reaching for the doorknob. Nothing. "Light a match, man, I'm coming in."
He twisted the knob and pushed, fists clenched as he filled the doorway.
Nothing moved. Steam wisped about under the light, twisting on the current of cool air. A pile of clothes- Dean's clothes- lay in a heap by the toilet. A familiar brown bag perched on the edge of the sink, surrounded by a razor and can of shaving cream, toothbrush and toothpaste from the night before.
A shadow shifted behind the shower curtain, and Sam locked onto it, tunneling his vision. His breath barely moved through his lungs as he approached.
He swallowed and reached for the shower curtain.
"Boo!" Dean, wearing a large red afro and his nose capped in a bright red ball, sprung from the shower, his hands up and covered in large white gloves.
Sam staggered back, his arms pin-wheeling as he crashed against the towel rack, the metal bars hitting him across the shoulder blades. His feet twisted and he slid down the wall, landing hard on his ass, still scrambling into the corner behind the door.
Dean laughed, slapping his thigh as his cheeks swelled. "Sam, Sam, calm down, dude. It's just me. Sam!"
"Damnit, Dean!" Sam shouted, bringing his flailing arms under control, his heart pounding against his ribs. "You are such a bastard!"
Dean pulled off the gloves and reached out, still laughing. "Come on, get up. You're such a girl- you should have seen your face!"
Sam knocked his hand away none too gently. He grimaced as he used the wall instead, rising slowly, the room tilting to the left until he sidestepped to keep his balance. "Get off me. Fuck, I hate you."
Dean backed up, giving Sam his space, his laughter slowly dying. "Lighten up! It was just a joke. You really gotta get over this pansy-assed fear of clowns, you know. I'm only trying to help."
Sam turned his back to Dean and made his way back to his bed, grabbing his drink just for something to do with his hands. "Don't. Stop trying to help."
Dean pulled off the wig and nose, tossing them in the corner. "You gotta face your fears head-on, Sammy. Look at me. Dad found out I was afraid of rats and what did he do?" he shivered, thought Sam doubted Dean was aware of it. "I may hate the little shits, but I'm not afraid of them anymore."
Dean may hold bravado about the situation now, but Sam remembered with crystal clarity the night Dean had been too shaken up to even eat dinner, and the way he twitched in his sleep that night, dreaming of the nibbling rats in the Patterson's basement. Yeah, facing your fears worked real well.
"I can deal with it myself," Sam said, pumping his fists to loosen his muscles. "It's not a big deal, anyway."
"Yeah, not until we have to tangle with old Pennywise."
Dean grabbed the bag of food from the dresser. "One could say that about half the shit we hunt, Sam."
The point, no matter how twisted it was, had been taken. Sam stared at the TV.
"Dude," Dean scoffed as he peered into the fast food bag, "Did you eat all the extra fries?"
A week later, the event had faded from Sam's conscious thoughts. Dean let the matter drop, and Sam only remembered about it when he lay on his back, pressing against the tender bruise there. But all scuffs between them, as bruises, faded with time and ignorance.
And as Sam had always known, Dean could be pretty ignorant.
"The car unlocked? I forgot the laptop."
Dean looked up from the TV, his hand in mid-air over the plate of fries on his chest. "Yeah. Oh- and hey. Get my drink from earlier. That Red Bull shit is addictive."
Sam watched Dean shovel another handful of fries into his mouth, chewing contentedly. A repeat of Scrubs was playing on the TV and Dean's quiet chuckles shook two fries to the bedspread. Sam smiled, always appreciating the lighter moments, and left without a word.
A dying sun stained the parking lot deep orange. The Impala sparkled, the black paint reflecting the sky like a mirror, pulling the colors around her like a new skin. Tears stung Sam's eyes as he approached and he looked away, blinking to adjust his vision.
He pulled open the back door and grabbed the laptop from the floorboards. They'd pulled into town a few hours ago and rented a room with the first motel promising free breakfast. They hadn't been on a hunt in a week and the liberty of driving aimlessly was wearing thin. They were brothers, after all, and Sam could only tolerate so much of his within car's confines.
The back door shut with a clang and he moved to the driver's door. It opened with a coffin-creak and Sam tucked the laptop under his arm before leaning in and grabbing the open can of Red Bull. The stuff would be warm by now, probably nothing more that flat, red syrup. A gentle shake told him the can was less than half-full anyway. Whatever.
Sam backed out of the car and pushed the door shut with his knee, readjusting his grip on the laptop. The streetlights flickered on, buzzing lowly overhead. Sam headed back to the motel, intent on finding them a hunt even if he had to stay up all night to do so. If he had to sit in the car all day again tomorrow, he'd go crazy.
He saw the shadow before he could react, a dark flash of rainbow against the pavement to his left. He tensed, ducked and spun, ankles twisted awkwardly as a leather-gloved hand covered his mouth. His hands were wrenched behind his back, the laptop and can clattering to the ground. Something covered his eyes. Something stung his neck.
He tried to shout, tried to ask 'who', tried to outlast the warm numbness spreading through his body. The body behind him held on like iron and Sam's struggles turned frenzied with panic. His strength faded- or was overpowered- and he sank to his knees, eyelids heavy.
It wasn't fair. Dean was fifty feet away, watching TV in their room. Sam screamed, the sound muted and distorted against the stranger's white glove, and the irony of it all tore a chocked sob from him before the blackness swallowed him.